Stage 7: Brora to Helmsdale

Brora Beach

12.8 miles | 20.8 km

The stage starts in Brora with nice easy walking along a path between a golf course and the sea. Then the path is squeezed between the sea and the railway, making for some slightly challenging terrain. Ford a small river, go through a large peaceful caravan park and then continue along the grassy foreshore for several miles. The trail crosses the railway and passes through the lovely village of Portgower and then along old lanes on a hillside on the way into Helmsdale.

 Green  (marked). The seventh stage of the JOGT includes the minor challenges of a) fording the 3-4 metre wide Loth River and b) from June through October there will be tall grass, up to 2 ft high, to push your way through. The stage is marked.

Beware of cows with calves north of the golf course and also north of Kilmote Burn. Be careful fording burns. Please also note that like much of rural Scotland, ticks may be an issue in areas of long vegetation.

Stage End Information
Helmsdale is the last east coast stop on the Inverness-to-Wick rail line until Wick itself. Helmsdale is accessible by car via the A99 and by buses that connect to Wick, John O’Groats, Thurso, and Inverness. Helmsdale is a small town with several hotels and B&Bs, a youth hostel, a few pub/restaurants, and a couple shops. The excellent Navidale House Hotel, a sumptuously maintained old hunting lodge, is just a km north of central Helmsdale along the main road and also accessible from the walking route. There is also B&B accommodation in the lovely old village of Portgower just 3 km before Helmsdale.

More information


Crakaig Caravan and Camping Site
6 miles north of Brora
Crakaig Farm,
Helmsdale KW8 6HP
Tel: 01408 621972
Jutta’s B&B
11 miles north of Brora
1 Portgower,
Helmsdale KW8 6HL
Tel: 01431 821116
Helmsdale Hostel
Stafford Street,
Helmsdale, Sutherland, KW8 6JR
Tel: 07971 922356
Bannockburn Inn
Stafford Street,
Helmsdale KW8 6JY
Tel: 01431 821461
Belgrave Arms Hotel
Dunrobin St,
Helmsdale KW8 6JX
Tel: 01431 821242
The Bridge
Dunrobin St,
Helmsdale KW8 6JA
Tel: 07770 807548