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26-11-2022
27-11-2022
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Dunnet Head (Peninsula) in Caithness Dunnet itself runs along the line of the...

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Thurso is a relatively small town that boasts a significant amount of distinction and significance. It is located on the sweep of Thurso Bay, with its broad expanse of dunes, and is guarded at either point by the towering cliffs of Holburn Head and Clairdon Head. Beyond that, Dunnet Head stands majestically, and in the distance, the cliffs of Hoy in Orkney may be seen across the Pentland Firth.

It has its source and tributaries far inland in the hills and lonely moors, and actually runs through the length of Loch More before it reaches the cultivated plateau of the north east. The Thurso river flows through the town and into the bay, a long lively stretch of fine fishing water beloved by the salmon and trout fishermen.

The Vikings who invaded the coast of Scotland gave the town its name, Thor's, which literally means "the river of the god Thor." This indicates that the town must have been an important centre for the Vikings. Under the leadership of Thorfinn, who in the year 1040 A.D. won a battle against an army led by King Duncan's nephew at Thurso, they reached the pinnacle of their dominance in the first century. In addition to elementary and secondary schools, supermarkets, a hospital, and the University of the Highlands and Islands can all be found in the town of Thurso, which is located on the north coast.

A place known as Dunnet Bay can be found on the most northern part of the Scottish mainland. This area is renowned for having waves that are both consistent and of high quality, making it a top-tier destination for surfers.

This region is home to some of the most breathtaking natural and historical sites, as well as a wide variety of activities, such as surfing, golf, canoeing, coastal boat tours, and excursions to see whales and dolphins.

The town is located at the intersection of the A9 road, which runs north to south, and the A836 road, which runs west to east. It is connected to Bridge of Forss in the west and Castletown in the east, as well as John O'Groats and Castle of May.

You have the option of staying here in a Bed & Breakfast establishment. There is a full breakfast served, as well as private parking, and some of the rooms have locked garages for storing motorcycles and bicycles. Free access to Wi-Fi as well as coffee and tea making facilities
bedrooms with private bathrooms and colour flat-screen televisions.
perhaps you might sleep in a castle.

Featuring bedrooms that have been individually created and decorated, complete with en suite bathrooms and exclusive access to the exterior.

Enjoy your meal in a dining room that is both romantic and peaceful, with exposed beams, a blazing fire, and beautiful seascapes and coastline views, or mountain and forest panoramas that change with each season.

Why not stay in a snug pod that is fully furnished to improve your glamping experience? These pods are the excellent base for exploring Caithness or as a stop over on your North Coast 500 journey.

John O'Groats Airport in Wick is the airport that is located the closest to your location.

The highlands of Scotland are breathtaking at any time of the year and offer a wide variety of things to see and do. Whether you're interested in participating in various types of outdoor sports like surfing, golfing, canoeing, or climbing, or in observing native wildlife like puffins, eagles, seals, dolphins, and whales, the highlands are a wonderful place to visit. If you look up to the huge open sky, you can find fantastic opportunities for bird viewing as well as wandering on hills, beaches, and mountains.

For the history buff in you, there are some of the most breathtaking historical castles, old brochs in Caithness, and local archaeological sites. Fishing may be done on the sea, lochs, and rivers in this region, and in Scrabster harbour, you can catch a ferry to either the Orkney or Shetland islands. Local craft shops and distilleries can also be found in this area.

The village is traversed by the River Thurso, which eventually empties into Thurso Bay, where there is a small harbour. This is a fantastic area for seaside walks, hill walks, and cycling, and there is a wonderful variety of golf courses for those who enjoy the sport. Wick, Reay, and Thurso all have 18 holes, while Lybster has nine holes.

The Thurso Castle that was built in the 19th century and is now in ruins can be found here. The Castle Lodge, which was constructed in 1875 next to the gatehouse that leads to the Thurso Castle, is rich in history.

  • Thurso Geolocation Latitude 58.593566 Longitude -3.522080
  • Thurso Postcode KW14
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To the NE. of the town is Thurso Castle, now roofless, home of the Ulbster branch of the Sinclair Family. Beyond the castle, Harold‘s Tower, the family burial place, is said to be built over the grave of Earl Harold, who ruled over half of Caithness and half of the Orkney and Shetland islands. He fell in battle with Earl Harold the Wicked in the l2th cent.

There are three very clearly defined periods of development to be observed through the architecture of the town. The first is in the old streets near the harbour, where l7th- and early 18th-cent fishermen's houses have been well restored.

The ruin of St Peter's Church, once the chapel of the bishops of Caithness, is here, with the tracery of one great window still intact.

The second phase was initiated by that fore sighted son of Thurso, born in the castle, and author of so many improvements in the north, Sir John Sinclair.

