Scotland’s far north and most northerly section of the world-famous North Coast 500 is serving up a feast of food and drink events across Sutherland and Caithness this autumn.
The line-up of North Highland food and drink events and activities is being supported by Venture North, the destination management organisation that promotes responsible tourism in the far north Highlands of Scotland, as part of its autumn and winter campaign.
Food and drink lovers of all ages can look forward to a heart-warming menu of Highland food and drink, cooking demonstrations by local chefs, distillery and brewery tours, as well a warm Highland welcome, real log fires and breathtaking views, including the Dornoch Whisky Festival (28th-30th October), ‘Taste North’ in Wick (6th November), as well as ‘The Far North Spirits & Beer Festival’, an inaugural spirits and beer festival taking place across Scotland’s ‘far north’ throughout November.
Individual businesses and venues taking part in the line-up of events include Dunnet Bay Distillery near Thurso, 8 Doors Distillery at John O’Groats and The Carnegie Whisky Cellars in Dornoch.
Venture North is already working with over 250 tourism and hospitality businesses, local community groups and industry partners across the region to help extend the season and bring business to local visitor economies over the quieter autumn and winter months.
The initiative is being geared towards promoting reasons to visit and explore Caithness and Sutherland from October to March, showcasing areas that are less impacted by over-tourism and can accommodate visitors in the quieter season, as well as highlighting the long-established relationship between tourism and wellbeing.
Ellie Lamont, Venture North board director, said:
“Venture North is delighted to be able to host the return of Taste North in Wick on 6th November.
“We’re looking forward to seeing all our past exhibitors and visitors, as well as being able to welcome new businesses and entice a growing number of attendees to the much-anticipated festival of the best the north has to offer.
“We’re delighted to be bringing our own local chefs to the stage to cook up some delicious meals and our programme is packed with cookery and cocktail demonstrations, as well as our Taste North challenge competition and family activities.”
Lou Rollason from the Dornoch Whisky Festival, said:
“We’re so excited that the Dornoch Whisky Festival is coming back in full force for 2022.
“This year we’ll be continuing to work with some fantastic brands and do some great collaborations between them and our local businesses.
“It’s such a delightful wee festival emphasising knowledge and learning, regardless of someone’s experience in whisky.
“Since October is such a beautiful time of year in the Highlands, we love that we play a small part in the Highland calendar to encourage people to visit outside of the summer rush.”
Cathy Earnshaw is Destination Strategy Manager for Venture North and leads the Tourism Recovery Strategy for Caithness and Sutherland.
“One of the key focus areas in our Tourism Destination Recovery Strategy is to support and develop events and festivals that encourage people to enjoy and visit Caithness and Sutherland outwith the main summer season, and to encourage visitors to explore less populated parts of the region.
“We have been building a range of themed visitor itineraries to showcase the region over the autumn and winter, including ‘Explore’, ‘Adventure’, ‘Breath’ and ‘Enjoy’.
“At this time of year, we have some globally recognised food and drink events to enjoy, including the Dornoch Whisky Festival in October and Taste North in November.
“We’re also excited to be supporting the inaugural Far North Spirits & Beer Festival throughout November, which is a locally-led initiative to showcase the up-and-coming spirits and beer products and experiences in Caithness and the far north.
“I’m delighted to see that the far north is now firmly establishing itself as a world-class leader for spirits and beer that’s worth celebrating.”
Venture North is the destination management organisation for Caithness and Sutherland, which is leading the development and delivery of the Tourism Destination Recovery Strategy (2021-23).
Core funding support is provided by Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and other funding partners.
The organisation is continuing to work in partnership with local development trusts, communities and representative bodies and tourism businesses from across the region, to ensure a collective ownership and delivery of the Strategy at regional level.
The organisation also supports member businesses and communities across the region through effective collaboration to maximise the benefits of the visitor economy.
Venture North has devised a series of suggested themed itineraries to help visitors explore Caithness and Sutherland over the autumn and winter months, which are now available on the Venture North website https://www.venture-north.co.uk/plan/itineraries
Venture North has also launched a series of five short films to showcase Caithness and Sutherland to visitors across the UK and beyond this autumn and winter, including ‘Venture North to Caithness & Sutherland’ https://vimeo.com/734728453
For more information about the Dornoch Whisky Festival and for tickets, visit https://dornochwhiskyfestival.com
For more information about Taste North, visit www.venture-north.co.uk/taste-north
For more information on some of the best food and drink venues, events and activities in Sutherland and Caithness this autumn and winter, including ‘The Far North Spirits & Beer Festival’, visit www.venture-north.co.uk/events
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