Luxury 4 Star Gold B&B, 10 minutes south of Thurso Tel: 01847 841391
The coast is close and the walking is truly splendid…
From here in Spittal, it’s just a 15 minute drive to the northeast coast at Latheron (13 miles)and 10 minutes to the north coast at Thurso (9 miles), with the most northerly tip of the UK around 30 minutes by car to Dunnet Head. The very top section of coast road from Latheron to Thurso via John O’Groats is around 50 miles and forms part of the route now known as the NC500, which is just over 500 miles around the far North Coast of Scotland. While many prefer to travel anti-clockwise on their NC500 tour. allowing more time on the single track roads on the west coast with spectacular vistas around Loch Eriboll and the beautiful Ceannabeinne Beach. Take the zip line if you dare! The east coast is a walker’sparadise. Drive to the coast, anywhere on the coast and enjoy a fabulous walk. The John O’Groats Trail is a coastal walking route, traversing back lanes, footpaths, clifftops and shorelines from John O’Groats to Inverness (147 miles). We’ve been fortunate to join the John O’Groats Trail Ranger and the Highland Rangers, to take sections of the walk, with such splendid sites we may never have found ourselves.
Walking from Staxigoe Village Hall to Noss Head Lighthouse and Castle Sinclair Girnigoe While our walk with the Rangers went on to Keiss Beach, this was a one-way journey! The coastal route goes over the cliff top at Sandigoe Beach and past Ackergill Tower.
Set off at the beach beside Freswick Castle along the clifftop to the ruins of Buchollie Castle. It is possible to climb into the castle ruins and walk all the way around the outside too.
Take a Day Trip out west to Durness and brave the zip line at Ceannabeinne Beach While parts of the road are single track, there are plenty of passing places, There are many steps down to the beach or a steep meander from the hilltop.
Enjoy walks from Latheronwheel Harbour, over the stone bridge and through the stile for a clifftop walk, return via the Fairy Glen and follow the Strath through the woodland.
A bird photographer’s dream is the Hide at St. John’s Pool, Brough, near Dunnet, open 10am - 6pm during the breeding season from mid April to the end of July. Take binoculars and a camera and be mesmerised!
Having a wee rest on the Brig O’ Stack, just south of Old Wick Castle!
A very short walk over a gravel path to the Hide
High on the clifftop of Berriedale lies the Clearance village of Badbea The monument on the left is a moving reminder to commemorate the people who were evicted from their crofts to live on this barren landscape beside the sea. The remains of 12 stone cottages can be seen where 80 people tried to make a living. Information panels are beside the car park and the memorial.
A visit at the end of November or early December will give the opportunity to see suckling seal pupsat Sarclet Haven and Ires Geo. A fabulous walk along the Corbigoe Coast past the Needle Eye Rock at Ashes Geo. The suckling pups can gain up to 30kg in their first 4 weeks, before shedding their furry coat andgaining a sea-worthy skin, and head out to sea to learn to fish for themselves. There were nine pups at Ashes Geo when we visited with the Highland Ranger in Novembr 2019.
Hush… the fairies are fast asleep at the Fairy Glen on the Latheronwheel Strath!