John o'Groats Trail: Wick to Keiss

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The thirteenth stage of the trail leaves Wick to resume clifftop walking - though the cliffs are now lower than further south. It passes Noss Head lighthouse, the dramatic ruins of Castle Girnigoe and the impressive Ackergill Tower before crossing the spectacular sweep of sand at Sinclair's Bay. The walk is rough on some sections and involves fording the River of Wester - an impassable obstacle if the water is high.


Fairly rough clifftop going, can be overgrown after Castle Girnigoe. Dunetop path or sandy beach across Sinclair's Bay. The River of Wester requires fording and is a major obstacle if the water is high (affected by tide as well as spate) - if it cannot be waded, rough and slow detour to verge of A99 to use bridge.

Public Transport

Wick has a railway station and good bus links; Keiss is also served by bus.


Wick High Street. Open start point in Google Maps for directions.

Hillwalking in Winter

Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. All route descriptions and difficulties given here are for summer conditions. See our Winter Skills page for basic information on the essential skills, techniques and knowledge needed for winter hillwalking.

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