Caithness & Noss Head

How light is it in summer? How dark is it in winter?

In the middle of summer (late June) it’s light from 3:00am until midnight and never gets fully dark so we have blackout blinds to help you sleep.

At midwinter (late December) the sun rises at 9:00 am and sets at 15:20, though there’s an extra hour of twilight at each end of the day. The days aren’t long in winter but they are rarely gloomy because our skies are so big.

You can check when the sun rises and sets during your visit.




Do you have dark skies?

Yes, in the autumn, winter or spring – we are not an official Dark Skies site but on clear nights you can see the Milky Way. The full moon is magnificent but it will reduce the number of stars and galaxies you can see, and we don’t get fully dark during midsummer. Of course, there’s a light flashing on and off every 20 seconds!

Will I see the Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis?

Maybe. When the Aurora is forecast people come up to Noss Head to photograph it. To maximise your chances of seeing the northern lights, come in the winter (from September to March) and avoid the full moon. Use an Aurora forecast website or app – some of these will send you alerts.

What is the weather like?

On average we are a bit colder than most of the UK. We are milder than the Highlands and tend to be windy rather than snowy. In fact, it can be very windy indeed. Subscribe to highlands and islands weather, or if you want something closer, look up the weather for Wick Airport.

What clothes will I need?

You might want an extra layer and you will certainly want a coat that is windproof and waterproof, and shoes or boots for tramping over the damp ground to Castle Sinclair Girnigoe. There’s a washer and a dryer in the cottage. Line drying is not recommended as on windy days your washing may end up in Sinclair Bay.