Set in opposition to the backdrop of Sinclair’s Bay, at Scotland‘s northern edge, Keiss Fortress boldly faces the North Sea. This fascinating sight is a part of the picturesque Caithness area, conveniently situated simply 13 kilometers (8 miles) from each Wick and John O’Groats. The Keiss Fortress coastal stroll, a brief but mesmerizing coastal path, is a spotlight on this space, providing beautiful views of the dramatic cliffs and the expansive North Sea, alongside the rugged attraction of Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500).
The stroll’s focus is Outdated Keiss Fortress, a Sixteenth-century destroy, perched on the sting of a cliff. Regardless of its state of destroy, the fort’s commanding presence provides a glimpse into Scotland’s storied previous.
Alongside this quick coastal path, you’ll have an opportunity to identify the numerous native wildlife that inhabits this distinctive panorama. You’ll additionally uncover markers of the area’s archaeological heritage, together with historic brochs and echoes of early settlements, a spot the place historical past and nature intertwine.
On this information, I’ll unveil the essence of Keiss Fortress, nestled within the coronary heart of Scotland. I’ll information you thru the journey to this outstanding website, providing insights into the serene stroll that leads there. To reinforce your expertise, I shall additionally present useful sensible info on tips on how to get right here, lodging, and eating choices, in addition to reply some ceaselessly requested questions on this iconic Scottish landmark.
The Keiss Fortress coastal stroll, although temporary, is an expertise, splendid for historical past fanatics, nature lovers, or these in search of a peaceable escape. This stroll, one other true gem on Scotland’s NC500, guarantees to captivate and depart an enduring impression.
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About Keiss Fortress, Caithness
Perched on a picturesque promontory alongside Keiss Seaside, the ruins of Keiss Fortress stand dramatically on the Caithness shoreline, telling a narrative of historic grandeur and architectural ingenuity. Now a shadow of its once-majestic type, the fort’s stays resonate with the echoes of a storied previous.
Bearing the marks of time, the half-fallen and weather-beaten ruins poignantly illustrate the relentless pressure of nature in opposition to human constructs. These remnants, some clinging to the cliffs whereas others have succumbed to the weather, add a hauntingly lovely side to the positioning’s historic attraction, making certain its story endures by way of the ages.
This architectural marvel, a mere stone’s throw from Keiss Harbour and Keiss Village, is a testomony to the Z-plan fort design that was prevalent in England and Scotland. Its construction, sprawling throughout three ranges, options distinctive roundhouses at two opposing corners, a typical attribute of the interval’s design.
Outdated Keiss Fortress Right this moment
Right this moment, Outdated Keiss Fortress stands as a hauntingly lovely relic, its evocative ruins perched precariously on a rugged cliff edge. Overlooking the huge, blue expanse of the churning sea, the fort is a poignant reminder of a bygone period. The relentless waves of the North Sea crash in opposition to the rocky shores beneath, weaving a symphony of pure sounds that echoes by way of the fort’s time-worn partitions.
Located strategically alongside the North Coast 500 route, this historic website is an integral thread within the wealthy tapestry of Scotland’s previous. As the weather proceed to sculpt its historic stones, Outdated Keiss Fortress stays a fascinating landmark, providing guests a vivid window into Scotland’s turbulent and vibrant historical past.
A Temporary Historical past of Outdated Keiss Fortress and Keiss Home
Keiss Fortress first entered the annals of historical past in 1623, throughout a tumultuous time marked by defiance and battle.
The Story of Outdated Keiss Fortress
Outdated Keiss Fortress’s story is intently linked with George Sinclair, the Fifth Earl of Caithness, who discovered himself at odds with the King. This battle led to Sir Robert Gordon’s intervention and the next seize of all Sinclair castles, together with Keiss, forcing George Sinclair to flee to the Orkney Isles.
The tides of fortune finally turned, and the castles, together with Keiss, had been restored to the Fifth Earl’s son. Nonetheless, the tranquility was short-lived as land disputes ensued. It wasn’t till 1710 that Keiss Fortress discovered a brand new chapter with Sir William Sinclair.
