The town that is as far north of the British mainland is Thurso. The Viking Earls founded this town more than 10 centuries ago and they were named Torsaa (Thor’s river) and is named after a war god of Norse.
There is quite a selection of various shops, pubs, hotels and even modern facilities for leisure like indoor swimming and even things like cinema/bowling complex. The Thurso River is a 25 mile long river that produces one of Scotland’s important salmon fisheries and is found winding its way through town and into the caithness hinterland.
Sir John Sinclair was a genius from the 18th century who was a politician who also chronicler of his own time along with leading agriculturist and also was one who inspired town planning, all of which gave him international reputation. The different industries he backed really started to blossom and decided that Thurso needed to extend where its lines should be.
During the 1950’s the town started to grow after there wasn an experimental atomic reactor built at Dounreay, which is just 10 miles west of town. It is currently being decommissioned, but the association of the nuclear industry has been told and is affecting the industry. There is now a new visitor’s center that is in what was the Thurso Town Hall and is located adjacent Carnegie library.
Now this visitor’s center is able to showcase the heritage, ecology and wildlife the country is rich in while also providing exhibits and displays that are interactive along with a café.
The standing stones of Skinnet and Ulbster are just a few of the main attractions. There is also a major display that is devoted to the work of Robert Dick. During the 19th century he was a pioneering geologist and botanist who also was working long hours as a baker in Thurso. He also spent spare time going the extra distance to trap to collect any of the rare specimens that were around in the area.
Dating back to the 13th century is the ruined Old ST. Peter’s Kirk, which is located near the Thurso harbor. The Pennyland House is located on the outskirts of the western part of town and happened to be the birth place of Sir William Smith, who founded the Boys’ Brigade in 1883. There just happens to be a BB display along with other memorabilia that is in the David Fraser room which is in the Thurso’s William Smith Memorial Hall.
There is a regularly scheduled ferry services available between Scrabster to Stromness.
Then south of Thurso is the historic Halkirk, which happens to be the first village that was planned in the Highlands. They provide some of the best dinning and accommodation. They also provide exhibits during the summer at the village’s Ross Institute.
Thurso is an easy drive of some of the finest beaches in Sutherland, which is Melvich and Strathy.