Contrast in Caithness
Within the Highland Council Area is Caithness, a rolling farmland that provides people with several idyllic spots. There are several titles used to describe Caithness, and among those titles are the Land of the Vikings, Land of the Castles, Land of the Inventors, Land of The Herring, Land of Writers, and most intriguingly, the Land of the Cat People. With the different titles attached to this county, one gets the impression that this place allows people to enjoy a good mix of the medieval and modern times.
The Castle and Gardens of Mey is a popular place to visit in Caithness. This is the only castle open to the public, but it is holds so much glory enough for more than two castles. The 4th Earl of Caithness, George Sinclair, built the castle for his son William. The castle experienced a tumultuous past in the hands of the Sinclairs. In 1789, the castle was renamed as the Barrogill Castle. For a century, Earls of Caithness had their seat in the castle. In 1819, renovations to the castle were made; features like the dining room and the grand entrance were added. After a long history of changing owners, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother bought the castle in 1952.
The Queen Mother wasted no time in bringing the castle back to its former glory. The castle was restored along with its gardens. After years of much toil, the efforts paid off as the castle is now enjoying the Five Star Quality Assurance grade from the Scottish Tourist Board. That is one serious feat, considering that the inspection to the castle was done unannounced. Presently, the castle is owned by the Trust; the Queen Mother gifted the castle to them in 1996. The castle is a great tourist destination, and is well known for its turrets.
Caithness also has the biggest museum in the north, which is the Wick Heritage Center. The museum boasts of a massive collection of photographs that tell so much about the place’s history. Paintings are also displayed in the museum. Other memorabilia can be found in the place, and most of those items are donated by different families in Caithness. Although the museum looks small from the outside, one would be surprised to know that there are thousands upon thousands of exhibited items that would take so much time to look at. Old tools, fishing boats, and diving suits, among lots of other things, give visitors a glimpse of life back then.
Numerous archeological sites can also be found in Caithness, with some sites dating back to the Prehistoric times. The Yarrows Archeology Trail offers to give the tourists a good idea of the Stone Age. Human occupation back in the Stone Age is evident in the site. The site also features burial cairns that were used back then. Another archeological site is the Kirks Toff Broch, which can be traced back to the 1st Century BC, and is an example of the early broch.
While Caithness is a county that is associated with ancient structures, one must know that the place also offers a lively night scene. Thurso and Wick are the best places to go to for party animals. The nightlife in Caithness provides an interesting contrast to the old-world feel of the county.