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 remote, pathless and challenging terrain. 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. A bag transfer service is available.

The Trail on the Telly!

Friends of the Trail

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

Work continues 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. Maintenance and vegetation cutting are also needed. Please get in touch if you would like to help us.

More info about the Friends of the Trail.

Our first video!

Challenges

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

Challenges include occasional tall weeds in summertime, a few barbed wire fence crossings, some burn (stream) fording, a few very steep sections, and a bit of boulder scrambling. Clifftop walking required. All of this can add up to danger if not undertaken with care by a fit, experienced walker.

Alternate routes and detailed descriptions are provided on stages 7, 10, 11, and 13 to help you avoid some of the worst barbed wire fences and two rivers.

If you have any questions or doubts, 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.

A Harvey Map and our Cicerone Guidebook are now available. Please click here for more information.

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Please follow the Outdoor Access Code

Walkers must obey the Outdoor Access Code, which allows them to take responsible access across most land, while respecting privacy and avoiding hazardous areas such as farmyards. Please respect all reasonable requests from landowners, either spoken or by signage. Thank you.

The John o’ Groats Trail is proudly sponsored by:

The Stages