Stacks of Duncansby from Duncansby Head near John O'Groats

This Highland walk visits the most north-easterly point of mainland Britain. The coast around Duncansby Head is dramatic and full of bird-life in season.

Technical sheet
No. 293062
A Highland walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 19/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 0h55[?]
Distance Distance : 1.42mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 289ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 253ft
Highest point Highest point : 200ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 66ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Highland
Starting point Starting point : N 58.64372° / W 3.02736°
Ending point Ending point : N 58.62734° / W 3.03947°
Download : -


(D)The start is the small car park at Duncansby Head (grid ref. ND404733) located close to the lighthouse.

(1)After leaving the lighthouse the first major feature you encounter is a deep cleft in the cliffs - Geo of Sclaites - which can be full of wheeling seabirds at the right time of the year. The noise can be deafening from the large numbers of birds.

(2)Continuing south you will reach the viewpoint over the Stacks of Duncansby which stand as high as the cliffs they were once part of.:

(3)Most people turn back here but it is worth heading further south if you have time. It is a place where you can enjoy the solitude and the noise of nature!

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 161ft - Duncansby Head car park
1 : mi 0.35 - alt. 125ft - Geo of Sclaites
2 : mi 1.23 - alt. 180ft - Stacks of Duncansby
3 : mi 1.37 - alt. 200ft - Hill of Crogodale
A : mi 1.42 - alt. 197ft - Duncansby Head car park

Useful Information

This Highland walk visits the most north-easterly point of mainland Britain at Duncansby Head a few miles east of John O'Groats. The cliffs in this area are formed from red sandstone which has dulled through wind, weather and its proximity to the sea. During the walk you can see (in season) a wide variety of sea birds including Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Puffins, Guillemots and Great Skuas amongst others.

No maps are needed unless you want to know the names of the various features seen during the walk. All that is required is a good pair of boots as the going can be rough underfoot and suitable weatherproof clothing as the weather can change in minutes! All that is required is to follow the coast south (with the sea to your left) and follow the path as far as you wish. The return route retraces your outward steps.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.