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West of Thurso you can learn about one of the area's most famous contemporary landmarks at the Dounreay Visitor Centre. Beyond Dounreay, the road crosses the old county boundary into north Sutherland and winds its way west to Bettyhill. Here the coast is punctuated by series of wonderful bays and headlands, and good views can be enjoyed from Strathy Point with its prominent lighthouse.
Inland, you discover a very different landscape. Here, on the A897 through Strath Halladale, you have an opportunity to learn about the unique environment of the Caithness and Sutherland 'Flow Country' at the RSPB's Forsinard Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre. See the Hen Harriers at the webcam site here.
The Flow Country is the name given to a vast area of blanket bog which covers much of west Caithness and north Sutherland. This rich and ecologically diverse area is one of the oldest and least disturbed peatland habitats to be found anywhere in the world. It is home to numerous rare plants, insects and birds - most notably greenshanks, dunlin and golden plovers.
Visitors can book accommodation in Thurso online via the VisitScotland.com site:
· Small hotels
· Self catering