Sea Arch “The Needle”
Sea Arch “The Needle”
Footbridge at Berriedale
Footbridge at Berriedale
Bay of Sannick with Duncansby Head Lighthouse
Bay of Sannick with Duncansby Head Lighthouse
Coastal cliffs, East Caithness
Coastal cliffs, East Caithness
Lybster Steps
Lybster Steps
Clyth Harbour
Clyth Harbour
The South Shore of Loch Fleet
The South Shore of Loch Fleet
The John o’ Groats Trail

is a 147 mile coastal walking route from Inverness to John o’ Groats, traversing shorelines, cliff tops, back lanes and footpaths of the Scottish Highlands.

The route is a work in progress. Some of it is only accessible to the most fit and adventurous of walkers.  Other sections are already popular walks. See stage status pages.

The walk is meant to be used both by long-distance walkers going as far as to or from Land’s End, and local walkers looking for a coastal stroll.  Accommodation, meals and shops are available at the end of most stages of the walk.

Friends of the Trail

works to build and promote the trail, for which we have been granted charity status.

However, much still needs to be done to bring the route up to the usual standards for walking trails.

This involves marking a route, putting stiles over barbed wire fences and some stone walls, and building infrastructure such as bridges in a few places. Please get in touch if you would like to help us.

More info about the Friends of the Trail.

Challenges

If you decide to try this walk, please be aware that it contains some obstacles that a more established trail would not.

The biggest challenge is that July-September the weeds grow to head height in many sections, especially on Stages 8 and 9. Other challenges are barbed wire fence crossing, burn (stream) fording, boulder scrambling. These can be dangerous activities if not done with care by a fit, experienced walker. Clifftop walking required.

If you have any questions or doubts about walking any section of the trail, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Route

Please click on the map above to see more detail, or see the stage pages for detailed maps of each stage.

Our new guidebook and Harvey Map are now available. Please use our contact form to request one.

The Stages