“ A pleasant caravan and camping site in Thurso, Scotland. „
Review of Thurso Bay Caravan site, Thurso, Scotland.
I stayed at this caravan site on two separate occasions in May 2012. The site is located on the outskirts of Thurso, Britain's most northerly town.
**Location and Facilities**
Thurso Bay Caravan Site is in an ideal location for those wishing to visit the north eastern tip of Scotland. Just a few miles from John O'Groats and Dunnet Head, the caravan park offers a tranquil yet convenient touring base. Road access is very good as the entrance is located on the main A9 road, towards Scrabster. As the site is only 300m from Thurso town centre and 200m from the sandy beaches, we were happy to leave our vehicle on site and walk.
The site has around 80 pitches in total set within 4.5 acres, so you never feel too crowded here. The site is right on top of the cliffs and there is a lovely coastal walk that you can access from the site. This walk is called the Victoria Walk and it leads you to Thurso's beautiful sandy beach in one direction and towards Scrabster in the other. Right next door to the site on one side is a field which was home to a flock of sheep while we were staying and on the other side of the site is a council run children's play park which guests are welcome to use. As this playground can be seen from all areas of the site, it is ideal for families with children. As well as the usual swings, slides and roundabouts, the park had football goal nets and a pair of basketball hoops. The play equipment is all standing on safe ground, being made of that soft spongy feeling tarmac type material.
Although on the main road, the site is quiet and peaceful and there is virtually no noise from traffic. We selected a hard-standing pitch on our first visit, as the weather had been rather wet and although our vehicle is not overly heavy, we did not fancy the prospect of possibly getting stuck on a muddy, grassed pitch! We had a grass pitch on our second visit a week later. Both pitches were level enough for our outfit, although I did notice a large 'Airstream' type American caravan was using levelling blocks on their grass pitch.
Most pitches have electric hook up and all are within easy reach a fresh water tap, which makes filling up your motorhome tanks easy.
The site does of course have various rules and regulations, but these are of the common-sense variety, speed limits around the park, no noise after 11pm and so on. The site has excellent facilities hot showers for both men and women, along with an adequate amount of wash basins and toilets. These are a little dated but scrupulously clean and well stocked with toilet tissue, liquid hand wash and hand dryers. The toilet and shower blocks can only be accessed by means of entering a 4 digit code into the key pad located on the door. The code is given to you at reception when you book in. The reasoning behind the coded entry system is to stop non-residents from using the facilities.
There is also an outside shower designed for visitors to rinse off their wet suits after using them on the nearby beaches and there are dish washing areas with hot and cold water too. There is a recycling hut with bins for glass, cans, paper and food waste, plus a chemical toilet disposal facility.
The site launderette is very well appointed with two industrial sized washing machines and two tumble dryers. I found these to be very efficient and I was able to get two loads of laundry washed and dried for around £5. The machines are token operated and the tokens can be bought from reception. There are a few washing lines close to the laundry for visitors use.
Speaking of the reception, this is one area where I felt the site was slightly let down. Reception is situated inside the 'Blue Door 59 Degrees North Diner' which is also operated by the site. When we visited in May 2012, the diner was open for only a few hours each day, which meant that should you require laundry tokens or some other site information, you had to wait for opening time. I was particularly annoyed to have to wait from late morning until late afternoon in order to buy my tokens.
**Address, Contacts, Prices and Open Season**
The address of this lovely caravan park is:-
Thurso Caravan and Camping Park,
Booking in advance is not strictly necessary, but it is advisable to contact the site beforehand in the height of the summer season or over Bank holiday weekends.
The caravan park is open from 1st April to 30th September. The Diner is open year round.
In May, we paid £14 per night for a motorhome, 2 adults and a dog without electric hook-up. I believe the price rises to around £20 in the height of the season.
**Blue Door 59 degrees North Diner**
The Diner is, as mentioned earlier, operated by the site. The Diner offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in the height of the season, with a fish and chip 'special' on Friday evenings. The Diner also sells teas, coffees, snacks, cakes and a variety of home -made sweets and other traditional Scottish delicacies. Unfortunately, as we were there early in the season, we did not get an opportunity to sample the cooking, on the one night that they opened during our stay, we had already made plans for the evening when we realised the Diner was open! I did read the menu when waiting to book into the site and it certainly sounded very good, but obviously not having actually eaten there, I cannot comment further!
**My Thoughts and Conclusion**
This is a super caravan and camping site in a unique location. You can see for miles, (on a clear day!) the Orkney Islands are literally just across the bay and I found it fascinating to watch the Orkney ferry plying its trade from nearby Scrabster harbour over to Kirkwall. The views and scenery are second to none and being so close to town is an added bonus.
For grocery shopping, there is a large Lidl supermarket and a petrol station literally opposite the caravan site which is very convenient. We spent 2 nights on the site and then continued with our touring holiday, when a week later we found ourselves within a few miles of Thurso again, we decided to book in for a further stay. On both occasions we were made to feel very welcome, the site was not overly busy and we had plenty of space between our motorhome and the neighbouring vehicle.
Our dog was able to be walked on the Victoria Walk and on the beach as there were no dog restrictions on Thurso Beach as there are here in my home town. The site is ideally located for sightseeing in the north of Scotland and there are many things to do in the region. Had the weather been a bit better, I would have liked to go on a seal and whale watching sea trip I saw advertised in reception, however as I am a poor sailor and the sea was very choppy, we decided against it. Never mind may be that is an excuse for another visit another time!
We thoroughly enjoyed our visits to Thurso Caravan and Camping Park and I would not hesitate to recommend the site to others.
Thank you for reading
©brittle1906 July 2012
N.B. My reviews may be found on other sites under the same user name.