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Ten things to do around Scrabster

The Castle of Mey, Caithness

1. Visit a Castle

Only 12 miles from Scrabster, along the North Coast is the Castle of Mey – the summer residence of the Queen Mother and now the Duke of Rothesay. A beautiful building, the Castle of Mey has much to offer the visitor, including a brilliant guided tour, a two acre garden, a cafe and an animal centre.

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, Caithness

There are also many spectacular castle ruins in Caithness, including Castle Sinclair Girnigoe which rests precariously on crumbling cliff formations!

2. Go to the beach or enjoy the scenery

the road along the north coast has some fantastic beaches, tiny harbours and beautiful scenery at Melvich, Strathy, Bettyhill, Armadale, The Kyle of Tongue and Durness. Taking this road will also lead you to the most north westerly point on the British mainland, Cape Wrath.

John O'Groats

3. Reach the end of the road

Though the most northerly point in mainland Britain is nearby Dunnet Head, John O’ Groats is one end of the longest distance between two points on the British mainland. The other point, of course, is Land’s End. Many charity cycle runs or walks begin and end here. The village takes its name from Jan de Groot, a Dutchman who obtained a grant to run a ferry between the Scottish mainland to Orkney.

Shopping in Thurso, Caithness

4. Enjoy some Retail Therapy

There are many lovely shops to visit in Thurso and Wick, both a short drive from Scrabster. On the outskirts of Wick is a Retail Park which has a Tesco, Homebase, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Pets at Home, Argos, New Look, Superdrug, and a CarpetRight.

5. Do some bird watching

Caithness has a stunning natural landscape perfect for birds. A wide range of bird species are attracted to the bog filled, peaty landscapes of Caithness and also to the wild sea cliffs. RSPB reserves such as those at the cliffs of Dunnet Head and in the blanket bog and lochan country of Forsinard are particularly recommended.

Surfing in Thurso, Caithness

6. View or do some surfing

Caithness waters are famed for big, fast and powerful waves. Thurso Bay, Dunnet Bay, Sinclairs Bay, Freswick Bay, Murkle Bay, Brims Ness, Sandside Bay, Melvich Bay, Strathy Bay, Armadale Bay, Farr Bay and Torrisdale are all recommended spots for surfers.

7. Catch a fish

Caithness has some of the best Trout and Salmon fishing lochs and rivers in Scotland, including Loch Watten, Loch Calder, St John’s Loch, Loch Heilen, Loch Toftingall, Wick River and Thurso River. Sea Anglers will enjoy fishing in the Pentland Firth which is home to haddock, wrass, ling and pollock. Harbour walls and rocks in Thurso Bay, Dunnet head, Longberry, Broadhaven, Sandigoe and Helman Head are ideal spots.

Caithness Horizons Museum

8. Visit a museum

In the centre of Thurso is an excellent new museum, Caithness Horizons, which is definitely worth a visit. With free admission (though donations are appreciated), Caithness Horizons offers a fascinating insight into the history, pioneering industrial past, wildlife and ecology of Caithness. The story of Dounreay – which shaped the recent economy and history of Caithness – is also featured.

9. Have a game of golf

Caithness has many Golf Courses – maintained with enthusiasm by local golfers. Although some courses are quiet short, all are considered quite challenging, due to the terrain and weather. In Caithness you will experience golf courses populated with wildlife and wild plants, in a wild and natural setting, which is retained and cherished. Try Reay Golf Club, Thurso Golf Club, Wick Golf Club, Lybster Golf Club for challenging and rewarding golf for all ages and abilities.

Duncansby Head, Caithness

10. Go hill walking

Caithness and Sutherland have a stunning landscape which offers superb choice for walkers. Walks along the coast to see dramatic cliff scenery, such as the Duncansby Stacks (pictured above), or inland to see castles and broches, are recommended. For hill walkers, the most northerly of the Munros, Ben Hope is found in Caithness, and on the border of Caithness and Surtherland are the famous hills, Morven and Maiden Pap. Aside from stunning views, walkers can expect to see deer, buzzards and eagles.

Magnus DixonBy Magnus Dixon
Orkney and Shetland enthusiast, family man, loves walks, likes animals, terrible at sports, dire taste in music, great taste in films and tv, eats a little too much for his own good.

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