Day 101 John O’Groats to Dunnet Head 15mls

So much for thinking the last stretch was a short one. It turned out that I’d missed a bit out when I’d printed out the map sheets.

I had a grandstand view of the sea from my tent at last nights campsite. The wind was strong, but coming from the south so blowing me in the right direction. Ha,yet another barbed wire fence in this photo, but at least I didn’t have to cross this one.

The required photo of the John O’Groats signpost. Nice and early so no crowds around.Then it’s off on my last mega road hike. I stopped for a rest at Cannisby church where there was a bench out of the wind.

The view of the Orkney islands was lovely, but with a choppy sea, I’m sure the ferry passengers were not so enthusiastic.

I was interested to see the church still had an ancient harmonium standing in a corner.

There was also the gravestone of Jan de Groot( John O’Groats), from the Sixteenth century. It was moved to the church in more recent times.

After I’d passed the ferry terminal,I walked up a track and joined a very much smaller road.

The single track road was quieter to start with, but in Caithness roads are often very straight, and distances slightly depressing. Dunnet Head can be seen far, far away.

Things were livened up later by three large tractors and trailers which were moving loads of stone and which kept passing me. The game was called ‘can you get to the passing bay before the juggernaut squishes you’. Actually it wasn’t that bad, as the drivers were very polite.

Eventually I reached the coast again at the start of Dunnet Head. The cliffs grew increasingly high from here.

The landscape was now much more scenic with little lochs and an old tumbledown mill. The marshes were full of birds. Roads were back to having bends.

When I saw a café,my heart leapt,but no,it was firmly closed. Instead,I sat outside and ate my lunch. A passing German campervan stopped, presuming that food was being served. I overheard the following:’ Can we order food?’. ‘No , we’re shut’. Pointing at me ,’ But this person is eating’. ‘ No, we’re shut’. With much rolling of eyes,and hand gestures he drove off.

In all truth,why would a cafe be closed at midday,in peak season on a tourist route?

As the cliffs became higher, the landscape returned to moorland. Some flowers were definitely out of place.

The road wound up and around, and then at the top of the last hill, there were the gates to the lighthouse and the end of my journey.

Dunnet Head was a suitably dramatic venue for the end of my adventures. Amazing views all around up to the islands and back at where I’d been. In fact way more impressive than John O’Groats,in the same way that Lands End was overshadowed by the Lizard.

I was met by Martin for yet more photos before we headed off to find somewhere for a nice cup of tea or three. Now my last challenge is to learn not to take uht milk sachets or paper napkins from cafes because they might be useful.

16 thoughts on “Day 101 John O’Groats to Dunnet Head 15mls

  1. Lovely, lovely ending. You look so fit and well even tho in reality exhausted I guess. So so well done Janet. And so marvellous backed up, Martin. Sleep tight and no worries for tomorrow xxx


    1. Thank you Liz. The ending was truly wonderful. And yes I now feel really rather tired, so as you’ve said it’s going to take a while to recover. I just loved the whole thing. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Blimey! Janet – you did it! Well done, I will miss reading your blog at bedtime.
    Seriously though – what an amazing achievement.
    Love Scarlett x


    1. Yes, definitely blimey. I can’t believe it myself yet. And now my feet and legs are truly on strike because I’m hobbling around like I’m 95. Thank you for your supportive comments over the last months.See you again before too long xx


  3. Toot toot, trumpet fanfare => you did it! Not that it was in doubt from when I saw you near Telford, you looked strong then. Very well done to you, and how wonderful to have Martin to support you in the last stages.
    And thanks for he tip about UHT sachets – that hadn’t occurred to me!


    1. Ha ha, that’s the sort of bad habits life on the move can do to you. Thanks for your support over the last few weeks and I now looking forward to reading more of your blog reports. Martin has enjoyed being in Scotland and having some transport and accommodation with him has certainly helped me avoid more b&bs. I’m really excited for you as you have all of Scotland to look forward to.x


  4. Congratulations! Tony and I have enjoyed following your blog – though I have to say we’ve been grateful at times to have been reading it in the comfort of our house.
    Fantastic you’ve done it.


    1. Thank you Sharon. I was so happy to have finally got there.Mankinholes seems a very long time ago now but I did enjoy walking through the Pennines.All the very best wishes for future endeavours.


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