Castletown to Strathy Bay

Our first stop today was slightly back tracking to Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of mainland Britain.

IMG_4924There is quite a large car park that you can stay overnight in if you wish. There is a bit of a breeze off the sea, as you can see they even need to tie their sheds down!

At the end of the road up to Dunnet Head you pass Mary Ann’s Cottage. I popped in for a look around. The cottage was built in 1850 and remained in the same family before it was acquired by the Caithness Heritage Trust. Mary-Ann lived there until she was 93 years old and as she didn’t like change it is an interesting view on the old crofting way of life.
Next stop only about a mile up the road was Dunnet Bay Distillers where a husband and wife team produce gin and vodka. After tasting a few of the products on offer I opted to purchase the Original Rock Rose Gin.
Back on the NC 500 we made a stop in Thurso to have a wander through the town and a coffee together with the largest piece of apple pie I have ever seen. I really shouldn’t allow Andy into bakeries unaccompanied!

As we left Thurso the landscape started to change to open moor land and more mountains in the distance, giving us a hint of what is to come.
Our overnight spot is certainly up there as one of our favourites so far. We are in the beach car park of Strathy Bay just next to the burial ground, I am sure the residents will not keep us awake. The car park has a log cabin with a toilet and little kitchen area for campers. It is an unclassified single track road to get there from the A836 but not a problem for a camper our size. Just behind the car park there is an unspoilt peaceful white sandy beach.

Strathy Beach

We even managed to walk up to The Strathy Inn for dinner. This did involve walking across a couple of fields and climbing one gate but we were rewarded with good home cooked food and local cider and gin. It is worth calling ahead if you are thinking of visiting as it is quite small, they only have two tables in the bar, which is dog friendly.
If you didn’t fancy stopping by the beach we also passed a car park directly off the A836 before we reached Strathy that allowed overnight parking. This was situated at a view point next to the Marie Curie Cancer Care Field.

Miles driven – 45 miles
Miles walked – 8.4
Weather – dry, cloudy morning with afternoon sunshine

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