Thurso to Castlehill – written a while ago… may need updating.
Distance: About 9 km.
Time taken: 4 hours
Grade: Difficult in places around Murkle area
Walk down Sir Archibald road, past Caithness Livestock Breeders and you will see the ruins of Thurso Castle in front of you. Follow the grassy track to the left. The track is well trodden, and you will have no trouble following it. The views are superb – watch out for otters playing in the mouth of the Thurso river! You will encounter a number of stiles – so beware those with short legs, some are not easy to clamber over!
When you arrive at the bottom of the road where it joins at ND158697, there is the opportunity of making your way to the main road if you wish to just do part of the route. You can catch the bus back to Thurso from Murkle.
Make your way along Murkle beach – a gloriously sandy beach with a number of inlets and geos, but take care when you get to the northern end – there are some tricky spots. It is better to stick to the beach rather than climb up to the fence line as there is a lot of undergrowth in the summer months and holes to trap the unwary. Clambering on the rocks can be slippery, so take great care. You will eventually emerge at Castlehill where there is a flagstone trail. There is a community woodland and sculpture trail in what was a flagstone quarry. The peace and tranquillity belies its busy and important past.