Recent Posts

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Ordnance Survey / Photographic Competition
« Last post by Letsgonorth on November 03, 2018, 10:02:19 am »
The http://photographic competitionwill run until 10th December.  You will win two beautiful books. Funds to the Friends of the North Highland Way.
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Downloadable magazine / North Highland Way
« Last post by Letsgonorth on October 19, 2018, 08:34:55 am »
LetsGoNorth meets LetsGoSouth....a magazine focussing on walking, history and culture in selected places between Dunnet Head and the south of Spain.
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Problems / The Battle of Brough Bay
« Last post by Letsgonorth on September 27, 2018, 02:06:54 pm »
We had endless problems with the so-called community group, the Brough Bay Association.  They chopped up seats, stole signage, caused the Access Officer lots of headaches and then complained because they couldn't walk up the footpath from the Bay to between the houses of Windhaven and Little Clett.  We cleared it on a regular basis but still they complained.  It became known as the Battle of Brough Bay. https://broughbay.wordpress.com/
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The Route / The whole route
« Last post by Letsgonorth on September 22, 2018, 09:46:50 am »
The whole route is on Walking World.  We can create bespoke packages for those wanting to walk the whole thing or just part of it...complete with travel and accommodation in recommended bed & breakfasts and hotels.

http://www.walkingworld.com/Articles/Walk-articles/North-Highland-Way.aspx
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Wildlife watching / Wildlife watching
« Last post by Letsgonorth on August 31, 2018, 07:58:23 am »
Wildlife watching
Join Friends of the North Highland Way and help us develop the route across the north of Scotland!

A great walk from Duncansby Head to John o Groats!

http://<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uyIuvhUS9NE" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Wildlife
Caithness Sea Watching do a great job of watching the wildlife around Dunnet Head.  You can see them on Facebook.
 
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The Route / Walking routes
« Last post by Letsgonorth on August 31, 2018, 06:18:43 am »
Far to the north of Scotland lies Caithness, often known as the lowlands beyond the Highlands. Dunnet Head, the most northerly point on the UK mainland, lies at 58° 40′ 21″ N latitude and 3° 22′ 31″ W longitude and is further north than Moscow, parts of Alaska, and the most northerly point of the Danish mainland, Skagen.
120 miles north of Inverness, this far flung corner often gets overlooked by visitors, which is a great pity, as there is a wealth of archaeology, history, wildlife, visitor attractions, accommodation, restaurants, and above all great walking and facilities for the great outdoors in general. The night-time auroras, sunsets and sunrises fill the wide-open skies.
The population is about 30,000, mainly based around Thurso and Wick, but there are many outlying villages such as Halkirk (one of Scotland´s first planned villages), Dunnet (a great centre for recreation) and of course John o´Groats, the destination for many walkers and cyclists in their quest for the end to end journey from Land´s End.
Thurso's wealth has, for the last 50 years, been derived from the presence of the nuclear power station at Dounreay, currently being decommissioned. Ferries from Scandanavia, Orkney and Shetland call at Scrabster, the port beside Thurso, and an increasing number of cruise liners also call in during the summer months.
Wick is a more typical northern town, with its history stretching back to Viking and medieval times. The town's herring industry in the 1800s and the influence of Thomas Telford put Wick on the map, but it has been somewhat neglected since the demise of the former. The town is now being regenerated with investment in a new harbour and the Pulteneytown area, which is home to the local distillery by the same name.
The walking terrain and type of walking
Caithness caters for all kind of walker. From the highest peak of Morven (2315ft), to three miles of golden beach at Dunnet, and forest walks in Rumster Forest, there is something for everyone.
For easy walks, visit Achvarasdal Woods at Reay or Dunnet Forest at Dunnet. The Forestry Commission forests at Rumster (Caithness) and Borgie (Sutherland) also offer easy terrain and have a wealth of wildlife, birdlife and archaeology. Loch More in the hinterland offers 20 miles of forest-grade tracks. You can also alight from the train at Altnabreach and walk down to Halkirk, time trains permitting.
For moderate walks, try Dunnet Head and some of the coastal routes. There are no marked footpaths on Dunnet Head, but there are a number of walks on Walkingworld. The North Sea Trail, which offers a route around the periphery of the North Sea, has a section on the Moray Firth and has some great circular walks.
For more challenging terrain, try Morven, Scaraben, or Maiden´s Pap.
Where to stay
The area offers a wide range of accommodation from hotels and guest houses, to good quality bed & breakfasts and hostels.
Where and what to eat
Recommended is Le Bistro, Thurso, which specialises in local produce and has a wide range of dishes (closed Mondays) and Captain´s Galley, Thurso which specialises in fish (open all year).
Other outdoor activities
Wildlife watching, horse riding, surfing, cycling, fishing, paintballing,
Other points of interest
Castle of Mey; Mary Ann´s Cottage; Dunnet Head; John o Groats; RSPB Forsinard (just over the border in Sutherland); Flow Country; Wick Heritage Centre; Sinclair and Girnigoe castles – which are currently being renovated in a multi-million pound project.
Getting there
By air, there are flights into Wick from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Kirkwall (Orkney Islands). There are connections to Wick from Aberdeen originating in Norwich, Teeside, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Bristol, Southampton, Stornaway, Cardiff and Humberside. Alternatively, fly from Gatwick or Luton to Inverness, and drive from there.
By road, the main trunk road, the A9, from Inverness leads north along the coast, one of the most spectacular journeys you will ever drive, passing through picturesque villages such as Helmsdale and Berridale. Enjoy the Berridale Braes – a driving experience in themselves!
By train - Three trains a day leave Inverness to travel the 4 hours to Thurso or Wick. Again the scenery is stupendous as you travel along the coast to Helmsdale, and then across the famous Flow Country, now a National Nature Reserve.
By bus – Enjoy a relaxing 3 hour bus journey around the little villages of the Moray Firth and along the coast.
Contacts for tourist and travel information
Thurso Tourist Information is based at Caithness Horizons, Old Town Hall, High Street, Thurso KW14 8AJ. Tel. 01847 893155
John o'Groats Tourist Information – privately run. Tel: 01845 22 55 121
Wick Tourist Information Office, based in MacAllan's men's shop, High Street, Wick – privately run. Tel: 01845 22 55 121
Maps
Ordnance Survey Land Ranger maps LR12 and LR10
Ordnance Survey Explorer maps 451 and 450
Visit the the far north with LetsGoNorth – www.letsgonorth.com
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The Route / Heritage Path at Brough
« Last post by Letsgonorth on August 31, 2018, 06:16:58 am »
Heritage path at Brough - leading across Brough Grazings and to Courtfall Loch. Some of the local residents have placed sleepers in place so the ditch at the bottom of the field can be crossed.
Brough Heritage path
 
