A village of central Sutherland, Lairg sits on the southeastern end of Loch Shin, 11 miles (18 km) north of Bonar Bridge. It lies at the junction of five roads built in the early 19th century and developed in association with road and rail transport, limestone quarrying, angling and the marketing of livestock.

Lairg is a popular tourist centre. The Ferrycroft Countryside Centre features displays on the many prehistoric sites in the surrounding area. Ord Hill is the main site for prehistoric dwellings. The area is also popular with fisherman, with trout fishing in the lochs and salmon fishing on the River Shin and at the salmon leap at the Falls of Shin.

Lairg was the birthplace of entrepreneur Sir James Matheson (1796 - 1878), who made his fortune in China.

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