More about Noss Head, Caithness and the North Coast 500

Noss Head lighthouse was built almost 170 years ago in 1849 under the supervision of Alan Stevenson (uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson); it was automated in 1987. Each lighthouse has a different sequence of lights and the light at Noss Head shines every 20 seconds across the North Sea and Sinclair Bay.

Noss Head Lighthouse Tower
Noss Head Lighthouse Tower

The Noss Head peninsular is also home to the ruined Castles Sinclair Girnigoe, two castles built by the clan who built the Roslyn chapel; they rise straight up from the cliffs standing side by side and surrounded on three sides by water.

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe on Noss Head
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe on Noss Head

To the south is the tiny harbour in Staxigoe, once the largest herring salting station in Europe but now an almost secret bay.

Caithness is Britain’s most northerly mainland county with a beauty of its own; its open moorland and fertile farms are fringed with impressive ruins and dramatic sea-stacks which are home to countless sea-birds.

Buttercups and Castle Sinclair Girnigoe on Noss Head
Buttercups and Castle Sinclair Girnigoe on Noss Head

Travel the North Coast 500 from Inverness round to Ullapool, across to Thurso and Wick and back to Inverness and explore some of Britain’s most majestic scenery, taking in restaurants, distilleries, castles and brochs on the way.

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