The North Highlands offers a quiet yet desirable lifestyle. Our surroundings may be quiet but our businesses and the adventure which awaits give us lots to shout about. With friendly and supportive communities, outstanding sports facilities and activities, exceptional education offerings and a significantly unique heritage, the region offers an inviting lifestyle bursting at the seams with possibility for all the family.
History North Highlands
The history of the North Highlands is a mix of ancient tradition created by Picts and Vikings to the more recent nuclear developments which saw the UK’s most northerly mainland town of Thurso grow from a population of 3,200 in 1955 to 9,000 by just 1963 as the Dounreay nuclear site was built, staffed and opened. The site is currently being decommissioned and continues to provide the bulk of employment in the area. The Recruit North Highlands and Caithness Chamber of Commerce office are based within Naver Business Centre which was originally built as a hostel for apprentices from the Dourneay site, you’ll find little fragments of it’s history throughout the county or Caithness.
People all over the world often have strong, emotional connections to The North Highlands for countless reasons. It’s so nice for us to hear of those when we chat with folk. It makes the world seem a much smaller place, be those connections memories, visits or family members.
Many stories however, are more difficult to hear. Particularly those in which we learn of families forced to leave their homes during The Highland Clearances. The process came after landlords discovered they needed new ways to generate income. Sheep grazing earned more than residents and so, they were asked to leave.
Residents were moved on to other areas however this resulted in overpopulation and poor opportunities to earn a living. This is when phase two of the clearances came into force and ‘assisted passages’ were common. Landowners would pay the fares for tenants to emigrate. Those selected for this had little other option but to say goodbye to their home and often, all they had ever known.
As mentioned, the area and it’s remote location may be quiet however, ground breaking, history making, hard work has been a strong theme for many years and still is today.