Inver park house & inver caravan park

+ what’s nearby

 

Information

Inver park house & inver caravan park

Houstry Road, Dunbeath
Caithness KW6 6EH

Tel: 01593 731441

rhonagwillim@yahoo.co.uk

Website

The Park is open all year

This is a small and peaceful campsite that is able to accommodate tents, campervans, caravans and a couple of statics without losing its charm. When we were there, we found the owners to be friendly and helpful, if not slightly eccentric in manner but this just added to the general charm of a campsite in the highlands of Scotland.

Facilities2
Facilities

Touring, Camping & Statics

  • 18 electric hook-ups
  • Mains water
  • Recycling facilities
  • Dump station for disposal of grey water and chemical toilet disposal.
  • 3 private unisex shower rooms with excellent power showers and automatic hand driers One is very suitable for disabled visitors.
  • Separate kitchen/ laundry area with washing machine, a sink for hand washing clothes and an iron and ironing board.
  • Pulleys in the boiler room/drying room where clothes are guaranteed to dry overnight when this is necessary.
  • For dish washing, there is a double sink and drainer and plenty of work surface to put dishes on.
  • Free Fibre-optic Wifi available throughout the caravan park.

 

Getting there

The campsite is on the North Coast 500 driving route. About 84 miles north of Inverness and is adjacent to the A9 just north of Dunbeath, Caithness. Turn off the A9 into the minor road signposted ‘Houstry 3’, then immediately left into the Park.

 

signpost3
What's nearby

Inver Caravan Park, Dunbeath is 84 miles north of Inverness, Scotland. It is 38 miles south of John o’ Groats.  It is, therefore, a good location from which to explore the far north and is also part of the North Coast 500 route. That said, we will be limited in our usual campsite reports which like to include what’s nearby. Most of our visits were further north, using the campsite as a base camp and these visits are described below in our ‘Read about our trip’ section, which is full of information from further afield. So, technically we are limited in reviewing ‘what’s nearby’ but here’s what we discovered and we know that there is a whole lot more –

 The Bay Owl Inn & Restaurant is a 15 walk from the campsite and is perfect for a meal or relaxing drink. Just be mindful that the busy A9 needs to be crossed at some point.

The village of Dunbeath is only a minute walk from The Bay Owl Inn and has a Spar shop for provisions. It is a pretty little village and is a good starting point for local walks.

A short walk along Dunbeath river will bring you to Dunbeath Broch, an Iron Age monument.

We returned to Dunbeath village and headed to Dunbeath Bay, following a path that takes you under the A9. Once at the Bay, you will see Dunbeath Harbour on your left and a Picnic Spot can be found. Looking to your right, with the Bay in front of you, you will see Dunbeath Castle, perched impressively on the cliff with its striking white walls. The Castle is a private residence and not open to the public

 

Inver Caravan Park, Dunbeath is 84 miles north of Inverness, Scotland. It is 38 miles south of John o’ Groats.  It is, therefore, a good location from which to explore the far north and is also part of the North Coast 500 route. We arrived and were welcomed by an ‘eccentric’ couple who showed us to a nice spot for our tent, did the usual check-in and left us to it. The site had reasonable facilities but as it is also a B & B and set up for holiday caravans, the focus was less towards camping but still did the job.

Now that we were in the north of Scotland, we noticed a distinct change in the temperature along with a cold blustery wind but this trip was about the scenery, not the sunshine we had just left in south Wales. 

Here are some highlights from what turned out to be a memorable adventure:-

The following day, after a cold night in the tent, we set off for the Orkney Islands, situated north off the coast of Caithness. To get there, we drove to Scrabster for the Northlink ferry to Stromness, ferry time around 1hr 30 minutes. Sam, our dog, and fellow adventurer was also keen to come along. So, we booked him into a ferry kennel for the trip, which didn’t go down too well as he was placed inside. Tail between his legs and big sad eyes.

 

We arrived in Stromness late morning and were reunited with Sam, who was very much in the huff with us! We were booked on the last ferry, back to the mainland, at 4.45 pm. So, time was not on our side. How could we possibly see everything in just a few hours?  We accepted that this was going to be a whistle-stop tour of an island that deserves greater attention but it was what it was.

