Top Ten Places to Visit on Route
 


Scotland's Route 66 Top Ten Places to Visit

 

Top Ten

These are our choices and we would love feedback as to wether you agree or disagree.

 

It's a Bit of Fun and it is our personal Choice.

We Would love to know yours and we may even list yours on here to.

There are Hundreds of places on the Route so to have definitive List cut down to Ten would be rather hard.  

Even harder for everyone to agree.

  Top Ten

No 10,

 

DUNCANSBY HEAD.

 

Duncansby Head is the most northeasterly part of the British mainland.

The headland juts into the North Sea, with the Pentland Firth to its north and west and the Moray Firth to its south.

The point is marked by Duncansby Head Lighthouse, built by David Alan Stevenson in 1924.

A minor road leads from John o' Groats to Duncansby Head, which makes Duncansby Head the farthest point by road from Land's End.

The Duncansby Head Site of Special Scientific Interest includes the 6.5 km stretch of coast south to Skirza Head. It includes the Duncansby Stacks, prominent sea stacks just off the coast.

This area especially the Stacks have got to be one of the most photographed places in Scotland, The Stacks are Iconic.

MAke the effort even if it means by passing John O'Groats which doesnt offer that much apart from it's name.

No trip around the Route would be complete with out a walk to the stacks......the further you walk the better the view and photos......

 

 


 

No 9

Smoo Cave.

This cave is unique within the UK in that the first chamber has been formed by the action of the sea, whereas the inner chambers are freshwater passages, formed from rainwater dissolving the carbonate dolostones.

Essentially the cave can be thought of as two caves formed by different mechanisms which have joined together over time.

The cave entrance and main chamber have been considerably enlarged by sea action to approximately 40 metres (130 ft) wide and 15 metres (49 ft) high, the largest sea cave entrance in Britain.

The entrance is located at the end of a 600 metres (660 yd) long tidal gorge (Geodha Smoo) which was once part of the cave, now collapsed.

 

Smoo Cave

 

 


 

Scotlands Route 66

No 8

Dunrobin Castle  

 

150,000 people can't be wrong as that's is the number and more that came to see this iconic place in the North of Scotland.

Dunrobin Castle is a stately home in Sutherland, and the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland and the Clan Sutherland.

It is located 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Golspie, and approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Brora, overlooking the Dornoch Firth.

Dunrobin's origins lie in the Middle Ages, but most of the present building and the gardens were added by Sir Charles Barry between 1835 and 1850.

Some of the original building is visible in the interior courtyard, despite a number of expansions and alterations that made it the largest house in the north of Scotland. After being used as a boarding school for seven years, it is now open to the public.

 

 

Visitors are able to take a self-guided tour through some 20 rooms in one of the finest and certainly the largest private residences anywhere in Scotland, emerging with some fascinating insights into the lives of those who lived here, both above and below stairs.

 

Michelle Anderson

 

A Stunning and Funny Photo by Michelle Anderson

The History of the Castle through the years is another thing that is rich about the place.

One of the most dramatic and ultimately tragic events in Dunrobin's long history dates to the Jacobite Rising under Bonnie Prince Charlie.

At the time of the Rising, the Earl of Cromartie was George Mckenzie, a staunch Jacobite.

In April 1746, reports reached the Earl that the Prince's men had been victorious at the Battle of Culloden.

Without stopping to verify the truth of the report, Mackenzie gathered his men and launched an attack on Dunrobin Castle, seizing the castle in the name of the Stewart king.

It was only after the Earl's men were ensconced comfortably in Dunrobin that news reached him that Culloden had in fact been a complete and utter disaster for the Jacobite cause.

The Sutherland militia quickly surrounded the castle, and the Earl was captured.

The apartment where he was found is still known as the Cromartie Room.

Then there are the Gardens and in Summer, stunning is the Word. 

One rather intriguing garden feature is an early Greek sacrificial altar, presented to the Duchess of Sutherland in 1910 by Lord Kitchener of Khartoum. Though he had a long and successful military career, Kitchener is probably best remembered for the WWI recruiting poster where he was featured, saying 'Your Country Needs You'!

 

It is a Must visit and check their website for all that goes on here during the Year. You maybe surprised.

