Explore Caithness

Caithness

Beautiful scenery with a hint of Royal Excellence

Caithness Map

Caithness is located on the most north eastern part of the North Coast 500, and serves as the most northern county in Britain to still claim royal connections. The vast open landscape, also known as the flow country, is rich in archaeological remnants of a bygone age. The geological features of the Caithness coastline feature soaring sea stacks, raucous colonies of sea birds, and vertically faced headlands jutting out into the wild waters of the Pentland Firth.

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Photos: Dunnet Bay Distillery, Castle of Mey, Caithness Seacoast


Discover the attractions in Caithness worth that extra mile

Whilst we hope to promote the North Coast 500 as a designated route throughout the North Highlands of Scotland, we really want everyone to explore the places in and near the route too! There are hundreds of things to see and do that require that extra mile for the whole Highland experience!

Go ‘off the beaten track’ and discover the villages and hamlets off the route. Discover your own hidden gems. Check out our itineraries for inspiration and our ‘what to see and do area’ of our website.


Handy Information about your adventure

Did you know?

  • Dunnet Head is officially the most northerly point in Mainland Britain, whilst John O’Groats is the most northerly village.
  • 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.

NC500 Members in Caithness

Official NC500 Members

Forss House Hotel Restaurant

Forss House Hotel Restaurant, Bridge of Forss, Near Thurso, KW14 7XY
+44 (0)1847 861 201

The restaurant at Forss House Hotel has a reputation as one of the finest in the North and is the only 2 AA Rosette restaurant in Caithness and welcomes those not staying at the hotel as well as guests. The Chefs are lucky enough to have wonderful produce to cook with, straight from the neighbouring […]

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No.1 Bistro at Mackays Hotel

No.1 Bistro at Mackays Hotel, 1 Ebenezer Place, Wick, KW1 5ED
+44 (0)1955 602 323

Situated on the shortest street in the world the No.1 Bistro is one of Caithness’s tastiest choices for lunch and dinner. From light lunches to delicious evening meals, the Bistro offers an appealing ambience, quality service, exceptional culinary standards and can cater for any dietary requirement.

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Seaview Hotel

Seaview Hotel, John O'Groats, Caithness, KW1 4YR
+44(0)1955 611 220

Seaview Hotel is ideally situated for your holiday in the North of Scotland, with stunning views overlooking the Pentland Firth, Stroma and the Orkney Islands and only 300yds from the John O’Groats Ferry Terminal and a couple of minutes from the Gills Bay Ferry. As a small and popular family run hotel, the Seaview offers […]

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KW Kitchen

KW Kitchen, 5A Princes Street, Thurso, KW14 7BQ
+44(0)1847 890 400

Small, family owned Take Away open from 7am -3pm Monday to Friday serving food such as homemade soup sandwiches, baguettes, paninnis, toasties, baked tatties. Cooked breakfast served till 10.30am. Homemade meals to go; pasta bowls, rice bowls, salad boxes. Packed lunches can be pre-ordered for pick up. We also provide catering for events please pop […]

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The Hawthorns Bed and Breakfast

The Hawthorns Bed and Breakfast, Mey, Thurso, KW14 8XH
+44 (0)1847 851 444

Located in the village of Mey, the Hawthorns B & B provides comfortable and spacious accommodation within easy reach of the Castle of Mey.  Boasting superb views across the loch to Dunnet Head, the Hawthorns’ sits directly on the NC500 route, 7 miles west of John O’Groats.  We offer 2 king-size rooms (one with wet […]

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Northern Saints Trails

Northern Saints Trails, Scaraben, Westside, Dunnet, Thurso, KW14 8YD
+44 (0)1847 851 467

We are a small group who have devised six circular routes within Caithness linking sites associated with the early Celtic saints of the area. We have a list of 33 saints and 32 sites. We have also listed similar sites on the non-Caithness parts of the NC500, giving a total of 50 saints and 50 […]

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Caithness Wildlife Tours

Caithness Wildlife Tours, Westside, Dunnet, KW14 8YD
+44 (0)7899 783 279

Discover the wildlife and wonders in the far north with Caithness Wildlife Tours. They offer personalised wildlife and sightseeing tours for small groups of up to six people, with transport in a comfortable minibus. Spend a couple of hours or a whole day with them. Tours include; Puffin tours from May to July, wildlife and […]

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Forss House Hotel

Forss House Hotel, Bridge of Forss, Near Thurso, KW14 7XY
+44 (0)1847 861 201

Forss House is a delightful 1810 country house hotel set in 20 acres of woodland, below a waterfall, on a loop of the gently meandering River Forss. They have 14 ensuite bedrooms at Forss House Hotel and over the last 6 years have spent a lot of time trying to create comfortable bedrooms, each with […]

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Oak Lodge Bed & Breakfast

Oak Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Oak Lodge, Overscaig, By Lairg, IV27 4NY
+44 (0)1549 431 255

Lesley and Lee would like to extend to you a very warm welcome to our wonderful home Oak Lodge, which is remotely located, nesting on the banks of Loch Shin in a tiny location called Overscaig. Oak Lodge is only a twenty minute drive from the village of Lairg in the county of Sutherland deep […]

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Dunnet Bay Distillery

Rock Rose Gin, Dunnet Bay Distillery, Ribbon House, Dunnet, Thurso, KW14 8YD
+44 (0)1847 851 287

Britain’s most northerly distillery, Rock Rose, is the new gin taking the market by storm. Take a tour of the distillery or purchase a bottle of the famous Rock Rose gin made from local botanicals. NC500 Member Discount Available: 20% off tours Free home delivery on bottle purchases Proof of Membership required (Membership card or […]

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Whaligoe Steps Cafe

The Square,Whaligoe, Ulbster,KW2 6AA
+44 (0)1955 651 702

We are a small family run restaurant with an eclectic menu, reflecting our extensive travels before settling in Caithness. Come for our wonderful hearthbreads (baked to order), our fresh local seafood, excellent pizza’s, home made venison burgers and lots more. Our fresh soup and cake selection changes daily, and our house hot chocolate is blended […]

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Wick Caravan and Camping Site

Wick Caravan and Camping Site, Riverside Drive, Wick, Caithness, KW1 5SP
+44 (0)1955 605 420

This family run campsite, which overlooks Wick River is a very quiet, secluded, picturesque site surrounded by trees and yet only a 5 minute walk into the town centre. Wick Caravan & Camping site is the most sheltered campsite in Caithness. Suitable for total relaxation but still only a short walking distance to the shops, […]

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Thurdistoft Farmhouse

Thurdistoft Farmhouse, Thurdistoft Farm, Castletown, Thurso, KW14 8SX
+44 (0)7866 699 962

Available to book through airbnb either in its entirety or on a room by room basis,Thurdistoft Farmhouse  overlooks Dunnet Bay and Dunnet Head . It is conveniently placed midway between the two Orkney Ferry ports (20 – 30 minutes away). The National Cycle Route 1 passes the door. Rooms are en suite and the room […]

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Old Pulteney Distillery

Old Pulteney Distillery, Huddart Street, Wick, KW1 5BA
+44 (0)1955 602 371

Pulteney distillery is one of the most northerly distilleries on the Scottish mainland. The extreme location and unique stills have resulted in a Single Malt Scotch Whisky that is bursting with the power and subtlety of the sea. The distillery is open to visitiors and offers tours of the facility which must be booked in […]

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Holborn Hotel

Holborn Hotel, 16 Princes Street, Thurso, KW14 7BQ
+44 (0)1847 892 771

The Red Pepper Restaurant proudly serving a selection of fresh locally landed seafood, arriving from boat to plate on the same day. The bar is a nice relaxed venue, perfect for an informal lunch/dinner. We offer a fantastic selection of hot and cold refreshments including local real ales, lagers, malts and spirits and fresh Italian […]

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Wick Golf Club

Wick Golf Club, Wick Golf Club, Reiss, Wick, KW1 4RW
+44 (0)1955 602 726

In September 1870 Wick Golf Club was established to organise competitions, set and administer rules and handicaps for its members. The committee arranged to play regular competitions on a six-hole course set out in Wick’s Society Park, now known as the Bignold Park and provided a practise area at the South Head overlooking Wick Bay. […]

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Thurso Bay Holdays

Thurso Bay Holdays, 36 Upper Burnside Drive, Thurso, KW14 7XB
+44 (0)7833 787 749

Love to go on holiday but like to feel at home? We have a variety of static holiday homes to suit every individual or family. The view is simply stunning from the site, which overlooks Thurso Bay and out across the water to Orkney, Dunnet Head and Holburn Head. You are just a 10 minute […]

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Captain’s Galley

Captain's Galley, The Harbour, Scrabster, KW14 7UJ
+44 (0)1847 894 999

Simplicity, Integrity, Traceability, Seasonality and Sustainability are the five pillars upon which Captain’s Galley is built, Having sympathetically renovated the ‘Scrabster Ice House & Salmon Bothy’ Jim and Mary Cowie created Captain’s Galley – one of the world’s leading seafood restaurants, serving the freshest local seafood, direct from fishing boats landing virtually at their doorstep. […]

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Mey House Luxury Rooms and Breakfast

Mey House Luxury Rooms and Breakfast, Mey House, East Mey, KW14 8XL
+44 (0)1847 851 852

