The far north eastern tip of Scotland hides many gems particularly the astounding wildlife and its millennia of history.
Distance from Mey House: 0 Miles
Google maps link: http://goo.gl/maps/9svEd
Unlike its Orcadian neighbours, the north Highlands does not do a good job of promoting its own rich diversity of sites. There is a frustrating lack of road signs indicating the presence of points of interest and when you do discover a site there is often a distinct lack of visitor information to explain what lies before you. It is for this reason that we created the EXPLORE section on the Mey House website as a way of helping visitors to the area identify places to go and sights to see.
After years of investigation, we think we have done a reasonable job though we recognise that there is no substitute for local knowledge which is why we are delighted that a bespoke tour company, Caithness Wildlife Tours, has stepped into the void left by the tourist authorities. To put them and their knowledge to the test we embarked upon their generalist ‘Discover Caithness’ tour of wildlife and historic sights one beautiful spring day.
We were collected from Mey House by the owner and sole tour guide, Kate Willis, in her immaculately presented and comfortable limo-bus and almost immediately we stepped aboard, our tour began. It was going to be a tough call for Kate to make an area so familiar to us interesting and captivating; or so we thought! We were taken first to Dunnet Head (the most northerly tip of mainland Britain) to see the birdlife that make the towering cliffs their home and no sooner had we arrived, we were taken down a path that I had never seen before which led onto a natural viewing platform that gave a commanding view of the cliffs below us. Not only were we provided with our own personal set of binoculars but Kate also had a powerful spotting scope that allowed us to get intimate with the comings and goings of the Puffins, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Guillemots that soared on the updraft.
From Dunnet we headed to Harrow Harbour to view the seals but on the way we stopped at a field that I drive past almost every day. This field never gets a second glance from me but under Kate’s guidance we spotted several pairs of Lapwings engaged in an aerial display of courtship that was fascinating to watch and from overhead we were serenaded by Skylarks and Curlews.
Duncansby Head and its monumental Stacks came next and once again the knowledge of our guide made a familiar place fascinating all over again. We learned about the geology of the area and how it shapes today’s landscape, in particular how migrating marine and birdlife takes advantage of its unique structure and location including the enigmatic Puffins which colonise here within easy viewing – a must see!
The tour heads southwards from Duncansby and you can select any number of the dozen or so sites to visit including the ruins of the fascinating Sinclair Girnigoe Castle, the Bronze Age Cairns at Camster and the mysterious standing stones at Achavanich – time is your only restriction.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: There are three specially commissioned day tours for guests of Mey House and all are customisable to your own preferences; heritage, wildlife or the generalist ‘Discover Caithness’ tour.
GREAT FOR: An uncompromised tour tailored to you.
RECOMMENDATION: Choose one of our commissioned day tours as part of a multi night stay at Mey House and you will be collected from, and returned to Mey House. See our ‘OFFERS’ page for more details.