For the scientific organisation, see European Molecular Biology Organization.
Scottish Gaelic: Earabol
 Embo shown within the Sutherland area
Population 300 (approx.)
OS grid referenceNH816928
Council areaHighland
Lieutenancy areaSutherland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town DORNOCH
Postcode district IV25
Dialling code 01862
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK ParliamentCaithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Scottish ParliamentCaithness, Sutherland and Ross constituency in the Highlands and Islands electoral region
List of places

Coordinates: 57°54′N 3°59′W / 57.90°N 3.98°W / 57.90; -3.98

Embo (Scottish Gaelic: Earabol) is a village in the Highland Council Area in Scotland and the former postal county of Sutherland, about 2 miles NNE of Dornoch.

On 16 July 1988, Embo declared itself independent from the rest of the United Kingdom for one day. This was done to raise funds to convert the unused primary school in the village into a community centre.[1]

Pier and Embo's harbour

The village issued its own currency, called the Cuddie. The rate of exchange was 2 cuddies to the pound. Cuddies were accepted in the local public house - Grannies Heilan' Hame, in exchange for a measure of Clynelish Malt Whisky. The owners of the distillery, in nearby Brora, sponsored the bid for independence by issuing a commemorative label on 50 cases of Clynelish Malt Whisky - "The Spirit of Free Embo"

Bronze Age remains were excavated to the south of the village in 1956, other burials having previously been discovered in the area.

The school in Embo was designed by William Fowler in 1859.[2]

Nancy Dorian's research of the local East Sutherland Gaelic dialect showed that in 1964, over 100 of the village's total population of fewer than 300 still actively spoke Gaelic, and that many more had a "smattering" or were perfect passive bilinguals. This percentage even briefly increased during the 1970s with "returners" to the village. Until the end of the 1970s at least, Embo was a bilingual Gaelic and English speaking community. Brora and Golspie had much smaller percentages of Gaelic speakers at that time.

As with the entire region of East Sutherland, the end of the 19th century and the collapse of the fishing industry coincided with the decline of Gaelic as the majority language of the people.

Embo is informally "twinned" with Kaunakakai on the island of Molokai in Hawaii.[3]


1901 550 ("Northern Times", 2 Jun 2006);
2001 no separate figure given by GRO, "Dornoch locality" = 1206


The nearest railway stations are at Tain and Golspie, both about 10 route miles away.


  1. "Embo Memories" embo.org.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  2. http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200673
  3. "Aloha Embo" The Northern Times. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
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