- Overall Track Difficulty: Easy
- Area Information:
Inverness to Thurso it is 110 miles along the A9, Then onto Scrabster, Inverness is the administrative centre for The Highland Council and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands, it was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim in the 12th century. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen at its north-eastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth.
- First Stage Difficulty: Easy
- First Stage Information:
Heading North of Tore Roundabout the A9 is entirely single carriageway, it can get very busy at times with traffic, The section between Tore and the junction with the A949 at Clashmore near Dornoch is compliant with good forward visibility and overtaking opportunities. The route follows the coast through this section and the alignment is generally made up of tight radius bends with poor forward visibility that present few overtaking opportunities. There is a substantial change in altitude north of Helmsdale a modern village that was planned in 1814 to resettle communities that had been removed from the surrounding straths as part of the Highland Clearances. From here the A9 climbs from sea level to over 200 metres on the recently improved section over the Ord of Caithness. From Helmsdale to Latheron on the A9 is about 20 miles it becomes a route crossing the exposed heather and moorland, this is a popular destination, the surrounding area boasts a fantastic variety of accommodation and things to do. The facilities for walkers, anglers, shooters, golfers and cyclists The route is generally good with excellent forward visibility,
- Second Stage Difficulty: Easy
- Second Stage Information:
The main A9 road runs past Spittal, the area is overwhelmingly rural with agriculture predominating to the north from the A9 you will take the junction at Wick onto the A882 to Thurso and through the town centre to end at the port facilities at Scrabster Harbour. Wick is a royal burgh, The town straddles the River Wick and extends along both sides of Wick Bay, The town has a vibrant shopping centre with a diverse selection of traditional shops as well as high street chains, cafés, restaurants, hotels and a caravan site. The name comes from the Norse Vik, meaning bay, and it was the Vikings who first used the mouth of the River Wick where it flows into Wick Bay as a harbour for their longships and trading vessels. Today's Wick is an interesting mix of influences and elements, the road links John O’Groats with the south heading north of the town, here you will find the Wick John O’Groats Airport which has scheduled flights to and from Aberdeen and Edinburgh, It is also regularly used by helicopters servicing local offshore oil operations, and as a stop-over by light aircraft ferry flights between Europe and North America via Iceland. Thurso is Britain’s most northerly mainland town, it is a hive of lovely traditional shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, riverside strolls, a circular well house, public library, fascinating museum exhibits and a changing annual gallery programme, it has a pretty town beach. Scrabster is a small settlement on Thurso Bay, It is some 1 ¹⁄₂ miles from Thurso, 22 ¹⁄₂ miles from Wick and 112 miles from Inverness. Scrabster Harbour is also an important port for the Scottish fishing industry. Ferries for Orkney leave from Scrabster, 2.5 miles away, if you’re heading west or across to Orkney the town provides accommodation to suite every pocket for an overnight stop.
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