About the Area
Caithness is often referred to as "The Lowlands beyond the Highlands" or "The land of the big sky". There are few locations in the UK, which can match this area for outstanding natural beauty.
The scenery is spectacular and full of contrasts. Craggy cliffs sheltering peaceful harbours; unspoilt beaches settled within a rugged coastline; moorland wilderness with majestic mountains on the horizon.
Viking influences can be seen everywhere.
Ask at our reception for information and directions to the many monuments and castle ruins in the area. You may not have time to visit them all (there are more 4000 dating from Prehistoric times) but our staff will be on hand to suggest a route to suit you.
Summer time in Caithness is beautiful. The days are so long there are times when you might wonder if they will ever end. On these days you will have plenty of time to enjoy visiting the many attractions of the area.
The winter months can bring the clear night skies which often display the breathtaking Aurora Borealis - the Northern Lights.
For the more energetic visitors there are a wide range of activities to pursue: Hill Walking; Pony Trekking; Surfing and Golf. Both Wick and Thurso have swimming pools.
Whichever way you choose to spend your day you can be assured of a warm welcome back at the Queen's Hotel. You can end your day with an appetising meal followed by a few drinks in front of an open fire in the lounge bar.
The town is built along the Wick River and has a population of about 9,000.
The name Wick comes from a Norse word, vik, meaning bay.
The Caithness General Hospital is in Wick, as are the Wick Carnegie Library and the Wick Heritage Centre.
Wick's history stretches back, at least, to the era of Scandinavian rule in Caithness.
The Castle of Old Wick is on the coast about one kilometre south of the town.
The tourist information centre is located upstairs in McAllans store on the High Street.
The world's shortest street, Ebenezer Place measuring 2.06m (6' 9"), is in Wick.
Twin Town: Klaksvík in Faeroe Islands.
Runs along the banks of the Thurso River and has a population of about 9,000.
The name Thurso is from Old Norse, and means Bull's water.
It is the northernmost town on the British mainland.
It has a harbour and beach and looks out over the Pentland Firth to the Orkney islands.
Thurso has a two-screen cinema and ten-pin bowling.
The town's history stretches back, at least, to the era of Norse Orcadian rule in Caithness.
Twin Town: Brilon in Germany.
JOHN O' GROATS
The most northerly settlement on the mainland of Great Britain. The location of the most northerly point, however, is at nearby Dunnet Head.
Many races, walks and charitable events take place between John o' Groats and Land's End.
The village takes its name from Jan de Groot, a Dutchman who obtained a grant for the ferry from the Scottish mainland to Orkney in 1496.
The most northerly point of the mainland of Great Britain.
About 18 km (eleven miles) west of John o' Groats.
Excellent views of the island of Stroma, and the Orkney Islands.
A lighthouse stands on the 300ft (90m) cliff top. It was built in 1831 by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson.
Near the lighthouse are minor fortifications built during World War II.
THE CASTLE OF MEY - http://www.castleofmey.org.uk/
Six miles west of John o' Groats.
The castle was built in the 16th century.
In 1952, the castle was purchased by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother who regularly visited from 1955 until her death in 2002.
The castle and gardens are now open to the public.
OLD PULTENEY DISTILLERY - http://www.oldpulteney.com/
The distillery, which produces the Old Pulteney Single Malt whisky, was established in 1826 and is the most northerly on the Scottish mainland.
When established the distillery was only accessible by sea. Now-a-days, however, you can easily call in to the Visitor Centre in Huddart Street, Wick.
Near the village of Dunnet
Built the in 1850, this croft has been restored to its state when worked by Mary-Ann and James Calder.
The furniture, fittings, and artefacts are all original.
Open June to September. Tuesday to Sunday.
WICK HERITAGE MUSEUM - http://www.wickheritage.org/
The largest museum in the north of Scotland.