Add dates
Things to do in

John o' Groats

Our most recommended things to do in John o' Groats

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

1. From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

Start the tour by boarding the ferry at John O'Groats. Depart 8.45am. Take the 40-minute ferry crossing, keeping a lookout for marine wildlife including puffins and orcas on the way. When you arrive on Orkney, board a luxury coach which will be waiting for you to begin your tour of the island. As you set off, enjoy the commentary from a local guide. First, see the Churchill Barriers built during the First World War. Stop in Kirkwall which is Orkney's capital city and discover St Magnus Cathedral, shops, the museum, and the scenic harbor.  Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow and admire the beautiful views of the Hoy hills. Then, arrive in Stromness, one of Britain's most picturesque towns. Stroll through the winding street, visit the museum, and find plenty of places to eat lunch.  Next, set off for the neolithic village of Skara Brae, established in around 2,500 BC and which has been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years. Follow the route onwards along a narrow tongue of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, making a stop at the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Finally, board the return ferry, and make a stop at the Italian Chapel which is beautifully decorated inside 2 Nissen huts. Return to John O'Groats 6.15pm with incredible memories of your excursion.

Inverness: John O'Groats and the Far North Tour

2. Inverness: John O'Groats and the Far North Tour

Your tour departs Inverness before traveling north, up to Loch Fleet to the village of Golspie. The village, situated on the north sea coast is nestled next to Ben Bhraggie and is an attractive little seaside resort complete with long sandy beaches. You will be able to spend time here for refreshments, before continuing on to Dunrobin Castle. A stately home in Sutherland, Dunrobin Castle is the family seat of Clan Sutherland. It resembles a French chateau with it’s towering spires, and overlooks the Moray Firth. You will spend time here exploring the beautiful stately home whilst enjoying some refreshments. You will then continue north through the Helmsdale Clearance to the Highland town of Wick for your lunch break. A former Viking settlement, Wick is the principal town in the far north of mainland Scotland. You can spend time exploring the town and taking in the views across Wick Bay whilst you enjoy your lunch. From Wick, you will then travel to John O’Groats; the most northerly point on British mainland. Here you’ll be able to stroll along the cliff path, take iconic photos at the signpost, and enjoy dramatic coastal views, perhaps even seeing some local wildlife! From John O’Groats, you will begin to make your way back to Inverness. You will travel to Dunbeath Harbor for photos, and to Brora, famous for its golf courses and magnificent coastal scenery.

Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

3. Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

Experience the wild and windy Scottish coastline. Listen to informative commentary from your guide throughout the cruise and enrich your knowledge of Scotland’s natural history. Cruise through the Pentland Firth past Duncansby Head lighthouse passing close to the sheer 200-feet high cliffs teeming with sea birds followed by a close-up view of the famous Stacks of Duncansby. Cross the inner sound of the Pentland Firth for a view of the uninhabited island of Stroma and the colonies of Atlantic Grey Seals. See the various cliffs and birds of Stroma. The types of birdlife seen will depend on the nesting season. For example Puffins will be seen in large numbers in June and July but in much smaller numbers in August. If you are lucky, catch a view of some whales.

Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

4. Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

Drive to the top of Scotland on a scenic 5-day tour, and learn the history of the Highlands at sites such as the battlefield of the Macdonald clan massacre, and Stirling Castle. Spend the day on the Orkney Isles, and travel the northenmost coast of mainland Scotland. The tour is by luxury 16-seat Mercedes minibus for a more intimate experience, while bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in Inverness, the lovely town of Kirkwall, and the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh, heading west towards Stirling. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, and continue to Doune Castle, used for location shoots in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” Stop in the small town of Callander for refreshments. Then, marvel at the splendor of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle, and Glen Dochart on a scenic drive over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor. The views of the extinct volcano will take your breath away, and were also the scene of the infamous Clan Macdonald massacre of 1692. Continue north up the Great Glen to mysterious Loch Ness, with plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster. The evening will be spent in Inverness, with free time to explore the “Capital of the Highlands.” Day 2: Depart Inverness early to cross over the Black Isle and past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here, drive the northeast coastline, traveling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Enjoy the views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, and the chance to spot wildlife such as golden eagle and red deer. Close to Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John O’ Groats, board the ferry to cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago. It is a short drive on arrival to the famous Italian Chapel, where you will stop for a quick visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, your home for the next 2 nights. Look inside Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking cathedral, and wander the winding streets of the historic town center. Day 3: Explore the ancient island of Orkney, and discover a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands, and washed by the waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions in the 12th century. Day 4: It’s time to leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here, travel across the very top of Scotland, driving past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, following the rocky cliffs and stunning golden sand beaches of the northern coastline. Go to the far northwest of the Highlands, and admire the grandeur of the wild Assynt mountains. Stop to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. Continue to Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend your last night. Day 5: Your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the ancient Clava Cairns, as well as exploring the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield. Return south through the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, driving past the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Highland Perthshire, before your drop off in Edinburgh.

North Coast 500: 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Inverness

5. North Coast 500: 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Inverness

Day 1: Set off from Inverness and begin your journey on Scotland’s ‘Route 66’. It’s an epic drive with loads to squeeze in. Just make sure you have plenty of space on your camera. Heading for Ullapool, you will spend the first day weaving through the North Coast 500’s winding roads. Your driver-guide will take you to towering mountains, banks of shimmering lochs, and the shores of beautiful beaches. We reach the scenic port town of Ullapool in the late afternoon. Day 2: Today, the scenery gets progressively more beautiful, rocky, and mountainous. As you travel north, your driver-guide will take you to some of the most beautiful sights in Scotland. Your itinerary depends on the weather and your guide’s expert tips, but you may have a chance to venture into the deep Smoo Cave, wander the ruins of Ardvreck Castle, and gaze at gorgeous white beaches. You stop for lunch in a Highland village and spend the evening in the beautiful town of Thurso. Day 3: Today, get plenty of opportunities to explore cosy fishing villages, epic cliffs, and ancient Neolithic sights. In the morning you will have a chance to visit a fine Scottish Highland Whisky distillery. The road leads you further south, where you have a chance to stop for lunch. Continue on your epic North Coast 500 route southwards where you can enjoy the green valleys and sea views as you travel to Dunrobin Castle. You have time to explore the stately home, learn about the Dukes of Sutherland, and find out how it has been used as both a school and a hospital. Finally, you will arrive back in Inverness in the early evening to finish your tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in John o' Groats

Want to discover all there is to do in John o' Groats? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about John o' Groats

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 109 reviews

Loved the trip. Paul did an excellent job of both driving and acting as guide. Thank you Paul. We got to see everything we wanted to see in a timely manner and returned via ferry to caught our bus back to Thurso.

A very knowledgeable and entertaining guide made the whole experience a very enjoyable one.

Great tour, covered a lot of Orkney, driver/guide Darren was excellent. Would recommend

The Tour was excellent.Happy that I could reach the farthest point of British Mainland.

A great day out very informative guide worth every penny.