Orkney & Shetland 2019 - Day 8
From Lairg to the North Coast, Smoo Cave and Dunnet Head
After a good breakfast at the Highland Hotel, we headed north on the A836/A838 to Durness. The road was deserted. We enjoyed the drive passing many lochs on the way and not much else. From Durness we headed east to Smoo Cave and then on to Thurso and Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of mainland Britain. We had been here before, in 2003 and it was just as windy as in 2019. We drove back through Thurso, found a petrol station and then on to Scrabster for our night at the Ferry Inn.
Smoo Cave is a small cave carved by the sea and a small stream. We visited this cave in 2003 just after a tremendous thunderstorm had caused a flash flood that had closed the cave. This time the weather was a little more pleasant, still cold and windly but without the heavy rain (just a light shower).
North coast to Dunnet Head
From Smoo cave we headed east along a section of road that is still a single tack with passing bays (don't remember this bit from 2003). We passed the old nuclear power station site at Dounreay, still awaiting resoration and clearance, although the naval reactor has been refurbished and is still operating. After Thurso we turned out to Dunnet Head and its lighthouse before returning to Scrabster and the Ferry Hotel for the night.
Last updated: 16/06/2019