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The Route / Dunnet Head - Long Byre - Chapel Geo - Dwarwick Pier - Dunnet Head
« Last post by Letsgonorth on August 31, 2018, 06:12:08 am »
Dunnet Head – Long Byre – Chapel Geo – Dwarwick Pier – Dunnet Head
You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk. Join or log in above if you are already a member. Access is available to Walkingworld subscribers or you can buy the walk individually for £1.95 once you are logged in.
Magnificent views, many seabirds and archaeology make this a very special walk. Start at the Dunnet Head Lighthouse, built by Robert Stevenson in 1831, automated in 1989 and now owned by the Northern Lighthouse Board.
The route is mostly on sheep tracks, although it is more defined at the start near the lighthouse and at the Dwarwick Pier end. There are some interesting features such as the Long Byre where the local people kept their cattle and at Chapel Geo, the remains of a monk’s cell – not a lot can be seen.
It is rough going underfoot and can be peaty and boggy in places, so good footwear is recommended.
Features
Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Moor, Museum, Pub, Sea, Wildlife, Woodland
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The Route / Brough Castle Walk
« Last post by Letsgonorth on August 31, 2018, 06:09:43 am »
Brough Castle Walk
Brough Harbour – Marry Geo – Castle Remains – Kerry Geo
A short, circular walk along the coast between the old crofting village of Brough which is officially on Dunnet Head and Kerry Geo. Coastal erosion can make the route tricky underfoot in places but can be undertaken by people of moderate fitness. There are superb views to Hoy and Mainland Orkney.
The route starts between the houses Windhaven and Little Clett, where there is a sign for a seal-viewing point. Brough Bay, with its rock stacks of Little Clett, is home to a resident seal colony and there are many seabirds in this area, including kestrel, fulmar and black-backed gulls. From the little bridge there are magnificent views over the Pentland Firth to Hoy and Mainland Orkney, which give a real feeling of being in northern Scotland.
As you climb up from the bridge, look back at Dunnet Head in its splendour, with its peatlands and lochs.
The history of the castle of Brough is somewhat of a mystery, with eminent local historians and archaeologists both reporting that there is no documentation. The information supplied to the Canmore database by R G Lamb (1980) reports the castle as ‘one of a group of promontory-sited castles which includes Borve (NC76SW2) and the Old Man of Wick (ND34NE2). The keep is not recognisable’. Explore the promontory; if you look carefully at the vegetation, you can see circular patches where brochs might once have been.
The going underfoot is mainly easy but take particular care when you are close to the cliff edge.
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