Nearby Dunnet Forest has miles of lovely walks and cycling trails, with picnic areas and unusual sculptures to encounter on the way. It is also close to the Highland Tourist trail that runs from Wick harbour in the east through to Ullapool in the west. This trail follows a route right across the far north and west of Scotland, taking in some of the most dramatic scenery, with mountain ranges, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring and ever-changing coastline along the way. The Castle of Mey, beautifully restored by the late Queen Mother is just a short walk from the cottage. This fairytale castle has a fascinating history and the gardens, grounds and views are simply stunning. The whole area is renowned for its bird and sea life. Puffins, great skua, otters, seals, dolphins and whales are all seen around these coastal waters. An excellent boat trip runs from John O’ Groats to encounter the sea life close to hand and to explore this fascinating coastline from a different perspective. From here there is also a daily boat trip to the Orkney Isles with escorted bus tour if required, which is highly recommended. The immediate area is a bird lover’s paradise. There is a bird-hide on the farm, overlooking Loch Mey, which visitors are welcome to use. The local fishing harbour at Harrow, just a few yards from the cottage, is very picturesque. Visitors are welcome to use the slipway for launching small craft into the bay. At Melvich just along the coast there is also a colony of puffins, and at Forsinard, Strath Halladale, there is an RSPB nature reserve, where local rangers will take visitors to explore the bird life, flora and fauna of the area. Historical sites and places of interest abound. A local archaeological trail provides a tantalising glimpse into times past, with brochs, cairns and ancient sites along the way. There are also many excellent golf courses in the region, and plenty of opportunities for fishing, coast and forest walking, and cycling, taking advantage of the quiet country lanes and spectacular coastal scenery
The town of Thurso, 15 miles away, has an excellent selection of bars, cafes, shops and restaurants. Originally built by the Vikings and added to over the centuries, it now offers visitors a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. The new Caithness Horizons visitor centre is well worth a visit. Facilities also include a swimming pool, leisure centre, cinema, boating lake, quad biking, horse riding and sailing.