Helmsdale - a bit of background.

Helmsdale, whose gaelic name is Bunillidh, is a place with a complex history, rooted in the greater annals of the history of Scotland. The modern village was planned in 1814 to resettle communities that had been removed from the surrounding straths, principally the Strath of Kildonan, through which the River Helmsdale flows,  as part of the infamous Highland Clearances.

Helmsdale is a fishing port at the estuary of the River Helmsdale, and was once the home of one of the larges herring fleets in Europe. The river itself is well known for its salmon fishing. The small townships of West Helmsdale, Marrel, Gartymore and Portgower lie across the river from the main village above the railway station; Old Helmsdale is immediately to the north while East Helmsdale and Navidale are settlements less than a mile to the east.  In all, the population of the village is around 700 souls.