Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom
End of the Road: The Old Pulteney Distillery & John O' Groats
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 6¼ Hours
Explore some of the highlights of northern Scotland, with its rugged beauty and spectacular views.
Depart the quayside and head to your first stop at the Old Pulteney Distillery in Wick. This is the northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland and is located about 18 miles from John O'Groats in a rugged, windswept, sea-pounded area. It's an unlikely setting for a distillery, except for its close proximity to the sea, which at one time was the only means of transporting the whisky to the south. During the herring boom of the 19th century, many of the distillery workers were also employed as fishermen; many were coopers making up to eight barrels each day to hold cured herring for export to Russia and Germany. Sadly, the herring industry is no longer part of the daily life in Wick, but the Pulteney Distillery continues to operate, distilling one of the finest Highland Malts available. After a tour of the distillery and a wee dram to taste, you will take a walk through Wick with time to admire the views and get a feel for life in this far-north harbor town.
Then it's on to John O'Groats, the farthest point in Britain away from Land's End, which is in the very south. Admire the views out to sea and enjoy some time shopping in the small shops selling various local wares.
You will drive to the Sea View Hotel for a light homemade lunch; then, re-board the coach and continue around the coast to Thurso. This small harbor town of 10,000 inhabitants is ideal for some free time to wander through the streets, visit the 17th-century ruins of St Peter's Church, or view the Town Hall and the heritage museum on the high street.
Following a busy but wonderful day out, re-board the coach for the final time for your journey back to Scrabster.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Dress warmly in layers with a wind- and waterproof outer layer; bring gloves, a scarf and a warm hat.