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Things to do in
John o' Groats

John o' Groats

Our most recommended things to do in John o' Groats

Inverness: John O'Groats and the Far North Tour

1. Inverness: John O'Groats and the Far North Tour

Your tour departs Inverness before traveling north, up to Loch Fleet to the village of Golspie. The village, situated on the north sea coast is nestled next to Ben Bhraggie and is an attractive little seaside resort complete with long sandy beaches. You will be able to spend time here for refreshments, before continuing on to Dunrobin Castle. A stately home in Sutherland, Dunrobin Castle is the family seat of Clan Sutherland. It resembles a French chateau with it’s towering spires, and overlooks the Moray Firth. You will spend time here exploring the beautiful stately home whilst enjoying some refreshments. You will then continue north through the Helmsdale Clearance to the Highland town of Wick for your lunch break. A former Viking settlement, Wick is the principal town in the far north of mainland Scotland. You can spend time exploring the town and taking in the views across Wick Bay whilst you enjoy your lunch. From Wick, you will then travel to John O’Groats; the most northerly point on British mainland. Here you’ll be able to stroll along the cliff path, take iconic photos at the signpost, and enjoy dramatic coastal views, perhaps even seeing some local wildlife! From John O’Groats, you will begin to make your way back to Inverness. You will travel to Dunbeath Harbor for photos, and to Brora, famous for its golf courses and magnificent coastal scenery.

Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

2. Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

Drive to the top of Scotland on a scenic 5-day tour, and learn the history of the Highlands at sites such as the battlefield of the Macdonald clan massacre, and Stirling Castle. Spend the day on the Orkney Isles, and travel the northenmost coast of mainland Scotland. The tour is by luxury 16-seat Mercedes minibus for a more intimate experience, while bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in Inverness, the lovely town of Kirkwall, and the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh, heading west towards Stirling. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, and continue to Doune Castle, used for location shoots in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” Stop in the small town of Callander for refreshments. Then, marvel at the splendor of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle, and Glen Dochart on a scenic drive over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor. The views of the extinct volcano will take your breath away, and were also the scene of the infamous Clan Macdonald massacre of 1692. Continue north up the Great Glen to mysterious Loch Ness, with plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster. The evening will be spent in Inverness, with free time to explore the “Capital of the Highlands.” Day 2: Depart Inverness early to cross over the Black Isle and past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here, drive the northeast coastline, traveling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Enjoy the views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, and the chance to spot wildlife such as golden eagle and red deer. Close to Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John O’ Groats, board the ferry to cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago. It is a short drive on arrival to the famous Italian Chapel, where you will stop for a quick visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, your home for the next 2 nights. Look inside Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking cathedral, and wander the winding streets of the historic town center. Day 3: Explore the ancient island of Orkney, and discover a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands, and washed by the waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions in the 12th century. Day 4: It’s time to leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here, travel across the very top of Scotland, driving past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, following the rocky cliffs and stunning golden sand beaches of the northern coastline. Go to the far northwest of the Highlands, and admire the grandeur of the wild Assynt mountains. Stop to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. Continue to Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend your last night. Day 5: Your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the ancient Clava Cairns, as well as exploring the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield. Return south through the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, driving past the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Highland Perthshire, before your drop off in Edinburgh.

North Coast 500: 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Inverness

3. North Coast 500: 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Inverness

Day 1: Set off from Inverness and begin your journey on Scotland’s ‘Route 66’. It’s an epic drive with loads to squeeze in. Just make sure you have plenty of space on your camera. Heading for Ullapool, you will spend the first day weaving through the North Coast 500’s winding roads. Your driver-guide will take you to towering mountains, banks of shimmering lochs, and the shores of beautiful beaches. We reach the scenic port town of Ullapool in the late afternoon. Day 2: Today, the scenery gets progressively more beautiful, rocky, and mountainous. As you travel north, your driver-guide will take you to some of the most beautiful sights in Scotland. Your itinerary depends on the weather and your guide’s expert tips, but you may have a chance to venture into the deep Smoo Cave, wander the ruins of Ardvreck Castle, and gaze at gorgeous white beaches. You stop for lunch in a Highland village and spend the evening in the beautiful town of Thurso. Day 3: Today, get plenty of opportunities to explore cosy fishing villages, epic cliffs, and ancient Neolithic sights. In the morning you will have a chance to visit a fine Scottish Highland Whisky distillery. The road leads you further south, where you have a chance to stop for lunch. Continue on your epic North Coast 500 route southwards where you can enjoy the green valleys and sea views as you travel to Dunrobin Castle. You have time to explore the stately home, learn about the Dukes of Sutherland, and find out how it has been used as both a school and a hospital. Finally, you will arrive back in Inverness in the early evening to finish your tour.

