A village of the northern coastline of the Caithness district of Highland Council, Reay lies on the shore of Sandside Bay, 10 miles (15 km) west of Thurso. The site of the Dounreay Nuclear Power Plant lies 2 miles (3 km) northeast while the prehistoric chambered remains of Cnoc Freiceadain lies a further 1¼ miles (2 km) east. The Reay Estate was for a long time the property of the Mackays, but was sold to the Countess of Sutherland for £300,000 in 1829 when Lord Reay found himself unable to repay a substantial loan.

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