Sir William Sinclair, offered his main landholdings in Dunbeath in 1752, and launched into establishing a brand new residence. This led to the creation of Keiss Home, a grand mansion that marked a shift from the medieval fortifications of the outdated fort to a extra modern, residential design, leaving the outdated stronghold to gracefully succumb to time.
The brand new construction underwent varied possession modifications and important transforming by David Bryce in 1860, recognized for his Scottish Baronial type affect.
Keiss Home (New Keiss Fortress)
In the meantime, Keiss Home stands individually only a few meters away, as a non-public property, illustrating the social and architectural modifications over the centuries. Its present type, influenced by Bryce’s renovations, showcases the transition from medieval structure to fashionable residential kinds.
The property, with restricted entry indicated by personal indicators, stays shrouded in privateness, resulting in restricted public details about its present standing and residents. The small print of Keiss Home’s present possession and inhabitation are possible confined to native property information or neighborhood data, respecting the privateness of its homeowners.
The intertwined histories of Outdated Keiss Fortress and Keiss Home (New Keiss Fortress) are reflective of Scotland’s wealthy and turbulent previous, marked by energy struggles and architectural evolution.
When is the Finest Time to Go on a Keiss Fortress Coastal Stroll?
The very best time to go to the ruins of Keiss Fortress is usually through the late spring to early autumn months, from Might to September. Throughout this era, Scotland enjoys its warmest and driest climate, making outside actions and exploration extra nice. The longer sunlight hours additionally supply ample time to benefit from the scenic stroll to the fort and the encompassing landscapes.
Nonetheless, this time of the yr can also be when the midges thrive, making a problem for outside fanatics as these tiny bugs are recognized for his or her persistent presence, particularly in Scotland’s rural and coastal areas.
For those who favor a extra solitary expertise and don’t thoughts cooler climate, late autumn and early spring may also be good occasions to go to. I visited in September, and was lucky to expertise little or no rain, and loads of sunshine. As you will note from the images on this submit, it was a gorgeous day bathed in autumnal colors on this coastal stroll to Keiss Fortress.
The fort, with its dramatic backdrop of the North Sea, will be particularly atmospheric throughout these quieter months. Simply be ready for changeable climate and costume accordingly.
The place is Keiss Fortress, Caithness?
Discovering Outdated Keiss Fortress is comparatively simple on the NC500 route, particularly when travelling from John O’Groats. The route is well-marked and guides guests by way of landmarks comparable to Keiss Village and Keiss Harbour.
Outdated Keiss Fortress is located on the northeastern coast of Scotland, particularly within the fascinating Caithness area. This historic construction is perched on a cliff overlooking Sinclair’s Bay, dealing with the huge expanse of the North Sea, presenting a scene straight out of a fairy story. The relentless battering of the North Sea waves in opposition to Keiss Seaside has left its mark on the fort, slowly eroding its construction and including to its haunting attract.
The fort’s location alongside the japanese shore of Caithness makes it a placing characteristic in opposition to the backdrop of the rugged Scottish shoreline.
Outdated Keiss Fortress stands close to the village of Keiss, which is 13 kilometers (8 miles) north of Wick, one of many main cities in Caithness, and the identical distance south of John O’Groats, which makes it simply accessible
The proximity of Outdated Keiss Fortress to the North Sea is certainly one of its most defining traits, providing dramatic views of the ocean and the shoreline. The fort can also be a notable level alongside the favored North Coast 500 route, making it an integral a part of the expertise in exploring the northern reaches of the Scottish mainland. With its strategic place on a cliff edge in Sinclair’s Bay, Outdated Keiss Fortress presents a picturesque but haunting vista, a testomony to Scotland’s wealthy historical past and the pure fantastic thing about its coastal landscapes.
For those who enterprise additional south across the headland, previous the serene Keiss Seaside and harbour, you’ll encounter Fortress Sinclair Girnigoe. This fort, one other jewel within the Caithness crown, shares a typical historical past with Keiss Fortress, each having been below the possession of the influential Sinclair household. These castles, standing as silent sentinels alongside the coast, supply a glimpse into the area’s storied previous and the legacy of the Sinclair lineage.
