The weather wasn’t quite so good today, but Laurie took me out for a stroll regardless. Thurso‘s not a large place in any respect, but it’s pleasant to walk around.
We stopped off at the local museum, which was re-opened in a new location in 2008. It’s now branded Caithness Horizons and it encompasses the Thurso Heritage Centre. It’s actually a fair size, and the exhibits all look as shiny and nice as I’m sure they did when the place opened. A huge number of topics are covered including the geology, industries, natural landscape, wildlife, history, Viking era and the nearby Dounreay nuclear facility.
There aren’t a huge number of hands-on exhibits, but there’s a lot to read and I did enjoy myself for the hour or so we were inside. Most impressive, for me, was the actual core from the reactor at Dounreay. I am a science geek! Entry is free and further details can be found on their web site.
We then headed for the promenade, which we reached by going through a little archeway between two houses. I love how this archway marks the end of two streets. Very unusual.
As I said, the weather was a little miserable but the great thing with coastlines is that this just makes them look different. Blue skies and sun is nice, but clouds and wind is atmospheric. Quite a few people were out walking their dogs and pretty much everyone here will give you a nod and a “hello” as you pass them.
There’s a set of stairs bolted to the rocks at one point that we walked down. They end on the rocks themselves, which were rather slippy and not worth chancing. Maybe in the summer! Back up above the water, we continued plodding until we actually left Thurso and entered the next town, Scrabster. At this point, we doubled back on the main road and popped into The Ashes for a quick drink and a bite to eat.
According to Laurie, this is the place where anyone getting married in Thurso has their reception. Mainly as it’s the only place big enough! It has a lovely view out over the sea and the bar was cosy. What can I say, though? It sells cold beer, warm food, shows football and the barman was talking to one of the punters about Linux when I walked in!
We each had a bowl of soup (the brocolli and Stilton was yummy) before we wrapped up and braved the weather for the walk back into Thurso. On the way, I snapped a couple of the “Welcome to…” signs, one of which informed me that the guy who started the Boys Brigade was born up here. I suppose when you’re in a town at the top end of the country you do have to find something to do!
Shopping was picked up for dinner and we returned to the flat where Laurie cooked me a pre-Burns’ Night haggis. We didn’t quite manage neeps and tatties – rather baked beans and waffles. But close.
Once the meal had settled, I was engaged in another popular Highland tradition – the pub crawl. We made our way around a few establishments before ending the night in Skinandi’s, the only nightclub in town. At eight quid, it’s not cheap to get in but the bar prices are fair enough and there’s a free cloakroom for those who need it. Their burgers aren’t too bad either!
I think I got to bed around 4am with a belly full of post-night out pizza.