Weather-wise, Wick is not the sort of place you want to visit if you are seeking sun, sea and sand. The town’s record all-time high was 26 C, with average annual peak temperatures coming in around 16 C. Saying that, the town is not cursed with overwhelming tourist rushes, meaning that both prices and stress levels stay low throughout the year. As a result, cheap flights can be found throughout the year, although prices rise slightly between May and August.
Visit in July, and head to the annual Highland Games held in Halkirk, half an hour away. Experience all the up-tempo thrills of traditional Scottish music and dance, as well as spirited contests involving cabers and shots. The event is all well-attended by food and drink vendors showcasing all the best of local cuisine. Alternatively, come in early April and get in-tune with the annual Northern Nashville festival. Enjoy the up-close and personal groove of Tennessee country and bluegrass, with artists attending from both Scotland as well as the United States.
Flying in from Edinburgh on a clear sunlit evening, Wick will sit silhouetted in the warm pastels of dusk, the glimmer of the North Sea rippling on its shore. Known as the Gateway to John O’Groats, the seat of County Caithness is one of the last settlements on mainland Britain, a charming seaside town at the very northern cusp of the great Scottish Highlands. Visitors will enjoy a warm atmosphere of fine restaurants and pubs where all the very best of local culture and cuisine will be readily on offer. Further colour can be found in the classic examples of Scottish Baronial architecture that characterize Wick, their ornate designs giving the town a grand, almost medieval feel. This is not surprising, for just over a mile to the southeast lies the ruins of Old Wick Castle, a 12th century fortress that acted as a stronghold for Earl Harald Maddadsson during the Norse occupation of Orkney.
Be sure to visit the castle, as well as John O’Groats, 16 miles (25.5 km) to the north. Famous the world over as the northernmost point of Great Britain, John O’Groats attracts tourist from all over the planet and has become renowned for a starting point for races to Land’s End in Cornwall, 605 miles (974 km) to the southwest. And while you’re out and about exploring the sights, don’t forget to take a drive into the Highlands and experience what happens when wilderness and beauty meet. Simply stunning.
Closer to home, Wick Carnegie Library is full of interesting historical and cultural documents (as well as a preserved crocodile), while the Heritage Museum in Pulteneytown explains the social background of the town and the local area. If all that wasn’t enough, Wick also has the esteemed honour of being host to the world’s shortest street. Dating from 1883, Ebenezer Place measures in at just under 17ft (5 m), and has only one door.
Due to its intimate size, Wick is best and easily accessed on foot.
Wick John O’Groats Airport (WIC) is served throughout the year by both Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Stagecoach buses stop at the airport, and provide connections to Wick as well as Thurso.