Sutherland has more sheep than people (a 20-to-1 ratio). It's genuinely off the beaten track, but if you have time to travel this far, you'll find it perhaps the most beautiful county in Scotland. Adding to the haunting beauty are lochs and rivers, heather-covered moors and mountains -- in all, 5,200 sq. km (2,000 sq. miles) of territory. It may not offer many "attractions," but it's a wonderful setting for such outdoor pursuits as golf and fishing.

Sutherland, which is northwest of Inverness, has three coastlines -- on the north and west, the Atlantic, and on the east, the North Sea. Most villages have only 100 or so hearty inhabitants. Sutherland was the scene of the notorious 19th-century Highland Clearances, when many residents were driven out of their ancestral crofts. Some made their way to the New World. In certain deserted glens, you still see traces of former crofting villages.