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Dunnet Bay

Caithness Kw14 8 Xd, Caithness, Scotland
1 acre hosted by Test O.
Beautiful sandy bay and grassy dunes among which to pitch your tent

When you take it at face value, this site should be everything that Hipcamp is not: a council-owned site; run by the Caravan Club, with wardens in mint-green uniforms; and rules everywhere.

Now it’s true that at the height of summer it can seem like Caravan City with room for only a few tents jammed up against the dunes. But therein lies the secret. The site is slap-bang next to the sand dunes of a huge sweeping bay. Long stalks of dune grass practically reach over a small wooden fence to touch your tent.

The restless waves of the Pentland Firth attract surfers from far and wide. But Dunnet Bay is one of the north coast’s trump cards. With a mile or more of white sand stretching like a crescent moon to the cliffs of Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of mainland Britain, it’s a spectacular setting. With a bit of sunshine, a few tinnies of beer and the odd shout of ‘Ripper, mate!’ and you could swear you were on Bondi Beach in Australia. Well, almost.

For those with a head for heights, there’s a road roaming for five miles over bleak and brown scrubland up towards the cliff-top at Dunnet Head. Up there is the lighthouse built by Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather with views over Gills Bay and across the channel between the headland and Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. On a clear day, you can see the breadth of Scotland from up here – from Cape Wrath in the east to John o’Groats in the west – and it’s worth putting up with a few too many caravans at the campsite for that alone.

Not currently accepting bookings on Hipcamp
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Caithness Kw14 8 Xd, Caithness, Scotland, United KingdomTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Test O.Joined in January 2015
From the host
Beautiful sandy bay and grassy dunes among which to pitch your tent
Nearby attractions
A day trip over to Orkney from John O’Groats or Scrabster won’t disappoint – you can hop the whole string of islands by boat and coach. If you’re a keen birdwatcher, take a ferry trip around the Stacks of Duncansby for the chance to see kittiwakes, fulmars (a relation of the albatross), guillemots, razorbills, puffins and, of course, plenty of sea gulls. If it rains, visit Mary-Ann’s cottage in Dunnet village. It’s an old croft, left intact after the death of its 93-year-old owner – and she had kept it just as her grandfather had.
Food and drink

The lounge bar at the Northern Sands Hotel (01651 842214), half a mile away, has leather chairs and wood panelling and serves a decent pint and excellent sandwiches. For those who want a little more rock with their roll, head over to Thurso for Top Joe’s at the Central Hotel (01847 893129).

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