Ticking off my Bucket List: John O’Groats

john-ogroats Scotland

Back in November I traveled up to Golspie for a special family birthday. I published posts on where we stayed and the top 5 things to do in the Highlands, but I wanted to go into more detail about John O’Groats as it was always a place on my bucket list. It’s one of those places, there isn’t much there but it’s great to say you’ve been and to take the iconic image beside the pole.

The day started out like every other one on this trip – long lies in bed, a filling brunch in the dining room and breezy walks around the village. Around 2pm we headed out in two cars up the east coast, driving through Brora and Wick. The roads were a mix of spacious carriageways and tight/winding/uphill country tracks, luckily it was clear blue skies though – freezing but clear nontheless. If you’ve ever been to Scotland you will realise how amazing it is to find a day that isn’t ‘dreich’.

John O'Groats Scotland

John O'Groats Scotland

On our trip up to John O’Groats, we noticed the Gunn clan museum (a family name) so we thought we would go out and have a wander around despite it being closed for the winter season. After a little bit of history, we hopped back into the cars and continued on our journey to the very top of Scotland! When we arrived the place was pretty empty, besides one car parked beside the pole where a small family clearly ran out, got their picture taken and hopped back in again. So we were relatively alone. We took our pictures with the pole and then went a walk down the pier (not sure if it is used in the summer, but you can see right across to the Orkneys!).


Twenty minutes in the gusty winds, we were all craving a hot coffee and a spot of lunch, so we walked over to the Storehouse restaurant cafe for a bite to eat and a heat. Inside, the cafe was well-presented – it even sold authentic local groceries as well as Starbucks drinks! We couldn’t ask for anything more. After heating up and stuffing our faces we walked around the gift shop before heading back to the cars.

The trip back to Golspie we went slightly west before heading south which allowed us to go through Thurso. Although, when we were in the car we heard that Storm Abigail was to hit the Highlands so we thought it was best to get home as quickly as possible so we didn’t get stranded. Lo and behold the rain and wind picked up 20 minutes into our drive, so we put up the heating and sang along to One Direction in the Live Lounge!

John O'Groats

John O'Groats

Have you ever been to John O’Groats? What’s on your bucket list?

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John O'groats

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