Skip to Content

Dunnet Head In Scotland – A Complete Guide

Dunnet Head is located on the north coast of Scotland and is considered to be the most northerly point of mainland Great Britain. Here is a complete guide.

How To Get To Dunnet Head

This peninsula is located just over 4 miles north of the village of Dunnet in Scotland.

Car

From the village of Thurso the drive is about 13 miles. Follow the A836 west to the village of Dunnet then turn left on the B855 toward the small village of Brough.

Continue along the B855 and in just under 3 miles past the village of Brough you will reach the peninsula.

From John O’Groats, the drive is approximately 14 miles. Follow the A836 west until you see the turning off to your right for the village of Ham.

Continue on to the the village of Brough, then bear right again and follow the B855 all the way to the peninsula.

There is a large, free car park although no other facilities.

Tour

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

Dunnet Head Entrance Fee

It is free to visit Dunnet Head.

Dunnet Head Scotland
Lauren at the entrance to Dunnet Head.

Dunnet Head Opening Times

Dunnet Head is open all day, every day.

Dunnet Head Scotland
The information board on the way in.

Best Time To Visit Dunnet Head

It never gets overly busy here, due to most tourists not going any further north than John O’Groats!

However, I would definitely recommend taking the time to visit this spectacular place.

If you want to see the Puffins then the best time to visit is from April to July.

It is usually quite windy at Dunnet Head due to its location and can be cold.

There are no facilities here.

We chose to visit after departing from John O’Groats in the morning, and having had a quick stop at Duncansby Stacks on our NC500 itinerary.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Dunnet Head Car Park Scotland
Dunnet Head car park.
Dunnet Head Seabirds Scotland
Famous for a range of wildlife.

Dunnet Head History

During World War II, some minor fortifications were built at Dunnet Head to protect the naval base at nearby Scapa Flow. (As well as an artillery range.)

These included a radar station as well as as a bunker used by the royal Observer Corps during the Cold War.

To this day, remains of the radar station can still be seen at the peninsula.

Dunnet Head Scotland
The most northerly point of mainland Britain.

What To Expect At Dunnet Head

With its wild, untamed landscape consisting of sea, cliffs and sky as well as incredible birdlife, it is definitely worth the drive off the beaten track to visit this unique place.

Along with the fact that this is the most northerly point of mainland Great Britain and visiting here will give you certain bragging rights!

This spectacular peninsula faces out towards the North Sea and on a clear day you can have stunning views all the way across to Orkney.

In addition, Dunnet Head is actually an RSPB Nature Reserve and is home to numerous species of birds including Puffins, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Razorbills.

Therefore, if you’re a keen birdwatcher, you will definitely love visiting this amazing place and seeing so many different species of birds.

The Cliffs

There are some exhilarating walks (the wind here can be quite bracing) along the top of the spectacular sea cliffs that will give you stunning views and some great photo opportunities.

Also located on the cliff tops you will see the the picturesque Dunnet Head Lighthouse. Built in 1831, this is the most northerly lighthouse on the mainland.

The lighthouse became automated in 1989 and today it is completely remotely controlled from the Northern Lighthouse Board in Edinburgh.

Although not open to the public you can get up pretty close to the lighthouse and get some great photos.

Interestingly, this is another of the Scottish lighthouses designed by Scottish Civil Engineer, Robert Stevenson. (Grandfather of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island.)

Furthermore, on a clear day, it is said that it is possible to see the entrance to Scapa Flow from here – a huge natural harbour in Orkney that was a base for the British Navy during both World Wars.

Next up on the NC500 trip was Puffin Cove.

Dunnet Head Lighthouse Scotland
The lighthouse at Dunnet Head.
Dunnet Head Lighthouse Scotland
Up close of the tower.
Orkney Islands From Dunnet Head Scotland
The view out to the Orkney Islands.
Dunnet Head Scotland
Lauren exploring the coast.
Dunnet Head Birds Scotland
Some of the birds you may see.
Dunnet Head Scotland
Be careful when exploring the cliffs.
Dunnet Head Scotland
Tick on the UK bucket list.

Where To Stay In Scotland

Luxury

exploreNESS Apartment

Offering free WiFi and free private parking, exploreNESS Apartment is located in Inverness, just 0.8 miles from Inverness Castle.

The property is less than 0.6 miles from Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and 1.6 miles from Caledonian Thistle.

The apartment features 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Towels and bed linen are provided.

A buffet breakfast is available daily at the apartment.

Mid-Budget

Loch Earn

Located 1.7 miles from Inverness Castle, Loch Earn provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking.

There is also a kitchen in some of the units with a dishwasher, a fridge, and an oven.

A continental breakfast is available daily at the bed and breakfast.

Guests can relax in the garden at the property.

Budget

Inverness Youth Hostel

Just 10 minutes’ walk from Inverness Rail Station, Inverness Youth Hostel offers free private parking and bicycle storage.

Eastgate shopping centre is a 10-minute walk from this hostel. Hootananny, a popular music venue, is just 15 minutes’ walk away.

Culloden Battlefield and its visitor centre is just a 10-minute drive away. The banks of Loch Ness and the country village of Dores are both a 20-minute drive away.

All rooms have a shared bathroom. Packed lunch and luggage storage is available on request.

For more places to stay in Scotland, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


Pin It For Later

Dunnet Head Scotland