Dornoch turned out to be a charming little town. I left the hotel at 8.10 and walked down past the Market Cross and Cathedral before regaining the trail.
At last I had some coastal walking, first beside the Dornoch Golf Course, and then onto a disused railway track to the little village of Embo. From there I followed the railway once again to reach Loch Fleet.
The walk around Loch Fleet was very pleasant, even if it was on a road. I passed Skelbo Castle, and then had a nature-packed few miles.
A stoat ran across the road a few metres in front of me, and then a seal surfaced on the loch. As the tide was in there were few waders around, but the loch was full of Eider Duck, and hearing their mewing call was a delight.
I delayed walking along the A9 for as long as possible by using a woodland path, but was forced onto it at the causeway of The Mound in order to cross Loch Fleet.
From the A9 a short section in a wood led to the railway line, which I followed across fields. Inevitably I had to cross one field of cows, calves and a large bull. Luckily they were all quite nervous, and the bull hid behind the cows. The farmer’s sign saying “Cattle in field. Enter at your own risk” was not very helpful when you really have no alternative.
After a short section of road and a beautiful wood, I returned to the coast and another golf course. Golspie was now in sight, and I arrived at the town at 2.50.
I managed to get some tea at a cafe, but eating tonight will be problematic. There is very little choice, so it will probably be fish and chips.
I have a very short day tomorrow – only 10km or 6.5 miles. As I will be passing Dunrobin Castle, I am going to spend some time there before going on to Brora.
When I left Dornoch, there was a trail sign saying John O’Groats 162km. As today’s walk was 22km, which is the same distance between John O’Groats and Dunnet Head, tomorrow I shall be less than 100 miles from the end of my trip.