Located at the most northerly tip of the United Kingdom, John O’Groats has always been an iconic destination, attracting tourists wishing to visit the most northerly part of the country and acting as the final point in many an arduous Lands End to John O’Groats charity fundraising trip.
Now, thanks to a £6 million investment by Natural Retreats, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Heritage GB, John O’Groats has world-class tourist facilities worthy of its world-famous status.
This huge investment has seen the creation of 23 luxury self-catering eco-lodges, a refurbishment and revamp of the former John O’Groats Hotel – now The Inn at John O’Groats – and the opening of a co-operative Storehouse café and retail Outfitters centre.
Sustainability and use of locally sourced materials has been a key theme of the development, with the eco-lodges featuring the use of Caithness stone, Scottish Larch timber and sedum roofs in their construction, while the Storehouse café offers produce and goods supplied by local businesses.
Originally built in 1875, the iconic former John O’Groats Hotel was carefully refurbished over two years and given a new Norse-style extension, adding a splash of vibrant colour to the landscape. Now known as The Inn at John O’Groats, its bespoke self-catering apartments offer visitors an unparalleled view across the Pentland Firth – one of the most breath-taking coastal views in Scotland.
The development has already had an impact on the area, and offers a clear demonstration of the tourism sector opportunities available in Caithness.