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Revision as of 20:28, 30 June 2013
Thurso is in the far north of the Scottish Highlands.
Delightful small town in the far north of Scotland. There are lots of shops and nice places to eat in the area. There aren't many places this far north where you can stop off for provisions so Thurso really is ideal for that. Not a lot in the town to see but worth an approximately 2 hour walk around and stop for a bite to eat. Surfers descend on the area in the summer months.
Scottish Citylink offers a relatively frequent service to Thurso from Inverness and stopping at most of the small towns and villages along the A9. If you book ahead on-line at the website instead of buying directly from the driver, you can save about £15.00 from your ticket!
Thurso is at the northern end of the Far North mainline which runs from Inverness and splits into two branches, one going to Thurso and the other going to Wick. The train station is located a very short walk west of the town centre.
You can explore the town on foot; quite small.
Follow Saint George's St south to where it turns into the A9. Not many good spots to stop along the road and drivers are mostly wealthy, elderly couples or caravan tourists who don't like picking up hitchhikers. Still though, quite a few great locals and it's worth a shot, just be prepared for a long wait and bad weather.
- Caithness Horizons (Thurso Heritage Centre), Old Town Hall, . Mo-Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 11:00-16:00. A lovely little museum with lots of information and displays focussed on Thurso and its surroundings. Viking remains, details of the nuclear plant in Dounreay, wildlife, culture, town history and many other topics are all covered. Free.
Hike to Holburn Head: There's a lovely hike to get a good sense of the North Coast with views of the Orkney Islands and Dunnet Head in the distance. There's no real trail head, all you must do is start at the esplanade / beach in Thurso and follow the coastline west to the harbour and then walk along the tarmac road to the gate by the Scrabster Lighthouse. Then, just follow the marked path from the gate. The entire hike cuts across some rocky shale formations, headlands, pebble beaches, the Scrabster Harbour, and a few pastures. For some more dramatic cliffs, sea stacks, and geological formations, keep heading west from Holburn Head.
Holburn Head, Thurso, Scotland
Groceries are available at Lidl, across the road from the Camp ground on the Scrabster Road.
- Skinandi's, Sir George's Street, KW14 7AW, . 22:30 open. Thurso's only nightclub and it's a nice enough place. Two dance floors, not unreasonable prices for drinks, hot food snack bar, free cloakroom. Music's standard UK nightclub fare. It's also used for live music. £8 entry.
- Sandra's Backpackers Hostel, 24/26 Princes Street, ☎ 01847 894575, . One of two backpackers places in town. Beds from £16 per night, rooms from £34. Prices include breakfast. Hot showers, free internet. Reception is the chip shop underneath!
- Thurso Hostel, Ormlie Road, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7DP (Directly opposite train station), ☎ +44 1847 896888.
- Thurso Bay Caravan & Camping Park, Scrabster Road, Thurso, ☎ +44 1847 892244. The camp ground has an excellent, if potentially windy, location overlooking the Bay to the Islands of Orkney. Facilities include a cafe/restaurant, lounge, TV, hot showers and a laundry, with a clothesline.
If you are staying at the Thurso Bay Caravan & Camping Park, Wi-Fi is available in the Park's cafe and lounge.
Thurso is only a couple of miles from Scrabster, which is the ferry terminal for a route to Stromness on one of the Orkney Islands. The trip takes about an hour and a half and passes by the Old Man of Hoy.