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Scotland

Head for Scotland's northern Highlands

By Ilona Kauremszky, Special to QMI Agency

Actors Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor celebrate the end of "Long Way Down" in Cape Town. The tour aimed to raise awareness of children's issues to the international community. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Actors Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor celebrate the end of "Long Way Down" in Cape Town. The tour aimed to raise awareness of children's issues to the international community. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Q: Next year our family will be attending a reunion in Scotland. Our niece is interested in exploring the northerly tip of mainland Scotland but I'm not sure whether there is much to see there. What do you think? -- P. MacDougall, Markham

A: Known for its remote location and friendly people, the village of John O'Groats is popular with tourists. People en route to Orkney or the Shetland Islands often pass through the coastal village, which has some interesting attractions. The landscape might look familiar as this is where actor-adventurers Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman started their 24,000-km motorcycle journey from Scotland to South Africa for their documentary Long Way Down.

Depending on the time of year, visitors may see orca and minke whales, as well as dolphins and porpoises. There is a coastal path to the Duncansby lighthouse and the Duncansby Stacks -- magnificent rock formations that resemble merlin's magical pointed hat. the Castle of Mey, which was restored by the Queen Mother, is also nearby. She reportedly spent many happy summers there. One of the newer projects is Natural Retreats, which has 23 cabins and an outfitters centre. For more, see visitscotland.com and visitjohnogroats.com.


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