Orkney Islands and Highlands: 3-Day Tour from Inverness

4. Orkney Islands and Highlands: 3-Day Tour from Inverness

Day 1 We begin our journey north, passing through the stunning scenery of the Black Isle on our way to Orkney. There will be a short stop in Golspie where you will have the opportunity to buy some lunch to have on the ferry. After this, we will have a short stop at the Helmsdale Clearance to take photos of the Emigrants Statue. We continue to Gills Bay to catch the ferry to Orkney before arriving at St Margaret's Hope shortly after. We head to our first landmark on the islands, the Italian Chapel, here you can choose to enter for a small fee, or simply enjoy it as a photo stop. From there, and before your arrival at Kirkwall, we could enjoy a couple of different activities depending on weather and time available. We could head onwards to Inganess Beach, marked by the wreck of the Juniata, a World War 2 blockship, or visit St Magnus Cathedral and have a short tour of Kirkwall. There could also be the opportunity for a visit to Scapa Distillery for a tour and tasting*. After this, we will arrive in Kirkwall where you will check in to your accommodation for the evening. Kirkwall is the capital of Orkney where you will stay for both nights of our tour. Orkney has a fascinating Viking history which you will learn about from your Driver-Guide throughout the tour! Day 2 After an island breakfast, we will depart Kirkwall and head to the Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn, a Neolithic tomb that gives us a glimpse into the lives of some of Scotland's earliest agricultural communities. From there, we continue on to Skara Brae, Europe's best-preserved Neolithic village. After this, we head to the seaside town of Stromness for a lunch stop, where you can enjoy views over the marina, before we begin our journey to the Stones of Stenness, four standing stones that are potentially some of the oldest in the country. They, along with Skara Brae, are part of the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney" and have World Heritage Site status. We get an insightful glimpse at Orkney's military history at our next stop, the HMS Tern, an airfield set up by the Royal Navy during WWII. After this, we journey towards the Broch of Gurness, an amazingly preserved "broch" village from the Iron Age. We then return to Kirkwall for your second night stay. Day 3 We get ready to leave Kirkwall and head back to St Margaret's Hope for the short crossing to Gills Bay. We head to John O'Groats for lunch, the most northerly point on mainland Britain. A range of wildlife can usually be seen here such as Atlantic puffins, seals, a variety of birds and possibly even an orca! Take photos of the iconic sign post and the colourful buildings before we continue to Castle Sinclair Girnigoe dramatically situated on a cliff's edge. Should the weather not be on our side, we will instead continue onwards to Wick. After this, we will start our homeward journey back to Inverness, with comfort stops at Dunbeath Harbour and Golspie on the way.

Other Sightseeing Options in John o' Groats

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What people are saying about John o' Groats

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 401 reviews

Liked most: the castle, even though it was kind of touristy we loved the falconry exhibit. Also, Seeing new landscapes and learning from Liall about local history and goings on. Liked that it was a small tour and our guide was very personable. Improve: a bit more info about Wick’s herring industry. We heard a little, and saw some photo posters. It seemed like a very interesting time when it was booming!

It was a lovely day with lots of different places to visit and beautiful scenery. We had plenty of time to explore and enjoy the sights. Luke the guide/ driver was very friendly and knowledgeable.

Very good day ! If you want to discover the north but not bother renting a car, and be efficient in one day , it’s perfect. It’s a big day worth the money (8am-7pm). Malcolm the guide was great !

Interesting tour with good balance between stops and driving. Fantastic view over the wild Ocean. Good informations.

It was a great activity. The driver guide was funny and knowledgeable without being stuffy or boring.