While most coastal settlements have had their economic history based on the fishing industry, Thurso in the far north-east was from medieval times more of a commercial port.
As far back as the 14th century Caithness was an important grain producer, exported and the cereal through Thurso to Scandinavia. Indeed, so significant was this trade that King David II decreed that a common weight should be used throughout Scotland: the pondus Cathaniae, or 'weight of Caithness'. The trade between Thurso and the other countries of northern Europe helped the town to establish a firm economic base and in the 17th century the export of meal, beef, hides and fish all contributed to the prosperity of this royal burgh. Indeed, the town's Rotterdam Street is an apt reminder of the thriving sea traffic of former times.

When the Caithness flagstone industry developed, again Thurso was ready to act as a commercial seaport and enjoyed renewed prosperity until the advent of concrete paving blocks. Thereafter the town went into decline, witnessing a significant fall in its population until the arrival of the atomic energy establishment at Dounreay, some few miles to the west along the coast. Thurso has a long continuous history of settlement, going back to Viking times (Old Norse Thana: 'Thor's River'), and a number of its existing buildings reflect this.

The ruined Old St Peter's Kirk, close by the harbour, is one of the finest religious buildings of the Middle Ages to have survived in Scotland. It dates from the 13th century, was reconstructed in the 17th century and last used in 1862. Much of the town's layout was due to Sir John Sinclair, 'Agricultural Sir John', so called from his interest in improved farming methods. His broad, evenly spaced streets and pleasant squares built in the early 19th century are a witness to his vision. and its integrity has been largely maintained by subsequent developers. Thurso offers a good selection off bed and breakfast accommodation.
Thurso and its immediate environs have produced some notable men. In 1811 Robert Dick a baker, botanist and geologist. was a self-taught genius who was influential in his chosen fields. Almost every day he rose at 3 o'clock in the morning to attend to his daily baking chores before he finished the remainder of a crowded dav with his studies and research. Sir William Smith was born in Pennyland House. on the outskirts of Thurso; he founded the Boys Brigade in 1883. Thurso Folk Museum, in the High Street. in addition to presenting a kaleidoscopic display reflecting local life in past centuries, houses the enigmatic Ulbstcr Stone, carved with ancient Pictish and Christian symbols.

Thurso (Highland) is a busy resort in summer it is astride the river of the same name, overlooks Thurso Bay. The town makes a good centre for visiting the north coast from Durness to Duncansby Head and even for a trip to the Orkneys.

Thurso has plenty on offer for the visitor to take advantage of, to make a great day out or longer holiday stay in the area.
From Thurso to Durness is 74 miles  along the north coast through moorland scenery giving way to the coastal scenery beyond, composed of an ever changing pattern of sandy bays lochs, and headlands, here you can still find Flagstone fencing.

Scrabster a terminal port for the car ferry to Stromness in the Orkneys.

Dounreay - The Dounreay Exhibition Area comprises a picnic area and an explanatory exhibition. Tours to the Prototype Fast Reactor leave from the exhibition area. The Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) with its large pale green globe, operated from 1959 to 1977 when it was de-commissioned. Alongside is the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) an experimental station for the development of future commercial fast reactors. The reactor uses a fuel mixture of uranium and plutonium with liquid sodium metal as a medium to transfer heat from the reactor core. Melvich Bay. - From the War Memorial behind the hotel in the crofting community of Melvich there is a splendid view over Melvich Bay with the sand bar. The island of Hoy is visible in the distance. Cross the River Strathy which opens into another sandy estuary, Strathy Bay a 15 min walk from the car park to the point. There are excellent views along the coast to the east of Strathy Bay in the foreground, with further out Dounreay and Hay in the distance. The landscape then becomes scoured and hummocky with the stately outline of the granite peaks of Ben loyal (12 504ft-764m) ahead, rising above the plateau surface.

Bettyhill- is one of the crofting communities which originated at the time of the clearances when crofters were evicted, in this case from Strathnaver, to make way for sheep. Many emigrated while others tried to eke out an existence in seashore communities. The story of the clearances is the subject of an exhibition in Farr Church. The road then follows the sandy estuary of Torrisdale Bay crosses the river, then climbs out of Strathnaver to ascend to the scoured plateau surface dotted with reed choked lochs. Go round Cnoc an Fhreiceadain and just before reaching Coldbackie there are excellent views of the great sea loch, the Kyle of Tongue is a Small village on the shores of the sea loch, with Rabbit Islands in the middle.

The Kyle of Tongue is bridged by a causeway which offers a new view inland towards Ben Loyal and ahead the ruined Mackay stronghold perched on an eminence. The more regular outline of Ben Hope appears on the horizon. Peat banks are visible from time to time. On the descent there are glimpses of Loch Hope stretching away to the left. From the west side of Loch Hope there are fine views of the loch stretching away to Ben Hope
(3 040ft-927m) in the background. Only slightly further on a magnificent view unfolds of Loch Eriboll. another deeply penetrating sea loch.
Sangobeg has a lovely sandy beach.
Smoo Cave An outcrop of well jointed limestone's in the Durness vicinity accounts for the presence of this cave and the sandy beaches. The waters of the Allt Smoo plunge down a sink hole to reappear at sea level at the mouth of the outer cave. The two inner caves are accessible only to equipped potholers.

Tags: Thurso, Caithness

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