The Beach and John O’Groats Harbour

The Beach at John O’Groats

The Beach at John O’Groats is an intimate lovely sandy beach; , an active harbour and impressive cliff top walks where grey seals lying out on the rocks and other heads bobbing in the water. Coastal walks dominate the area; at the famous sea stacks of Duncansby Head interesting puffins and seabirds will accompany you as you stroll along. A perfect break for birdwatchers, cyclists and coastal walkers. Nearby Thurso is one of Europe’s top surfing.

Find “Groatie Buckies” – Look carefully and you will find the small sea-shell known as the Groatie Buckie. This is also known as the European Cowrie.

Shell Beach is between John O’ Groats and Duncansby Head and is so called beacuse the sand is made up of broken shells. It’s amazing.

Groatie Buckies at at John O'Groats Beach

Stroma, suddenly illuminated in a patch of sunlight, or to watch the Merry Men of Mey becoming wilder and whiter as the ebb tide builds against a strong westerly. Read more about The Island of Stroma

John O’Groats Harbour

Access point: Continue along A99 through John O’Groats village – harbour and craft village are well signed.
Grid Ref: ND 380 735.
Site description: Busy harbour, ferry terminal with extensive tourist attractions and shops.
Access for special needs: Hard surface paths.
Opening times/best time to visit: Summer.
Who to contact before you visit: Open access. Ferry operators Tel: 01955 611353.
Safety aspects: Usual caution for water safety. Very busy with traffic.
Tidal information: Contact harbourmaster at Scrabster harbour. Tel: 01847 892779.
Nearest help/telephone: Harbour office ferry terminal or Tourist Office.
Terrain/amount of walking: Flat, approx 0.5km.
What to take: Stout footwear/ waterproofs and warm clothing.
Cost: Free.
Information/leaflets/ on-site interpretation: Information panels in car park area and leaflets from tourist information.
Parking: Ferry car park and public car park. If leaving a bus it would be best to arrange beforehand.
Toilets: Yes (open March – November, fee payable).
Food: Grocer in John O’Groats and small tourist shops – in season.
Nearest wet weather option: Last House Museum.
Picnic tables: Yes.
Shelter: Tourist shops.
Ranger/expert help: Ferry operators. Contact Tel: 01955 611353. Highland Council Ranger Service may be able to accompany you. This needs to be arranged prior to outing. Contact Tel: 01847 821531

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