Caithness

Unspoilt dramatic scenery in the far north of Scotland, indeed on the extreme edge of Europe
 

North Coast 500 is one of the most beautiful routes in the world. 

More than 500 miles of the best the North Highlands has to offer. The route starts from Inverness and heads  West up the coast and back via the rugged north coast. Finally returning through picturesque East Coast villages.

Welcome to Caithness

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Discover the royal connections in Caithness


The former holiday home of the late Queen Mother, the Castle of Mey is the most northerly castle on the British mainland. Still frequented by  HRH, The Prince Charles Duke of Rothesay, the Castle is steeped in heritage and even has as an adjoining cafe and shop where you can enjoy a cup of tea over the exclusive Castle of Mey cookbook which was created from a compilation of Royal family recipes.

Stunning coastal scenery, fascinating heritage and a booming farming industry, Caithness is an exciting stop on your North Coast 500 journey.

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Caithness sits on the most north eastern corner of the North Coast 500 and is often referred to as on the extreme edge of Europe.

Commonly known as the home to John O'Groats, Caithness has much more to offer, for instance the impressive Duncansby Stacks that forms part of the head land, Dunnet Head, the real tip of Britain and beaches such as Sinclair's Bay that is rated so highly by the locals.

Discover the fascinating heritage of the fishing industry in Wick, as one of the most booming fishing ports of time gone by. Stroll past the harbour, see in to the 'gates' designed by the local children and pop by the Heritage Museum to witness some of the artefacts that was used by the ancestors of today's communities.
Learn about the impressive Whaligoe Steps which involves 365 steps of man-made stairway hidden on the eastern coast. Taste the homemade delicacies at the cafe and enjoy the views over the firth.
 

Delve in to the history of the past where stories are still to be discovered through the enticing brochs that are scattered across the county just asking to be explored.

Stretch your legs and try and climb Caithness' biggest mountain, Morven or indulge in some award-winning food at Forss House Hotel or No.1 Bistro, which happens to be on the Shortest Street in the World.

Whatever takes your fancy, we guarantee you will find it in Caithness.

The Musical Map of Caithness

Picture this – It is a beautiful, crisp Highlands day and you are travelling along the North Coast 500… the radio is a bit fuzzy as you approach Berriedale so you need to put on a CD to accompany you as you approach Caithness…what do you choose? The Musical Map of Caithness CD, obviously!

The Musical Map of Caithness is the brand new CD written and produced by local musician Gordon Gunn and other musical talents from across bonnie Scotland and consists of 12 short narratives and 12 beautifully composed tracks! Let this CD be your map of Caithness and celebrate the local culture, history, nature and landscapes of the area through upbeat Celtic instrumental sounds.
Gordon Gunn is a local musician that is based in Wick and is a full-time professional musician of over 12 years. Gordon is also a founding member of Scottish fiddle group Session A9 who were voted best live act at the 2012 Trad Awards and have toured all over the UK & Europe. Session A9 have 4 CD's under their belt and a live DVD recorded at the Celtic Connections in Glasgow.
When asked about his motivations for creating a musical map, Gordon said,
“I wanted to highlight the amazing beauty of Caithness and through my passion of music, I come up with the idea of creating a musical map. I 've written eight instrumental tracks inspired by these stunning venues and co-written four songs along with the acclaimed Caithness writer George Gunn.  The  songs and short narrations are on attractions across the region, from Caithness Horizons to Dunnet Head which is the most northerly point in Mainland Britain – all attractions which I feel visitors would thoroughly enjoy and I hope that through music it will add further enjoyment to their experience.”
Eilidh Todd, the project manager of the Musical Map of Caithness  project added,
“It is hoped that the CD will provide a ‘self-guiding resource’ to the county, allowing visitors freedom to explore the local tourism offering at their own pace. The development of the music is a modern take on the cultural heritage of the area and we hope this venture will support the local economy, as well as providing an unusual method of increasing visitor enjoyment and experience  in the area.”
The CD is available for only £11.99 and can be purchased directly from www.northhighlandinitiative.co.uk or from shops across Caithness;

Check out the Musical Map on Facebook for snippets, updates and more!
 

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Handy Information about your adventure

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  • Caithness is home to John O'Groats Wick Airport in Wick with  flights daily from Edinburgh or Aberdeen. 
  • The X99 bus from Inverness will take you directly to the main towns/villages and runs 4 times a day.
  • There is a rail line connecting Wick & Thurso with trains passing every few hours.
  • You can catch a ferry from Scrabster or John O'Groats to the Isle of Orkney which is just less than an hour away.
  • Dunnet Head is officially the most northerly point in Mainland Britain, whilst John O'Groats is the most northerly village. 
  • Caithness is home to the only cinema in the North Highlands; Thurso Cinema.