Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Caithness, Keiss and other small harbours

Another fine Caithness castle ruin is the one that stands on the cliffs just north of the village of Keiss. It was built in the 1600’s by the Earl of Caithness but was abandoned in the 1700’s because part of it’s walls collapsed when the cliff broke away into the sea.

The Earl then built the newer Keiss Castle further inland away from the crumbling coast line and it is still inhabited to this day.

Although there is not much in the way of sea lochs or islands along the north east coast of Scotland, there are plenty hidden coves, bays and harbours for small boats to find shelter in. Keiss boasts a lovely little harbour and historic harbour house.

Lybster is another small fishing harbour and has a distinct lighthouse marking its entrance.

Staxigoe, just to the north of Wick is another one of numerous shelters from the cruel north sea when the winds blow.

Although the north east coast is very exposed, there appears to be no shortage of small boats making use of its little harbours, and it is a lovely area to explore. If I have some free time next summer and there is a settled spell of weather, perhaps I will explore it further in my small boat

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