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John O Groats Travel Guide - Scotland

John o'Groats is the most northerly settlement on the mainland of Great Britain and the name is famous as being synonymous with the end of the road. The name of the town comes from Jan de Groot, a Dutchman who obtained a grant from King James IV to operate a ferry between Scotland and the Orkney Islands in 1496. If you are driving here, the town is located about 6.5 hours drive from Glasgow and about 4.5 from Inverness.

There is still a ferry route operating from John o'Groats to Orkney. There are also boat tours that will take you out around the cliffs to see the unique formations as well as the numerous sea birds that nest here. You can also see displays of the wildlife of the area with a visit to the Dunnet Bay Natural History Display. Along with the hands on activities for children of all ages, you will gain valuable information about the habitats along the seashore. There are also guided walks available at this centre.

Learn about the history of the John o'Groats region with a visit to the "Last House in Scotland" where you will see some of the artefacts that have been loaned to the museum by residents of the area. There is no admission cost at this museum and you can even buy postcards here and have them stamped and posted from inside the building.

Take the scenic coastal walk from John o'Groats to Duncansby Head Lighthouse – a distance of three miles each way. The Duncansby Head Lighthouse is one of only a few square lighthouses left in the country. See the Stacks of Duncansby, which are giant stacks of rock standing out from the cliffs and are truly picturesque. A walk in Dunnet Forest is an adventure that will lift your spirits, as you can be alone with the sounds of nature.

Spend some time at the Craft Village of John o'Groats, where you are sure to find something unique to take back home with you, such as some knitwear or pottery. Have your picture taken next to the statue of Eric the Viking in the centre of this village. See the old icehouse at the harbour along with some of the fishing equipment used by the fishermen. Cromwell Bridge dates back to the 1650's when it was built by General Montrose's troops. The Caithness Residence of the late Queen Mother is only 6 miles from John o'Groats at the Castle of Mey and here you will see the interior rooms just as they were when she used to spend time here. Although you are not allowed to take any pictures inside, you can take pictures of the exquisite gardens.

With abundant accommodations, you will not have any difficulty finding a place to spend a night or a week when you come to John o'Groats.

Scottish Holidays is currently accepting photographs of John O Groats and would be delighted to publish your pictures of the area on our webpage for other fans of John O Groats to enjoy. To submit a photo, please contact us.