Tuesday travels . . . . John o’Groats

mum at John o'GroatsThis photo of my mum is obviously from quite some time ago, I guess it was early in the married life of my parents, about 1935.

John o’Groats is the northern tip of Scotland although apparently Dunnet Head is actually the most northerly point.

Dunnett Head

Dunnet Head was certainly windier than John o’Groats, when we visited.

Dunnet Head

John o’Groats is the point that attracts the most tourists, there is absolutely nothing at Dunnet Head apart from the lighthouse and adjoining buildings.

There is a signpost at John o’Groats where you used to be able to take a photo (free of charge).  This photo is from when we visited in 2003.

signpostNowadays the signpost is taken away at the close of business as apparently the right to use the sign is that of a business company who came up with the idea to have the signpost there.  I had no idea that was the case.  I thought the signpost was just part of the local area’s signage.

We were not prepared to pay money to have our photos taken with the sign but were not disappointed as a similar sign has been painted on the wall of the shop and it doesn’t cost anything to have your photo taken there.

John o'Groats

The hotel, or as it was once known, John o’Groats House, is in the process of renovation after having been vacant for several years.  Britain’s famous northern outpost was shamed into a makeover in 2010, after being voted the most dismal place in Scotland. This is how it looked in 2003

JoG house

This is how it looked in 2012.

John o'Groats houseThis is how it looks now.


Eco tourism is the thing at the moment and while we were there we saw the first of the few eco lodges that are being built in the area.

You can read all about the lodges and the inn at the website. 

The day we visited John o’Groats it was really clear and you could see the islands off the coast.

IslandsA beautiful place to visit.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Fiona Marsh says:

    Not sure that a couple of brightly painted building sorts out the “dismal” title. Wonder if the put “Eric” the Viking back yet?

    I was definitely most impressed by the cyclists that rode from the bottom of the UK!

    1. suth2 says:

      Yes the cyclists certainly deserve our admiration.
      I have no idea if Eric the Viking is back.

  2. I didn’t know that about the sign but the thing I remember about John O’Groats is the vast number of shells on the beach. I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many in one place, they were inches deep all along the bay. That’s a lovely picture of your mum and you did very well getting so far north on your travels.

    When I saw the title of your post I thought you might be going to mention the chap who’s just swum from Land’s End to John O’Groats. I don’t know if you’ve seen it online but it’s been in the news here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-24897204

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