Providing luxurious accommodation and expansive, uninterrupted views of the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands, each of our super-king rooms is spacious and thoughtfully furnished, with large private bathrooms including a separate ‘feature’ bath and power shower. We want you to feel ‘at home’ at Mey House and provide a beautiful breakfast room with panoramic views, a […]

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Lyth Arts Centre

Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth, Nr Wick, KW1 4RX
+44 (0)1955 641 434

Lyth Arts Centre is a multi-arts centre in Caithness, presenting a year-round programme of live performance. From some of the most exciting small-scale touring companies in Scotland to internationally acclaimed artists, the programme includes music, theatre, dance, comedy and much more. This summer Lyth Arts Centre are presenting a contemporary visual arts exhibition celebrating the […]

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Reay Golf Club

Reay Golf Club, Club House, Reay, Thurso, KW14 7RE
+44 (0)1847 811 288

The most northerly James Braid designed 18 hole links course on the British mainland. No need to book, just turn up and play. See our website for details of our fixtures and Opens. NC500 Member Discount Available: 10% off green fees for all NC500 members Proof of Membership required (Membership card or welcome email).

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John O’Groats Campsite

John O'Groats Campsite, County Road, John O'Groats, KW1 4YR
+44(0)1955 611 329

At the end of the A99 you will find the John O’Groats Caravan and Camping Site on the seafront besides the Last House in Scotland. 4 acres of grass, hardstanding, electric hook-ups, showers, hand basins, WC,shaving points, chemical disposal toilet, hairdryer, laundry, deep sinks, washing machine, tumble dryer and ironing facilities are available. The site […]

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Ackergill Tower

Ackergill Tower, Wick, Ackergill, KW1 4RG
+44 (0)3303 337 222

One of the finest hotels in the Scottish Highlands, this 15th century castle has an inspiring history, impressive architecture, and award-winning service. Sitting in the heart of a beautiful 3,000 acre estate, this hotel offers luxury rooms and self-catering cottages. With its own traditional pub on-site and the largest treehouse in Europe, Ackergill Tower Hotel […]

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Inver Caravan Park

Inver Caravan Park, Houstry Road, Dunbeath, Dunbeath, KW6 6EH
+44 (0)1593 731 441

Small, friendly, STB4* site welcoming all motor homes, caravans, and campers, adjacent to A9 just north of Dunbeath. Excellent facilities – underfloor heating, power showers, free drying room, laundry , discounts for walkers and cyclists. Dogs welcome. Two static caravans available for periods of 3 or more days. Bed and Breakfast also available (good if […]

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Blue Door Coffee Shop & Diner

Blue Door Coffee Shop & Diner, @ Thurso Bay Caravan & Camping Park, Smith Terrace, Scrabster Road, Thurso, KW14 7UF
+44(0)1847 892 244

A ‘roadside’ burger joint (the road, the A9 in Thurso) that overlooks Thurso Bay and the Pentland Firth. It serves up the most delicious top-quality burgers, milkshakes, coffees, and more. The Blue Door also makes its own ice cream–including vanilla, chocolate, and various flavours of the week–available in single dip, double dip, or cone to […]

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Northern Sands Hotel

Northern Sands Hotel, Dunnet, Thurso, KW14 8XD
+44 (0)1847 851 270

Beautifully refurbished hotel in the idyllic village of Dunnet, blessed with an enchanted forest, nostalgic Dwarwick pier and an amazing sweeping arc of white sandy beach backed by rolling sand dunes. A variety of menus are available throughout the day, all year round, using an extensive list of local produce. Well-appointed rooms with extra-long plush […]

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Caithness Seacoast

Caithness Seacoast, South Quay, Wick Harbour, Wick, KW1 5HA
+44 (0)1955 609 200

Enjoy breathtaking sea tours around the fascinating East Caithness coastline. This tour company operates from Wick harbour. The Geo Explorer is their exciting purpose built twin engine boat. On the tours you can see castles, sea caves and stacks, harbours and various lighthouses. There is also a variety of wildlife which can be seen tern […]

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Greenland House B&B

Greenland House B&B, Main Street, Castletown, KW14 8TU
+44 (0)1847 821 880

Greenland House B&B is an old stone bank house built in 1905 it is situated in the village of Castletown in the highlands of Scotland. We are directly on the NC500 route with many attractions close by. We are a short drive from the towns of Wick and Thurso. We use only Scottish produce in […]

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Northstar Consultancy

Northstar Consultancy, Naver Business Centre, Naver House, Naver Road, Thurso, KW14 7QA

NorthStar Consultancy provides management support and project management services to hospitality and tourism businesses in Caithness & Sutherland. Specialising in Personal Licence & Customer Service training. Monthly Personal Licence (SVQF level 6) and refresher training held in Thurso and other locations on request.

