Horse riding routes in the Dunnet area

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Thu, 2010-01-21

No horse riding is currently allowed in Dunnet Forest, but there are a couple of other places to ride without going on the busy A836.

Dunnet Beach

There are 3 miles of golden sands at Dunnet Beach – a great place to ride, and plenty of parking at the Visitor Centre.

Around Dunnet

Parking: At the caravan park and visitor centre in Dunnet Bay LR12 ND219705 Distance: About 7 miles

Terrain: Stony at the exit to/from the beach, otherwise good ground and some road work.


Turn right along the beach towards Dunnet and ride for about a mile before leaving the beach at a small white house which is the salmon bothy and riding up a lane to West Dunnet, reaching the cross roads at LR12 ND215715. Turn left and follow the road as it bears right up a slope. Mary Anns Cottage is on the left as you bear right. At the top of the slope, the road bears left towards Northern Gate house. There is a track on the right about 100 yards further up the road. Turn right and have a nice canter along the track to the end. Turn right on to the metalled road and ride for about 200 yards to a track on the left hand side. Turn left (this is a right of way), go through the gate, and across the field keeping to the edge, towards an agricultural shed which is beside the Dunnet to Brough road. There is another gate which leads out on to the road. Turn right towards Dunnet, follow the road along for about a mile and then right where the road bears sharp left towards the A836 (LR12 ND220714). Ride along the road back to the crossroads at LR12 ND215715. Turn left down the lane towards the beach, once on the beach turn left and exit at the caravan park.

Alternatively, you can ride along the busy A836 to the caravan park.

Fig: Large stunning dunnet head

Getting to Dunnet Head

By Road

We are 15 mins from Thurso or John O’Groats on the north coast road (A836). Follow any Dunnet Head sign post off this road. In the village of Dunnet, take the B855 road to Dunnet Head. The B&B is in the village of Brough at the red phone box.

By Air

You can fly from London Luton to Inverness by Easyjet then take either the bus or train from Inverness to Thurso or Wick Tel: 0870 6000 000. Alternatively, there is a small airport in Wick. British Airways operate scheduled flights from Wick to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

By Bus

For long distance coaches see the National Express. Local bus timetable to be updated when summer timetable available

By Rail

You can get the Caledonian sleeper from Euston to Inverness. with either a cabin or a seat sleeper. Tel: 08457 550033 or see

Virgin Trains travel from London Kings X to Inverness takes about 8 hours, then catch a train to either Thurso or Wick. For Scotrail Fares & Information Tel: 08457 484950, Telesales Bookings – credit/debit card: 08457 5500 33.

For further information please contact Tina Irving Tel: 01847 851774

Information about horse riding in the area will also be disseminated from the Centre. Copies of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code can be obtained, as well as information about local walking and horse riding tracks.

Opening hours: June 11am to 5pm, closed Wednesdays, July and August open 11am to 5pm, 7 days, September 11am to 5pm, closed Wednesdays. Tel: 0845 4504486, Email: fran…

Forestry Commission rides – contact the Forest District Office for info on which forests are freely accessible – keys are required for some routes. Tel: 01862 810359.

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