By Ella Mckay
Published: 17th December 2018

Enjoying Winter the Caithness Way!

Caithness is known to many as ‘the low lands beyond the Highlands’ and is famous for its wide open spaces and big skies. Winter has come, but there’s no need to stay inside. The winter season opens up a whole world of activities that can be enjoyed, we caught up with Ella Mckay, Marketing Co-ordinator from Mackays Hotel in Wick to find out how you can enjoy the great outdoors this winter!

As with the other months, you may wish to stay for longer than one night and explore the area from a base, and Mackays Hotel makes the perfect base! Be prepared for award winning service, high standards, comfortable rooms and fine food! They might be located on the World’s Shortest street but they will always go that extra mile to make your stay relaxing and memorable.

Photo: Mackays Hotel

It’s officially the winter season! The days are darker, the stars shine brighter, and the wild Highland terrain is calling. This year we invite you to avoid the standard winter hibernation and experience the wonders of winter, the Caithness way. With a wide array of family activities, there’s no need to dread the drop in temperature!

Walking and Hiking

Dunnet Head

Situated close to John O’Groats, Dunnet Head marks the most northerly part of mainland Scotland. Lou Reed once sang, ‘take a walk on the wild side’. With Dunnet Head, you can do just that. This clifftop landscape provides a dramatic journey, perfect for those who seek a rugged – yet manageable walk and breath-taking views of the sea towards Orkney!
Wear a hat at your own risk, the North Sea takes no prisoners!

Photo: Dunnet Head

Flow Country

Venture away and explore the remote mysteries of Northern Scotland with the RSPB Scotland Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve!
Open throughout the year, Forsinard flows is one of Scotland’s greatest national treasures, a vast peatland area supporting an abundance of spectacular bird, plant and insect life.  But why settle for the just the day? After experiencing one of the world’s rarest habitats, absorb the Highland sky in its truest form.
Considered to have light pollution levels similar to the darkest places on earth, the Flow Country is the greatest opportunity to experience the magic of the night sky.
So, what are you waiting for? Take on Scotland’s wildlife by day and constellations by night with this treasured rarity.
For further information on the peatland and upcoming events follow the link below:
https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/forsinard-flows/

Beaches

Sunny moments in winter call for a reason to celebrate and the Caithness coastline provides the perfect excuse.
Take a look at some of Caithness’ most breath-taking beaches:

It should be noted that not all beaches are dog friendly! If you fancy taking your four-legged friend for an outing, Max and Bria from Mackay’s Hotel have created a guide to all things dog friendly in Caithness!

If the thought of the unexpected cloud puts a dampener on your day, just remember. If you’re going to sing in the rain, you may as well do it on a beach!

Photo: Reiss Beach

Northern Saints Trail

Step outside of the history books and explore a forgotten aspect of the Highlands past.You’ve heard of the Celtic roots of the Highlands, but have you considered walking them?Operated by a small group, the Northern Saints Trail project operates to inform and spread the historic presence of the Church across our shared heritage through the significant sites of former Celtic saints. Experience six circular routes, each designed to link the sites associated with the early saints of Caithness.For further information follow the link: http://www.wickstferguschurch.org.uk/page11.html

Have a neat day

If you like the Pogues, you will be going where the whisky is flowing, look no further! Caithness is blessed with an abundance of skilled distilleries specialising in some of the country’s most treasured whisky and Gin. Enjoy an indoors outing, explore the tours available at Old Pulteney & Dunnet Bay Distillery.

A day filled with exploring the great outdoors is sure to rack up quite the appetite. Explore some of the finest quality food in Caithness and cosy up to the fire with Mackays’ Hotel and their award-winning No.1 Bistro.

Photo: Dunnet Bay Distillery

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