Free car park!!
Over-hyped and over commercialised.
Nothing worth seeing apart from views of Stroma.
There is a full service Post Office in John O’Groats. This means you can buy individual stamps for your postcards – without the requirement to buy them in books, pay a service charge or buy anything else. They do ‘hand frank’ you postcards and letters so you get the most authentic post stamp on your mail items. They also do other Post Office...more
I had never heard of a geo before but now,once seen, never forgotten! There are so many of these deep inlets that have been naturally cut into the huge cliff faces, in this part of Scotland, that you could become a little blase about them, but then again, maybe not.This is geo of Sclaites enroute to Duncansby stacks and quite takes your breath...more
Never mind John o'Groats, when in this neck of the woods, press on to Duncansby Head. This is the true most north easterly point of Scotland and well deserves it's title.It is surrounded by the notorious Pentland Firth to the north and the Moray Firth to the south and is a haven for seabirds and sealife in general.Follow the minor road east from...more
Out and about on the motorbike, we called into Gills Bay. This is quite a large, industrial type harbour where ferries leave for Orkney and nearby islands, crossing the infamous Pentland Firth, notorious for it's ferocious tidal currents. There is a grand view across the bay to the uninhabited island of Stroma where sheep graze amongst the many...more
This place, located around 2 kms to the east of John O’Groats is the northeasternmost tip of Britain. Therefore, it is a popular stop for tourist buses. Beside its geographically extraordinary location, it is well visited because of the view onto the Pentland strait and – on clear days – the Orkney Islands. The lighthouse standing there was once...more
To most tourists, this can be the largest disappointment. The famous signpost is an expensive business which is operated by the same guys as the sign at Land’s End. You can have your photo taken there for a fee of 8 GBP (2010). Count in an additional pound, if you would like your picture to be sent to a non-UK address. The price includes sending...more
These rock formations are around 3 kilometers to the east/southeast away from John O’Groats. They can be reached by walking along the coast (via Duncansby Head) or by a walking path starting in the village of John O’Groats (the houses 500 meters inland, not the parking lot). They are dominated by two pointy rocks which were formed from erosion of...more
Apart from using the public toilet (£0.20) you can do one useful thing at Jo'G...go see the sea stacks at Duncansby Head.They are created by wave erosion of the sandstone cliffs.Unfortunately it had started to rain just as I arrived, and whilst I had wet weather stuff in my suitcase, really didn't want to unpack in the car park. As a result, I only...more
Land's End and John O' Groats are at the extreme ends of Britain. Land's End is more dramatic. There really isn't all that to do or see at John O' Groats. The Last House in Scotland is just a tourist trap. The pipe band gives a bit of culture, and that's about it. On a clear day the islands of Orkney can be seen.Have a cup of tea or an icecream and...more
When the cafés around the parking lot are closed, the Seaview Hotel is the place where you will find all the people which are looking for a snack or a drink. Maybe this is the place where you will find the real hikers and bikers – at least, this was my experience. The ground floor is divided into two areas. One is used as a restaurant for hotel guests as well as for larger events such as parties. The other one has a more pub-like atmosphere with a selection of ales and pub food like salads and fries. Prices are reasonable for such a touristy area but slightly over a pub in places like Wick. As I was just there for food and drink, I can’t say anything about the hotel. But after positive experiences with the friendly staff, I think that a stay there could be enjoyable too. Just keep in mind that the hotel/restaurant is located in the village itself and not at the touristy parking lot. That means, that the seaview is half a kilometre away from the sea...
Favorite Dish: Fish salad with a pint of local ale
Many people reach John O’Groats by foot, bike, car or even by ferry from the Orkneys. Still, there is the possibility to got there by bus. Two bus lines running several times a day (services are less frequent on Saturdays, no services on Sundays) link John O’Groats with the next larger towns, Wick and Thurso. They stop at all the settlements in...more
John O’Groats is the theoretical end of the road in the UK. It is 874 miles from here to Land’s End. Its actually the next place over that is really the end of the road, but John O’Groats has been set up as a touristy and imaginary end.
So just imagine. You have lost a loved one to cancer or some disease. You get sponsorship and take your friends to raise money to help prevent other families form suffering. You bike/hike/motorbike/run the full 874 miles.
And there it is!
The signpost at the end of your noble journey.
And it’s roped off. And some guy tells you that if you want a picture of you and fellow campaigners anywhere near the signpost – YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT.
Yes, the signpost (according to the smaller sign) became a concept in the 1950’s. And – according again to the small notice- it’s a private business set-up because the signpost was stolen and/or vandalised so many times. Fair enough. And that they take the signpost home at night. Fair enough. But then I do have a problem.
This could have been run by the local Council (local government),. They run the next door public toilets you have to pay for. They even have staff. Yes, the local government could have run this for the benefit of the local taxpayers and done this in a sensitive manner and had a big sign before the signpost explaining there is a charge, but its there to keep the area nice. People could accept that.
What people don’t like is when they see no one around and walk over the little chain and some guy comes running from behind them (out of a nearby building) to shout that it’s private – and to read the small piece of paper stapled at the bottom of the signpost!
Just a poor show all around. Especially when so many thousands of people each year make the journey for charity.
You think they could handle this a lot better. Sorry – a lot better.
If you wish to explain your displeasure with this outfit - based 800 miles away! - their detials are:
Courtwood Photographic Ltd
Unit 2, Plot 1a, Rospeath Ind. Estate.
Crowlas, Cornwall TR20 8DU England
Tel: (+44) 1736 741 222
For the record: It took me 13 years to get from Lands End (1997) to John O'Groats (2010)
To be fair they do the photos professionally and within minutes,. They also add destinations for you so you can have your hometown, etc. on the signpost. They also put the date on.
Do like I did and wait till the man goes in to process someone else's photos and snap away next to the signpost anyway! It is NOT a criminal matter. And there are no Police here anyway. Hopefully you have a large group. Also the Café has free toilets so avoid the pay ones as well. At least that is locally owned.
Whilst camped at Nybster, we took the motorbike along to Skirza, down to the pier. This is in fact another of those little harbours, sufficient for the locals small boats. It was incredibly sheltered here despite it blowing a gale where we were camped.We stopped to admire a wonderful vegetable garden and were soon in conversation with the proud...more
This beautiful wild bay was completely unexpected - on the way back from Skirza at the end of the road, I noticed a dirt track heading to the coast. The map told us it ended by a beach so being on the motorbike we followed the track to the end. Wow! Here we found a fantastic sandy bay with not a soul about and room to camp, had we wanted (although...more