Thurso Town Hall was built in 1870, with the adjacent Carnegie Library built in 1910. After a thorough makeover inside, North Coast Visitor Centre opened in November 2021.
Set across three floors, North Coast Visitor Centre houses a permanent exhibition which uses the Museum’s Collection of objects to tell the story of the county of Caithness from the geological period known as the Devonian (about 416 to 359 million years ago) to the present day. Exhibitions of note include the Stones Room with locally unearthed Pictish artefacts, a thorough collection and investigation into local botanist and geologist Robert Dick, and a detailed look into the history of Dounreay, and it's impact on Caithness culturally and socially.
Gallery, theatre, cafe and gift shop
Upstairs, North Coast Visitor Centre is also home to an exhibition gallery and theatre, both playing host to a rolling programme of exhibitions and events. The in-house Cafe North serves a range of home baking and hot drinks, while our Museum Gift Shop has a collection of books, stationary and greeting cards for anyone gift shopping either for a special someone, or themselves.
Entry fee and facillities
There is no entry fee for North Coast Visitor Centre, but it does rely on donations. The building has public toilets, including accessible, and lifts to each floor if required, with ramps also providing access around the building. Free WiFi is provided for visitors as part of Cafe North.