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Exploring Caithness in the north Highlands

We are allowed to travel again, so Karen and I decided to go to the North Highlands for the recce we cancelled in March due to Covid19.

Caithness for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

We started our trip in Caithness exploring walks to archaeological and historical sites, following up on the recce we did for this AIA tour in 2019. On the first day we met Chris Aitken of the Caithness Broch Project at Ousdale broch. They have been the driving force behind Ousdale broch being consolidated and protected for future generations. There is now a good footpath from the road down to the broch passing the remans of Borg village along the way. We were very impressed of the state the broch is now in. You can read everything about the project and the history of the broch in their blog.

  • Ousdale Burn Broch, Caithness

    Ousdale Broch

  • Entrance Ousdale Broch


  • Ousdale Broch inside


Dunbeath Strath

The following day we explored the Dunbeath Strath walk after visiting Dunbeath Heritage Museum, meeting curator Meg Sinclair. The museum shows the history and archaeology of the area including flint from a Mesolitic hunter-gather camp on display that were found in Berriedale during recent excavations before the work on widening the notorious A9 hairpin bend started. There is another well preserved broch in Dunbeath Strath and a number of cairns and great scenery.

  • Dunbeath Strath, Caithness

    Dunbeath Strath

  • upper Dunbeath Strath

    Upper Dunbeath Strath

  • Cairn Liath, Dunbeath Strath

    Cairn Liath long cairn

We finished our recce in Caithness with short visits to some other sites, including Badbea clearance village and the impressive Grey Cairs of Camster.

We will visit these places and many other archaeological sites during the 2021 "Hiking Scotland's North Highlands & Isle of Lewis" tour of the Archaeological Institute of America for which we are the ground operator in Scotland. You can find details of this 10-day tour here.