Duncansby Head, Caithness
Many beeline to John o’ Groats to stand at the north-east corner of Britain and photograph the famous sign pointing 874 miles to Land’s End in the mainland’s far south-west. The village is not wholly inspiring – it once won a Carbuncle Award as the most dismal in Scotland – and it’s not in fact at Britain’s north-east extremity. That accolade belongs to Duncansby Head, a couple of miles further into the North Sea. Walk south from its lighthouse atop high sandstone cliffs incised by coves, including the letterbox-like Geo of Sclaite where the tight walls funnel the din of nesting seabirds in summer, and by the arch of Thirle Door, to see the great fins of the Stacks of Duncansby, like monstrous sharks circling out in the waves.
WALK HERE: Park by pier in John o’ Groats (grid ref ND380733) and walk coast east to Duncansby Head, then south down clifftops to Hill of Crogodale with views of the stacks. Return same way or cut north-west to village.