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A Poopy Walk to Keiss Castle

A picturesque 16th-century tower house sitting precariously on the edge of a sea-cliff caught our eyes as we were driving from John O’ Groats to our suite at the Ackergill Tower Castle Hotel. Naturally this warranted a stop and investigation. Not being locals we couldn’t find the access point to this mysterious castle so being the expeditioners that we are, decided to hike through the farm field scattered with cow-pies.

We found a small pullover area along the road but close to the shore. Whether this was actually a tiny car park, we’re not sure but as evidenced by the well trodden grass, it looks like others had a similar idea.

Hike to Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle

Husband must have had some sort of repellant on his shoes because he seemed to walk through the field just fine. I, on the other foot, lagged behind hopping here and there in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid surprises –at one point I thought I was hopping onto a rock but it turned out… not to be a rock. Surprise!

Hike to Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle
battery near Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle
There are several batteries along this coastal walk to the castle.

battery near Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle
A peek inside one of the batteries. Apparently there are lots of people who don’t care about the preservation of history. Bah!

Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle

Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle
Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle
This is Keiss Castle. The year it was built is actually unknown but what is known is that it existed at least by 1623 when Sir Robert Gordon led an armed royal force into Caithness for King James I. Like the Old Wick Castle, not much is known about Keiss Castle. What we do know for sure is that the field next to it is full of poop.

Parking near Beachside cliff ruins of Keiss Castle - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/keiss-castle
I have to credit this man for his driving abilities and getting us to slightly remote and random places in a foreign country where driving is the complete opposite of American driving. Without him, this trip would not have happened. Instead, I would’ve crashed on the first day and spent the 2-week trip crying in a hotel room. Thanks husband!

Keiss Castle Overview

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  • Things to note:
    1. The Castle is fenced off due to its dangerous state. There have been recent collapses in the structure and should not be entered.