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Walking In Caithness - & Some Sutherland

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Walking In Caithness
There can be little doubt that folk who walk regularly are fitter and healthier.   It is also enjoyable and when combined with another interest such as bird watching, history, archaeology or just out seeing the sites of the area can help ensure that the pace of modern life is put back into perspective.    Caithness has a huge range of walking possibilities from coastal paths along spectacular cliffs or inland to see castles, brochs or pictish places.   Caithness is also one of the least developed counties in Scotland so you may often find that interesting places are not sign posted.  A map or local book of the area will be of great help.  Ask around and you will often find that local folk can point you in the direction of all sorts of places that you might not see.  And expect to be on your own at many of the sites.  It is a great feeling to be able to view the old places with no one in sight.  Some are near roads but many others require a mile or two of walking to get to them.  Several groups advertise FREE walks for members but visitors are always welcome to attend.  One thing is for sure.  You cannot see most of it from a car.  You need to walk to many of the coastal castles and most are not marked by signs.  But several are spectacular although they need great care when approaching the cliffs as most have no fencing or warning signs about any dangers.

Caithness Field Club Programme
Waybaggers   Waybaggers Calendar 2009 - 2010
Ranger Guided Walks Caithness & Sutherland 2009
Highland Ranger Service
RSPB Forsinard

Paths In Caithness & Sutherland
Information at Highland Council Rangers
Access Info And More Paths In Highland

Leaflets

These leaflets make only a few suggestions out of hundreds of possible places to walk in the north.

A few walks in the county........
Wick To Altimarlach
(Site Of Scotland's Last Clan Battle)
Achvarasdal Woodland Walk
Archaeology Walks In Archaeology Section
Newtonhill Community Woodland -
Near Wick
Broubster Forest Walk January 2001 - Pictures
Dunbeath Strath Walk
John O'Groats To Duncansby Ness
Thurso
Thurso River Walk
Wick
Wick River Walk
Castlehill Flagstone Industry Walk
Dunbeath Strath - Heritage Trail
Duncansby Head - Seabird City
Dunnet Bay Walks

Dwarwick Head
Holborn Head
Neil Gunn Walk At Dunbeath
John O'Groats To Duncansby Ness
Lybster To Forse Castle
Four Walks in Castletown

Skirza To Duncansby
Yarrows Archaeology Trail
Wick Community Woodland at Newton Hill
Forsinard Nature Reserve -
not in Caithness but whose counting.   Its not that far away and a great place to see wildlife and a unique landscape and several places to walk

North Of Scotland Way - A Series Of Walks

Sutherland
Portskerra - Melvich - An Audio Walk

For this walk you pick up a CD and player from a local shop  and it guides you around various places with stories connected to the area.  An interesting one for the whole family.
You are invited to enter the village. Walk around the beautiful natural and built Sutherland environment, the ever-changing sea, the craggy coastal landscape and placed within these, the people and their stories. At selected vantage points around the walk a map instructs you to listen to a selected short story on CD. The stories bridge the old and new, the young and the old with a vision of the changing shape of Scottish rural life.
Pick up the CD audio walk and player at :
West End Stores, Portskerra, Melvich, Sutherland Tel: 01641 531219 Open Mon-Sat 9am to 6pm. Halladale Inn , Portskerra, Melvich, Sutherland Tel: 01641 531282 Open Mon-Thurs 11am – 11pm, Fri 11am – 1am, Sat 11am – midnight & Sun noon – 11pm

Estate Walking
Walking on Estate Land is possible but check with estate contacts to find out if shooting or stalking is going on
Walking Morven And Area
Contact Estate
Braemore & Langwell Estates
Contact: Braemore Keeper - 01593 731371 or
Langwell Keeper - 01593 751225 
Walking Scaraben And Area
Contact Estate Braemore & Langwell Estates
Contact: Braemore keeper - 01593 731371 or Langwell Keeper - 01593 751225 

Walking Caithness & Sutherland Hills?
Always tell someone where you are heading for.

A Few Hills
Morven - 2315ft Map 17 Grid ND 004286
Scaraben - 2055ft Map 17 Grid ND 066268
Ben Griam Mor - 1936ft Map Grid 17 NC 806389
Ben Griam Beg - 1902ft Map 10 Grid NC 832412
Creag Scalabsdale - 1820ft Map17 Grid NC 970241
Beinn Stumanadh - 1728ft Map 10 Grid NC 641499
Smean - 1670ft Map17 Grid ND 032277
Maiden Pap - 1587 Map 11/17 Grid ND 048239
Braigh na h-Eaglaise - 1385ft Map 17 Grid 065221
Beinn Dubhain - 1368ft - Map17 Grid 937207
Creag Thoraraidh - 1329ft - Map17 Grid ND 041187
Cnoc na Maoile - 1319ft Map 17 Grid ND 008212
Meall nan Clach Ruadha 1099ft Map 10 Grid NC 605570

Groups that organize walks often with local experts  - Many are advertised locally at libraries, shops, tourist offices and on this web site.

