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Thurso is a Town 110 miles north of Inverness, furthest north town in Scotland, in the area of Caithness.

Thurso is popular for the Caithness Museum, Old St Peters Church, Thurso Castle Ruins, and as a base for exploring the North Coast and Orkney Islands.

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The image top is of St Peters Church in Thurso centre with two monuments in the gardens in front of the church.

Trail Street is the main street in the Town with the Royal Hotel being the largest hotel on this street.

The Caithness Horizons Museum and Art Gallery is situated on the High Street, covering the Vikings, Picts, History of the Dounreay Nuclear Research, and the Robert Dick Herbarium. This closed in 2019, may be re-opened.

Old St Peters Church is situated on Wilson Lane close to the Harbour, built around 1125 as the first main Church in the area.

The Ruins of Thurso Castle are on the east side of the Harbour. This castle was built in 1872 for the Sinclairs, Earls of Caithness.

Thurso Bay Holiday Park is on the northwest side of the Town with a range of Touring Pitches.

There are three Ferries from the area for trips to the Orkney Isles, with the Northlink Car Ferry running from Scrabster 2 miles northwest of Thurso with 90 minute crossings.

Gills Bay is 16 miles northeast with Pentland Ferries running from there with 60 minute crossings. This Ferry also takes cars.

John O Groats is 19 miles northeast of Thurso with the John O Groats Ferries offering 40 minute crossings. This is a passenger only Ferry that also runs coach tours of the Orkney Isles.

Thurso History

23,000 BC - Neolithic horned cairns were built on Shebster Hill for burials and rituals.

875 - the Norse / Vikings began taking control of the Orkney Isles, Western Isles, and parts of Northern Scotland, leading to many battles between Scots and Vikings.

1125? - Old St Peters Church was built at Thurso.

1157 - a Castle was recorded as having been built at Thurso for the Earls of Orkney and Caithness. These Early Earls were Norse with Scots Kings allowing them to control the area.

1260s - King Alexander III began forcing the Vikings out of Scotland, Western Isles, and later the Orkney Isles.

1379 - the Sinclairs become Earls of Orkney and Caithness, with the first Sinclairs being part Norse, part Scots.

1472 - Scotland gained control of the Orkney Islands, ending Viking rule.

1500s - the Castle at Thurso was destroyed by fire.

1649 - Irish led by Donald Macalister Mullach, attacked Thurso but were defeated in battle by locals led by Sir James Sinclair. Mullach was killed in the battle.

1872 - a new Castle was built at Thurso for the Sinclairs, Earls of Caithness.

1874 - the Railway reached Thurso, linking the town to Inverness, and from there, the rest of the UK.

1952 - Thurso Castle was noted as being in ruin.

1955 - the Dounreay Nuclear Power Station was built 10 miles west of Thurso.

1994 - the Dounreay Power Station had its last Electricity Reactor closed down.

2015 - the last Military Reactor at Dounreay was closed down. The site is now being monitored and maintained.

Thurso Photos

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