Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Day 18b: Duncansby Head and Dunnet Head

John o' Groats is the most north-easterly settlement on the British mainland, but there are points geographically more remote that are worth a visit. So, after half an hour or so looking around John o' Groats, I set off on a short 2-mile road to the east, leading to Duncansby Head, the most north-easterly point on the British mainland. Here stands a short lighthouse (being just 11m tall). A short walk south across the clifftops led me to some great views of the Stacks of Duncansby (pictured).

I then set off back along the A836 towards Thurso. About half-way along, I took a road going north-westerly, through the village of Brough and out onto the peninsula of Dunnet Head. The road gradually rose to a high point of just over 100m after about 5 miles, where I found another lighthouse - this one situated at the most northerly point on the British mainland. I ate a pleasant lunch here with spectacular views of rainbows framing the island of Hoy (one of the Orkneys) beyond the lighthouse.

Finally, I set off back to Thurso, with a couple of unexpected and fierce showers to remind me of the vagaries of the Scottish weather. The sun was shining again when I arrived back in Thurso, however - a wonderful end to a fantastic holiday!

Distance: 31.9 miles
Total ascent: 488m
Interactive route map and profile: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/2190


  1. Congrats, I was wondering how you did all day, lots of rain down here, so sounds like you had the best of it

  2. Congratulations!!

    Are you going to finish off your trip now and re-do those bits you walked on day 2?



  3. Going by the train journey home, Scotland has had the best weather over the last couple of days: blue skies and sunshine as far as Inverness, then a bit cloudier but still sunny to around Edinburgh, then grey and rainy the rest of the way!

  4. Jon - No, next year I'll be walking the route, but cycling those specific little bits ;-)

  5. Very impressive!!!!!!!!! Angus