Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom
Highlands of Scotland & Castle of Mey
Local Sightseeing, All
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Travel through one of the most remote areas of Europe, once ruled by Vikings from across the sea in Norway. The hardy Norsemen settled and mingled with the local folk and their lasting influence can still be detected in many of the place names.
The Highlands of Scotland feature breathtaking scenery. You'll journey first cross first travel across country, then along the road bordering the coastline. Arriving in historic Wick, you'll discover a town that, in the 19th century, boasted the title of Europe's largest herring fishing port. In its heyday, a fleet of more 1,000 fishing boats used to set sail from Caithness every evening in the summer months. Visit the award-winning and atmospheric Wick Heritage Centre, where the glory days of the fishing industry are vividly depicted. There is a vast collection of fascinating exhibits and artifacts ranging from delightful knick-knacks and photographs to unusual maritime items.
Lunch will be served at one of the centrally-situated hotels in town.
Your afternoon touring takes you to the Castle of Mey, located near Dunnett Head, which is the northeastern most tip of Britain. Spend a relaxing afternoon visiting the delightful "holiday home" of the late Queen Mother. Now in the care of a Trust whose President is Prince Charles, the castle has been left exactly as it was when last visited by the Queen Mother at the age of 101. Uncluttered by pomp, the castle is an unpretentious family home. Make your way through the various parts of the castle, seeing areas used by the Queen Mother for entertaining as well as the more personal, homey rooms. Some of the rooms feel like a 1950s time warp, while ancient stone spiral staircases reflect the age of the original part of the building. The castle guides, many of whom served long years with the Queen Mother at the castle, are knowledgeable experts on the contents and history of Mey. They also offer a wealth of personal stories of life at the castle during the periods of royal residence.
Don't miss a visit to the garden -- the Queen Mother's experienced green fingers ensured that the garden at Mey always flourished. She even managed to nurture her favorite old rose, Albertine, into scented abundance behind the Great Wall of Mey. The garden is full of marigolds, pansies, dahlias, primulas and nasturtiums. Old-fashioned shrub roses and climbers form the highlights of the Shell Garden.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Dress warmly in layers with a wind- and waterproof outer layer; bring gloves, a scarf and a warm hat.