During our tour of Scotlands North Coast 500 (check back later for more on our North Coast 500 road trip), we stopped off at Whaligoe Steps. I doubt we would have found this little gem on our own as no signs direct you to Whaligoe itself. We relied upon the NC500 app, which can be found on the Apple App or Googles Play Store, to find local places of interest. This place intrigued us due to the history of the steps and the reviews of others who had visited.
A man-made 365 steps descent to the harbour. below, surrounded by 250ft cliffs filled with a massive variety of sea birds, views on the way down are amazing if not slightly scary as they are quite steep and slippy if you’re unfortunate enough to have rain on your visit as we had. Once at the bottom you’re greeted with the history of the place where you’ll find the old salt store used for curing fish and a hand-powered winch used by the women of Whaligoe, some as old as 70 years of age, to haul in the latest catch of herring, cod or haddock, prepare the fish, carry it back up the steps on their backs in baskets to then walk the several miles to the fish markets at Wick.
In 1975 the steps were cared for by Etta Juhle who in 1975 singlehandedly cleared 30 tons of rubble from the steps following a landslide. On the descent, you will find a fitting tribute to the lady herself.
Free parking available at Whaligoe Steps alongside the residential parking – and space for around 3-4 vehicles.
Ordnance Survey grid reference: ND 321 403
Postcode: KW2 6AB