Beautiful scenery with a hint of Royal Excellence
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.
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
The Cabin at John O GroatsThe Cabin at John O Groats, The Harbour, John O Groats, KW1 4YR +44 (0)1955 611 400
Mainland Scotland’s northernmost takeaway. Find us at harbour. Open 8am to 8pm, June to September, reduced hours in winter. Highly recommended on Tripadvisor. Fast food, Fish and Chips .
Patricia Niemann DesignPatricia 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 […]
Greenland House B&BGreenland 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 […]
Ackergill TowerAckergill 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 […]
Northstar ConsultancyNorthstar 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.
No.1 Bistro at Mackays HotelNo.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.
Caithness Horizons MuseumCaithness 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, […]
The Fragrant MindThe Fragrant Mind, Norwin, Huna, Canisbay, Wick, KW1 4YL +44 (0)1955 611 515
The Fragrant Mind is a small family run business, with a mission to deliver high quality, unique (all formulated & created by Olga), handmade perfumes, personal care products, toiletries, candles and anything(everything!) else aroma-related. We strongly believe in the significance of the often undermined olfactory system as well as the individuality of people and hence will be […]
Forse Of NatureForse 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.
Farm Buggy ToursKirkton Farm, Melvich, Thurso, KW14 7YJ +44 (0)7857 423 843
The first farm tour of its kind in the far north of Scotland. Come and have some fun on an off road all terrain 4 wheel drive buggy. Get off the beaten track and get an insight into sheep and cattle farming. Get up close to sheep and cattle including some highland cows. Hopefully you […]
Forss House Hotel RestaurantForss 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 […]
Northern Sands HotelNorthern 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 […]
Wick Caravan and Camping SiteWick 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, […]
Harmony HandspinningHarmony Handspinning, Bank Road, Dunnet, KW14 8YD +44 (0)1847 851 366
Informal sessions in the traditional craft of handspinning.
The Blends Guest HouseThe 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 […]
The Old Tea Shop Holiday CottageThe Old Tea Shop Holiday Cottage, Celtic Firs, Scarfskerry, Thurso, KW14 8XW +44 (0)1847 851 851
The Old Tea Shop Holiday Cottage. Sleeps 4 . Inbetween Thurso & John O Groats, ideal stopover for Orkney Ferry. Traditionally decorated, wood-burner children over 10 welcome, pets welcome.
Captain’s GalleyCaptain'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. […]
Caithness SeacoastCaithness 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 […]
Forss House HotelForss 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 […]
The Hawthorns Bed and BreakfastThe 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 […]
Castle Arms HotelCastle Arms Hotel, Castle Arms Hotel, Mey, KW14 8XH +44(0)1847 851 244
Castle Arms Hotel in Mey, Caithness was bought on 7th. September, 2012 and has since been redecorated and modernised. Visit Scotland has given the hotel a 3 star rating and they also received an Award for Excellence for Hotel of the year 2013 from The Shires Magazine.
The HideawayThe 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 & […]
Lyth Arts CentreLyth 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 […]
y-noty-not, Meadow Lane, Thurso, KW14 8ER +44(0)1847 892 272
y-not is situated in the heart of the coastal town of Thurso. The bedrooms are well equipped with luxury beds and bedding, en-suite bathrooms with monsoon showers, Duck Island toiletries & state of the art LCD televisions. Our on-site restaurant y-not serves food from 8am through to 9pm 7 days a week. Proudly sourcing local […]
Dunbeath Castle GardensDunbeath Castle Gardens, Dunbeath, Caithness, KW6 6EY
Dunbeath Castle has two outstanding walled gardens (possibly the finest in the Highlands) which are open by appointment all year round. The Northern garden consists or ornamental grasses, Iris, Crocosmia, Primula, Libertia and other tough plants, along with ponds and a substantial water feature. The Southern garden is less exposed and hosts a wide range […]
Natural RetreatsNatural 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).
Pennyland House B&BPennyland 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 […]
Northern Saints TrailsNorthern 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 […]
Impala Bed and BreakfastImpala 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 […]
Blue Door Coffee Shop & DinerBlue 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 […]
Riverside InteriorsRiverside Interiors, Riverside Road, Thurso, KW14 8BU +44 (0)1847 893 553
We pride ourselves in our huge selection of high quality, unusual gifts. Our collection of Harris Tweed and Moon Wool is second to none in the North. We have a comprehensive range of high quality British homewear. Our jewelry department offers a varied range of contemporary jewelry including watches. We also have a comprehensive range […]
The Castle and Gardens of MeyThe Castle and Gardens of Mey, The Castle of Mey, Thurso, KW14 8XH +44 (0)1847 851 473
The Castle and Gardens of Mey have held Visit Scotland’s highest award of a 5 Star quality assurance grading every year since their first unannounced visit in 2007. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother first saw what was then Barrogill Castle in 1952. Falling for its isolated charm and hearing it was to be […]
Clan Gunn Heritage CentreClan Gunn Heritage Centre, Clan Gunn Heritage Centre, Latheron, KW5 6DR +44 (0)1593 528 798
The Clan Gunn Heritage Centre tells the story of one of Scotland’s oldest clans, from its Norse origins to the present day. Explore the history and heritage of Clann Gunn and discover where it fits into the Highland history of Scotland. The heritage centre is housed in the old Parish Church, Latheron which was built […]
Thurso Bay HoldaysThurso 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 […]
Dunnet Bay DistilleryRock Rose Gin Distillery, 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 […]
Holborn HotelHolborn 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 […]
Far North GiftsFar 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 […]
John O’Groats CampsiteJohn 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 […]
Caithness Wildlife ToursCaithness 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 […]
Dunnet Bay EscapesMansfield, Dunnet, Thurso, KW14 8XD +44 (0)1847 851 242
Beautiful luxurious accommodation set in three acres of land overlooking Dunnet Beach with panoramic coastal scenery. Rooms are tastefully decorated to a high standard, with luxury bedding & towels , 40″ televisions, beverage facilities, silent fridges and a Bose music system. Hot tub & facilities available at an extra charge. Welcome food platter and bottled […]