Location Overview: Keiss Village, Keiss Harbour, and Keiss Fortress Coastal Stroll
Keiss Village: This charming, small village is located within the northeastern a part of Scotland, only a few miles north of Wick on the street to John O’Groats, making it an accessible vacation spot for travellers exploring the North Coast 500. It serves as a gateway to Outdated Keiss Fortress and provides a glimpse into the serene Scottish countryside. The village’s panorama is dotted with brochs and different historic buildings, providing a glimpse into Scotland’s distant previous.
Keiss Harbour: The harbour in Keiss, constructed in 1831, is an integral a part of the village’s historical past. Positioned a brief distance from the village, Keiss Harbour is nearer to the coast and gives a extra direct path to the fort alongside the scenic shoreline.
The way to Get to Keiss Fortress on the NC500 Route, Scotland
Accessing the enduring landmark of Keiss Fortress includes navigating to Keiss Village or Keiss Harbour, each serving as splendid beginning factors to your journey.
By Street: Driving to Keiss is easy, with the village and harbour each accessible through the A99 street. This route is especially scenic and provides a gorgeous drive alongside the northeastern Scottish coast. For GPS navigation, you need to use the postcode KW1 4XB for 📍Keiss Village.
By Public Transport:
Bus: There are bus companies accessible from main cities like Wick, with routes passing by way of Keiss. The bus journey provides an genuine native expertise. Stagecoach Highlands #281 and #80 service this route twice day by day. You possibly can examine schedules on their official web site right here.
Practice: Whereas there’s no direct practice service to Keiss, the closest main practice station is in Wick. From there, you possibly can catch a bus or taxi to Keiss.
Parking for Keiss Fortress coastal stroll will be present in Keiss Village or close to Keiss Harbour.
In Keiss Village, ample parking will be discovered alongside Excessive Road. This space is right for leaving your car earlier than you embark on the coastal stroll to Keiss Fortress.
Close to Keiss Harbour, there’s restricted parking accessible across the bend adjoining to Sinclair Bay Lodges. This spot is nearer to the coastal path main on to the fort.
For these utilizing GPS, the closest parking places will be discovered utilizing the postcode KW1 4XB.
Reaching Outdated Keiss Fortress, whether or not by driving, bus, or a mixture of practice and bus, is a journey full of scenic views and a style of the Scottish highlands. Parking in Keiss Village or close to Keiss Harbour gives handy entry to the beginning of the Keiss Fortress coastal stroll, and a possibility to expertise the pure fantastic thing about the Caithness area.
Overview of Keiss Fortress Coastal Stroll
- Path Sort: Out & Again.
- Distance: 1.9 kilometers.
- Estimated Time: Roughly half-hour.
- Elevation Achieve: A mild 10 meters.
- Problem Stage: Very Simple, appropriate for all ages and health ranges.
- Beginning Level: Keiss Harbour.
- Navigation Tip: A map for steerage is really helpful.
This pleasant stroll is ideal for individuals who wish to immerse themselves in Scotland’s coastal surroundings with out committing to a strenuous hike. The quick distance and minimal elevation acquire make it a super selection for households, informal walkers, or anybody seeking to get pleasure from a fast, scenic stroll. Ranging from the charming Keiss Harbour, the path provides picturesque views and an opportunity to discover certainly one of Scotland’s historic gems.
Keiss Fortress Coastal Stroll, Caithness
The coastal stroll to Keiss Fortress indulges you within the pure splendour of its shoreline.
The Keiss Fortress coastal stroll size is barely a brief distance of a mere 1.9 kilometers. This scenic path meanders to the traditional Outdated Keiss Fortress, a brief however fascinating trek. It’s a leisurely stroll, one that may be comfortably accomplished in lower than half-hour, full of peaceable moments, panoramic ocean views, and the sight of seabirds gliding above.
Your journey begins close to Keiss Harbour, the place a footpath diverges left behind Sinclair Bay Lodges. Winding by way of wild fields, this path treats you to the primary distant views of Keiss Fortress, an intriguing silhouette in opposition to the coastal backdrop.
