Scotland Road Trip: NC500 – Inverness to Thurdistoft (Part 2)

John O'Groats Scotland

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Day 2: Inverness to Thurdistoft (Part 2)

Our main article – Driving Scotland’s North Coast 500: Our 7 day Road Trip – has links for each day.

Our Journey continues

Have you read Part 1 of Day 2? >> Here is the link.

Keep reading about Day 2 of our North Coast 500 road trip. After we left Hill O’Many Stanes and missed the 300 Whaligoe Steps turn-off, we continued on towards John O’Groats.

Duncansby Head & Lighthouse

Duncansby Head is the most northeasterly part of the UK, marked by the lighthouse. Park and walk among the sheep across the open fields towards the Duncansby Stacks rock pinnacles.

After about 30 mins we found a wonderful viewpoint looking over the North Sea. Walking back to our car, we faced the Orkneys and the Scapa Flow. Allow 1 to 1.5 hrs to appreciate this area.

John O’Groats

When you leave Duncansby Head, drive down the hill to the John O’Groats Ferry Terminal. Park in the car park and explore the shoreline. Drink in the view across to the Orkney’s. This is where you’ll find the famous directions post and can catch a boat to the islands.

There is a Starbucks near the tourist centre and a few places to eat but the shops were closed when we were there. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, it’s only a short drive up the hill to the Seaview Hotel and Restaurant. We ate here before continuing onwards to Thurso.

After you leave John O’Groats, join the A836 towards Thurso. After a short drive, park opposite the Canisbay Church of Scotland and cemetery to enjoy the view back towards John O’Groats and across to the Orkneys. This is where we saw a full double-rainbow, the first of many as we saw one every day of our trip. If you’re there in the afternoon, look towards the southwest to enjoy the sunset.


I loved this part of the world. We plan to take a mini-break to Thurso and the Orkney’s in the future. There are plenty of beautiful and affordable Airbnb properties in the area as well.

Extra Thoughts

Our main article – Driving Scotland’s North Coast 500: Our 7 day Road Trip – has links for each day.

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