Starbank Cottage

Caithness & The Farnorth

Starbank Logo

Starbank self-catering accomodation holiday cottage in the village of Scarfskerry on the shores of the Pentland Firth is an ideal base from which to enjoy a holiday in Caithness and to explore the far north coast of Scotland. Caithness is an attractive county with vast areas of unspoilt countryside, deserted beaches, quiet country lanes and huge skies. There is plenty for the outdoor enthusiast to indulge in their particular interest, be it bird watching, fishing, walking, photography or to simply relax in the holiday cottage and take advantage of the peace and quiet of a tranquil rural environment.
Sightseeing
Noss Head Lighthouse Beaches :
Dunnet Beach; two miles from Starbank cottage, a dune bounded, sandy beach stretching for two miles and the location of the Seadrift Dunnet Visitor Centre.
Sannick Beach; eight miles from Starbank holiday cottage, this is a beautiful beach where the water has a tropical atmosphere, though not the temperature.
Freswick Beach; eight miles from Starbank holiday cottage, another small but lovely beach sandy at one end and rocky towards Freswick Castle.
Sinclair Bay; ten miles from from Starbank holiday cottage. Voted one of the top-ten beaches in the world by the Guardian in 2007.
Freswick Castle Castles :
Caithness has many castles in various states of repair, the most well known one being the Castle of Mey, the late Queen Mother's summer residence.
The Castle Sinclair Girnigoe located at Noss Head to the north of Wick.
Freswick Castle located on the shores of Freswick Bay to the east of Scarfskerry.
Dun Dornaigil Historic Places :
The Grey Cairns of Camster the best known of all the Neolithic sites in Caithness.
Hill of Many Stanes, a megalithic mystery on a south-facing hillside near the hamlet of Mid Clyth.
Dun Dornaigil, an ancient broch on the River Hope in Strathmore, along the beautiful road that gives access to Ben Hope, Sutherland.
Noss Head Lighthouse Lighthouses :
The Pentland Firth is a major sea route and in winter is a wild and turbulent stretch of water, well equipped with lighthouses many of which were built by the famous Stevenson family. The Caithness lighthouses are located in places of natural beauty and well worth a visit for the scenery alone.
The lighthouses in Scotland are all now unmanned and are monitored and maintained by the Northern Lighthouse Board from their offices in Edinburgh.
Mary Ann's Cottage Museums :
Mary Ann's Cottage is located in the village of Dunnet. This living museum, a historic croft has been left exactly as it was when the owner Mary-Ann Calder left in 1990. Stepping into this cottage is a journey into the past completely immersing you in the crofting life of a bygone era.
The Caithness Broch Centre at Auchengill for an introduction to these fascinating structures.
The Castletown Heritage Centre, located near the historic Castlehill harbour, rotating exhibitions based on the local culture and history.
Caithness Horizons, a community facility and visitor attraction in Thurso, which tells the story of the area's past and present. It houses a museum, interactive displays, exhibitions, lecture and audio-visual presentation facilities, a tourist information centre and cafe.
Fishing
Sea Angling Locations :
Dunnet Head, fly fishing for trout is available on a number of the lochans (small lochs). Fishing permits are available at C.H. Haygarth & Sons in Dunnet.
St. John's Loch, trout fishing with permits available at the Dunnet Bay Camp Site, or from the secretary of the St. John's Loch Improvement Association.
Loch Watten, the second largest loch in Caithness and is renowned for its wild brown trout, whilst salmon and sea trout also being a regular catch.
Fly fishing is available from the 1st May to the 30th September, boats and motors can be hired from Hugo Ross Fishing Tackle Shop in Wick.
Sea Angling, charter boats are available at Scrabster and Wick and it is possible to launch your own boat from the local harbours.
Walking
Castle Verrick Locations :
The area offers a wide variety of walks from munro's, forests, to beaches and coastal paths of varying degrees of difficulty.
Achvarasdal Woods at Reay, Dunnet Forest at Dunnet, Rumster (Caithness) and Borgie (Sutherland), provide easy graded walking.
Dunnet Head and some of the coastal routes provide moderate graded walks.
Morven, Scaraben, or Maiden's Pap provide for more challenging terrain.
Dining Out
Northern Sands Hotel Restaurants :
The Castle Arms Hotel, located in the village of Mey, pub lunches and evening meals.
The Northern Sands Hotel, located in the village of Dunnet, great pub lunches and evening meals either in the bar or the restaurant.
The Castletown Hotel, located in the village of Castletown, great pub lunches and a generous Sunday lunch buffet.
Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant, located in the village of Halkirk, excellent reasonably priced meals, also has a takeaway service.
Local Shops & Takeaways
Castletown Castletown :
Castletown Chip Shop, Mackay St, Castletown, Caithness KW14 8UQ Tel: 01847 821778
Castletown Butchers, Traill St, Castletown, Caithness KW14 8UG Tel: 01847 821453 : Excellent quality locally produced meats, is also a small general store.
Euro-Asia, Traill St, Castletown, KW14 8UJ Tel: 01847 821888
McColls General Store, Main St, Castletown, Caithness KW14 8TU Tel: 01847 821702 : Convenience licensed store and newsagent.
John O'Groats Signpost John O'Groats :
The Seaview Hotel, John O'Groats.
First & Last House, Harbour, John O Groats.
Flavours Ice Cream Parlour, Craft Centre, John O'Groats.
Store House Cafe, John O'Groats.
Crafts Galore, Craft Centre, John O Groats.
The John O'Groats Post Office, general store and petrol station.