For those who don't want to venture too far there are many walks and cycling possibilities from the doorstep along the cliffs and inland. An ordnance survey map of the area is kept in the bookcase. Please feel free to use it to explore the immediate area. Ship watching, from the comfort of the lounge, is a great way to spend the time. Look out for all sorts of vessels who ply their trade along the Firth. If you have internet access you can view www.shipais.com which gives live details of ships passing through this important shipping lane.
The Castle of Mey is the biggest tourist attraction in the area and is well worth a visit. Further east is John O'Groats with boat trips to view the varied wildlife which inhabit the spectacular coastline. Just to the east is Duncansby Head, where the Atlantic meets the North Sea with its lighthouse and views southwards to the Duncansby Stacks. To the west is Dunnet Head, the most northerly point on the British mainland, an area of strategic importance to the Navy in two world wars. Just to the west of the headland is the fantastic Dunnet Beach and sand-dunes. This is a mecca for surfers as is the nearby Thurso East beach - although the water is a little on the chilly side! Behind Dunnet is the Forest with its walks and abundant wildlife and provides some shelter on particularly windy days.
Further afield are the towns of Thurso to the west and Wick to the south east. Both towns have decent shopping with Wick having a major Tescos store and petrol station. The excellent new museum Caithness Horizons is definitely worth a visit in the centre of Thurso. To the west are the foothills of the North West Highlands. The north coast road takes in some increasingly spectacular scenery with some fantastic beaches at Melvich, Strathy, Bettyhill (Farr and Torrisdale beaches), Armadale, The Kyle of Tongue and Durness (Balnakiel and Sango). You can also visit the most north westerly point on the British mainland Cape Wrath from Durness in the summer months.
Hill walkers are spoilt for choice. Relatively close by are the hills of Morven and Scraben and further west into Sutherland are Ben Loyal and Ben Hope which provide truly spectacular views across the northern highlands. Golfers too are well catered for. There are the excellent (and very quiet) links courses at Wick and Reay and the moorland course at Thurso. There's even Highland League football in the shape of Wick Academy who play their home matches on the sloping pitch at Harmsworth Park.
The Orkney Islands are a major attraction. A day trip is entirely feasible from Mey Cliff Cottage in the summer and early autumn. There is even a choice of ferry routes. For example if you have a car and you want to do things under your own steam the most luxurious route is Scrabster to Stromness which takes about two hours on a recently commissioned ferry and you can have a nice cooked breakfast whilst you cruise past the Old Man of Hoy on your way to the quaint port of Stromness on the Orkney mainland.
There are many historic sites and places of interest on Orkney including the world famous Neolithic settlement Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, Scapa Flow and the Churchill Barriers. There is also the shorter car ferry crossing from Gills Bay to St Margarets Hope which offers you a more convenient alternative than driving to Scrabster. They've just introduced a new catarmaran for this journey which significantly improves the service.
For those who prefer an easier option, we suggest the one day boat/bus tour from John O'Groats. This takes you on the even shorter 40 minute crossing to South Ronaldsay where a coach picks you up and takes you to all the places of interest on the Orkney mainland.
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Castle of Mey
The Castle of Mey is the biggest tourist attraction in the area.
Known to be the most northerly inhabited area of Britain.
Historic sites of interest
Including the world famous Neolithic settlement Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, Scapa Flow and the Churchill Barriers.