Whoever you are, whatever you seek, it all starts here.

GPS Track Details
Track length: 193.9 km
Total ascent: 0 m
Total descent: 0 m
Difficulty Level: 3/5 - Medium
Overall rating: 5 (59 vote(s))
  • For Motorbike, Car, Bicycle, or WalkInverness to John o groats starting at Inverness the capital of the Highlands, take the A9 over the Kessock bridge to Tore through Duncanston, past Culbokie, meaning 'the haunted nook' is a small village in Ross and Cromarty, it is located on the north side of the Black Isle, the village is 3 miles south-east of Dingwall and about 9 miles north of Inverness, it is to the east, on the B1969.
  • The village has a main street and a pub, it has grown significantly in the last few years, with new houses being built to take advantage of the beautiful views across the firth, to the east of the village is Findon burn, which has a wooded gorge reputed to have been the home of a fairy who lured local men to the glen and kept them there.

Here you will find beautiful highland scenery alongside the River Conon, an area which thousands of visitors enjoy every year, situated close to Dingwall, the ancient Viking capital

  • From Culbokie to Tain

Continuing on the A9 to the bridge over the Dornoch Firth Bridge,

Travellers on the main road north have seen little of Tain since it was by-passed by the A9 in the 1980s. But it is worth the slight detour to take a look at what this town with its surprisingly grand collection of sandy coloured stone buildings has to offer, the centre of Tain is dominated by the massive and imposing tower, the tollbooth. This was first built in 1630 to house court offices and a jail, and to collect tolls and taxes from traders, here you will find the Glenmorangie Distillery dating back to the early early 1700s, once over the bridge carry on through Clasmore, and Evelix.

At this point you can take a detour on the A949 to Dornoch, on the north shore of the Dornoch Firth, near to where it opens into the Moray Firth to the east, this is a town and seaside resort, and former Royal burgh in the county of Sutherland,

Dornoch dates back a thousand years, and it became a Royal Burgh in 1628, you will find a championship golf course immediately to the east of the town.

Here you will find miles of golden sand from Dornoch Point heading past Embo beach to the mouth of Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve, further north along the coast there are two other award-winning beaches located at Golspie and Brora, with Special Scientific Interest that features nesting birds, flora and fauna.

  • From Dornoch

Take the B9168 back to the A9 at Poles past loch fleet to Golspie, the village of Golspie boasts a lovely long sandy beach and there are a number of great scenic walks around the area including one at the Big Burn with its spectacular waterfalls.

Here you will find Dunrobin Castle a stately home in Sutherland, in the Highland area of Scotland, and the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland and the Clan Sutherland. It is located 1 mile north of Golspie, and approximately 5 miles south of Brora, overlooking the Dornoch Firth.

  • From Golspie

Continue on the A9, along the coastline through rural quaint villages and towns on the route through to Brora here you will find an interesting mix of coastal resort and industrial town, having been home until the 1970s to Scotland's most northerly coal mine, on the south side of the river is Brora's attractive small harbour from here the coast curves around a slight headland were you will find two rows of white-painted cottages, once used by the fishermen who used the harbour.

  • From Brora

Continue on the A9, through the Highland coastal villages and towns of Lothmore, Kilmote, Portgower, to Helmsdale, these areas are on the east coast of Sutherland, communities that had been removed from the surrounding regions, as part of the Highland Clearances.

In 1814, the region was resettled, so communities could rebuild.

  • From Helmsdale

Continue on the coastal route A9 to Latheron here you take A99 to the town of wick through the Highland coastal villages and towns of Foris, Swiney, Lybester, Octminster, MidClyth, Thrumster, Whiterow, Ackergill, Keiss, Auckengi, Freshwick, to finish at Lands End John O Groats.

  • From John O Groats

Take the A836 to Thurso to Scrabster to get the Ferry to Orkney as part of this fantastic route

This is the first half of the North coast 500 route taking the East coast, from here you continue on the next stage.

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