Dwarwick Pier - Peedie Sands - Dwarwick Pier

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Dwarwick Pier: the original small stone pier was constructed and funded by the Caithness County Council and the people of Dunnet between 1893 and 1897. In 1955 HMRY Britannia anchored off Dwarwick Pier for the first and only time. Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Princess Anne landed at Dwarwick Pier to visit the Queen Mother at her Castle of Mey. This landing was commemorated by the erection by Caithness Council of a flagstone plaque. Severe storms washed away the lower slipway and pier during the winters of 1969 and 1970. Dwarwick Pier Association was formed and improvements were undertaken with assistance from various agencies. The area is an attraction to a large number of local people and tourists. It is a favourite place to launch small boats or fish off the end of the pier in relatively deep water.

Mary Ann's Cottage is a 'must see' in the area. The Caithness Heritage Trust which acquired the croft in 1990 has faithfully restored it, as near as possible, to the state when it was last worked by Mary-Ann and James Calder. Visitors are taken on a guided tour of the buildings. The croft is not a museum; the furniture, fittings and artefacts of all kinds are original – nothing has been added to make it appear more 'authentic'. It is Open June to September, 2 to 4pm, closed Mondays.

The House of the Northern Gate was built by Admiral Sir Alexander Sinclair, who lived at Dunbeath Castle and who also owned the Freswick and Keiss Estates. Building commenced in 1901 and was completed in 1906. It remained in the Alexander Sinclair family until the death of the admiral in 1945, when the estates were broken up. All the crofts on the Dunnet Estate were sold, the last sale being that of Mary Anne Calder, whose house is now a museum.

In 1948 the House and Estate were purchased by Commander and Lady Vyner. Lady Vyner was a girlhood friend and Lady in Waiting to HM the Queen Mother. When King George VI died, the Vyners invited the Queen Mother to stay with them at the House of the Northern Gate during their summer holiday. It was while the Queen Mother was staying with the Vyners that she saw and decided to purchase the Castle of Mey, which was at that time called Barrogill Castle.

Cdr Vyner held the House and Estate for 25 years and when it was sold it was turned into a hotel. It traded as a hotel for around six years, when it closed. It then remained empty for ten years, being owned by various absentee landlords who paid only occasional visits to Dunnet. The house has been renovated by the present owner to bring it back to its former glory. It is now a private residence.

Scotland - Highlands and Islands - Highland - Caithness


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Moor, Museum, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Sea, Toilets, Wildlife

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Distance away
1.9 Miles