Look out for the Keiss Harbour Ice Home, a Nineteenth-century heritage website, situated within the neighborhood of Keiss Harbour. This ice home, a testomony to historic preservation, embodies the architectural ingenuity of the early 1800s. It incorporates a singular chamber design, characterised by its rubble-vaulted building, and is distinguished by a gabled ante-chamber with a central entryway, all below a conventional turf-covered roof.
Because the route clings to the cliff’s edge, you might be greeted with breathtaking vistas of Keiss Seaside’s rugged sea platforms and the huge expanse of Sinclair’s Bay. There’s one thing actually particular a few stroll alongside a rugged shoreline and the huge blue sea.
Alongside the best way, you’ll see some historic highlights sprinkled round which embody Keiss Broch and Whitegate Broch. These are two spectacular Iron Age drystone hollow-walled buildings, standing as testaments to historic protection methods.
Drawing nearer to Outdated Keiss Fortress, the air carries the tang of sea and the whisper of winds which have formed the land for hundreds of years. Perched on a promontory overlooking Keiss Seaside and Sinclair’s Bay, the fort’s ruins, fenced off for security, nonetheless exude a romantic aura of bygone occasions.
The trail across the fort provides various views of the ruins, every angle uncovering a brand new side of its timeless magnificence.
As you gaze upon the remnants, it’s pure to let your creativeness reconstruct the fort’s previous splendour, piecing collectively a imaginative and prescient of its historic grandeur. Spend a while right here, on a leisurely stroll alongside the close by coastal path to achieve various views of the fort. The ruins intriguingly seem to change in form and character from totally different viewpoints, providing a various visible expertise with every step.
In just a little manner inland, the grandeur of Keiss Home, or ‘New Keiss Fortress,’ constructed in 1755 and expanded in 1860, enhances the picturesque panorama.
Whereas the home stays personal and never accessible to guests, its presence enriches the historic ambiance, appreciated from the outdated fort’s path,
TIP: For individuals who want to lengthen their exploration, the path leads additional to Nybster Broch and the Caithness Broch Centre. You might begin your stroll at Nybster Broch, parking on the Thriller Broch Automotive Park, and head in the direction of Keiss Fortress from there.
The Keiss Fortress coastal stroll elevates past a mere journey to ruins; it’s an exploration that weaves collectively the narrative of historical past with the untamed attract of Scotland’s coast. Not like different ruins that echo tales of decay, Keiss Fortress’s remnants stand majestically, telling a narrative of resilience amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the ocean.
The place to Keep close to Keiss Fortress?
When exploring the coastal stroll to Outdated Keiss Fortress in Scotland, there are a number of lodging choices to go well with totally different preferences and budgets.
Whereas Keiss itself is a small village and should have restricted choices, the encompassing space, together with the close by cities of Wick and John O’Groats, provides a wider vary of decisions. Listed below are some options for luxurious, mid-range, and funds lodging:
Pure Retreats, John O’Groats: Providing luxurious self-catered lodging with fashionable facilities, these residences present consolation and magnificence with breathtaking views of the shoreline.
Sinclair Bay Lodges: Completely located on the graduation of the fort stroll, these lodges supply an opulent beachfront expertise. Visitors at Sinclair Bay Lodges can get pleasure from beautiful views of Sinclair’s Bay and Keiss Harbour. The lodges characteristic well-appointed, comfy pods, full with the posh of a scorching tub, making certain a memorable and upscale keep.
Mackays Resort, Wick: This comfy and welcoming lodge gives a comfy stick with glorious eating choices and is conveniently situated for exploring the Caithness area.
Seaview Resort, John O’Groats: A captivating lodge providing comfy rooms, good meals, and a super base for exploring the northernmost level of the Scottish mainland.
Valhalla Brae, Keiss: This charming three-bedroom home is a gem alongside the NC500. At Valhalla Brae, company are handled to expansive views that stretch throughout to the fort and right down to Keiss Seaside. The property is conveniently situated, making it a simple stroll to the beginning of the fort path.
Price range Lodging
Sandra’s Backpackers, Thurso: A budget-friendly choice, excellent for backpackers and people on the lookout for easy, no-frills lodging. It’s a bit additional away however provides a real backpacker expertise.
Sinclair Bay Flats: These self-contained residences present a snug and economical selection to your keep in Keiss. Visitors recognize the comfort of the on-site restaurant and the bonus of free parking.
Tenting Choices Close to Outdated Keiss Fortress
For these touring with a camper or caravan, the Sinclair Bay Camper & Caravan Park Up is a superb selection. This spot doesn’t require reservations; merely park up, pay, and benefit from the comfort and fantastic thing about the situation. It’s a super selection for these in search of a extra adventurous and versatile lodging choice close to Outdated Keiss Fortress.
The place to Eat whereas Visiting Outdated Keiss Fortress, Caithness
When visiting Keiss Fortress and on the lookout for eating choices, the speedy neighborhood of Keiss itself provides restricted decisions, given its small dimension. Nonetheless, the close by cities of Wick and John O’Groats present a wider vary of eating experiences. Listed below are some suggestions for locations to eat close to Keiss Fortress:
The Village Inn: This native pub in Keiss Village provides a comfy ambiance and serves conventional pub grub. It’s an awesome spot for a hearty meal in a pleasant setting.
No.1 Bistro at Mackays Resort: Recognized for its glorious Scottish delicacies, this bistro in Wick provides a heat, welcoming setting and a menu that includes domestically sourced elements.
Wickers World: This café is right for an off-the-cuff lunch or a espresso break. Positioned on Wick’s seafront, it’s excellent for having fun with a meal with a view.
In John O’Groats
Stacks Espresso Home & Bistro: Providing scrumptious meals and a variety of espresso choices, this bistro is nice for a relaxed eating expertise.
These eating choices vary from informal cafés to extra formal bistros, making certain there’s one thing to go well with all tastes and events. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for a fast chunk or a sit-down meal, the areas surrounding Keiss Fortress have a number of good choices to select from.
Clothes Ideas When Visiting Keiss Fortress on a Coastal Stroll
When visiting Keiss Fortress, particularly given Scotland’s unpredictable climate, dressing in layers is extremely really helpful. Listed below are some suggestions for layering successfully:
Base Layer: Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer to maintain you dry. This may very well be a light-weight, breathable high made from supplies like merino wool or artificial fibers.
Mid Layer: Add a mid-layer for insulation. This may very well be a fleece or a light-weight down jacket, one thing that gives heat however will be simply eliminated in the event you get too heat.
Outer Layer: Your outer layer needs to be a water-proof and windproof jacket. Scotland’s climate can change quickly, so having a layer that protects in opposition to rain and wind is essential.
Pants: Put on comfy, weather-appropriate pants. Waterproof or waterproof pants are a sensible choice in the event you’re visiting throughout a wetter season.
Footwear: Good strolling or mountaineering footwear with a sturdy grip are important, because the terrain will be uneven and generally slippery.
Equipment: Don’t overlook a hat, gloves, and a shawl, particularly outdoors of the summer season months, as it may get fairly windy, notably alongside the coast.
The above suggestions are aimed as a information to decorate the place you’ll be able to add or take away layers simply because the climate modifications all through the day.
Folks Additionally Ask
What did Keiss Fortress seem like?
Keiss Fortress, in its prime, resembled a typical Scottish tower home, recognized for its strong and vertical construction. It featured the distinctive Z-plan design widespread in Scotland, with two projecting towers at opposing corners of an oblong principal block. This architectural type supplied each defensive capabilities and a commanding view of the encompassing space.
Although now in ruins, remnants of its tall, imposing partitions and a few structural components nonetheless give a way of its historic grandeur and strategic significance. You possibly can check out outdated footage of Keiss Fortress right here.
The place is Caithness in Scotland?
Caithness is situated within the far north of Scotland, forming the northeastern extremity of the Scottish mainland. It’s bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Pentland Firth (separating it from Orkney) to the north, and the county of Sutherland to the west.
This area is characterised by its rugged shoreline, rolling landscapes, and its wealthy historical past, seen in its plentiful castles, brochs, and different historic buildings.
Caithness is thought for its picturesque cities and villages, comparable to Thurso and Wick, and its proximity to the well-known North Coast 500 scenic route, making it a well-liked vacation spot for vacationers exploring the northern reaches of Scotland.