The Caithness Field Club - organises a series of outings on Sundays and some weekday evenings throughout the year.  Welcomes visitors and non members.  Members cover all age groups.

The Caithness Waybaggers - a walking group tackling a wide range of walks around the county and sometimes further.  Great Days Out.
Caithness Waybaggers Pictures and Previous Walks

The Highland Ranger Service - Walks with a wildlife emphasis for the naturalist and the casual walker.  They organise local walks of varying length on the coast, in woodlands and inland.
Pictures From Previous Ranger Walks

Caithness Riders Access Group
The group are gathering together information on riding routes in the county but this information may be of interest to walkers and cyclists.

All Walks Are FREE
Walks Weather Dependent
Outdoor and Waterpoof clothing recommended
Reasonable Fitness Required

Wednesday Wanders Summer only
Dunbeath Wednesday Wanders are a regular weekly walk. The Heritage Trust conducts walks based on archaeology & history every other week. Meeting place and time is the same as above.

See Also
General Walking Links

A Great Glen Way

What You might See Walking In Caithness & Sutherland
Nature
Caithness Biodiversity Collection
Caithness Rangers
Highland Wild Encounters
Caithness & Sutherland Map
Sutherland Biodiversity Plan

Links
Great Glen Way
Great Glen Ways Project
Great Glen Way Long Distance Route
Caledonian Canal
Speyside Way
Outdoor Access Scotland

Great Glen Mountain Bike Trails
The West Highland Way

Check The What's On For Guided Walks

6 July 09
Forsinain Trail - A Four Mile Circular Route (
Pdf)
Sitting on the edge of Caithness & Sutherland’s high quality bogs, the four mile Forsinain Trail is self-guided and takes in farm fields, bog pools, riverside and woodland allowing an insight into conservation management and exciting wildlife.  It starts on The Flows National Nature Reserve, part of RSPB Forsinard Nature Reserve, continues through Forestry Commission Scotland’s Forsinain Forest and returns along the privately owned River Halladale salmon river. This circular trail which rises 100m to the bog begins at the roadside car park on the River Halladale before ascending the farm road through fields used intensively by feeding and breeding peatland bird species. As there is a steep hill on the farm road, a small car park has been created above it for the sole use of disabled drivers which will provide views and bird watching into the adjacent fields. Further on, the trail follows a grassy track to the top of the fields and out onto a small area of blanket bog with peat cutting and bog pools, which is crossed on flagstone stepping stones. The trail then follows an unsurfaced route for approximately one mile through a conifer plantation with restoration felling and passing close to a loch where red-throated divers sometimes breed. Descending on the forest road the final section follows an unsurfaced route along the grassy riverbanks of the River Halladale with a short climb to a viewpoint on the way.

Schools Out - Site Guide for Caithness - SNH (Pdf)
Aimed at Teachers but useful for families and individuals looking for places to visit in Caithness.

The Site Guide for Caithness provides a list of suitable sites (27 in total) throughout Caithness and covering a wide variety of different habitats, with details for each site covering basic details to assist in planning any trip there. Details include: access points, available facilities, contact details for access, site description, map and much more! The aim is to provide a useful resource for teachers and rangers in Caithness, in pursuing environmental education aims through the 5-14 Environmental Studies and right across the National Curriculum.

Hillphones
Useful for checking which hills have stalking going on.  Caithness is not included but the listing is very useful for number of estates in the Highlands and the list is growing.

Highland Council Countryside Ranger
Guided Walks/Events in North Sutherland

Contact: Paul Castle
North Sutherland Countryside Ranger
01641 521884

Walking In Caithness
If you are looking for organised walks in Caithness it is always worth checking  -
The Caithness Field Club - organises a series of outings on Sundays and some weekday evenings throughout the year.  Welcomes visitors and non members.  Members cover all age groups.
The Caithness Waybaggers - a walking group tackling a wide range of walks around the county and sometimes further.  Great Days Out. 2007 - 08 Walks
The Highland Ranger Service - Walks with a wildlife emphasis for the naturalist and the casual walker.  They organise local walks of varying length on the coast, in woodlands and inland.

Holborn Head

Neil Gunn Walk


 

 

A group enjoyed a sunny Saturday afternoon in Dunbeath Strath looking at places Neil Gunn got his inspiration from.

Walking Contacts Caithness & Sutherland
Highland Rangers
North Caithness -
Mary Legg - 01847 821531
East Caithness -
Marina Swanson - 01955 607758
North West Sutherland  -
Donald Mitchell 01971 511259
Mid Sutherland  -
Ian Paterson - 01549 402638
Assynt -
Andy Summers - 01571 844 654
RSPB Forsinard Reserve - 01641 571225

Tourist Offices
Wick Tourist Office  - Info point  - no staff
Thurso 01847 892371(Seasonal)
John O'Groats 01955 611373(Seasonal)

Other walking contacts -
The Ramblers Association
1-5 Wandsworth Road
London
SW8 2XX
Tel 0171 339 8500