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NC500/Kally1000 Day 3 & 4

Updated on August 30, 2020
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Kally is an amalgamation of both my partner and myself, and we document all of our adventures no matter how big or small.

Day 3 - Dornoch > Dunnet Head 20/08/2020

After surviving our first-night camping in Dornoch (after a storm during the night, we did contemplate going home) we got our showers, packed up the car and headed off just as the sun was starting to come out. We stopped at the nearby Co-Op for some breakfast and must needed caffeine.

We stuck on the sat nav and thankfully Google said the Castle wouldn't be open until 10 am. So we thought we would pop to our back up pit stop as it was only a few miles away from the Castle and set off for the Big Burn.

Big Burn, Golspie

Considering there was a horrendous storm the previous night, the walk wasn't actually difficult or hard.

It took about an hour or so to walk to the big burn and back to the car park and wasn't that much of an incline which is good for those who are not hikers!

The postcode for this car park is behind a building just off of the main road and can fit about a dozen cars. We did notice when we left that was another smaller car park and pathway to the burn if you get stuck.

Dunrobin Castle

From the Big Burn, we drove three miles to Dunrobin Castle, which is open until the 31st of October this year. It truly was a fairy tale looking castle and with the sun shining, the grounds and view, in general, was absolutely incredible!

Open from 10am - 4pm.


Adults £11.00 Senior £9.00

Children £6.00 Student £9.00

Family £30.00 (2 Adults + up to 3 Children)

***These rates also include entry to the Falconry and Gardens.***

Falconry will be daily from 11.30 am until 3 pm from

Whaligoe Steps to John O'Groats

From the Castle, we continued up the East coast stopping off at the Whaligoe Steps. The car park filled up really quickly and the cafe, unfortunately, wasn't open but we started heading to the steps and I admittedly got extremely anxious and only managed about halfway down before my vertigo started to kick in but luckily the boy managed to get right down and take some fantastic pictures (which I will add when I remember to get them off of his camera).

On route we did spot in Wick there was a Lidl and a big Tesco (Petrol £1.09/l) there and we would recommend if you do need to stock up or fuel up to do so here even if it's half a tank as we noticed the prices just go up and up from here onwards!

We carried on to our next destination, the end of the road, aka John O'Groats! After driving up with hills and mountains surrounding us we were taken aback as to how flat it was! the drive was easy and when we got to the car park (£2 for the day). Inevitably when we were doing our research we were told when we got to John O'Groats we had to have the best Fish 'n' Chips from the Cabin. It did not disappoint, prices were reasonable and the fish was superb!

We did also get an NC500 t-shirt (£15) obviously. Afterwards, we walked around and took some pictures including at the famous sign! A must-do when you're visiting!

Dunnet Head

After John O'Groats, we head to the most northern point of Scotland. We were told it would be the best place to spot Puffins and possibly orcas...we saw neither.

When we drove up to Dunnet Head, we kept our eye out for potential spots to wild camp as we weren't able to get booked into any campsites this night. This was our first ever experience of wild camping. I will post an article about camping and wild camping in Scotland which I will link to.

It was an amazing experience and we thought as we were doing this incredible road trip we may as well give it a go. We had both camped so we weren't worried, that much! We left nothing but footprints and memories, exactly how it should be!

Day 4 - Dunnet Head > Durness 21/08/2020

After we packed up the car we headed off to Melvich Beach in Thurso and it was stunning, the road the Sat Nav directed to was not suitable for vehicles but if you drive along the road through the village you will notice a sign for it (it's small so keep your eyes peeled). The track that takes you to the car park isn't for the light-hearted (lots of holes and bumps), or for caravans/motorhomes.

The view was spectacular but quite steep getting back up the sand dunes! If you have doggos with you, be sure to pick up after them as we saw a few abandoned mess

Tongue & Ceannabeinne Beach

We drove through Tongue (I was hoping to spot a gift shop but we ended up driving past it and didn't realise it was the only one and couldn't be bothered doubling back) so if you're looking to get a souvenir from Tongue stop at the tourist centre gift shop just as you get into the village.

From there we carried on and headed to the Ceannabeinne Beach where we wanted to Zip Line. If you're planning on doing it, drive a further 50m or so to the car park than turning up the hill as the sat nav suggests as there are only a few spaces up there. We looked on to people doing it an although we were keen beforehand, we didn't feel up to it then as it was going from on side of the cliff to the other, overlooking the beach. For us adrenaline nuts we thought it was going to be fast. Perfect for families to do as we saw some kids doing it, or anyone who hasn't zip lined before, it wasn't going fast.

Smoo Cave

From Ceannabienne Beach, we headed to Smoo Cave. This was also the first day we got swarmed by the Midge!

The wee car park filled up quickly, but cars were constantly coming and going so it didn't take long to get a space. The walk itself didn't take long to get down all the stairs. We did see a sign that there is usually a boat trip (£6pp) but wasn't running as it couldn't adhere to social distancing guidelines.


From Smoo Cave we carried on to Sando Sands, Durness.

When we contacted Sango Sands Oasis we were told we couldn't book for tent pitch and to just turn up early afternoon and hope for a spot, motorhomes, on the other hand, should turn up early as they start taking bookings at 11 am.

Luckily we got a spot and were put to ease when the dishwashing area, toilet and shower facilities ALL had cleaning products to disinfect before and after use! WELL DONE SANGO SANDS OASIS

Whether you chose to do the NC500 like we did or have a staycation elsewhere, have fun on your adventure and stay safe!

© 2020 Kally


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