Noss Head, Caithness

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Sun, 2009-11-22

Rumoured to have the wreckage of an aircraft under the cliff, if you find it, treat as a war grave. Sub surface stacks with gullies between. Launch at Keiss or Staxigoe.

Noss Head is just north of Wick. The name comes from the Old Norse “Snos” – a nose or nose-shaped headland. A Royal Burgh from 1589, the town of Wick has even more ancient origins, as shown by its name which comes from the Norse “Vic”, the word for bay. It lies on the north east coast of Scotland 19 miles south of John O’Groats.

The dramatic 15th to 17th-century ruins of Sinclair and Girnigoe castles rise steeply from a needle-thin promontory three miles north of Wick. There’s a good clifftop walk to the castles via Noss Head lighthouse from the tiny fishing village of Staxigoe. Bressay lies opposite Lerwick, from where it is just ten minutes by ferry. Noss, off the east coast of Bressay, is a paradise for nesting birds.

Noss Head Estate

This land is adjacent to the Castles and comprises the former lighthouse buildings and some thirty acres, which will become the wildlife and nature reserve, housing threatened species such as the Scottish Primrose in a magnificent landscape. One of the buildings is currently being converted into a Study Centre that will house the clan library and to which anyone, with agreement, can come to study and do research. Initially the Clan Centre will also be based here until it is moved closer to the Castles. There will be boat trips for sea fishing, diving on wrecks, bird watching and sight seeing, guided tours on the hills and the world famous ‘Flow Country’…and more.

The Trustees of The Clan Sinclair Trust believe they owe a duty to future generations to take action at the beginning of this new millennium to secure the future of these listed ancient monuments, and to develop a Study Centre and Clan Centre at the nearby lighthouse at Noss Head which is a Grade A listed building by The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Also Read: Sinclair and Girnigoe Castle

Fig: Noss Head at the end of
the near cliff

‹ Stone Circle at Loch Stemster up Pentland Skerries, Caithness › Similar of ‘Noss Head, Caithness’

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