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Caithness

Caithness lies in the very north eastern corner of Great Britain, bounded only by Sutherland and the sea. It is not a highland county but lies beyond the Highlands. It is the northernmost county of mainland Great Britain. Caithness is largely flat and agricultural but with areas of “flow country”: peat land interspersed with lochans. There are just two towns of any size; Wick (the county town) and Thurso. Wick, on the Wick River, has a wide harbour looking out onto the North Sea. Thurso, on the River Thurso, is on the north coast. Thurso’s port, Scrabster, is the main commercial and passenger port connecting Orkney to Great Britain. Isolated as it is, the county’s historical heritage connects it as much with Orkney and the Norse as with Scotland. Most of the place-names of Caithness are Norse in origin. Caithness contains the traditional northeastern extremity of Great Britain; John O’ Groats, as well as the northernmost point; Dunnet Head.

County Facts

County Town: Wick

Main Towns: Dunbeath, Dunnet, John O’ Groats, Scrabster, Thurso, Wick.

Main Rivers: Thurso, Wick, Oikel.

Highlights: Camster Cairns, Lybster; Dunnet Head; Duncansby Head; The Flow Country.

Highest Point: Morven, 2313 feet.

Area: 618 sq miles

Flower: Scots Primrose