Halkirk Visitor Information Guide
- Halkirk Latitude: 58.514172 Longitude: -3.491715
- Halkirk Postcode KW12
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Halkirk is a village on the River Thurso in Caithness, From Halkirk the B874 road runs towards Thurso in the north, There’s plenty to see and do in and around the delightful town it has plenty of lovely traditional shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, offering accommodation to suite all pockets from Bed and Breakfast, Hotels, Hostels, Camping and Caravanning, to Self Catering, as well as many attractions, it is situated at the northern terminus of the A9 road, the main road linking Caithness with the south of Scotland, it is 19.5 miles west of John O'Groats and 20.4 miles Northwest of Wick.
Thurso railway station is the most northerly location served by Britain's rail network which links the town directly with Wick, Caithness, and with Inverness, offering accommodation to suite all pockets from Bed and Breakfast, Hotels, Hostels, Camping and Caravanning, to Self Catering. The John O'Groats Journal, dated 22 September 1886, reported that the first Games started by the Halkirk Athletic Club was held in a field adjoining the new Gerston Distillery on Saturday 16th September. The Committee was 10 strong and the President and Secretary were Messrs H J MacKay and William Patterson respectively.
There were 16 events staged the 21lb ball, 16lb hammer, running high leap, vaulting with pole, standing jump, running long jump, hop step & leap, 100 yards, quarter mile, one mile open and confined to Parish, 3 legged race, obstacle race, sack race, highland fling, tug O' war. Halkirk is a peaceful little village in Caithness, said to be the first planned village in Scotland, surrounded by moorland and spectacular views, with excellent access to both the north sea and down to the Moray Coast. Halkirk offers a handful of amenities including small village pub, shop selling local produce and a hotel with restaurant, it is ideally placed for touring this remote and beautiful area of the Northern Highlands. It is situated perfectly for a visit to John O'Groats, which is just 25 miles away and Durness, where you can find Smoo Cave, Cape Wrath and the Durness Golf Course, Each of the 9 holes on the course offer different views and different challenges and with a different set of tees for holes 10 to 18 the views stay the same but the challenges change slightly giving a real 18 hole feel. The Par 5, 6th and 15th, is played around Loch Lanlish, although the brave, big hitters can go for the small green with their second shot but any mishit would find a watery grave, this hole in particular was praised by Ronan Rafferty on his visit to the course. The 9th and 18th which are played across a deep gulley into which flows the Atlantic. There are daily ferry crossings to Orkney it is about a 30 minute drive along the coast.
The Castle of Mey makes an interesting day out, it is located in Caithness, on the north coast of Scotland, about 6 miles west of John O' Groats, in fine weather there are views from the castle north to the Orkney Islands The Castle and Gardens have held Visit Scotland's highest award of a 5 Star quality assurance grading every year since their first unannounced visit in 2007. Their annual assessments include all aspects of the castle, gardens, animal centre, gift shop and tearoom. There are awe-inspiring views over the moorlands and glens, Halkirk is ideal for quiet retreat with walks and bird watching. The pattern of the small holdings makes for a symmetrical and lengthy village which runs from the railway line between Georgemas junction and Thurso past a stretch of the Thurso river.
There are prehistoric remains all around Halkirk including stone rows between Loch Calder and Brabster. Here you can find Braal Castles located by the river Thurso north of the village of Halkirk, the ruined castle, which dates back to the mid-14th century, was originally known as the Castle of Brathwell, it is said that this was the site in 1222 the people of the diocese burned the Bishop of Caithness in revenge for being over taxed. The old castle at Braal is of Norse origin, though probably not in its present form, and is of striking contrast to other castles in Caithness. The new Castle in Halkirk was built-in the late 19th century, in front of the old castle ruin, today they both belong to the Sinclair's of Ulbster.