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Harbour House B&B

12 Harbour Terrace, Wick, KW1 5HB
+44 (0)1955 609 487

Keith and Virginia welcome you to Harbour House, built in 1864 for the British Fisheries Board. The house was home to the harbour masters of Pulteney and Wick Harbours until 2000 when it was purchased by ourselves. The house overlooks Wick bay with great views of the harbour and marina, with 4 letting rooms, en-suite […]

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The Hideaway

The Lodge, Scarfskerry, Thurso, KW14 8XW
+44 (0)1847 851 851

The Hideaway is a true ‘home from home’ comfortably sleeping up to 4 people. Large living/dining area, fully equipped kitchen with microwave, oven and all the essentials. Bedrooms comprise of 1 double room and 2 single rooms, separate shower room. The living area has large flat screen TV/DVD Player, Free Wifi. Fully central heated & […]

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Caithness Horizons Museum

Caithness Horizons Museum, High Street, Thurso, KW14 8AJ
+44 (0)1847 896 508

Housed in the old town hall in Thurso, the Museum covers the history of the county of Caithness.  Permanent displays explore the Picts, Vikings, the Dounreay Nuclear Research Establishment and Robert Dick who was a local baker and botanist.  Our latest permanent exhibition opened in the Summer of 2017 and focuses on The Flow Country, […]

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The Blends Guest House

The Blends Guest House, The Blends, Latheronwheel, KW5 6DW
+44 (0)7930 812 179

The Blends Gueset House is set in the idyllic harbour village of Latheronwheel and features six large rooms, accommodating up to twelve people. En suite rooms are available as are evening meals on request. Free Wi-Fi is offered to all guests. Group booking discounts are available. Facilities include a lockable garage for bikes, off street […]

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Patricia Niemann Design

Patricia Niemann Design, Old Post Office House, Berriedale, KW7 6HE
+44 (0)1593 751 496

Trained as goldsmith, designer and studio-glass maker, Patricia makes one-off pieces of fine contemporary jewellery, as well as wearables and objects on a sculptural scale. Influences are the human body, anatomy, theatre and the Far North of Scotland. Preferred materials are unusual gemstones, pearls and precious metals as well as blown glass, natural fibres and […]

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Far North Gifts

Far North Gifts, Sunnycroft Cottage, Skirza, Freswick, Wick,
+44 (0)7826 409 802

Specialising in unique and unusual locally sourced handcrafted products with a modern and stylish coastal twist. Far North Gifts is delighted to welcome you to browse through the carefully selected quality one-off products such as paintings, pottery, rock-art, wood-turned products, soaps, candles, Harris Tweed and plaid goods, glassware, knitwear, and crocheted items from local craftspeople […]

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Forse Of Nature

Forse Of Nature, Forse House, Latheron, KW5 6DG
+44(0)1593 741 363

Accommodation, Craft Shop & Cafe offering flexible, simple and sustainable accommodation, supporting local crafters and using local produce.

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Pennyland House B&B

Pennyland House B&B, Castlegreen Road, Thurso, KW14 7JU
+44 (0)1847 891 194

Pennyland House is located on the edge of Thurso in a quiet, but convenient location and boasts wonderful views of the Orkney Islands, Dunnet Head, Scrabster and Thurso Bay. It is a three storey building dating back over two hundred years. Built in 1780, it is historically noted for being the birthplace of Sir William […]

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Natural Retreats

Natural Retreats, John O'Groats, Wick, KW1 4YR
+44 (0)1955 698 583

Our 3 bedroom self catering lodges offer unrivalled luxury and breath-taking views while The Inn boasts bespoke self-catering apartments with a choice of 1, 2 or 4 bedrooms. NC500 Member Discount Available: 20% off stays two nights or longer Proof of Membership required (Membership card or welcome email).

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Retreat On The 500

Retreat On The 500, Brambridge, Kirkstyle, Canisbay, Wick, KW1 4YB
+44 (0)1955 611 751

Retreat On The 500 is situated in a rural location, 5 minutes drive from John o’Groats and Gills ferry. It overlooks farm fields, with wide open rural and sea views with Orkney beyond. The room is spacious with a super king size plus a single bed. Continental or cooked breakfast is served.

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Impala Bed and Breakfast

Impala Bed and Breakfast, Broadhaven Road, Wick, KW1 4RF
+44 (0)1955 602 194

Situated in the Royal Burgh of Wick in a quiet area on the road to Staxigoe and Noss Head yet still only a short walk into the town center this B&B offers accommodation for up to 10 guests in en-suite rooms with sea or rural views, with a good choice of breakfast menu from full […]

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