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The coast is close and the walking is splendid…

From here in Spittal, it’s just a fifteen minute drive to the east coast at Latheron (13 miles) and ten minutes to the north coast at Thurso (9 miles), with the most northerly tip around thirty 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’s paradise.    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, cliff tops 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 or follow the Fairy Glen route 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!

A very short walk over a gravel path to the Hide

                                   Having a wee rest on the Brig O’ Stack, just south of Old Wick Castle !