Improvements Planned at John o’ Groats Hotel

John o’ Groats is an arm-pit of a town.  I cannot put it more kindly.  A clutch of drab private residences sits alongside the touted signpost with peeling paint and Castle Grayskull-like hotel.

It is a shame, as there is a dedicated core of local craftspeople, but the best aspect I think is the path leading away from it and towards Duncansby Head.

Yet The Independent and John o’ Groats Journal now are reporting that the journey may not be as soul-crushingly disappointing.  The owners of Castle Grayskull, Heritage Great Britain has teamed with Natural Retreats to propose a £15 millions conversion (artist’ s impression above):

The scheme will see the abandoned hotel restored as five-star holiday apartments, and 20 luxury eco-cabins with glass fronts will complete the “Nordic” harbour-side village feel, as well as affording sweeping views across the Pentland Firth.

Those who make the trip north will be encouraged to extend their stay – it currently averages little more than 10 minutes per tourist – with a new visitor centre telling the story of the eponymous Dutchman who operated the ferry across to Orkney and gave his name to both the area and the unit of currency he charged travellers.

The less said about the attempts to apply a Gaelic ‘name’ of Taigh Iain Ghròt the better.



2 Responses to “Improvements Planned at John o’ Groats Hotel”

  1. subrosa Says:

    I know many visitors to Scotland do visit John O’ Groats – no matter how much I persuade them not to! Ten minutes would be about right because it is a soul destroying place at present.

    Why Scottish Enterprise hasn’t encouraged light development I’ll never know, especially when there’s a solid tourist market.

  2. Official! John o’Groats: an Armpit of a Town « A Rabbit's Eye View of the Hyperborean North Says:

    […] discussed previously a joint-project between the owners of Castle Grayskull, Heritage Britain and Natural Retreats to […]

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