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The Candle of Northern Scotland
The Royal Burgh of Wick is the county seat of Caithness, an area that for centuries was so remote from the centres of Scottish power that it was ruled by the Vikings. The Viking influence is most evident with Wick’s strong ties to the sea, though the harbour has a more peaceful and wistful charm that in its heyday of the bustling herring industry.
Wick is the home of Caithness Glass, and the Heritage Museum tells the fishing story of it’s prosperous past. Wick is a good base for exploring Caithness, an area of cairns, castles and coastline. The countryside is littered with some of the best prehistoric sites, including burial cairns, standing stones and brochs. North of Wick, along the dramatic coastline are crumbling castles, striking sandstone pinnacles, the Stacks of Duncansby, as well as Britain’s most northerly village, John O’ Groats. But you have to travel a few miles beyond John O’ Groats to Dunnet Head to be at the most northerly point on mainland Britain and take in an awe inspiring vista.
Further along the coastline is the town of Thurso, the approach to which is heralded by the Caithness “hedges” that line the fields. Nearby is Dounreay, the site of Scotland’s first nuclear power research station.
Top-rated attractions in Wick include:
- The Old Pulteney Distillery
- Castle Sinclair Girnigoe
- The Northcoast 500