Lybster to Wick. 18 Miles

August 19, 2006


NEW : See my campaign to establish a National Coastal Path here

Inverness to John O' Groats - Scottish Coast Guide for walkers

Inverness to John O' Groats - Scottish Coast Guide for walkers

The first part of this walk is along the road, but I had had enough of road walking and wanted to get back onto the coastal paths. After leaving the Lybster visitor centre and heading up the hill beyond the village harbour, I rejoined the A99 once again. I dabbled with walking along the dismantled train track but didnt see that it was a feasible path. So I kept walking, saw the top of the Clythness Lighthouse as it peeked up from the shore edge. However it wasnt until I reached Ulbster that I saw on the map a track leading to the farm at Mains of Ulbster. Walking down the surfaced road was easy enough but for the life of me I couldnt find the track that led to the farmhouse. It wasnt a problem really, and after we had negotiated a couple of fences, we could see the Farmhouse with down below us from our vantage point on the hill above it. The farm house looked as if it had been abandoned a long time ago, although it had probably belonged to some wealthy family as there appeared to be a private family mausoleum, just to the south of it, with a wonderful ornate roof, glowing yellow with the lichen and the sun on it. Looking on the internet later, I think it may be the mausoleum of the Sinclair family, so if anyone can confirm that, drop me a message! From the farmhouse, the path leads all the way along passed loch Sarclet then the road doubles back towards Sarclet itself. I didnt go into the village, but turned left and headed along the path towards Corbiegoe. once again there was meant to be a path here, but instead it was a very boggy tramp through soaking moss and high ferns. After beating my way through this stuff and getting my feet thoroughly soaked, I past a ruined building and skirted the tops of the cliffs at Ires Geo, (Photo above). These indententions in the cliffs are called Geos and are quite spectacular as they are deep fissures cut into the cliff with vertical sides. Invariably they are used by nesting seabirdsand the last time I saw anything quite as dramatic was at St Abb’s Head way back at the start of my walk, just north of the border.Plodding on, the path started to get wearisome and as the rain had been fairly constant, I thought I’d head back inland to pick up the main road into Wick. So from Whiterow farm, I got back on the main road and soon I reached Wick. Wick was not really what I expected, it had a fairly run down appearance, and I got the impression that the oil and fishing boom had by-passed it. I stopped at the Wetherspoon’s pub in the town square for a coffee to dry myself out. I had left the van at the north of Wick at a place called Staxigoe, which looked liked a council estate that you expect to see in any big city. Anyway I had arrived after a fairly long walk, and was glad to be finished.

See Map of walk and more photos