FAQs about Keiss Fortress Coastal Stroll
Keiss Fortress, constructed within the late Sixteenth or early seventeenth century, is now roughly 400 to 420 years outdated. Though in ruins, its remnants nonetheless evoke its historic significance. In distinction, Keiss Home, often known as New Keiss Fortress, was constructed a lot later, round 1755, with additional extensions added in 1860. Keiss Home, nonetheless standing and well-maintained, serves as a non-public residence, highlighting a extra fashionable period in comparison with the traditional and weathered ruins of Outdated Keiss Fortress.
Keiss Fortress was traditionally the residence of the Sinclair household, notably George Sinclair, the fifth Earl of Caithness. The Sinclair household performed a big position within the historical past of the area and had been distinguished figures in Scottish historical past through the time the fort was inhabited.
Keiss Fortress, with its historic ruins, is privately owned, and the possession is linked to the homeowners of Keiss Home, often known as New Keiss Fortress. This connection underscores the historic continuity of the property, with the trendy and well-preserved Keiss Home standing in distinction to the traditional and weathered ruins of the outdated fort. The personal possession of each the fort ruins and the newer residence displays the enduring legacy and stewardship of a property that has performed a big position within the historical past of the Caithness area in Scotland.
Issues to Do Close to Outdated Keiss Fortress
Close to Outdated Keiss Fortress, there are a number of fascinating actions and sights to discover, taking advantage of the wealthy historical past and beautiful pure fantastic thing about the Caithness area:
Go to the Caithness Broch Centre: Study Scotland’s distinctive Iron Age buildings, brochs, that are notably plentiful in Caithness. The centre provides insights into their historical past and significance.
Discover Duncansby Head: Expertise breathtaking views from the northeasternmost level of mainland Britain. Don’t miss the spectacular sea stacks and the lighthouse at this scenic spot.
Descend the Whaligoe Steps: Enterprise down these 365 historic steps to a outstanding pure harbour nestled between towering cliffs. It’s a hidden gem that gives a singular perspective of Scotland’s rugged shoreline.
Tour Different Castles in Caithness: The area is dotted with quite a few castles, every with its personal story. Embrace Fortress Sinclair Girnigoe, Bucholie Fortress, Fortress of Mey, Thurso Fortress, and Forse Fortress in your itinerary.
Benefit from the Coastal Walks: The shoreline round Keiss provides beautiful trails, splendid for leisurely walks and wildlife recognizing, particularly for seabirds and marine life.
Go to John O’Groats: Typically thought-about the northernmost level of mainland Britain, John O’Groats is a quaint village with picturesque views, memento retailers, and cafes.
Wildlife Cruises and Orkney Isle Excursions: Embark on a cruise from John O’Groats to discover the wealthy marine life or take a day journey to the Orkney Islands to delve into their distinctive historical past and landscapes.
Pictures and Hen Watching: The world round Keiss Fortress is ideal for images fanatics and chook watchers, providing an opportunity to seize beautiful landscapes and various chook species.
Every of those actions provides a special approach to expertise the cultural richness and pure splendour of the Caithness area. You could discover the next excursions helpful:
…because the deliberate escapist and a conscious wanderer…on Keiss Fortress coastal stroll
As I look again on my coastal stroll to Outdated Keiss Fortress, it strikes me as excess of a mere 30-minute shoreline stroll. It’s akin to strolling by way of the pages of a residing historical past ebook, set in opposition to Scotland’s spectacular pure tapestry.
You don’t simply observe – you immerse your self on this age-old saga. The fort’s ruins, boldly dealing with the wild shoreline, appear to murmur tales from way back, every stone resonating with the echoes of the previous. You possibly can solely think about simply how sensible this three-storey fort would have seemed centuries in the past!
The awe-inspiring surroundings alongside the best way gives a peaceable embrace, inviting you to decelerate and join deeply. This stroll, certainly, is a soulful journey, an opportunity to expertise serenity and introspection amidst the whispers of historical past and the embrace of nature.
Right here’s a photograph of me, Georgina, on the well-known Dunnet Head signal.
Earlier than you go, check out a few of my different posts about Scotland which can be useful to your travels: