John o' Groats Marker – John o' Groats, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

John o' Groats Marker

John o' Groats, Scotland

The sign marks one of the endpoints to mainland Britain's longest overland travel route. 


This signpost marks the northeastern point of the Land’s End to John o’ Groats route. The route is the longest distance a person can walk between any two towns in Britain, clocking in at 874 miles, stretching from the southwest to the northeast of the island. 

Since the 1960s, there has been a signpost at the spot, which is a favorite for bicyclists or walkers to document the completion or beginning point of their transversal either as a charity fundraiser or simply a personal endurance challenge.

The earliest known pedestrian trip was in 1871. Current walkers will usually have a much longer distance to cover than those riding on motorways, as they must traverse about 1,200 miles. If walking, it can take a couple of months to complete. The bicycle record is less than two days, but most cyclists will take a couple of weeks to finish. The Land’s End—John o’Groats association offers several annual awards for certain categories based on age, mode of travel, top fundraiser, etc. One of the more eccentric un-powered trips was undertaken by David Sullivan, who hit golf balls all the way. 

Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman kicked off their adventure travel documentary, The Long Way Down from John o’ Groats marker to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point on the African continent.

The spot is often touted as the northernmost point in mainland Britain, though that’s incorrect, as that point is a few miles west at Dunnet Head.

Know Before You Go

John o'Groats can be reached by public transportation and is about half an hour from Wick by car. The marker and hotel are a short walk from the A836. A ferry to the nearby islands are also available. There is a hotel, bistro and camping available.

The small harbor behind the sign is home to grey seals (year round) and harbor porpoises (July-October), while the Pentland Firth beyond can allow viewings of passing orcas (April-September) and Minke whale (June-October).

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