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Map out an adventure: Follow the trail of ancient brochs, stones and sites

© SYSTEMAerial view of Nybster Broch in Caithness.
Aerial view of Nybster Broch in Caithness.

There are big plans afoot for mainland Scotland’s most northerly prehistoric sites. The Caithness Broch Project is a community-oriented archaeological charity promoting the county’s ancient gems through an interactive map, improved signage and an ambitious new rebuild.

Brochs are Iron Age stone towers found exclusively in Scotland, and Caithness boasts more examples than anywhere in the country. Kenneth McElroy works for the Broch Project and is passionate about welcoming visitors to the area to see the towers, standing stones and other amazing sites.

“Our website and leaflets now contain a fabulous fantasy-style map, and our online tourist guide highlights some of the best heritage and archaeology sites,” he says.

“Here you can explore castles, cairns, brochs, historic harbours, standing stones and so much more – Caithness is a real hidden gem when it comes to archaeology, and has some of the most extraordinary sites in all of the UK. It is an experience like no other.

“We believe that the broch can become an important and inspiring icon for the region, as there are around 200 of these monuments found here.”

Visitors can follow the map to places such Castle Sinclair Girnigoe along with various broch sites and standing stones. For any history buff it is a real must-see and with a small donation in return for accessing the map you will be helping the project’s main endeavour.

“Our flagship project is altogether more spectacular,” Kenneth says. “We are aiming to do something that hasn’t been done in almost 2,000 years – we want to construct an Iron Age broch.

“Much like projects at Butser in England, Guedelon Castle in France or, closer to home, the Scottish Crannog Centre, we want to construct this broch using authentic techniques and materials which would have been used by our prehistoric counterparts.”

Building this new tower will provide a valuable insight into how Iron Age people lived in Caithness. It will also be opened to the public upon completion, so watch this space…

What: Tour the region on a fascinating trail for an insight into life in Iron Age Scotland

When: The trail can be followed throughout the year at your own pace

How Much: The map is free to download but a £10 donation is recommended

Where: Throughout Caithness

Further Information