See and do

What to see and do in Portmahomack

Whether you're looking for something for Mum and Dad or just for the kids; whether you’re into wildlife or heritage; whether you’re seeking exercise or relaxation, Portmahomack has something for everyone. Golf, cycling, sea trips, fishing and watersports are some of the activities you can enjoy - not to mention a variety of walking routes. There's so much to see and do for visitors of all ages!

Food and drink

From fine dining to cafés and tearooms, from pub grub to romantic dinners for two, Portmahomack caters for a wide range of tastes and budgets. And for those self-catering visitors who might want to ‘eat in’ sometimes, there’s the well-stocked Village Stores and Post Office for your convenience - it carries just about everything you’ll need for your stay.


The Oystercatcher is a small, intimate, high-quality seafood restaurant with three bedrooms based in the main street in Portmahomack. It is essential to book for B&B and also for dinner.

Seafield Game

Seafield Game are a new small business who aim to provide affordable and sustainably sourced meat produce.

Port Stores & Post Office

The Village Stores and Post Office sells a wide range of goods, including fresh meat and vegetables; frozen and tinned foods; beers, wines and spirits, toiletries and household items; papers and magazines; and much, much more.

The Castle Hotel

The Castle Hotel is a traditional, highland hotel/pub with four recently refurbished en-suite rooms for anyone wishing to stay over. Situated by the harbour, overlooking the Dornoch Firth and the Sutherland hills, it is an ideal place to relax and take in the views, as well as enjoy a drink and a bite to eat.

Tarbat Bistro & Bar

A new addition to Portmahomack's eateries. There's a variety of hot and cold food available, as well as home baking, specialty teas and fabulous coffee plus a fully stocked Bar.

Arts and crafts

There’s no shortage of creative talent in Portmahomack which is home to a number of artists and craft makers. Examples of their work can be found in various places within the village.


Beachfront Gallery

A combination of the opportunity to showcase a selection of the wealth of local talent and the use of such a stunning location was the inspiration for Carol to open Beachfront Gallery in July 2021. You will find beautiful jewellery, wood craft, glass craft, ceramics and more traditional art, as well as unique and unusual gift ideas, cards and wrapping paper, housed all together in a friendly, welcoming space.

Gemma Petrie Artist

Working from her studio on the edge of the village, Gemma produces paintings, drawings and a variety of crafts influenced by the beautiful Scottish landscape.

Sherril Fraser Artist & Designer

Sherril tries to bring to life what usually goes unnoticed by closely observing the textures, patterns, colours and characteristics of life and nature.

Jane Foster Jewellery

In Jane's beautiful little workshop you will find a dynamic collection of traditional silversmithing. Each piece of jewellery is designed and made to be a unique mini sculpture inspired by the natural and man-made landscape of Portmahomack.

Outdoor activities

Sea fishing

The harbour in Portmahomack, the jetty in Rockfield and the shore around the lighthouse afford sea fishermen ample opportunity to cast their lines.


From Portmahomack there are great walks to Rockfield, Tarbat Ness Lighthouse and nearby Inver - all offering great views and the potential to see a wide range of wonderful wildlife.


Portmahomack has a well-respected, 9-hole golf course which offers a friendly welcome to visitors. The club house has a bar and cafe which caters for both players and guests.

History and heritage

Fountain and Well

Portmahomack features a fine cast iron fountain by the harbour (dated 1877) which commemorates, in Gaelic and English, the introduction of ‘gravitation water’ (piped water) to the village. Just outside Carnegie Hall, Portmahomack's community hall, you'll find the recently refurbished St Colman’s Well, named after St Cholmaig (or St Colman). Portmahomack is known in Gaelic as ‘Port mo Chalmaig’ or St Colman’s Port.

Tarbat Discovery Centre

Portmahomack is home to The Tarbat Discovery Centre, a local heritage centre and museum which is housed in the refurbished Old Parish Church. As the site of the only Pictish monastic settlement excavated in Scotland to date, the Discovery Centre is of national importance and has featured on several TV documentaries, and radio programmes.

Lay of the land


Just a mile or so from Portmahomack, facing east on the Tarbat Peninsula and overlooking the Moray Firth, lies the tiny hamlet of Rockfield. Made up of a single street of traditional fishermen’s houses, Rockfield is perhaps most famous for being home to Ballone Castle. Originally built in the 16th century and now privately owned, this three-storey renovated tower house stands guard over the entrance to the village. Rockfield is also a haven for wildlife, including numerous types of seabird, dolphins, seals and otters.

Tarbat Ness

At the end of the Tarbat peninsula lies Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, engineered by Robert Stevenson. The lighthouse bears two distinguishing broad red bands and is 41m (134ft) high. Its light was first exhibited on 26 January 1830. Tarbat Ness is a place of special interest for the observation of migratory birds, and seals and dolphins can also be spotted from the headland. There is an interesting walk around the peninsula from the village of Portmahomack.


With the mountains beyond acting as a stunning backdrop, Portmahomack has a blue-flag, gently sloping beach which is perfect for families. The village lies inside the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation and, if you’re very lucky, you might spot a dolphin or two playing out in the bay. There is a fishing harbour and pier, as well as circular walk out along the coast to the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, the tallest on the Scottish mainland.

Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights)

One of the greatest sights you could ever wish to behold is the Aurora Borealis, a natural light display in the night sky. And because of its northerly geographical position, if prevailing conditions mean that the Northern Lights might put in an appearance, the chances are you’ll be able to see them in Portmahomack. So, you don’t have to go to Iceland to experience this spectacular phenomenon!