Located in the Caithness region, the Sinclair Girnigoe Castle Scotland is now in ruins but still impressive. Built right over the cliffs, you can still see the work of integration with nature. Below is my guide to help you plan your visit.
Navigate back to the complete Travel Scotland Guide
This article contains affiliate Links (info on the Disclosure page). If you purchase using my link, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.
Visiting the castle of Sinclair Girnigoe Scotland - Video
Let's start with a short video of the exploration of Sinclair Girnigoe Castle in North Scotland:
Short history of Girnigoe Castle
The Clan Sinclair has occupied this site since at least the late 14th century. Not much is known about the early years of the castle. In the 17th century a lot of the castle was rebuilt. Later a big battle between Glenorchy and Sinclairs left the castle ruined.
The Clan Sinclair trust is trying to investigate and consolidate the site. Learn more about the history of the castle on their website.
This is what the castle used to look like. See how it was build on the cliff / promontory.
Note - Old Wick castle
In the same area (but South of Wick) is the Old Wick Castle. After research the Old Wick had less ruins remaining. This is why I chose to visit the Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.
PLANNING TIPS - Sinclair Girnigoe Castle Scotland
How to get to Girnigoe Castle Location
- Located in the Caithness region, North East coast of Scotland
- On the peninsula North of the Town of Wick (15 min drive) at Noss head, not far from the lighthouse
- 2h30 drive from Inverness
- It is included in my travel guide that simplifies the planning of your road trip around Scotland:
Plan your perfect trip to Scotland!
- 15 maps to easily plan your itinerary
- 170+ selected locations so you don't miss the most beautiful places
- GPS + info to make the most of your time
- 170+ original photos to get inspired
Visiting Sinclair Girnigoe Castle Scotland
- Those are ruins on a cliff so wear good shoes
- Plan 30min to 1h
- Parking along the road (on the right), then there is a track on the left - 5 to 10 min walk
- Picnic tables, no toilets
- It is normally opened between May and September but may be closed if weather makes the visit dangerous.
- parking and entrance were free
Where to stay nearby?
The closest town is Wick - Check out the best rated accommodations in Wick
Noss Head lighthouse and Sinclair Castle - Carpark and Map
The Sinclair Girnigoe Castle is located on Noss Head. The Road leads you to the Noss Head lighthouse that you can see on the picture below.
You can park on the right.
Below is a map of Noss head the the Girnigoe Castle
Sinclair Girnigoe Castle Walk
On the left is the beginning of a track with many signs containing a lot of information about the Girnigoe Castle History and architecture.
Below is a picture of the track to get to the castle. A 5 to 10 min easy flat walk takes you to the cliffs.
And you reach the amazing cliffs of the Wick peninsula - the layers of rocks are impressive:
Ruins of Castle Sinclair Girnigoe
After a little bit of walking you finally see some of the ruins. And once you approach you discover how they are set up on the cliffs. It is quite impressive.
The site is full of signs with explanation about the architecture, the flora and fauna.
He is a global view of what remain of the castle. Between war and erosion it has lost its grandiose. But it must have been quite a sight.
I love this shot as you can see where it was built. The cliffs have strange shape has the water carved long tongue of rocks.
Inside the ruins of the Girnigoe Castle
A small portion of the ruins can be entered as deemed safe.
A Bridge takes you to the left side of the castle. You can see up close how it was built with layers of rock that remind you of the cliffs.
Want to see more of SCOTLAND?
Impressive location, isn't it?
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: