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Sutherland & Caithness

Sutherland and Caithness are the northernmost counties of Scotland. Across the Dornoch Firth from Easter Ross is the delightful little town of Dornoch itself, with its cathedral, championship links golf course and miles and miles of golden sand. North from there you come to the villages of Golspie, with nearby Dunrobin Castle and Brora. You are then well set for going right up through Caithness to John O’Groats.

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Lots to See and Do

In both these counties, the landscape is varied, imposing and relatively untroubled by humanity! If you go 'up top' you may well take the road through the Flow Country, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, some 4,000 square km of rolling heath and open water and the largest blanket bog in the world. It is of international importance, not just as a phenomenon in itself, but for the wide diversity of birdlife which it supports.

As well as John O' Groats, on the east side, a visit to the northwesternmost point at Cape Wrath is also worth considering. The name is not as daunting as it sounds, though it is a wild, elemental place - 'wrath' is a corruption of the old Norse word for turning place, where Viking longships would turn south, having negotiated the northern seas.

While the peninsula at the end, known as The Parph, is now military land, it is possible from April to October to take a boat trip across the Kyle of Durness and a minibus will then take you out to the lighthouse, where there are spectacular views and which is also a SSSI for the teeming birdlife on the cliffs.