Dun­cansby Head, Caith­ness

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Discover -

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.

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