Stacks of Duncansby from Duncansby Head
County/Area - Highland - Northern Highland
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 3.0 miles / 4.9 km Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres
Time - 1 hours 40 minutes Grade - easy
|Ordnance Survey Explorer 461
|Anquet OS Explorer 461
|Ordnance Survey Landranger 12
|Anquet OS Landranger 12
Walk Route Description
Click image to see photo description.
This Highland walk visits the most north-easterly point of mainland Britain at Duncansby Head a few miles east of John O'Groats. The cliffs in this area are formed from red sandstone which has dulled through wind, weather and its proximity to the sea. During the walk you can see (in season) a wide variety of sea birds including Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Puffins, Guillemots and Great Skuas amongst others.
The start is the small car park at Duncansby Head (grid ref. ND404733) located close to the lighthouse. No maps are needed unless you want to know the names of the various features seen during the walk. All that is required is a good pair of boots as the going can be rough underfoot and suitable weatherproof clothing as the weather can change in minutes! All that is required is to follow the coast south (with the sea to your left) and follow the path as far as you wish. The return route retraces your outward steps.
After leaving the lighthouse the first major feature you encounter is a deep cleft in the cliffs - Geo of Sclaites - which can be full of wheeling seabirds at the right time of the year. The noise can be deafening from the large numbers of birds. Continuing south you will reach the viewpoint over the Stacks of Duncansby which stand as high as the cliffs they were once part of. Most people turn back here but it is worth heading further south if you have time. It is a place where you can enjoy the solitude and the noise of nature!
Other walks nearby
|Old Man of Hoy from Rackwick
|Rackwick, Old Man of Hoy & Cuilags
|Old Man of Hoy & Glens of Broadiface
|The Gloup, Deerness Brough & Mull Head
|Morven, Smean & Maiden Pap
|Westness Heritage Trail
|Vat of Kirkbuster & Bay of Houseby
|Noup Head from Backarass Farm, Westray
|Ben Bhraggie traverse
|Tarbat Ness from Porthmahomack
Recommended Books & eBooks
Skye's Cuillin Ridge Traverse
This 2-volume set provides all the information required to complete the main ridge traverse on Skye's Black Cuillin. Strategy, gear, training, navigation and logistics are covered, and 10 classic scrambles are described. A lightweight second guidebook gives the scrambler detailed maps, topos and route description for the ridge traverse itself.
Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the Cairngorms
Guidebook to walking the northern Munros, covering the northern Highlands, the Cairngorms and the Isle of Skye. 70 routes are described, including those up Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairn Gorm. Routes range from 7 to 46km, requiring a fair level of fitness. The second of two guidebooks to walking Scotland's Munros: peaks higher than 3000ft.