We’re really enjoying exploring all areas of Caithness, there is so much to see and learn about the area. Before moving north, we had passed this sign many times and without fail, everytime I always said “I must find out what Ellen’s Geo actually is”, and after our visit to the nearby Whaligoe Steps Cafe, we decided on a bit of exploration was in order.
Parking about 50 metres along the track from the A9 turnoff (taking care not to block any of the vehicles belonging to one of the properties, we went exploring in search of Ellen’s Geo.
In gaining access to Ellen’s Geo, we crossed a bit of farmland complete with geese, hens and the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if that was actually the correct way to get across the ground. If we had seen the houseowners we would have asked (so if you’re reading this and it’s your house, I hope we did the right thing!)
Mr Turkey was certainly a proud beast puffing his chest out well and his plumage was very impressive!
We spied a gate and used that to gain access to a downhill stretch of land -making sure we weren’t about to let any geese escape! To start with we decided to keep next to the fence (left in the picture below) just in case the ground was boggy, but in line with the white shed below, was an absolutely ginormous pig sleeping in the sun!
As our dog wasn’t on a lead (but shows zero interest in chasing anything unless it’s a biscuit) and fearing the consequences of disturbing the sleeping pig, we headed in an south-easterly direction to a good landmark for our first closer look at the cliffs and the horizon.
This part of the land is fenced off, so there’s no danger in getting too close to the edge, and there’s some great mustard lichen on the clifftop stones which are a lovely pop of colour against the greys and greens.
As you get nearer to the cliffs, you can see for miles in either direction. Keen walkers will have their eyes on the John O’Groats trail which is currently under development. At the moment a lot of the northern sections can be walked, with the JOGT group maintaining or getting other sections ready for walkers.
Keeping close to the fence, we then walked north for a few minutes to reach a gap in the fence – handily marked!
I crossed the bridge while Mr B waited with the dog (as there are no fences on the cliff top here, we didn’t want to chance an inquistive labrador falling off a high cliff!) and again stuck close to red waymarkers placed so there are no accidents.
A Geo is a long, narrow, steep-sided cleft formed by erosion in coastal cliffs, and at one point I did get fairly close to the edge of the cliff but feeling a bit nervous at being alone at the top of an exposed cliff, I turned back. Sufferers of vertigo might want to give this section a miss, but you can still get great views of the coastline even if you don’t follow the waymarkers to the end of the viewpoint.
We’ll definitely make a return trip to Ellen’s Geo, and maybe we’ll even find out more about the elusive Ellen!