 

Luckily Aileen had a plan! She’d downloaded a copy of a bus tour itinerary and this would be our guide to some of the popular stops around the Island. As it turned out, it was a great idea and we were able to navigate to some amazing places and keep to some sort of timetable. The only slight downside was that we were just ahead of the bus tours, which resulted in the repeated pattern of us arriving at a nice quiet site, taking in the views and then trying to get the photos before all the crowds would disembark from the buses.

 

There was also time for a spot of sunbathing at Scapa Flow. We couldn’t believe it! There we were sitting on a beautiful sandy beach on an island off the north coast of Scotland and we were sunbathing! Scapa Flow has a long history. Its name has Viking origins and over the centuries it has been mentioned in various historical accounts. This rich history has also created many ship wrecks and it is now recognised as a historic wreck site.

 

The Italian chapel is worth a visit, albeit brief in our case due to it being closed when we arrived but its beauty and position in the landscape help to create that perfect photo opportunity.

 

Skara Brae Prehistoric Village in the winter of 1850, a wild storm hit Orkney and uncovered the remains of an ancient dwelling. Most structures were intact and began to reveal details about a culture long since gone.  Dating back to 5000 years, this site has created just as many questions as answers and remains an ongoing archaeological wonder. We managed to arrive before the tour buses and were able to take out time, stand and absorb the special significance of this ancient place before the crowds arrived and silent thoughts were interrupted.

 

Another stop before the crowds was Ring of Brodgar built around 2500-2000BC and covering an area of almost 8,500 square metres it is the third largest stone circle in the British Isles. We were able to wander around, stop and contemplate the significance of action people creating such a wonder and get some photos before the tour buses arrived.

 

Before we knew it, it was time to head back for the return ferry. Sam had just about forgiven us as we promptly placed him back in the kennel for the journey back to the mainland. You can guess how that went down! 

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As much as our trip to Orkney had been interesting, it wasn’t necessarily the most scenic of trips as it is a mostly flat and treeless island but our trip the following day would change all that!

 

We headed up the coast, from our campsite, to the Castle of Old Wick. Probably built in the 1100s. Known as ‘The Old Man of Wick’. Its dramatic position leaves you speechless. How did they build it in such a precarious spot? Yet this wasn’t the most spectacular castle of our day trip. That accolade went to Castle Sinclair at Noss Head. Located about five miles north of Wick, the Castle is dramatically situated on a long narrow peninsula projecting into Sinclair Bay and the North Sea with perpendicular sides of between fifty and sixty feet. Both castles are well worth a visit but ensure that you have the correct footwear on as the terrain can be boggy and uneven.

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Then it was on to John o’ Groats for the mandatory photo opportunity standing next to the large signpost. Although be prepared to be patient as there is usually a queue, all waiting to get that photo with nobody else in it.

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Our last stop before heading back was Dunnet Head. A peninsula in Caithness, on the north coast of Scotland. Dunnet Head includes the most northerly point of both mainland Scotland and the island of Great Britain. Untamed and spectacular views from a rugged coastline, including a photo opportunity with the Sea Stacks Of Duncansby Head and Dunnet Head lighthouse.

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When we arrived back at the campsite, we had new neighbours. A small campervan was now parked up close by and occupied by 3 young Germans. They were clearly full of fun and the alcohol was beginning to flow. Just as a reassuring check, I fished out the campsite owner’s phone number he had given us, just in case we needed to contact him. There were also clear rules about noise levels after 11 pm. Needless to say, as the night progressed and now well after midnight, the noise was increasing. I decided to phone the owner but there was no answer. It was obvious that I would have to deal with this myself. So, I took a deep breath and bellowed out in a broad Glaswegian accent – ‘’Are yeah gonni shut the f**k up’’. Silence 😊

 

Our final day was a short walk down to the local pub the Bay owl inn followed by a short walk down to the shore with the impressive Dunbeath castle overlooking it. Then back to a now empty and much more peaceful campsite.

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