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HEADING NORTH

The further you travel north in Scotland the more isolated you will be, but also the landscape also takes on a sort of wild beauty too. If you travel along the coastline where the North Sea pounds the coastline, you will see great coastal seascapes, with cliffs, headlands, moors, isolated lighthouses and beach areas. It is a great place to drive, with the weather hopefully your friend.

The distance from Inverness to John o' Groats is 110 miles, so allowing for lots of stops along the way, you could take half a day or a full day just meandering along and not rushing.

John o' Groats is the most northern point of the Scottish Mainland, and this is worth heading there, not just to say, "You've been there", but also because it has such a dramatic landscape to see. There are around 300 permanent residents living here, so John o' Groats is small, and while seeing the North Sea from the cliffs is great, it can be even better if you see it from the North Sea itself, weather permitting, as you will also possibly see seals, dolphins, and lots of birdlife.

There is a Ferry service that will take you to the Orkney Islands too – See www.jogferry.co.uk This ferry company also runs day trips from Inverness to the Orkney Islands too – and in the height of summer, it is best to book early to ensure a trip.

THE ISLANDS IN THE NORTH OF SCOTLAND –

Scotland has many islands off its coastline including the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands off the northern tip of the mainland and the Hebrides to the west. There are many islands within these groups of islands, and it is certainly possible to travel to these islands and see them, and it will no doubt be a great experience meeting the people who live here and finding out about the island on which they live.

These islands all have their history, often related to the Vikings and their influence, but also rich in Scottish history and stories too. Being so far north, means that the weather can be quite challenging so it is best to come here in the summer months.

There are a number of Ferries that operate to and from the main centres of population, and if you are planning a trip here, you need to do a bit of research on both the transport options and also which villages and towns you want to visit, booking your accommodation early.

Scotland certainly has a lot to see and do, and I hope that some of the information above is helpful to you in planning where you want to go and what you want to see.

Happy Travelling!

Geoff Stuart

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