Castle of Old Wick
When visiting Scotland it's only proper that you visit a castle or two along the way and the Castle of Old Wick is perfect to explore. It's a castle ruin so totally free to visit (as there's not much left) and it is said to be one of the oldest castles in Scotland dating back to the 1160s. There's a little information board nearby telling you some fab history so definitely worth popping by. You can get some nice photos there too.
This is a gorgeous little pebble beach and the kids love it. There's always something new to look at and all the different sized pebbles make great building blocks or chipping stones to throw into the sea. There's even a tiny little cave to explore which sends the kids imaginations wild. This year when we visited in January we even got to witness a sea rescue helicopter practicing it's rescue missions which was pretty amazing. Love this wee beach.
Fossil Hunting at Achanarras Quarry
Caithness is full of different fossil hunting spots but the one that's most accessible is Achanarras Quarry. It's well sign posted and easy to find however it is a bit of a walk to get to. My two managed it no bother and it's well worth walking to the quarry to have a hunt around for fossils. There's so much slate to dig through I'm sure you'll find something. After about 30 minutes we managed to find our very own fish fossil which is really cool. It's now proudly displayed in our house. I like to show it to people when they come over haha.
Gold Panning in Helmsdale
A little birdie (thanks Jess) told me that there's still gold panning alive and well in the highlands of Scotland and she was totally right. Would you believe for £5 a day (that's all equipment included) you can pan for gold at the Kildonan Burn in Helmsdale! Totally amazing. We haven't done this as a family yet but since we'll be up North very soon I'm definitely going to take the kids along with a picnic and have a fab day out.
Every time we've been to Wick we always forget to pop into Dunrobin Castle or it hasn't been the season and the castle has been closed. This year we're definitely making it along and I personally can't wait. The Castle, which resembles a French château with its towering conical spires, has seen the architectural influences of Sir Charles Barry, who designed London’s Houses of Parliament, and Scotland’s own Sir Robert Lorimer. The gardens look absolutely stunning and they also have birds of prey displays throughout the year. I hope the kids love it as much as I will.
So there you go, 5 things to do when visiting Wick. If you have any brilliant places to visit near Wick please do let me know as we're always looking for new and exciting things to do with the kids.