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John O'Groats

(4.6/5 based on 700+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing
John o' Groats is a village in the Canisby parish of Caithness, in the far north of Scotland. John o' Groats lies on Britain's northeastern tip, and is popular with tourists as one end of the longest distance between two inhabited British points, with Land's End in Cornwall lying 876 miles to the southwest. It is not quite the most northerly point on the island of Britain; nearby Dunnet Head is further north.John o' Groats is 690mi from London, 280mi from Edinburgh, 6mi from the Orkney Isles and 2200mi from the North Pole. It is 4.25mi from the uninhabited island of Stroma.A passenger ferry operates from John o' Groats to Burwick on South Ronaldsay in Orkney.NameThe settlement takes its name from Jan de Groote, a Dutchman who once plied a ferry from the Scottish mainland to Orkney, which had recently been acquired from Norway by King James IV. Local legend has that the "o' Groats" refers to John's charge of one groat for use of his ferry, but it actually derives from the Dutch de grote, meaning "the large". People from John o' Groats are known as "Groaters".The name John o' Groats has a particular resonance because it is often used as a starting or ending point for cycles, walks and charitable events to and from Land's End (at the extreme south-western tip of the Cornish peninsula in England). The phrase Land's End to John o' Groats is frequently heard both as a literal journey (being the longest possible in Great Britain) and as a metaphor for great or all-encompassing distance, similar to the American phrase coast to coast.
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