Highland Explorer Part 3: Really High Up

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The plan for the next phase of our Highlands exploration was to get to the very end of the British/Scottish mainland. Many people we spoke to didn't seem to 'get' why we were driving so far to "see nothing". Ed and I were in agreement that there is something cool about having explored all four (ish) extreme corners of the country. Hard-core adventure junkies may well pooh-pooh our relatively comfortable and long drawn way of getting from Land End and Lizard (in 2011) to John O'Groats and Dunnet's Head but that's OK! Our first pit stop from Elgin to the end of the world was at Brora.

I was struck by how deprived and isolated Brora felt. I also wondered what the locals made of the referendum and its implications on their town. Worth mentioning here that I can actually ( and bizarrely!) vote but I haven't made my mind up yet. Also, you *must* try Harry Gow's ice cream shop in the centre of Brora. It has a scrumptious selection of ice cream, cakes and hot savoury food. It was here that I tried my first every Jap cake and that was yum! Nearby Dunrobin Castle is a historic place (and now a popular wedding venue) and worth checking out. The journey from Brora to John O Groats was incredibly quiet with stark landscapes all the way up. It felt remote, very remote.

What the folks say about John O'Groats is true....there isn't much to do. You could take a ferry to Orkney and I'm sure there few bits to do locally but not a lot. Dunnet's Head on the other hand is a true little gem. It is a stunning place, there are plenty of bird watching opportunities ( including puffin spotting) and it is great for walks. Ed and I got our kick scooters out and decided to have a little run around!

The other place worth visiting near Dunnet's Head ( as recommended by our B&B hosts in Thurso) is the Castle of Mey, the queen mother's residence in Caithness and the most northerly castle on the British mainland. I was hoping to tick lambing off my Spring bucket list around the area but it was too late! :(

Have you been to the Highlands or perhaps biked/walked up to John O'Groats? What are your thoughts? Ann x

Wearing: Michael Kors trench coat; Ash wedge trainers, Michael Kors bag, Johnston's of Elgin scarf, Cos top, Karen Millen skirt and Christin Dior Madrague sunglasses.

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