Caithness Field Club

Chairman - Geoff Leet          Tel: 01847 89 6989
Secretary - Marion Owen,    9 Tormsdale Place, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 8PZ    Tel: 01847 89 2999
Treasurer - Elizabeth Rintoul     Tel: 01955 602168
Editor -       Ken Butler          Tel: 01847 89 3549
Committee Members          Calum McKenzie, Myra Wilson, Jennifer Bruce, Philip Brown



Some reports from outings

Constitution of Caithness Field Club


Monday 10 September – Malcolm Caithness has agreed to another visit to Castle Sinclair.  We meet at the Castle car park 2.30pm.

Sunday 30 September – Geoff to lead a walk for Archaeology Fortnight .Leaving Wick 9.30am, Thurso 9.15am meeting Dunbeath Harbour 10.00am.  From there – a drive to Houstry stopping to visit a stone circle, a broch, a wag and a sad graveyard

Thursday 4 October – Peter Wright – author of “Ribbon of Wildness “ will tell us about his adventures walking from the Borders to Duncansby Head – Pentland Hotel 7.30pm.

Thursday 11 October – Dr Oram of Stirling University is to give a talk – about War, Famine and Pestilence – Environment ,History in 14th Century Scotland – Pentland Hotel Thurso 7.30pm.

Sunday 28 October – A walk – hopefully - to see salmon spawning at Braemore! Leaving Wick and Thurso train stations 10.00am meeting at the telephone box Braemore 10.45am.

Saturday 10 November – Annual Dinner at MacKay’s Hotel Wick.- 7 for7.30pm. We have Graham Dunnet for After Dinner Speaker – price 27 including gratuities. Book with Marion  - 01847 892999

Thursday 6 December  - Alistair Jack will talk to us in the Assembly Rooms Wick 7.30pm – subject – Rescuing whales, dolphins and other marine creatures.

Thursday 17 January 2013 – Muriel Murray will speak to us about “Relics Re-told” – showing us artefacts presented to the Heritage Centre and the stories behind them – Pentland Hotel 7.30pm

Tuesday 12 February – George Bethune will speak to us in Wick Assembly Rooms – 7.30pm about “The Duke of Kent’s crash “– total research and construction of a very human story.

Sunday 24 February – A winter walk led by Jack Barnaby – a circular walk around Olrig – leaving Wick at10 am and Thurso 10.15am meeting at Olrig cemetery 10.30am

Thursday 14 March – Ken Butler has offered us an illustrated talk “Wild Flowers of the Northern Highlands” – Pentland Hotel 7.30pm.

Tuesday 9 April – Annual General Meeting at the Castletown Hotel – 7.30pm. followed by a presentation of photographs taken during the year.  There will be a small charge for supper.

Friday 26 – Monday 29 April( note April not May) – Club weekend to Nethy Bridge. Hotel-Terms 42.50 each –no single room supplement – Geoff and Calum to lead a day each.
Book with Marion 01847 892999 – I said I would confirm numbers by Christmas.

We hope to have a Coach Trip in May which will be advertised later.



Monday 5 September 2011 – A talk by Professor Trewin of Aberdeen – “Fossil fish of the Old Red Sandstone” – Pentland Hotel 7.30pm. Also Professor Trewin will lead a walk in Achanarras Quarry starting 10 00am – we all have an invitation.

Monday 19 September 2011 – Malcolm Caithness will host a visit to Castle Sinclair meeting at the Castle car park 2.30pm.

Sunday 9 October 2011 – Archaeology month walk led by Geoff Leet – a four mile hike over rough ground seeing brochs, hut circles, a dummy airfield and Ulbster mausoleum.  Cars leave wick and Thurso train stations 10.00am meeting Yarrows car park 10.30am.

Tuesday 11 October 2011 – Field Club Members and friends are invited to a Co-operative Fair Trade Wine tasting at Caithness Horizons –6.30-8.30pm.Please bring your membership card!

Sunday 23 October 2011 – Looking for deer at Langwell – led by Jack Barnaby.  Leave Wick and Thurso train stations 10.15am meeting at Langwell garden car park 11.00am.

Saturday 12 November 2011 – Annual Dinner at the Ulbster Arms Halkirk - 25  including gratuity.  7 for 7.30pm -  Book with Marion (892999)

Wednesday 21 December 2011 – An expedition to view the solstice at both Dorrery and Watten. Leaving Wick at 11.15am and Thurso 11.30am meeting just before Dorrery Lodge where the road forks at 12.00noon. Geoff Leet to lead – we last did this in 2007!

Thursday 12 January 2012 – A talk by “Ralph” – “ A journey along the coast – Durness to John o’Groats with lovely views and music at Thurso’s Pentland Hotel 7.30pm.

Thursday 2 February 2012 – George Bethune will speak to us on “Dunbeath Castle through the ages” at the Pentland Hotel Thurso 7.30pm.

Tuesday 21 February 2012 – Dan MacKay’s Illustrated Talk “Under a Northern Sky” will be at the Assembly Rooms Wick 7.30pm.

Thursday 1 March 2012 -  Ken Butler will show slides on “Nature Photography” at the Pentland Hotel
Thurso 7.30pm.

