A  L o n g  Walk to the Top

 

 

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Cromarty Bridge from Black Isle

 

Near Mervyn Tower

 

 

 

Near Skelbo Castle

Biggest Gorse in Scotland?

Skelbo Castle Loch Fleet

Path just after Dunrobin Castle

Sputie Burn

Near Lothbeg Point

Actual Distance about 1690 km

 

Overview Inverness to John O'Groat's and Duncansby Head

We left Inverness following NCR1 to and over the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle. Once over the bridge we continued ENE along NCR 1 then:

  • Turned R (North) along the lane to and through Drumsmittal and Munlochy. Rejoining NCR 1 heading NW.

  • At a point just past Belmaduthy we left NCR 1 to continue straight on in NW direction along the sealed lane over Mount Eagle passing the radio mast, continuing on to the B9169.   

  • At the B9169 we turned L (SW) through Culbokie, turning R (NW) at the PH to go to and over the Cromarty Bridge on the A9.

  • Once across the bridge we followed the track by Ardullie Lodge heading WNW across the railway line and to the sealed lane which is  NCR 1, turning R (NE) along it and continuing to Evanton where we spent the night.

  • Next day we continued along NCR 1 to Tain where we stayed the night.

  • From Tain we followed the NCR 1 to the A9 then followed the A9 across the Dornoch Firth Bridge. Then, about 1 km from the North side of the bridge we turned R (NE) by Cuthill Links and followed the lane through Dornoch.  

  • From Dornoch we found our way to the beach and followed the path North parallel to the beach going by Embo, Coul and along the Southern shore of Loch Fleet to the Mound and joined the A9 NE to Kirkton where we turned SSE across the LC and to Balblair Wood.

  • We took the path through the wood to Golspie Links then followed the lane NNE to Golspie and our B&B.

  • From Golspie we found our way to the bridge across the river near Tower Lodge then followed the path by the beach. Although the path on the map ceases well short of Brora, it is relatively easy to stay on or near the beach all the way to Brora.

  • At Brora we joined the A9 briefly to cross the bridge over the River Brora then headed back towards the beach to follow the path through the golf course. Then we walked on or near the beach all the way to Helmsdale. Caution: The day we walked this section the tide was receding (it may not be possible if the tide is high or rising). Also, the weather had been quite dry for a few days so it was easy to cross Loth Burn approaching Lothbeg Point (it may not be crossable at other times). To get around Lothbeg Point we followed the track through the caravan and camping ground, passing two old bunkers, we then made our way sometimes on the beach, sometimes just outside the railway fence all the way to Helmsdale. Note: the going is quite rough approaching Helmsdale walking over deep beach pebbles. Our B&B was in Helmsdale.  

  • From Helmsdale we followed the A9 to the Badbea path, then along to the old ruins. We turned North at Badbea following the stone wall along the cliff tops then down to Berriedale passing the Towers see photo bottom right and link to Streetmap UK.     

  • From here to JOG it was simply a road walking slog along the A9 and A99 to JOG via Wick.

 

 

Badbea area montage, a real highlight of our A long walk to the top.

 

Getting nearer!

Dunrobin Castle

Near Dunrobin

"Beached as bro"

Helmsdale

Towers above Berriedale

Birds nesting near Duncansby Head