Thurso is a Town 110 miles north of
Inverness, furthest north town
in Scotland, in the area of
Thurso is popular for the Caithness
Museum, Old St Peters Church, Thurso
Castle Ruins, and as a base for exploring
the North Coast and Orkney Islands.
View a Click on Map for the Area
Attractions and Mountains.
The image top is of St Peters Church in
Thurso centre with two monuments in the gardens
in front of the church.
Trail Street is the main street in the Town
with the Royal Hotel
being the largest hotel on this street.
The Caithness Horizons Museum and Art
Gallery is situated on the High Street,
covering the Vikings, Picts, History of the
Dounreay Nuclear Research, and the Robert Dick
Herbarium. This closed in 2019, may be
Old St Peters
Church is situated on Wilson Lane close to
the Harbour, built around 1125 as the first
main Church in the area.
The Ruins of Thurso Castle are on the east
side of the Harbour. This castle was built in
1872 for the Sinclairs, Earls of Caithness.
Thurso Bay Holiday
Park is on the northwest side of the Town
with a range of Touring Pitches.
There are three Ferries from the area for
trips to the Orkney Isles, with the Northlink Car Ferry
running from Scrabster 2 miles northwest of Thurso
with 90 minute crossings.
Gills Bay is 16 miles northeast with
Ferries running from there with 60 minute
crossings. This Ferry also takes cars.
John O Groats is 19 miles northeast
of Thurso with the John O Groats Ferries offering
40 minute crossings. This is a passenger only
Ferry that also runs coach tours of the Orkney
23,000 BC - Neolithic horned cairns were
built on Shebster Hill for burials and
875 - the Norse / Vikings began taking
control of the Orkney Isles, Western Isles, and
parts of Northern Scotland, leading to many
battles between Scots and Vikings.
1125? - Old St Peters Church was built at
1157 - a Castle was recorded as having been
built at Thurso for the Earls of Orkney and
Caithness. These Early Earls
were Norse with Scots Kings allowing them to
control the area.
1260s - King Alexander III began forcing the
Vikings out of Scotland, Western Isles, and
later the Orkney Isles.
1379 - the Sinclairs
become Earls of Orkney and Caithness, with the
first Sinclairs being part Norse, part
1472 - Scotland gained control of the
ending Viking rule.
1500s - the Castle at Thurso was destroyed
1649 - Irish led by Donald Macalister
Mullach, attacked Thurso but were defeated in
battle by locals led by Sir James Sinclair.
Mullach was killed in the battle.
1872 - a new Castle was built at Thurso for
the Sinclairs, Earls of Caithness.
1874 - the Railway reached Thurso, linking
the town to Inverness, and from there, the rest
of the UK.
1952 - Thurso Castle
was noted as being in ruin.
1955 - the Dounreay
Nuclear Power Station was built 10 miles west
1994 - the Dounreay Power Station had its
last Electricity Reactor closed down.
2015 - the last Military Reactor at Dounreay
was closed down. The site is now being
monitored and maintained.