Monday 12 March 2012 – Geoff Bates illustrated talk will be about “Birds” but we don’t have a title just yet. – Pentland Hotel Thurso 7.30pm.

Tuesday 17 April 2012 – A.G.M. at the Castletown Hotel.  7.30pm – a small charge for refreshments.

Sunday 22 April 2012– Normally a coach trip but this year – a motorcade!  Details later.


Click Here For The Bulletins Index.

7 July 08
Outing To Grianan, Loch Hakel Near Tongue

Caithness Field Club members travelled to Lochan Hakel or Hakoin and then by a small rubber dingy on to an islet some 50 metres from the edge to see a small fort called 'Grianan'.  The fort is reputed  to have been a hunting lodge of the king of Norway (1217 - 63) after whom the Loch is named.  The walls are 6 - 7 feet thick and up to 5 ft high.  The single room measures 19 by 22ft.  There are no signs of doors or windows and the door may have been higher up originally.  The weather on the day was misty and later rain on the way back round the loch. 
A cup and ring stone can be found opposite the islet and has 34 cup marks and 11 of them have rings round them.
The group eat their lunch on the islet and stopped of at the Bettyhill hotel for coffee before returning home.
Geoff Leet and Bill Fernie paddled the boat the length of the loch to the island whilst the others walked round.  Geoff and Callum paddled back whilst Bill and the others walked round the other shore back to the cars.
Map ref NC569526

23 April 07
Caithness Field Club Outing To Brora and Golspie
On Sunday 22nd April 2007 Caithness Field Club members went on day trip to Brora and Golspie.  At Brora a local historian showed them round the Salt Pans area of Back Beach, Brora and described how the coal was used in the making of salt. Various features at the beach were noted and long the way spots of interest were pointed out. Buildings at the beach have in recent years become visible once again due to coastal erosion - they had been covered in sand dunes long ago.  Lunch was taken at the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora before the group boarded the bus to the next stop and walked along the picturesque Big Burn to the waterfall at the end.  For more information on history in Brora see

21 January 07
Rumster Forest
Field Club members set out on their first walk of 2007 on beautiful morning with the sun shining.  The small amount of now was crisp underfoot and made ideal conditions for walking along the tracks of the forest. the forest has a large number of long houses and some are easily visible at the old crofting village of Golsary.  Many of the houses were lived in until 1947 when it was all taken over for forestry.  At Golsary a broch sits behind on of the houses.  One of the houses also has a fine example of a drying kiln.  The walkers also took quick look at the burnt out remains of the Rumster Outdoor Centre that had been unused for some years and was burnet down in 2006.  The walk that was just over 4 miles took about 2and a half hours and members made it back to the cars just as the first icy rain of the day made an appearance  - perfect timing.

16 November 06
1991 Bulletin Added
With the ongoing help of Janet Mackenzie we are now heading for the last couple of Bulletins to complete the full set since publication began in 1973.  We also apologise that 1994 was previously wrongly listed as 1991.  This error has now been rectified.

11 November 06
Caithness Field Club Dinner
Caithness Field Club members met for their annual dinner at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso on Friday night.  chairman Geoff Leet introduced Lord Lieutenant Anne Dunnet as the guest speaker.

23 April 06
Bus Trip To Durness
Photos mainly taken through the bus window but very clear for all that.  Some outside at various places stopped off along the way.  Photos will be posted as time allows in coming weeks.

14 June 05
The Coast From Wick To Lybster - A Fantastic Trip At This Time Of Year

The Caithness Field Club hired the boat Freedom from Freedom Charters on Sunday and went along the coast from Wick to Lybster.  the group split into to groups and one lot travelled to Lybster and the group organised folk to drive cars back to wick for the folk coming the other way on the return.  What a fabulous trip it is at this time of year with hundreds of thousands of sea birds nesting along the coast. 

6 April 05
AGM 2005
At the AGM a good turn out. The same committee was re-elected for the coming year.  Myra Wilson showed some slides and Geoff Leet ran fun competition testing the skills of the audience in identifying some features from buildings around the county.  It was confirmed that the club weekend is fully booked but members who want to can leave their name with Marion in case of a cancellation.

For Earlier Items See Archive Section

The Caithness Field Club has members from all over Caithness with many different backgrounds and interests.  Many of the members are keenly interested in Local History, Archaeology, Geography, Natural History, Palaeontology and other topics.  The Members lead walks and are available to answer questions on the many outings organised throughout the year.  In the winter months indoor activities include lectures, talks, slide shows on a wide range of topics. 

The Caithness Field Club has been publishing bulletins since 1973 with articles covering many aspects of Caithness/Scottish history, geography, wildlife and many other subjects.  Click here for the Bulletins Index.

Inverness Field Club
Orkney Field Club
Scheduled Monuments
Canmore Database - Canmore is the window into the RCAHMS database - Information on almost all of Scotland's archaelogical sites - See Also RCAHMS Links List for many more sources.  RCHAMS Photo Stream On FlickR
Am Baile - Highland History and Culture - web site of Highland council - See Also Am Baile Links Lists
Links On
Caithness Museums and Visitor Centres
Google Maps - Zoom in on Caithness in Map, Satellite or Terrain View - amazing detail
A - Z of Caithness for photos and specific links to Google Maps and more.