As featured in Lonely Planet's Best of Travel 2024, Far North Scotland. Read more
As one of two principal towns in the north Wick is a popular stop-off for those looking to explore Caithness and take in some of the scenery, sights, history and wildlife. We would always recommend doing a little research before you go to make the most of your visit as there is so much to see and do and you don’t want to miss out.
Our Heritage Map will help you discover sites to visit in and around Wick and you can download the Heritage App to take your pocket-ready guide with you along the way.
Keep reading below to find out more about the town and its attractions and activities or click here to find out more about Wick’s fascinating history and view a timeline which explains Wick’s growth from humble beginnings into the large harbour town that we now have today.
As you look to plan your trip to the Scottish Highlands, or if you are already here, we would encourage you to be a responsible visitor and respect our locals, landscape, history and wildlife for the benefit of all.
Wick Heritage Museum is an excellent insight into the life and history of Wick. Stepping back in time to explore everything from everyday life in the past to WW2 history and Wick's musical heritage.
Ebenezer Place is the world's shortest street and holds a place in the Guinness Book of Records. It is also the entrance to No. 1 Bistro at Mackays Hotel.
Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archives are based at Wick Airport and home to the archives of the UK civil nuclear industry, dating back over 70 years. Nucleus also houses the archives for the county of Caithness, dating from 1469 to the present day.
Wick Memorial Garden was opened in August 2010 to remember those killed in the first daylight bombing raid in Britain on 1 July 1940. The garden also commemorates the victims killed in a second attack a year later.
Pulteney Distillery offers tours and whisky tasting sessions at their Visitor Centre in Wick. There is also a shop to browse their selection.
Wick Golf Club is home to the oldest established club on the NC500 route and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020.
Wick Marina is only a 5 minute stroll from the town centre and contains 80 berths with 24 hour access available and washroom facillities for berth-holders and visitors.
Isabella Fortuna is an example of a traditional Fifie fishing vessel first launched in 1890. The vessel is normally berthed in Wick Harbour during the summer months and undergoes maintenance during the winter months.
Wick Herring Mart is thought to be the earliest purpose built fish market still standing in Scotland. It was erected in 1890 on the site of an earlier fish market place and currently has an area dedicated to the history of Wick Harbour.
Wildlife and Boat Tours are available from Wick and are an excellent way to view the stunning Caithness coast and its variety of marine and bird life.
North Baths outdoor swimming pool is located just outside Wick harbour on the north side and is maintained annually. A perfect place for an outdoor dip on a sunny day.
The Castle of Old Wick is a striking medieval castle situated atop a narrow promontory and surrounded by towering cliffs. It is accessible by clifftop walk from a nearby carpark and care should be taken when exploring the area. Continue on the clifftop walk for views of impressive sea stacks and an abundance of bird life in the spring and summer months.
The Trinkie outdoor swimming pool is located on the way to the Castle of Old Wick carpark and is an historical tidal pool built on the site of a former quarry. The Trinkie Heritage Preservation Group is currently raising funds to repair storm damage.
Tinker’s Cave is a natural coastal cave near to the Trinkie Pool which was occupied by travelling folk throughout the 19th century. It was large enough to have housed several families and in 1866 had 24 recorded people living there.
Staxigoe Harbour is a picturesque harbour in a former fishing village just to the north of Wick. It was once the largest herring salting station in Europe but declined after the building of a larger port in Wick.
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe is located 3 miles to the north of Wick and comprises of the ruins of two castles, 15th century Castle Girnigoe and 17th century Castle Sinclair. It is accessed by a footbridge and has stunning views across the coastline of Caithness.
Noss Head Lighthouse stands just along the coast from Castle Sinclair Girnigoe at the point of the headland and is a well-known wildlife watching spot. It overlooks the nearby Sinclairs Bay, also known as Reiss Beach.
Sinclairs Bay, also known locally as Reiss Beach, is a large sandy beach marked at both ends by clifftops and castles. The beach itself is a popular spot for surfing enthusiasts and wildlife spotters looking out for seabirds, seals, dolphins and orca.
Hill of Harland radio station was built during the Second World War and active from 1939 – 1945. It was converted to a ROTOR radar station in the post-war period but never became operational.
Yearly events in and around Wick:
Caithness County Show (alternates with Thurso)
Caithness International Science Festival (locations around Caithness)
North of Wick is the area of Reiss
East of Wick is the area of Watten
South of Wick is the area of Thrumster.
The Royal Burgh of Wick consists of both Wick and Pulteneytown and boasts a wide variety of local amenities.
The town centre is a bustling high street complete with local shops, cafes, restaurants and takeaways. It is easily accessible on foot and there is parking available nearby. The Wick River provides a lovely spot to enjoy some local wildlife and take a stroll on the accessible path.
Wick has a great range of establishments for eating out or taking away. There are several hotels which offer dining experiences along with local restaurants, cafes and bars; just ask your local accommodation provider and they will be happy to assist with recommendations. Take a look at our Restaurants and Bars listings for some ideas.
There is a great range of accommodation available in Wick to suit every budget; whether you are looking for a luxurious hotel stay or a cosy campsite experience. Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments have long been a mainstay of quality accommodation in Wick and there are also several self-catering options to explore, both within the town itself and nearby. Search our Accommodation listings for ideas.
The town centre has a lovely variety of small and medium-sized shops for browsing, with souvenirs, clothing and special gifts all available as well as food and drink items. Out with the town centre there are several larger stores containing food, home and garden supplies. Explore our Local Shopping listings to find out more.
Wick is well supplied with local facilities including a hospital and medical centre, police station, recycling centre, marina and playparks. The East Caithness Community Facility contains a swimming pool, fitness suite, sports hall, studio and library.
Being one of the larger northern towns Wick is well connected with local and national transport links.
Wick is situated on the Far North Line with regular services to and from the Highland capital of Inverness. The route takes in a wealth of stunning northern scenery and is a fantastic way to travel while taking everything in.
Public transport to and from Inverness is readily available in the form of the X99 Bus Route and there are regular services throughout the day. It is best to check online for the latest timetables before planning your travels.
Wick is accessed by the main A99 route for the north east, just off the A9 north route, which is a two lane road and well surfaced and maintained; perfect for all vehicle types. Approximate time from Inverness is 2 hours 20 minutes and approximate time from Thurso is 30 minutes. Wick has several electric vehicle charging points available along with many other towns in Caithness and Sutherland.
Wick Marina welcomes visitors travelling by sea who are looking to stop over, or stay awhile, and has 80 berths available. They have 24 hour vessel access available with showering and bathroom facilities on-site.
Inverness Airport is currently the closest airport offering commercial flights to the Highlands. However Wick John O’Groats Airport has recently received funding to help reintroduce flights to the area.
Wick is a busy town and one of the best ways to access the town centre and enjoy all there is to offer is to explore on foot. If you would like to venture further afield then there is the possibility of cycling or taking public transport. And if you want to explore sites or attractions that would be difficult to reach by public transport, or for accessibility purposes, there are local taxi and car rental services available. Please consider renting an electric car to help reduce your impact on the environment.
WalkHighlands is an excellent site listing walks around Wick for you to explore.
Huli will create unique cycle routes tailored to you for Wick.
If you are looking to learn more about Wick these are some of the local groups in the area: