The North Highlands is packed with unique history. Thurso, the most Northern town on the mainland has abundant history which the local community and tourists thrive off. With copious amounts of discovered brochs within the surrounding areas, a project has been established to assist with the preservation and maintenance of these historical structures. The Caithness Broch Project is a newly established registered charity which aims to promote and preserve existing archaeological sites in Caithness, create an archaeological trail around Caithness for visitors and tourists and to build a full-scale replica of an Iron Age Broch.

Broch ruin

Photo by Wendy Sutherland

 

The North Highlands accommodates various heritage centres and museums which are located throughout every corner of the region. The heritage centres and museums are designed to expose the rich history which the North Highlands has to offer, showcasing the history of the Dounreay nuclear research establishment, the Highland Clearances, the Viking heritage of the area and much more! For a full breakdown of the museums and heritage centres in the area, click here.

Statue of the Highland Clearances

Photo by Wendy Sutherland

Dounreay further demonstrates the substantial history of the North Highlands. The nuclear power station by Thurso was once the former centre of fast reactor research and development. With Dounreay currently undergoing decommissioning, an exhibition has been established for the publics viewing leisure. The exhibition surrounds the history of the nuclear power station and the decommissioning of the nuclear estate and is featured in Caithness Horizons, situated in the Thurso town centre.

Similarly, Nucleus, based at Wick John O’Groats Airport, home to the archive of the UK civil nuclear industry and the historical archives of the country of Caithness, will accumulate important and valuable historical nuclear records from all over the UK, some of which date back to the 1940’s. The nuclear and Caithness archive project is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and is open to the public. Nucleus aims to gather plans, drawings, photographs, film, microfiche and documents from the UK nuclear industry, as well as the existing Caithness archives, which can be used by the public for family and local history research.

Nucleus Building

Photo by Nucleus

 

Although the beauty of Scotland extends far beyond the North Highlands, the region is blessed with beautiful castles and ancient ruins. The Castle of Mey, the home in Caithness for the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, is a wonderful castle to visit. The Castle of Mey is now a popular tourist attraction and owned by the Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust, a registered Scottish Charity. The castle is host to a tearoom, gift shop, galleries and much more to entertain tourist visitors.

Similarly, in the Sutherland area of the North Highlands lies a beautiful castle known as ‘Dunrobin Castle’. The castle is considered the largest great house within the Northern Highlands and is home to masses of history. With shops and restaurants, a falconry show, a tour of the grounds and castle and a museum, visitors will be astonished at the number of things to do at Dunrobin Castle. The North Highlands further accommodates castles and ruins such as Thurso East Castle, Freswick Castle and the stunning Dornoch Cathedral, Castle of Old Wick and Sinclair-Girnigoe Castle.

Dunrobin Castle & Gardens

Photo by John Haslam – Licensed Under CC BY 2.0