8.6 miles | 13.9 km
This stage starts in Tain and leads past a famous distillery before crossing a kilometre-long bridge. It then goes along the shore of Loch Fleet before following a country lane into lovely Dornoch. The long bridge and the approach to it aren’t much fun, the longest walk along an A-road on the entire trail route. But besides that it is a nice walk.
Green (marked). The fourth stage of the JOGT is entirely walkable by the average fit walker. The walk is mostly on quiet back roads. There are no obstacles, except to cross a barrier to descend from the A9. All of the stage is marked.
The long section on the A9 should be walked with care, as there is no barrier to protect the walker from road traffic. However, there is a verge, and on the bridge itself there is a pavement. Road walking, even on quiet back lanes, can always be dangerous. Walk on the right except at right curves. Please also note that like much of rural Scotland, ticks may be an issue in areas of long vegetation.
Stage End Information
Dornoch is three km by car from the A9 and is served by the buses that connect to Wick, John O’Groats, Thurso, and Inverness. Dornoch is a small town with a couple of each of hotels, pubs, and shops. The central shopping area around the church and the square is lovely.