Carve - - FILE -

The Caith­ness coast of Scot­land is home to Thurso, the last town of any size be­fore you head west along the stun­ning north coast. It is of course fa­mous for its world­class wave, which sadly is a very rare beast. Hence why it's so trea­sured by those that de­vote their lives to it.

1 The gate­house The sign you've re­ally ar­rived at the leg­endary spot is the joint on the junc­tion to the farm. A mere 828 miles from Cornwall, 264 miles from Ed­in­burgh. Fun fact Hossegor is closer to Cornwall than Thurso is.

2 The cas­tle The brood­ing re­mains of the cas­tle are in­trin­sic to the ex­pe­ri­ence of surf­ing here. Not many places in the world you can surf un­der a cas­tle. The ru­ins are from the last in­car­na­tion of the cas­tle built in 1872 and de­mol­ished in 1952. There's been a fortress on the site since the 12th cen­tury.

3 The farm The farmer is a leg­end and al­ways be aware it's a work­ing farm and don't park or act like a dick.

4 The line up Thurso has many moods de­pend­ing on the swell di­rec­tion, size and tide. Learn­ing which ledges do what on cer­tain con­di­tions is the life­long puz­zle. Best bet is just to watch the lo­cals and grad­u­ally earn your spot for a good one.

5 The jump off The soft op­tion is jump­ing off the end of the reef and get­ting washed out in the rip. But you can end up pretty much back in town when big. The cognoscenti jump off be­hind the peak. Time it right or you'll get rinsed. And re­mem­ber, just be­cause you've pad­dled out in prime spot doesn't mean you're at the front of the queue.

6 The car park The small car park got smaller when the farmer built the barn about 15 years ago. It then got a lot big­ger when they grav­elled it for the O'neill High­land Open WQS which was ar­guably one of the most pop­u­lar events ever held on that tour.

7 Shit­pipe (just out of shot) Any­where else the Pipe would be con­sid­ered a good wave. But it's the ugly sis­ter to the glam­our across the chan­nel. More mel­low vibe than TE.

8 Cafe Tem­pest (just out of shot) Hag­gis for brekkie, awe­some cakes and hot bev­er­ages on tap Tem­pest is a life­saver. The soups are a real win­ner also.

9 Sk­i­nan­dis A rite of pas­sage for any surfer in Thurso on a week­end. You need a 'wild night in Skins' story in your surfers anec­dote ar­se­nal.

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