One of our regular go-to spots in the county of Caithness is the sprawling Dunnet Beach, which is also very close to a favourite puffin spotting site at Dunnet Head. There's also the famous Dunnet Bay Distillery which sports Rock Rose Gin as its flagship spirit, but there's also a spot which we only visited for the first time last month. there's also a lovely woodland walk in Dunnet Forest.
Dunnet Forest is the UK mainland's most northerly community woodland, and it's set right on the route of the North Coast 500 - the other side of the road has access to Dunnet Beach, so you can easily fit in both beach and forest in one visit!
The woodland has a myriad of paths suitable for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders, as well as sculptures which are dotted around the final stages of the longer trail. This trail is way-marked with yellow arrows.
You can follow these directions for the longer trail - which takes just over an hour if you're striding it out like we were. If you are doing the trail at a more leisurely pace, it could take between 1.5 - 2 hours.
There's a whole range of carved animals and birds on display - from owls to bears, even fish make an appearance!
There's also a beautiful log cabin, right in the centre of Dunnet Forest. It's filled with information about the forest on the walls, as well as a very big selection of cuddly toys which were perhaps on their own teddy bears picnic!
I haven't included photos of all the sculptures so that you can enjoy finding some for yourselves, but couldn't leave out this impressive guy!
Dunnet Forest lies to the south of Dunnet village adjacent to the A836 (between Thurso and John O'Groats). There is free parking on site.