John O'Groats: A Complete Guide

Find out all you need to know including what to do, where to stay, where to eat and how to get to John O'Groats, North Scotland.

About John O’ Groats
John O’Groats is the most north easterly point of the UK mainland. The village is named after Jan De Groot, a Dutchman who ran ferry crossings from John O’Groats to the Orkney Isles in the fifteenth century. Now John O’Groats is famous as the destination of those making journeys across the UK some 874 miles - from Land’s End in western Cornwall, England. 
Located along the North Coast 500, John O’Groats is 120 miles north of Inverness and 270 odd miles north of Edinburgh.
What to do in John O’Groats
For those visiting John O’Groats, consider:

* John O'Groats Ferries
Boat trips run from the harbour at John O’Groats including a 90-minute wildlife cruise which takes passengers by the uninhabited island of Stroma and Duncansby Stacks. Day trips also operate to the Orkney islands.

* Duncansby Stacks
 Duncansby Head is a 10-minute drive or 2-mile walk from John O’Groats. From here you can walk a further 10 minutes along the coast to see the sea stacks
What to do near John O’Groats 
Within a short drive of John O’Groats, you have: 

* Castle of Mey
 An intimate historic home formerly owned by the Queen Mother and a key castle on the North Coast 500, along with Dunrobin Castle near Golspie. 

 The most northerly point of the UK mainland. Known for its bird watching, long sandy shore, community woodland and delicious gin distillery.  

 A key town along the North Coast 500, which was formerly the most important herring fishing port in Scotland. Now home to Old Pulteney whisky.
Where to eat in John O’Groats
John O’Groats has a handful of small cafes in its centre which are open seasonally for lunch including Stacks Bistro and Roads End Cafe.  There is an ice cream shop, Flavours, selling locally produced Orkney and Capaldi ice cream.

Where to shop in John O’Groats
For gifts, consider:

* The Gallery
a shop selling the arts and crafts of a collective of local artists.

* The North Coast Emporium
 for a selection of local gifts and products, including smoked butter, jams, chutneys, sweets, accessories and furniture.
Where to stay in John O’Groats
* Hotels The main hotels in John O’Groats are Natural Retreats and the Seaview Hotel.

* Bed and breakfast & self-catering apartments
 There is a small handful of B&Bs in and near John O’Groats. 

* Camping
 The John O’Groats Caravan and Camping Site is located in the centre of John O’Groats, near the coast. 
How to get to John O’Groats
* By Car Follow the A9 and the A99 north from Inverness. The journey is around 3 hours.

* By Train
The Far North Railway Line from Inverness to Wick is around 4.5 hours and a picturesque journey. A bus runs from Wick to John O’Groats and is around 30 minutes. Alternatively, it is a 35-minute bus from Thurso.

* By Bus
The X99 coach from Inverness to Wick is around 3 hours. The bus from Wick to John O’Groats is around 30 minutes.

* By Plane
 Wick John O’Groats or Inverness Airport
Where to go next 
North: to the Orkney Isles with a ferry from Gills Bay, 3 miles west of John O’Groats. A passenger-only ferry operates from John O’Groats harbour.

towards Durness, via MeyDunnet, Thurso, Scrabster and Tongue.

 via Wick, Lybster, Helmsdale, Brora, Dunrobin Castle, Golspie and Dornoch to Inverness.
See next: the drive from Wick to John O'Groats