The Craft Village is the most North Westerly community on mainland Britain. It has a fascinating history having being converted in the 1970s from an austere disused military camp to a creative community of artists and crafts people.
The village is set in some of the most spectacular landscape in the Scottish Highlands and is close to the renowned Balnakeil Beach with it’s impressive dunes and the spectacular cliffs around the peninsula of Faraid Head.
The village is one mile from Durness village centre and consists of a collection of homes and businesses. In addition to arts and crafts businesses, there is also an established bookshop and restaurant, and chocolate shop which each add to the appeal of the village. The buildings are now largely privately owned and each owner has a share in various areas of common land. This is a close knit community but one which welcomes new talent to join the existing pool of creative businesses.
Each year over 25,000 people visit the area and the Craft Village is an important attraction most often on a visitors itinerary along with Cape Wrath and Smoo Cave. This provides a regular and consistent market for produce, albeit on a quite seasonal basis. Most people visit between Easter and late September and either stay in the Durness area for a week or more as a holiday destination or visit as a popular stopping off point on a coastal tour.
Durness and Balnakeil also have a strong history of community arts and the excellent courses organised by North West Training Centre are always well attended. Currently however, there is no dedicated space in the community to host these courses and participants usually travel to neighbouring villages.