Please be considerate of land owners

The John o’ Groats Trail is mostly on private land, so we depend on the good will of these land owners.  Please respect the following in using the trail:

  • You walk the trail at your own risk.  We are doing our best to make the trail safe, but a clifftop trail that also goes through agricultural land cannot be made fool-proof; it is an inherently risky activity.  Please use caution.
  • Enter and exit the trail at public access and parking areas.  Please do not park up on private land and expect no one to notice.  Especially do not block access.
  • Please keep your dog on a lead, or at home.  The trail is not generally dog-friendly, as it has frequent stiles and many fields have sheep or cattle.  Spring is lambing season.  Cows with calves are particularly bothered by dogs and can be deadly in protecting their young.
  • If you see an issue with livestock or anything else on a farm, please do not ring the police.  Please ring volunteer Jay Wilson on 07526 281088 and he will contact the landowner.  If possible, please have map coordinates or other location info at hand.
  • Please do not approach private residences or walk through private gardens.  This is strictly off limits under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
  • If you do see landowners, please be friendly, say hello, and follow any requests or instructions on where to walk or not to walk.
  • North of Dornoch this is mostly a coastal trail.  If stiles are provided for you to walk inside a field, please stay just inside the clifftop fence, unless otherwise signposted.  Please do not walk inland, as this often interferes with privacy or farm operations.  Yes, there is a right to roam, but please exercise it discretely as the JOG Trail itself is a guest of the landowners.
  • Many sections of the trail are not yet marked.  In these places, please keep to the clifftops and do not go inside fences and over stone walls.  This can cause damage and will hurt relations with landowners.
  • Any gates used must be left as you found them, as it was put that way for a reason.  Cattle have ended up on the highway due to inattention of visitors, which can be deadly for animals and people.  If you climb over a gate, please do so on the hinge side, as it puts much less strain on the gate.