One of the delights of travelling with NorthLink Ferries from Scrabster to Stromness is the journey from Inverness. During the journey northwards you will travel a distance of 110 miles, passing through Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and finally Caithness.
Caithness is a lovely place – a land of open moorland and blanket bog (the largest in Europe; known as the Flow Country) with very few trees, some farmland and scattered settlements. It is surrounded by a dramatic coastline, much of which you’ll see on the road. The A9 and the A836 cross Caithness, as does one railway; the Far North Line.
In this guide we will cover the many lovely attractions of Caithness (and further south, to Inverness) for our passengers using the Pentland Firth service!
In the far north of Scotland, John o' Groats Brewery have been creating quality craft ales since 2015. Allan Farquhar, John Mainprize and Simon Cottam are the owners of this small artisan brewery and they use the best ingredients and pure highland waters to make delicious cask ales and bottled beers.
Find out more about the Scrabster Ferry Terminal located two miles from Thurso, including opening hours, long-stay parking, how to check in, how to find the terminal, information about access for disabled customers and much more!
Brochs are huge round thick-walled towers which were built in the Iron Age, 2,000 years ago. In Caithness there are more brochs than anywhere else in Scotland. The Caithness Broch Project is a charity dedicated to promoting brochs and the amazing archaeological landscape of Caithness. Kenneth McElroy, Director of the chairty kindly told us about three great brochs to visit in the area.
If you have some time to kill whilst you’re waiting to travel to Orkney from Scrabster on MV Hamnavoe, there are some interesting places to visit in nearby Thurso, the most northerly town in mainland Britain. Thurso is located in the far north of Scotland in Caithness and has a population of around 8,000 and a fascinating history. Find out more by visiting our list of ten fascinating places in Thurso.
Visit this page to view current information about how to get to and from the NorthLink Ferries Scrabster Ferry Terminal. Southward and Northbound bus and train times are included, as well as taxi phone numbers and other useful information!
There are some brilliant places to visit in Caithness; including the Castle of Mey, the Whaligoe steps, John O’Groats and the Stacks of Duncansby. However we've compiled a list of ten hidden gems to visit in Caithness - places well worth a visit that don't make the front cover of the tourist brochure!
The Whaligoe Steps zig zag down a 250ft cliff near Wick. At the bottom there's a harbour where fishing boats dropped off their catch in the past. Then fisherwomen, some as old as 70, would descend the steps, process the fish and then carry baskets of fish on their backs up the steps and walk seven miles to the fish market. We visited the Whaligoe Steps and found it to be an atmospheric and rewarding place to visit!
2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in Scotland – and for those interested in history, Caithness does not disappoint. The area has a rich backstory that covers Neolithic burial chambers, Pictish stones, Viking graves, medieval castles, wartime posts and links with the Royal Family. We’ve compiled a list of 12 essential historical places for you to visit during your time in Caithness.
Located above beautiful Dunnet bay in Caithness is Dunnet Bay Distillery where Rock Rose Gin is made. With a taste unique to Caithness and a beautiful bottle, Rock Rose Gin is one of the most exciting Scottish drink brands of recent years. NorthLink spoke to the owner Martin Murray, who told us about distilling and the story of Dunnet Bay Distillery so far.
Please note: Caithness Wildlife Tours are no longer operating.
When in Thurso, NorthLink Ferries caught up with Kate Willis; the friendly and enthusiastic guide and owner of Caithness Wildlife Tours. We asked her about her tour company and about the amazing wildlife, stunning scenery, and ancient sites that you can see when visiting Caithness!
We visited the Grey Cairns of Camster in Caithness on a cold but clear morning in January and discovered two amazingly well-preserved chambered cairns - one round and one long. We discovered the grisly history of these Neolithic burial cairns and can't recommend a visit enough!