|Location: 58° 37’ N 003° 33’ W|
|No. of Berths: 3|
|Berth details:||Queen Elizabeth Pier, Max L.O.A. 180m. Depth: 8.0m|
St Ola ro-ro berth, Max L.O.A. 115m. Depth: 5.5m
St Ola Lay By berth, Max L.O.A. 100m. Depth: 5.5m
|Anchorage Position:||58° 36.55’ N 003° 31.90’ W|
|Distance to Landing Stage: 0.3 NM|
|Tidal range/movement: 1.5m – 4.0m|
|Pilotage: Not compulsory but advisable for first visit|
|Town centre: 3km|
|Shuttle to town: yes|
|Nearest airport: Wick, 33km|
Sandy Mackie, Trust Manager
Scrabster Harbour Trust, Harbour Office, Scrabster, Caithness, Scotland, KW14 7UJ
T: +44 (0)1847 892779 F: +44 (0)1847 896680
Scrabster, the most Northerly port on the Scottish mainland was, for several decades, the port of choice for the British Queen and her family when they disembarked from the Royal Yacht Britannia every August to visit the Queen Mother at her Highland holiday home, Castle of Mey, 11 miles from Scrabster. Today, cruise line passengers can follow in their footsteps, as the Castle is open to visitors.
Situated within walking distance of Thurso, the second largest town in the Highlands, the Queen Elizabeth Pier has opened up the remote and beautiful landscape of the Far North to larger cruise vessels. The pier is 180 metres long, with a depth at Chart Datum of 8 metres. Deep-water anchorage is available within 0.2 nautical miles of the harbour. Scrabster is fully ISPS Code compliant, with security personnel provided by the port authority.
The Northern Highlands of Scotland is Europe’s last great wilderness; its huge skies and natural beauty made the area a royal favourite for more than 50 years. The area has much to offer visitors, with a wealth of historic buildings, heritage centres and tours viewing the majestic North Coast and all the wildlife and natural heritage on offer.
The following is a list of popular excursions that are available.
It should be noted that these details are not definitive but are intended to demonstrate the range of excursions and activities available to cruise passengers visiting Scrabster as part of a cruise. Please note that, in many cases and with prior arrangement, half day tours can be combined to create full day itineraries
Shore excursions are normally pre-booked onboard via the cruise line concerned. Cruise Scotland cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of this information and all details and tour descriptions should be checked with the cruise line concerned.
Half Day The Royal Castle & Gardens of Mey
This half-day excursion visits the Royal Castle and Gardens of Mey, the holiday home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother for over fifty years. The castle is still used annually as a summer residence by HRH Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay.
The Castle of Mey is situated on the shores of the Pentland Firth, overlooking the Orkney Islands and is a half hour drive from Scrabster Harbour. The tour is fully guided throughout and the visit includes a conducted tour of the Castle, the Royal Gardens and an opportunity to call at the Castle Visitor Centre for souvenirs, refreshments and snacks, if desired. This is a quality excursion steeped in Highland history with a unique Royal flavour, ever popular with cruise liner clients.
Full Day Dunrobin Castle, Golspie and The Royal Castle of Mey, Thurso
A full-day tour visiting two of the most impressive castles in the far north of Scotland. Dunrobin Castle, one of Scotland’s great houses and also one of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century.
The impressive gardens were laid out 150 years ago and still retain their design as a formal Victorian garden. The Sutherland Museum in the garden grounds contains an important collection of archaeological items and other interesting artefacts collected by the family during their many expeditions around the world.
The programme includes a falconry display and lunch enroute to the Royal Castle of Mey, approximately one hour’s drive from Dunrobin.
Half Day Old Pulteney Whisky and the Award-winning Wick Heritage Centre
A half-day tour to the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland. Established in 1826, The Pulteney Distillery is found in the heart of 'Pulteneytown', the town created to house fishermen during Wick’s 'herring boom'.
The fascinating story of Wick’s maritime history is revealed during a conducted tour of the nearby Heritage Centre which is the largest multi-award winning museum in the north of Scotland.
It portrays life in this northerly town, focusing on Wick’s links with the sea and the way in which the wealth from the fishing industry led to the character of the town as it is today.
Half Day The Mackay Clan and Strathnaver Museum
An hour’s drive west of Scrabster, on a spectacular stretch of northern coastline in the land known as Mackay Country, lies the fascinating Strathnaver Museum, located in the former parish church of St Columba, built in 1700.
This small intimate museum tells of the vibrant culture of the people of this remote community, inherited from Norse and Gaelic ancestors. The upper floor of the church houses the Clan Mackay Room which describes the very rich and varied history of the Clan and their numerous Clan Societies throughout the world.
The Strathnaver area abounds with archaeological sites and the graveyard outside contains an impressive 8th century carved Christian stone slab.
Half Day The Land and its People
The 150-year old Laidhay Caithness Croft is a well-preserved example of a longhouse - the style of dwelling which was home to large numbers of simple farming, or crofting, families many years ago.
It is a long single-story stone building with thatched roof and a cattle shed, or byre, at one end.
The croft house has been furnished with many traditional items which would have been in regular use when the building was built and the rooms of the dwelling are furnished exactly as they were originally, giving a fascinating insight into the remarkable lifestyle of the hardy crofters of Caithness before the development of mechanised farming.