Duncansby Stacks at Duncansby Head

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

July, 2021

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Product country

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Travelled with

Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

Duncansby Stacks is located very close to John O’Groats, at the very top of Scotland.

Duncansby Stacks are a series of dramatic sea stacks, located beside an equally dramatic sea cliff. The stacks are home to a variety of seabirds including razorbills, fulmars and puffins.

Duncansby Stacks are easily reached from a car park at Duncansby Head. The walk is across an open sheep grazing field, so whilst uneven, it is not a difficult or steep walk.

On walking across to the main stacks, there is an inlet where the sea crashes in and seabirds are stacked into each crevice. During my visit it was nesting season so there was a constant flurry of birds coming and going feeding their hungry chicks.

As you reach the main stacks, there is a great view looking down the length of the cliffs. You can then follow the path around the edge of the cliffs for up close views of each stack. This section is a little steeper though.

Birds float along the updrafts almost at head height, making you wonder on who is watching who.

Returning to the car park can be back along the same path or through the sheep field.

Duncansby Head also has a lighthouse and an active tidal area called the Boars of Duncansby.

Duncansby stacks would be dramatic at any time of the year. I visited during summer, when the warm weather meant no coat was needed. I spent a very happy 2.5 hours walking and photographing the birds and cliffs and could have easily spent more time there.

There are no facilities, other than the car park at Duncansby Head. There are however public toilets located at John O’Groats just a few miles away (these require payment). At John O’Groats there are a number of shops and cafes as well as hotels and holiday accommodation.

For anyone heading up to John O’Groats I would heartily recommend this diversion off to the East coast and also for anyone travelling the North Coast 500 driving route.

There is no entry cost as this is an open headland and there is no charge for car parking.

“More photos and details”:https://theprofessionaltraveller.com/duncansby-stacks


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