Caithness, Wick and Thurso

Caithness, Wick and Thurso

Caithness is the northeastern extremity of mainland Britain. Everyone has heard of the tiny village of John o'Groats but this county has a stunning coastline, from Dunnet Head, the most northerly headland, to the Great Stacks of Duncansby and the remarkable Whalligoe Steps.

The area is rich too in archaeological remains with some of the best-preserved surviving brochs and chambered cairns to illustrate the distant past. The towns of Thurso and Wick are surprisingly amongst the largest in the Highlands, with Thurso's port of Scrabster being the main gateway to the Orkney Islands beyond.


Walk Grade Distance Time
Badbea - Clearance Village grade2km 1 hour
St John's Point grade2.75km 1 hour
Whaligoe Steps and the Cairn of Get grade3km 1 - 1.5 hours
Thurso to Scrabster grade3.5km 1 hour
Castletown: the Flagstone Trail and the Battery grade3.75km 1.5 - 2 hours
Dunnet Forest grade4km 1 - 1. 5 hours
Dunnet Bay grade5km 1.5 - 2 hours
Wick River grade6km 1.5 hours
Wick Old Castle and the harbour grade6.5km 1.5 - 2 hours
Thurso Bay and Castle grade7km 2 hours
Causeymire Wind Farm grade8km 2 hours
Yarrows Archaeology Trail gradegrade3.5km 1.5 - 2 hours
Keiss Castle and Nybster Broch, Nybster gradegrade5.5km 2.5 - 3 hours
Holborn Head, Scrabster gradegrade7.5km 2 hours
Freswick to Dunscansby Head gradegrade8.25km 2.5 hours
Duncansby Head and John o'Groats gradegrade8.5km 2.5 - 3 hours
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe and Noss Head gradegrade9km 2.5 - 3.5 hours
Dunbeath Strath gradegrade10.5km 2.5 - 3.5 hours
Dunnet Head gradegradegrade17km 5.5 - 6.5 hours
Morven and Maiden Pap gradegradegradegrade16.75km 7 - 8 hours
John o' Groats Trail 235.5km 14 Stages

FEATURE: Why we should care about peat

FEATURE: Why we should care about peat

Ben Dolphin looks at the importance of our peatlands - such as the Caithness Flow Country.

"Peat. Donít you just love it? Well, if youíre a hillwalker thereís a good chance that you donít, because when itís exposed at the surface or when it comes served with its standard topping of spongy luminous moss, it can be a thing of real anguish..."

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.