to Wick. THURSO. 74. Route. 565
land. — 8272 M. Golspie (Sutherland Arms, R. 3s. 6d., D. 4s.), a
pleasant but somewhat dull village with 1665 inhab., on the coast.
About 3/4 M. to the E. is Dunrobin Castle, the magnificent seat of the
Duke of Sutherland, a modern edifice incorporating the remains of an
ancient fortress dating from 1097 (visitors admitted to the grounds).
We now cross the Brora to (8872 M.) Brora (Royal Victoria;
Sutherland Arms, pens, from 9s.), a golfing-resort, with coal-mines.
In this neighbourhood numerous Pictish remains have been found,
including Cinn Trolla, a Pictish house, passed by the railway 3 M.
farther on. — At (95% M.) Loth we pass Glen Loth, where the last
wolf was killed in Scotland in 1680. — 1011/2 M. Helmsdale (Bel¬
grave Arms; Commercial, R. 3s. Gd., D. from 2s. Gd.; Rail. Rfmt.
Stall), a flourishing seat of the herring-fishery, with a ruined castle
(15th cent.). The railway here abruptly leaves the coast to avoid
the Ord of Caithness, and ascends the uninteresting Strath Ullie.
From Helmsdale a road runs along the coast to (231/2 M.) Lybster (mail-
gig daily) via (91/2 M.) Berriedale, (I51/2 M.) Dunbeath (inn), (19 M.) Latheron
(inn), and (21 M.) Forse (inn). From Lybster (Portland Arms), an impor¬
tant fishing-village, a light railway goes on to (13i/s M.) Wick (see below).
The Suisgill Burn, on the right, beyond (1103/4 M.) Kildonan,
was the scene of the 'Sutherland gold-diggings'in 1868-69. On both
sides of the line are seen remains of unsuccessful reclamation-
works, now abandoned. To the left lies Loch Ruar. From (12872 M.)
Forsinard (inn) a road runs due N., up Strath Halladale, to (16 M.)
Melvich (p. 668). The scenery improves. To the left are the two
peaks of Ben Griam (1936 ft., 1900 ft.) and (farther off) Ben Loyal
(2504 ft.) and Ben Hope (3040 ft.); and in the distance to the right
rise Morven (2313 ft.), the Maiden Pap (1587 ft), and Scaraven
(2054 ft.). — 1453/4 M. Halkirk (Ulbster Inn) is situated on the
Thurso River, a famous salmon-stream. The ancient Brawl Tower
is fitted up as an anglers' hotel.
At (14774 M.) Georgemas Junction the line to (53/4M.) Thurso
diverges to the N.
Thurso (Royal; Station), an irregularly built town with 3500 inhab.,
is situated on a bay commanding a fine view of Hoy (p. 569). Tbe Town
Hall contains a Museum, including the collections of Robert Dick (d. 1866),
baker and naturalist. Large quantities of Caithness flagstones are exported
annually. The harbour is small, and all large vessels lie in Scrabsler
Roads, 2 M. to the N.W. To the E. rise Thurso Castle, the handsome modern
residence of Sir John Sinclair, and Harold's Tower, over the tomb of Earl
Harold (d. 1190), who ruled Caithness, Orkney, and Shetland. — Steamer
from Scrabster to Orkney (p. 568) daily; to Leith once a week; coach from
Thurso to Wick daily; mail-cars to Tongue (p. 568), to Dunnet and Mey
(16 M.; fare Is. 6d.) to Strathy (23 M.; 3s.), and to Bellyhill (32i/2M.; 4s.).
— Dunnet Head (346 ft.), about 14 M. by road from Thurso, is the most
northerly point of Scotland.
Beyond Georgemas we pass Loch Watten, on the left.
161 M. Wick (Station; Caledonian), the chief seat of an exten¬
sive fishery district, with a harbour recently improved at a cost of
100,000*. During the herring-season the ordinary population of