Route Description
Relief Maps
Cycle Repair








Through Aberdeen and northwards into a rural landscape of coasts and castles, the spectacular and remote scenery of the Highlands, the ancient peatlands of the Flow Country and John o'Groats, before crossing the Pentland Firth to the islands of Orkney and Shetland. 

On leaving Aberdeen the route offers open land and seascapes, rural villages and historic castles before reaching the Moray firth. Beyond Inverness, the 'capital of the Highlands', the route meanders through the Black Isle - a peninsula with black, fertile soil and its own sheltered climate. At Munlochy, choose between the summer or winter route. The former includes the historic ferry crossing from Cromarty to Nigg, part of the ancient highway to the North of Scotland. The winter route is equally attractive, travelling through Dingwall and around the Cromarty Firth. 

From Tain, the route follows the Dornoch Firth through wooded glens, by rivers and waterfalls into the heart of the Highlands. At the head of Loch Shin is Lairg, a good place to stock up food as the road north is one of the most remote in Scotland, 50 miles of open moorland with glimpses of Scottish wildlife - deer and maybe even eagles. 

The "flow" country of Caithness and Sutherland is famous for its peat bogland and its rich cultural and historic heritage - the Gaelic language is still in use, and the route passes through countless ancient cairns and archaeological remains. The northern coast is spectacular with impressive hills and huge rollers breaking onto sandy shores, before flattening out into the wide open vistas and awesome seacliffs of Caithness with fine views across to Orkney. 

Orkney is a short ferry across the turbulent Pentland Firth where the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea meet. The route across Orkney is quiet and very scenic, taking in low-lying land with many standing stones and burial chambers. 

A further 60 miles on the ferry from Stromness brings you to the Shetland Islands with their dramatic landscape of cliffs and rocky inlets. Orkney and Shetland belonged to Norway until the early 15th century and their Viking ancestry is still evident through the place names and the language. 

Information courtesy of Sustrans

The official maps of the route, based on Ordnance Survey data, are available from Amazon.


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