After an exciting morning, which took us from Lochinver to Sangobeg, we were ready for lunch. But this is easier said than done on the NC500. Especially since at the end of October quite a few places are already closed. So on we went in search for somewhere to eat.
The road to John o’Groats took us around Loch Eriboll if you can call it that. To me it looked more like a fjord. In any case it had a small half island which has been used as naval base in WWII.
Eventually we left the Loch behind us but still no tea shop in sight. Just more water and beautiful landscapes.
The tea shop finally materialized in Bettyhill and was a welcome reprieve. It was already inviting from the outside and from the look of things we were not the only ones who thought so. Unfortunately the soup of the day was broccoli and not everyone was into that. So we left again, still feeling hungry. But if you are in the area, don’t miss The Store Café.
Driving through Thurso we saw Thurso Castle or at least its entrance which looked imposing but was definitely private and therefore not for our eyes. Apparently it’s a ruin from the 19th century but already 700 years earlier had it been the site for a fortress. You can see a bit more from the other side of the river, but we were happy just with the entrance.
From Thurso it was still bit of a way to Dunnet Head, which is the most northern point of mainland Britain. The lighthouse there is another excellent example of Robert Stevenson’s architecture (see the one from Shetland here). Best of all are the cliffs on which the lighthouse is standing (don’t climb over the fence to get this view, it’s not allowed). check out the lighthouse on the second picture. It looks a bit wobbly.
The last stop of the day was the Castle of Mey which belonged to Queen Elizabeth (the mother of the current Queen). We were actually too late to visit it, it does close usually at the end of September. Luckily a wedding happened on that day, so we could drive up and make some pictures from the outside. It looks lovely and is definitely worth a visit.
With the last of the light we arrived in John o’Groats and checked into the Seaview Hotel. There is not really much to say about the hotel except that it has an excellent bar with a wide selection of gins. We had dinner at Stacks Bistro, an excellent local establishment with lots of home-made food and baked goods. It more than made up for the long wait.
John o’Groats is far enough up north to catch the northern lights if they are in the mood to show themselves. The time was right while we were there, unfortunately it rained all night long. So the clouds prevented any viewing. Yours, Pollybert