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10 Things to do in John o’ Groats

10 Things to do in John o’ Groats

Rich in history, John o’ Groats is another village in Scotland to not be missed! With its picturesque landscapes and scenery, there’s plenty to see and enjoy in our humble village.

To give you an idea of what John o’ Groats has to offer, we listed 12 things to do in the village that could help your trip become more worthwhile.

Read on to learn more!

Things to Do in John o’ Groats

1. Join the 8 Doors Distillery tour.

Join the 8 Doors Distillery tour's Homepage
Photo by anncapictures from Pixabay
Address8 Doors Distillery, John O’Groats KW1 4YR Scotland
Contact[email protected] 

Let’s be honest – there’s no better way to kick off this list than a whisky-related activity. Hence, a visit to the 8 Doors Distillery is a must-do.

During the tour, you can learn about the 8-sided house that was erected close to the distillery and whisky production.

You can, of course, experience whisky tasting at the end of the tour. This, dare we say, is the ultimate highlight of the visit.

Fun fact: The distillery was named after Jan De Groot, the man who gave the village its designation.

2. Visit The Castle and Gardens of Mey.

Visit The Castle and Gardens of Mey's Homepage
Photo from tripadvisor
AddressThurso, Caithness, Scotland KW14 8XH
Contact01847 851473 / [email protected] 
Opening Hours11 AM to 3 PM
RatesFor Castle, Gardens & Grounds
• Adult – £14.50
• Concessions – £12.00
• Children (Aged 5-16) – £8.00
• Family ticket (2 adults up to 4 children) – 40.00

For Grounds & Gardens only
• Adult – £9.00
• Children (Aged 5-16) – £5.00
• Family ticket (2 adults up to 4 children) – 23.75

Are you a history buff or design enthusiast? The Castle and Gardens of Mey is steeped in royal history and features breathtaking architecture – it’s an attraction you simply must not miss.

3. Explore Orkney. 

Explore Orkney's Homepage
Photo by 27707 from Pixabay

The Orkney Islands are also among the best spots you must visit when going to John o’ Groats. Locals love frequenting this spot for a refreshing view of the sea.

We highly recommend you join the sailings to Orkney Islands that take only 40 minutes to complete. The view is quite breathtaking, too – it’s healing for those who haven’t been out of the city for a long time.

The best time to visit Orkney Islands is during the months of May through September as these are the warmest times of the year. 

Watch out for local attractions such as the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness, and Skara Brae. 

Make sure to take as many photos as possible to remember your visit by!

4. Appreciate nature by doing a coastal walk.

Appreciate nature by doing a coastal walk's Homepage
Photo by 27707 from Pixabay

If you’re into wildlife and birdlife, then a walk along our coastline may be just the thing you need. 

Following the coastline also takes you past adjacent stunning sights like Duncansby Head Lighthouse and The Stacks of Duncansby. 

5. Stop by the North Coast 500.

Stop by the North Coast 500's Homepage
Photo from VisitScotland

The North Coast 500 is popular for its long roads, which is why it’s ideal for cyclists and drivers longing for a road trip.

You can also see beaches and bays as you journey along, perfect for the ultimate roadtrip. 

In addition to that, there are various campsites, hostels and B&B around the area, should you decide to make an adventure of it and stay the night.

6. Get to know more about wildlife at Dunnet Bay Natural History Display.

Get to know more about wildlife at Dunnet Bay Natural History Display's Homepage
Photo from tripadvisor
AddressDunnet Pavillion, Dunnet KW14 8SY Scotland, United Kingdom
Opening Hours• 2 PM to 5 PM (June, Monday to Saturday except for Wednesday)
• 10:30 AM to 5 PM (July to August, Monday to Saturday except for Wednesday) 

Seeing wildlife and birdlife are common in John o’ Groats. If you’re a nature buff, you can learn more about them by visiting the Dunnet Bay Natural History Display!

If you’re travelling with children, visiting this display is perfect as they can learn about different kinds of wildlife and birdlife, particularly those that can be seen in John o’ Groats. 

7. Go surfing.

Go surfing's Homepage
Photo by StockSnao from Pixabay

Locals love surfing along John o’ Groats’ coastline, and we know you will, too!

The temperatures are ideal for watersports, so bring your friends or loved ones and have the best time.

Admire creative expressions at The Gallery's Homepage
Photo from tripadvisor
Address3 the Craft Centre, John O’Groats, Wick, Caithness, Scotland KW1 4YR, United Kingdom
Contact+44 1955 611284
Opening Hours10 AM to 5 PM (Monday to Saturday)

If you’re into arts, a visit to John o’ Groats’ The Gallery is not to be missed!

Apart from great works, you can enjoy some awesome arts & crafts, from sand art, and geocaching to treasure trails. They even do crafting activities for adults.

9. Join ferry tours.

Join ferry tours' Homepage
Photo from John O’ Groats Ferries
AddressFerry Office, John O’ Groats, CaithnessScotland  KW1 4YR
Contact+44 (0)1955 611353 or +44 (0)1955 611342 / [email protected] 
Rates• Adult – £85
• Family Ticket – £220 ( 2 adults & 2 children)
• Family Ticket – £240 (2 adults & 3 children)

One of the best ways to appreciate John o’ Groats is to hop on a ferry tour. There are a variety of tours available along the harbour.

The tours showcase a variety of local attractions, such as Standing Stones, St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall and the Italian Chapel.

10. Take a photo at John o’ Groats’ signpost.

Take a photo at John o’ Groats’ signpost's Hompeage
Photo by 27707b from Pixabay

Our iconic signpost is a classic John o’ Groats backdrop – one not to be missed if you want to bring home proof that you were indeed here.

Installed in 1964, the signpost is close to the historic John o’ Groats Hotel. The signpost is free of charge, so take as many photos as you like!

How to Get to John o’ Groats

How to Get to John o’ Groats' Homepage
Photo by marsjo from Pixabay

You can get to John o’ Groats by bus, boat or car. Here are the detailed ways how to use these modes of transportation to get to our village:

By Bus

If you’re taking the bus, take Bus 77 from Wick. It will take you 30 minutes to get to John o’ Groats. This bus runs Monday through Friday. 

From Thurso, you may also take Bus 80. It runs from Monday to Friday and takes 55 minutes to John o’ Groats via Dunnet and Mey.

By Boat

If you prefer to ride the boat, you can take John o’ Groats Ferries, Pentland Ferries and Scrabster from the Orkney Islands. 

John o’ Groats Ferries

You may ride the John o’ Groats Ferries from Burwick to John o’ Groats. It takes 40 minutes to travel and runs twice a day from May to September. 

The fare varies from £16 and £20.

Pentland Ferries

If riding the Pentland Ferries, it takes around an hour to go from St. Margaret’s Hope to Gills Bay, which is near John o’ Groats, 


The Scrabster is situated nearby Thurso and has ferries travelling from Stromness to John o’ Groats. 

By Car

If travelling by car, use the A9 north route from Inverness to John o’ Groats. You may also take the A836 through Thurso. 

FAQs on John o’ Groats

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