Thurso Art Gallery (Swanson Art Gallery)
Visiting Thurso Art Gallery, Caithness
Located within the library in Thurso town centre, around a 30-minute drive from Mackays Hotel in Wick. This is a fantastic local art gallery for our guests to visit, formerly known as Swanson Art Gallery. It hosts a year-round programme of art exhibitions, showcasing local, national and international works.
History of the building
The building is very grand with classical-style pillars and a large clock tower. It first opened as a school called the Miller Institute in 1864, named after its benefactor Alexander Miller. Later it became Thurso Library and Swanson Art Gallery. It re-opened in 2015 after a major refurbishment.
On a 14-day NC500 trip staying in 10 different hotels, this one stood out food wise as the best, including over some more expensive accommodation. We had a DBB rate. Usually hotels only provide a table d’hote menu if dinner is included but McKays allowed us full range of the menu. Our dinner was perfect even without a glass of wine to go with our steaks due to covid regs in Scotland. The breakfast was also the best on our trip. Top marks to the kitchen staff. I gather the hotel is family run over a couple of generations and it shows. Friendly, attentive staff at reception and restaurant. Warm and welcoming.
What's on at Thurso Art Gallery?
Thurso Art Gallery hosts a packed programme of touring exhibitions and events, which runs all year-round. The programme is wide and varied, featuring artworks from around the world, from local talent to international artists. And covering many mediums, such as painting, photography, sculpture and textiles. You can check out the latest exhibition here.
More things to do in Thurso
Thurso attractions and activities
The town of Thurso makes for a great trip out from Wick. Only half an hour’s drive away, there are also regular buses and trains between Thurso and Wick. It is the northernmost town on mainland Scotland and Great Britain and close to Dunnet Head, the most northern point on the mainland. After visiting the art gallery and library, there are plenty of other attractions to discover. So why not make a day of it? Popular places to visit nearby include the Castle of Mey, Wolfburn Distillery and Old St Peter’s Church.
Caithness arts and culture
Explore more local museums and arts attractions
Mackays Hotel, in the far north of Scotland, is surrounded by a whole host of fantastic arts attractions, galleries and museums. There’s so much to enjoy in the local area during your stay with us. You’ll find more museums and galleries and many other great things to do near Wick in our extensive See and Do Guide.