Walking Scotland – Dunnet

Day 2 – John O’Groats to Dunnet

A lie-in this morning would have been fantastic but whoever slept in the room before me set the alarm clock for 6.45am and left it on. At home, I know just the way to swing my arm out to precisely hit the snooze button even when half asleep, but with this beeping annoyance I grabbed it and hit it until it stopped. Then did the same seven minutes later after the snooze time ran out.

After the unwanted early start and breakfast, I started along the North Coast to the west. There was a strong but welcome wind around John O’Groats which kept the heat of the sun down a little. I say heat – it probably didn’t hit 18C but I don’t do heat well at all.

The walk passed field after field of sheep and cows and was tranquil enough without being particularly scenic.  The abandoned island of Stroma sits off the cost for a good portion of the walk and kept drawing my gaze.

I ended up in Dunnet this afternoon, which is around 11 miles from John O’Groats. It’s a while since I walked 11 miles without any kind of break and towards the end my legs were feeling it a bit.

Dunnet is a lovely little village and another popular stop for people exploring the Highlands. Five miles north is Dunnet Head – the mort northerly point on the British mainland and an obvious draw. And just west of the village is a beautiful, white sand beach which looked magnificent in the sun this afternoon.

Generally when I arrive somewhere I’ll drop my bag and start exploring. Today, however, I needed a bit of a rest. For some reason the walk took it out of me and I’ve got the same again tomorrow.

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