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The awe-inspiring Whaligoe Steps & Cairn of Get

The awe-inspiring Whaligoe Steps & Cairn of Get


Postby denfinella » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:27 pm

Route description: Whaligoe Steps and the Cairn of Get

Date walked: 14/08/2013

Time taken: 1.5 hours

Distance: 3 km

Ascent: 125m

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whaligoe-steps.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Out of all of the fantastic walks we treated ourselves to in Caithness this summer, this one had to top them all. Despite having a high-point only 20m higher than the car park!

A lovely view greeted us as we arrived on scene at Loch Watenan. The cloud had burned back after our morning in and around Wick, with blue skies and warm temperatures replacing it.

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Moving back away from the loch, we soon turned off the tarmac and followed zebra-striped posts through rough pasture in the direction of the Cairn of Get. It soon zig-zags up a shallow slope and emerges onto a flatter section, with a quarry (but not yet the cairn) visible ahead.

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A section of duckboards allow you to pass over very deep bog in the next field - footprints were visible off to the side, either from before the boards were placed, or by someone inexplicably deciding on a detour. Seriously, you'd be up to your waist... :lol: Up another small rise, and the attractive Cairn of Get is soon reached, which is kind of like the Tardis - bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside.

3.jpg


The cairn and its setting were lovely, but the real highlight of the walk had to be the Whaligoe Steps. For these, we returned nearly to the start, but continued walking down towards the sea, crossing the A99 and passing some attractive cottages, one of which was also a cafe. The top of the steps are beautifully understated - one moment you're next to somebody's back garden on flat ground, the next you're on the steps looking right down to the sea over 50 metres below. This is probably because some of the top steps were used to construct the house / back garden!

The best photos seemed to be looking up from the bottom. The setting for the steps is amazing - and it seems crazy that people would even consider building a path down to this incredibly otherwise inaccessible location.

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But they did, and at a construction cost back then of £8 it seems like a bargain! The remains of the old harbour buildings, along with various attractively rusting bits of machinery are still present at the bottom, albeit in a far worse state than the brilliant steps.

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It was busy at the bottom - great that such a unique and dramatic spot is obviously appreciated by many - but a chance for a bit of posing...

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...before the climb all the way up the 330 steps. We counted.

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Previous day: Morven wilderness: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=37667
Next day: Brora to Golspie spectacular: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=37797
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denfinella
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Posts: 1116
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Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

Re: The awe-inspiring Whaligoe Steps & Cairn of Get

Postby sailsagain » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:53 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience. Looks like you enjoyed some great weather - your photos are lovely!
sailsagain
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Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 3, 2011

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