Caithness Holiday Day 5: Badbea Clearance Village

An unusual choice of place to visit on the last day of one’s holidays, but an important monument to Highland/Caithness history nonetheless, and one ideally suited to a bleak cold foggy day, too. Forced off the land as part of the Highland Clearances, people from the surrounding areas (Ousdale, Auchencraig) sought refuge at Badbea. Not the […]

Caithness Holiday Day 4: Duncansby Head and Stacks

Ignoring the previous post about offensive misuse of woodland, my fourth day of the holiday started out pretty well, with a trip to John o’Groats – awful tourist-trap of a place but at least they’ve renovated the hotel since I was last there and the ice-cream (2 scoops) was excellent.  The sea stacks themselves are […]

Craig Varr: Misty Landscape

Saturday was one of those strange days where the weather forecast changed, leaving me not particularly inspired where to go take the camera. But I carried on regardless up to Kinloch Rannoch and climbed Craig Varr. The views on the way up were pleasant: nice trees silhouetted against the sky, views along Loch Rannoch; as […]

Caithness Holiday Day 4: when a forest is not a wood

Sometimes I have to tell it like it is. Dunnet Forest is one of the least pleasant collections of trees I’ve ever had the displeasure of walking through. From start to finish, a total misuse of the land. Within 50yd of the carpark are multiple signs warning owners to pick up after their dogs and […]

Caithness Holiday Day 3: Strathnaver and Strathmore are not Caithness

As the weather dictated, a slight detour from the east coast away out to the centre and west of the top of Scotland. I explored the road down Strathnaver, starting with a small church at Syre (a distinctive tin-tab construction originally built by the Free Church of Scotland as a mission to nearby Sutherland estate, […]

Caithness Holiday Day 2: Whaligoe Steps and Camster Cairns

Many moons ago… the parents and I were on holiday around Caithness and having trouble finding the way to Whaligoe Steps. As his tractor turned by the end of the field, we stopped a farmer to ask directions. To southern ears, the instructions sounded memorably like “turn right at the fussky-osk”. With a little thought […]