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Northern Lights

The great outdoors

Lots to see and do

Northern Lights

If you're here during the winter months you may be lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis, one of the greatest natural shows on earth.! There are no guarantees of when the dancing waves of light will appear but that makes the phenomenon all the more special when it happens. To give yourself the best chances of a sighting, sign up for free alerts from Aurora Watch UK


The local coastline and hills make for some excellent walking for everyone from the gentle ambler to the serious walker.  To start you off there is a picturesque short stroll down the river from the Main House to the sea. 

There are many guidebooks on walking in the Northern Highlands but a good place to start is Walk Highlands, which can help you find the best walks to suit your fitness, time and interests.

You can also join guided walks organised by the Countryside Ranger service, which offers a varied schedule of walks all the year round.

Cycling and mountain biking

The North Highlands is a great place for mountain biking along forest trails and country lanes. We are on the 9,000-mile-long National Cycle Network, the UK-wide netowrk of signed paths and routes for walking, cycling and exploring outdoors.

If it's off-road biking you're after, try the Forestry Commission-approved  routes at Camster, Borgie Forest and Trudercraig which range from 9-16 mile round trips. 


Thurso East is well known to surfers around the world and has been voted one of the top 10 waves in Europe. Add to that an extremely friendly group of local surfers, and you can have a great surfing experience. Best conditions are with a north to north westerly swell and low-mid tide. 


Caithness has an amazing coastline, teeming with birds and marine life. It would be a shame to stay here and to not get out on the water if you can. From Wick Harbour you can take a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) ride and not only view the amazing bird and marine life up close but also do some fun, speedy stuff too. 

Another option is John O’Groats Ferries which offers a 90-minute wildlife cruise from mid-June to the end of August, taking you around the coast for a closer look at the famous Stacks of Duncansby and over to the deserted island of Stroma.

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