Bucholly Castle

Bucholly Castle is a fascinating ruin set in a stunning, remote location on the east coast of Caithness between John o’ Groats and Wick, just south of Freswick. It is perched above the North Sea on a rocky peninsula joined to the mainland by a narrow neck of land with steep drops to the geos on either side. According to Historic Environment Scotland’s Canmore database the castle dates from 1400 – 1542 but may have been referenced about 1143 in the Orkneyinga Saga, implying an earlier structure.

Whilst remote it is easily accessed from the A99, North Coast 500 route and is on the John o’ Groats Trail coastal walk. The castle is not visible from the road, being hidden by a convex slope down to the coast at this point. A rough track can be followed from the road and there is a little room to turn and park at a ruin before the slope steepens down to the coast. After a couple of hundred metres a small path leads off south round the hillside to the castle. The castle can be accessed through the gatehouse but beware of the dangerous drops and the potential instability of the castle structure.

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