Originally a Viking settlement named Vik (meaning “bay”), WICK has been a royal burgh since 1589. It’s actually two towns: Wick proper, and Pultneytown, south across the river, a messy, rather run-down community planned by Thomas Telford in 1806 to encourage evicted crofters to take up fishing. Wick’s heyday was in the mid-nineteenth century, when it was the busiest herring port in Europe, with a fleet of more than 1100 boats exporting tons of fish to Russia, Scandinavia and the West Indian slave plantations. Though redevelopment of the harbour is underway, the town still has a down-at-heel air. The area around the harbour in Pultneytown, lined with rows of fishermen’s cottages, is most worth a wander, with acres of largely derelict net-mending sheds, stores and cooperages around the harbour giving some idea of the former scale of the fishing trade. The town’s story is told in the Wick Heritage Centre in Bank Row, Pultneytown. The only other visitor attraction is the fairly simple Pulteney Distillery on nearby Huddart Street, a few blocks from the sea.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Scotland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

21 May 2018 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
Video: 5 reasons you need to visit Islay

Video: 5 reasons you need to visit Islay

With its rugged, edge-of-the-world vistas, the stunning Hebridean island of Islay in Scotland's Argyll region has an aura of isolation. But as our videographer …

10 May 2018 • Rough Guides Editors
Hazy days on the Scottish Riviera: 5 reasons to visit Dumfries & Galloway now

Hazy days on the Scottish Riviera: 5 reasons to visit Dumfries & Galloway now

There are two very different streams down in Dumfries & Galloway, the region that makes up Scotland’s southwest corner. First, with the region sitting on …

27 Apr 2018 • Rough Guides Editors
View more featureschevron_right