Scotland North Coast 500: John o Groats to Dornoch

We woke to a bright morning and a beautiful rainbow as we ate breakfast.

We bid goodbye to our delightful B&B hostess and hurried to the Duncan’s By sea stacks. The sun was glorious and treated us to yet another rainbow as we set off across the boggy moor to the cliff edge.

The sea and winds have shaped the rocks into stand alone stacks which look as though someone had built them like Lego bricks!

The ground was particularly boggy in parts which took some manoeuvring and leaps of faith to try not to get our feet too wet, my sister knows only too well Amr does not like getting his feet dirty, even in his hiking boots!

One of the stacks seems to remind me of a Tutankhamen statue,

another of a human face,

of course both Amr and Sally by this time though I was mad! Lots of jokes about an 18 year old pharaoh could have made the journey across from Egypt to the north of Scotland!

The sun was reflecting beautifully in the sea and silhouetting the stacks. As we turned to make our return journey the sky changed, blue became black, and the wind was whipping itself up again.

And then, the power shower that’s called a rainstorm started at full force. Of course the route back was an uphill climb, against the wind and rain, and by the time we got back to the car we were soaked right through. So wrapped up in how wet we were and trying to dry ourselves off (fortunately I had had the forethought to bring a towel with us) that we completely forgot to go to the John o Groats signpost for the iconic photograph!

Our next stop was to be the Whaligoe Steps, where the fishermen’s women would bring the fish up to the cottages above, however as we arrived, wondering whether we were really mad to try and negotiate these 300+ steps down the cliff to the shore in the driving rain, we were almost relieved to read the sign which said the steps were closed for repair.

As we made our way south the ran eased off and the seat warmers started to dry us off, we stopped briefly in Wick at Tesco’s for supplies and Sally took the opportunity to get changed!

We stopped at the roadside and ate sandwiches as we admired the views.

Dunrobin Castle was our next stop. We had originally planned to go to the Falls of Shin for the salmon leap, but as the salmon had already leapt and were probably now breeding we decided it wasn’t worth the extra mileage.

Such a beautiful castle and interior,

bored Sally time death with stories of my childhood at my Nanas house,

and was reminded of the upstairs downstairs life when I was a private nurse to and ex MP and his wife in their stately home.

We arrived in good time at Dornoch for our overnight stay, and enjoyed a walk round the pretty village and arty shops before dinner which can only be described as a Fawlty Towers experience!

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