 

 


 

Scotlands Route 66

No 7

Wick Heritage Centre

The Wick Heritage Centre is a local history museum which presents the story of the town and so much more.

 

Glen Docherty Viewpoint

This is just a classic or iconic north-western view, setting the tone for numerous other road-side views: of the great hill Slioch crouched beyond Loch Maree (if you are heading for Gairloch); or of the Torridon hills, if you turn left for Glen Torridon.

There are Views and then there is this one.

Although actually off-route it is one not to be missed.  

A Must have place to visit and a must have place to photograph. Scotland has much to offer but even views like these are hard to come by.

If you fail to travel here then you may have missed a view that will remain with you forever.

And of all the places in Wester Ross this is No1.  

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this short video which will allow you to see what the view can be like.  

 

 

 


  

Whaligoe Steps  

 

Whaligoe Haven is surrounded on three sides by 250ft cliffs and forms one of the most remarkable harbours you will find anywhere in Scotland.

It is reached by the Whaligoe Steps, 365 steps.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, says there are 330 steps, go ahead when your there if you want to beg to differ, and count them yourself.

Whaligoe,  is a very small port which was prospected by Thomas Telford in 1786 during his tour of northern fishing harbours for the British Fishing Society.

His judgement of the place was that it was a "terrible spot".

However, undaunted, Captain David Brodie spent £8 to cut the famous 330 steps.

His confidence was rewarded in 1814 with the harbour supporting 14 herring boats. Brodie also built the harbour and village of Sarclet some 3 miles north of the steps which was once a landing place for fishing boats.

 

 

The stairs zigzag down the cliffs to a narrow terrace just above the crashing waves.
 
The result is a simply amazing, a set of worn stone steps that seem to be suspended above a sheer drop, high above the rocky inlet far below.
 
Be under no illusions; the Whaiigoe harbour was a dangerous place; narrow and difficult to access even with the steps.
 
Yet because the Caithness coast offered so few natural harbours,
 
Whaligoe was used frequently by fishermen.
 
The boats brought back herring, haddock, ling, and cod, which were unloaded at Whaliigoe and gutted by women on the small terrace known as The ink, above the harbour.
 
The fish were then loaded into baskets and hauled up the steps to the top of the cliffs.
 
They would then be transported to Wick for sale.
 
There was a cooperage at the top of the cliffs, and barrels from the cooperage were carried down the Steps and used for storing salted herring, which were then loaded onto ships for transport to market.
 
 
 
 
 
The Whaligoe Steps ought to be more widely publicised; this is a definite stop on the NC500 and not to be missed.
 
Just think of the effort it took to carve the Steps out of the rocky cliffs, but also of how hard life must have been for the folk who worked here.

 

 

Whalligoe steps

 

 


 

     Scotlands Route 66

 

 


 

 

 

 

Headstones for the Fallen are scattered throughout the Battlefield and if your ancestors took part you may well come across one that is there for their memory.

 

 

Gaining an understanding of what took place here allows you to have a greater understanding as you travel the highlands where you will come across many memorials to the Clearances that took place not long after Culloden.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

   Scotlands Route 66

 

Cape Wrath  

If there is one journey you make off route then this is it.

 

Cape Wrath is a cape near Durness.

It is the most north-westerly point in mainland Britain.

 

The cape is separated from the rest of the mainland by the Kyle of Durness and consists of 107 square miles of moorland wilderness known as the Parph.

The first road was built in 1828 by the lighthouse commission across the Parph/Durness.

This road is connected by a passenger ferry that crosses the Kyle of Durness with the buildings on the peninsula.

The Area is also designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Landscape Area.

There are few unspoilt areas of our country left, this is one.

 

 

 

Access to Cape Wrath is challenging for many reasons including its remote location. 

There is only one road and it is separated from the main road network by the Kyle of Durness. 

There is no transportation method for public vehicles to reach it. 

The only way to access the road without hiking over moorland is by the Cape Wrath Ferry, (a foot passenger only boat)  which crosses the Kyle and from there a bus service which provides a tour along the 11 mile track.  

 

Cape Wrath

 

 

Remember, Cape Wrath Mini Bus is the only vehicular option available to the public on Cape Wrath Peninsula!

 

Cape Wrath