When I was a kid there were 2 big achievements, things that were usually done for charity, that always seemed to be in the news….swimming the English Channel and traveling (often by obscure means) from John O’Groats (the Northern most point in Scotland) to Lands End (the southern most point in England). We had a few family holidays in Cornwall and on one occasion even made it to Land’s End. There has always been something missing because I didn’t get to the other end of the trip. I am convinced that if my family hadn’t moved to Australia when I was 14, I would have made it long before now.over 5 years ago
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I’m putting this down as “Worth visiting”, but the place itself isn’t at all. I was very disappointed when I got there. BUT there’s a good reason for this. I came to John o’ Groats (to give it it’s correct capitalisation and spacing) at the end of an End to End journey, from Land’s End down at the tip of Cornwall, up to John o’ Groats up at the top of Scotland. THAT was worth doing, and if I could get the time to do it again I would do it. It took 2 weeks all in all by bicycle, camping and staying in youth hostels. I averaged 100 miles a day, and saw absolutely loads of amazing places on the way. Definitely do this at least once in a lifetime if you live in the UK. Also, the youth hostel near John o’ Groats is staffed by a really good hostel manager. He took me and a bunch of German students out to see the puffins’ nesting site. There’s a place where you can lie down at the edge of this cliff, and you’ll see puffins not 6 feet away from you. Fantastic. Don’t try to use the payphone there though – it swallows your money without letting you make a call, and the hostel manager’s wife gets very annoyed if you get frustrated at losing your last 3 quid to it.
John o’ Groats itself is a touristy hole of a place, and I wouldn’t have bothered going there if it weren’t for the getting my certificate signed thing. Next time, I might give it a miss and head for Dunnet Head, which is the true most northerly point in mainland Britain, or round to Cape Wrath. Cycling back from J o’ G to Thurso was a right royal pain – the wind that blew me along at 40 miles per hour reduced me to less than 4mph going back. But anyway. Do the end to end, but don’t spend more than 5 minutes in John o’ Groats.over 7 years ago
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Activities in John O'Groats
Explore the Orkney Islands on this day trip from John O'Groats. Take the ferry and island hop across the Churchill Barriers to visit Kirkwall, home to the magnificent Viking cathedral of St Magnus. Step back 3,000 years as you enter the village of Skar... $61.71
Enjoy a spectacular afternoon Wildlife cruise from John O'Groats this summer. Pass rugged cliff scenery and see arctic skuas, storm petrels, colonies of guillemots, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes, Atlantic grey seals and much more! $23.14