skip to main content

Be County-Wise and get to know the Historic Counties!

Search for:


For practicalities Ross-shire and Cromartyshire are often treated as one geographical area, however they remain separate counties.

Ross-shire stretches from the North Sea coast to the Atlantic coast, standing between Inverness-shire and Sutherland. It is a severe, mountainous shire dominated by the Northwest Highlands. Physically it is divided into Easter Ross and Wester Ross. The coast of Wester Ross is deeply indented with craggy sealochs and with scattered islands. Easter Ross has a gentler coast with fertile land, notably on the Black Isle between the Cromarty Firth and the Beauly Firth. The county town is Dingwall at the head of the Cromarty Firth. Its name is Norse, a memory of the extent of Norwegian power in the north. Ross-shire also includes the Isle of Lewis. (The Isle of Lewis is divided from the Isle of Harris in Inverness-shire by Loch Seaforth, Loch Resort and a hilly land border between them.) Lewis is largely low-lying, the whole middle covered in peat, its only town being Stornoway on the east coast. Scattered across Ross-shire are enclaves of Cromartyshire.

County Facts

County Town: Dingwall

Main Towns: Dingwall, Gairloch, Kyle of Lochalsh, Fortrose, Port of Ness, Tain, Stornoway, Strathpeffer.

Main Rivers: Oykel, Carron.

Highlights: Abbey of Fearn; Glenmorangie distillery, Tain; Isle of Lewis; Shandwick Stone..

Highest Point: Carn Eige, 3877 feet.

Area: 3,089 square miles

County Flower: Bog Asphodel