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Activities in Caithness

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Caithness -
Land Of The Cat People
Land Of The Vikings
Land Of The Picts
Land Of Highland Clans
Land Of Castles
Land Of The Coast
Land Of Inventors
Land Of Agricultural Innovation
Land Of The Herring
Land Of Writers

Caithness - The Diverse County
Caithness has a rich heritage much of it lying intact all round the coast and within the chambered cairns, stone circles, forts and many other stone dwellings right up to the "The Clearances"  Thousands of years of history can be seen with sites often within hundreds of yards of each other but spanning hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.  

What Is There To Do?
You Will Not Have Time To See Half Of It
Caithness is still not well sign posted for visitors.  It is a working county of farmers, fishermen and many other industries including the largest Dounreay the nuclear establishment.  Many of the places of interest take a little research or map reading to find.   But most are easy to get to and the locals can always point you in the right direction.  You are more like to be standing at ancient places on your own than anywhere else in the UK as Caithness and Sutherland are amongst the least populated parts of Britain.   You will still find lively and noisy nights out in Wick and Thurso if you want them.  Young folk are no different in the north when they go out to enjoy themselves.  Pubs and clubs are busiest at Weekends throughout the year.

Caithness offers a wide variety of things to do.  This page may give you some ideas but much of the fun is discovering the area for yourself.  The county although small has a long coastline sitting as it does the furthest north of mainland Scotland.  From its famous peat bogs which are rich in plants and wildlife to a wide range of activities.  Driving is a pleasure due to the many quiet roads which cross the county and taking the back country single track roads will get you around at a more relaxing pace.   We have lots of information about Caithness.  Email us at bill@caithness.org   and tell us what you need to know.

Castle Of Mey is the only castle open to the public although Dunbeath Castle gardens are one on specific days with proceeds going to charity.

Caithness has all of the facilities for a family holiday from local amenities like tennis courts, swimming pools, bowling (both green and ten pin). 

The county has four golf courses

Flying Lessons
Why not try a Trial Flying Lesson with Far North Aviation at Wick Airport and see Caithness from the air.  Or even a series of lessons towards getting your wings.  Even if you do not go on to get your pilot's licence it's a great way to see the county.

The county has a number of museums and heritage centres, several castles and many archealogical sites which can be visited free of charge.  The sites do not have visitor centres so it is possible to imagine yourself back in the time periods they were built.  Caithness has over 100 Brochs (Pictish buildings) and many are clearly visible as the one at Yarrows which stands near a large number of prehistoric stones, circles, huts and cairns.

North Highland Archive Wick
Heritage Centre  Wick
Caithness Museums
Walking in Caithness

What Else?
These are only a few suggestions on this page.  the rest of the web site is full of possibilities from Kite flying and buggying at Dunnet Beach.  Riding horses and ponies or taking lessons.

For accommodation there is the luxury of Ackergill Tower or Dale House now given over to top quality conferences, and private house parties for a few days or a week.  A range of comfortable hotels in many price brackets or friendly Caithness Bed and Breakfast houses where many tourists stay each year.

Is There More? - Definitely Yes
Most folk who have never been to the most northerly part of mainland Scotland have only a hazy idea of what it is like - a vague knowledge that Wick appears on the BBC weather maps or that it is a wind swept treeless place near the sea.  The temperatures is indeed cooler than most of the rest of Britain but that hides as is often the case in the Highlands a truly friendly people welcoming to strangers - and long lost relatives who come in greater numbers over the years to find their roots at the North Highland Archive. A growing number of people are coming to see the coastal viking castle sites or the much old Pictish Brochs.  Caithness has more Brochs and pictish stones around the county than almost anywhere else - a well kept secret.  More sites than Orkney and yet nearly all remain undug by archaeologists or anyone else.  Only in recent years have local people begun to realise the untapped historical wealth under their feet.  Several projects are underway to finally take a closer look and interpret more of the Caithness heritage

Pulteney Whisky Visitor Centre
Take the distillery tour at the most northerly mainland visitor centre showing the process of making Old Pulteney whisky.



Waterlines Fishing Heritage

North Coast Marine Adventures

vailable at many different locations on sea, lochs and rivers. 

Wildlife In Caithness
Wildlife is abundant in over and around Caithness.  With many natural habitats a huge range of bird life from the many sea

cliffs to bogs, hedgerows and pastureland both natural and unspoilt hill.  Dunnet Bay has several features of interest being a headland with cliffs, a lighthouse, a bay, and a forest with signposted footpaths.   Photographs of the rich diversity can be found in the Caithness Biodiversity photo collection.

There are many walks in the county of interest and several ideas have been put together by a variety of groups and individuals.  They vary in length both in towns and in the country side.  Or join one of the guided walks from the Highland Ranger Service or local groups that arrange walks on a wide variety of themes.

Bird Watching is fantastic in Caithness with sea cliffs, forests and peatlands and drystane walling providing great natural habitats.  The Bird List for the Dunnet Bay area alone is enough to ensure many pleasant hours spotting in the uncluttered countryside.

Places In Caithness
Check our growing A to Z to see range of villages, churches and other interesting places on the back roads of the county.  with a low population spread out over the most northerly mainland county there is no shortage of roads to drive around in.

Archealogical Sites

Seabird City Duncansby Head

Caithness has a vibrant arts scene with music and drama groups involved in a wide variety of different performances at different times of the year.  Small theatres play host to professional and prize winning local drama groups.  Watch out for some of Wick or Thurso Players - Two groups who are usually sell-outs at their performances.

What's On
There are Galas around the county and Highland Games mainly in July and August.  the Caithness County show is an agricultural show where many people have an annual day out.  If you are interested in farming then this is one for you.  Even if you are not there are many other attractions on at the show.

There are a number of Art galleries in Caithness -  commercial and within the public library in Wick.  Lyth Arts Centre often has exhibitions of artist during the summer months.
The Society of Caithness Artists has its annual show in Thurso Town Hall.

Small Commercial Galleries
North Shore Pottery

Swimming is available for the hardy at many secluded beaches.  If the climate is not for you then there are public swimming pools in Thurso and Wick.
for the really out-door minded there are two outdoor pools  - the Trinkie and the North Baths At Wick  Ancestors of a few folk from Caithness take a dip to swim in the pools there grandparents or earlier swam in.

Harbours of Caithness
With a long fishing history the coast has many small secluded harbours and inlets with piers and with a variety craft.

Maps of Caithness and other map links.