This pleasant walk will take you across Dale Moss near Thurso and up close to the Causeymire wind farm where you will see the impressive machines generating power for the local area, and there are also some lovely views to take in along the way.
Review of the Causeymire windfarm walk
The wide open expanses of land around the far northeast of Scotland are just begging to be walked, and the well-maintained trail around Causeymire wind farm is perfect for a gentle stroll that can be easily accessed no matter the weather.
Although you may well think a wind farm is an unusual place to take a walk you might be surprised to see some quite beautiful views across Dale Moss and out towards Morven as you make your way around the route.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to take a good long look at the future of British energy production with the 21 turbines in the wind farm rising an impressive 60 metres into the sky.
This part of the country has plenty to offer visitors as there are lots of easily accessible attractions nearby, plus it’s easy to get to John O’ Groats or take a ferry to Orkney from Scrabster if you’re planning to spend a few days there.
The towns of Thurso and Wick are roughly the same distance apart from this windfarm walk so you can drive into either one if you fancy a cuppa afterwards, and Wick has the added bonus of the excellent Heritage Museum near the harbour.
Things to do at the Causeymire windfarm walk
As walks in the countryside go this is one of the more unusual ones, but no less enjoyable for it. It’s an easy walk with fairly well-maintained paths but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’ve got impaired mobility.
Even so, if you’re in the area and looking for a nice, quick walk that offers some fresh air along with the chance to see some enormous wind turbines up close, Causeymire wind farm is the place to go.
The wind farm is situated on a large area of peatland that’s very flat and makes for a refreshing change from the highland peaks that you’ll find along the western side of the country.
It might appear quite bleak at first but keep your eyes open because there’s a lot of birdlife that calls this wilderness their home and you’ll likely meet a few Highland cows on the way as the land below the turbines is used for grazing cattle.
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But obviously it’s the turbines themselves that dominate the landscape with their 40-metre blades spinning away in Scotland’s winds to provide power for more than 30,000 homes. They’re certainly quite a feat of modern engineering.
The views along this short route are very pretty indeed and you’ll get some great views across Dale Moss with the hills of Morven and the Maiden Paps clearly visible in the distance, and it’s an ideal place to take the dog on a sunny afternoon.
I’ve got two pieces of advice for you if you fancy exploring this part of Scotland. The first is is to invest in a map of the area as it’s so open and desolate, and the best maps by far are the ones made by Ordnance Survey. Buy OS Landranger maps direct from Ordnance Survey.
The second tip is to invest in a can of Smidge anti-midge repellent (which you can buy from Amazon). Trust me, it’ll save you from untold misery in summer…
Find more attractions in this part of Scotland with my Scottish Tourist Attractions Map.
- It’s an easy walk on well-maintained surfaces so if the weather’s grotty it’s definitely worth considering.
- The landscape is flat, but it’s quite attractive. This is an ideal walk if you’ve got your pooch with you.
- It’s quite interesting seeing the enormous wind turbines up close. Be aware though, the land is owned by the wind farm operator so there may be restrictions in place with regard to getting close to the turbines.
- This is a remote walk but it’s worth doing if you’re close to the A9 and it’s not that far from Wick if you want to join the NC500 route. You can drive north to Latheron on the A9 then head north on the A99 for a mini NC500 tour of the area.
- There isn’t much room to park the car but you’ll find a couple of spaces near the entrance gate. The A9 is fairly quiet so you shouldn’t have a problem parking on the verge.
- If you’d rather go for a coastal walk I recommend driving 20 miles east on the A882 to the coastline around Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.
The car parking area is just off the A9, south of Spittal between Thurso and Latheronwheel. Lat/Long: 58°26’04.9″N 3°25’30.7″W
This 5-mile trek will take most walkers around 2 hours to complete.
Easy. This is a fairly flat route across open land on good quality vehicle tracks. There should be no access problems even in winter.
The site is easy to locate as the turbines can be seen for a good distance away on the A9, and access is simple as the start of the walk sits directly off the main A9 road.
There’s a gated area at the start of the walk with parking spaces either side of the main access gate, and a map of the route has been helpfully installed here by the wind farm operators.
You can’t really get lost on this route and as it’s circular you have the option of following it in either direction. The construction of the paths is robust gravel which will prevent most cases of muddy boots while the surrounding landscape is mainly flat and even grassland.
The lovely River Thurso runs a short distance away to the west although you should stick to the designated pathways for this walk, and heading back to the A9 offers plenty of other walking opportunities in the area.
Things to do near Causeymire Windfarm
- Wick Heritage Museum. 20 Bank Row, Wick KW1 5EY. 22-minute drive. A community-run museum that celebrates the heritage of Wick and the surrounding area. The museum has a varied collection of displays and exhibits from Wick’s herring fishing glory days and the Caithness Glass industry as well as recreations of school rooms and a collection of restored photographs.
- Castle Sinclair Girnigoe. Wick KW1 4QT. 31-minute drive. A ruined castle located on a very dramatic clifftop overlooking the North Sea a few miles north of Wick. Access is via a short walk from an inland car park through fields of machir (coastal wildflowers) and there are footpaths along the coastline in both directions.
- Wick. 21-minute drive. A small fishing village that was the biggest exporter of herring in the world in the 1800s. Wick is part of the NC500 coastal route and it is a good stopping-off point for refuelling and shopping. There is a large harbour that is still in use as a fishing port.
- Thurso. 16-minute drive. A small town on the remote far north coast of Scotland that is one of the few places in the area to offer a supermarket and refuelling station. The town is located next to the historic Scrabster harbour where ferries provide a regular service for visiting the Shetland Islands.
- Loch Watten. Wick KW1 5XL. 10-minute drive. A small low-lying loch that has pavements around its southern edge and rough paths around its northern edge. Loch Watten is a very popular location for recreational fishing.
More places to visit in The Highlands
- Ben Ledi – Stirlingshire: Complete Visitor GuideBen Ledi is an 879-metre high mountain in the lower Scottish Highlands. It can be found 5 miles north-west of the popular country village of Callander in the Trossachs National Park. The Trossachs are famous not just for their mountain ranges but also for their lochs which include the mighty Loch Lomond – one of the most scenic bodies of water in the United Kingdom.
- Muir of Dinnet – Aberdeenshire: Complete Visitor GuideThe Muir of Dinnet is a national nature reserve located on the eastern border of the Cairngorms national park in the Scottish Highlands. The reserve features a wealth of different habitats including heath, woodland and wetland, but it’s perhaps best known for ‘the vat’, a natural gorge formed by glaciers over 10,000 years ago.
- Glen Etive – Inverness: Complete Visitor GuideWhat if I told you there’s a 12-mile stretch of road where you can see those mountains, rivers and forests in a single relatively small area, where gob-smackingly beautiful vistas open up around every corner on a secluded, frequently tourist-free single-track road?
- Faraid Head – Sutherland: Complete Visitor GuideWhile Scotland’s west coast islands usually take first prize for the number of amazing beaches you’ll find (hello Isle of Tiree) you shouldn’t be too quick to discount Scotland’s mainland either, especially in the far north where it’s relatively tourist-free compared to the rest of the country.