Dunnet Forest
The community woodland area of Dunnet Forest is a wonderful place to visit for local forest walks. And a great area to spot birds and wildlife.

Dunnet Forest

Explore the peaceful Dunnet Forest community woodland area

Dunnet Forest is a community woodland area, originally planted by the Forestry Commission in the 1950s and now managed by Scottish National Heritage. The project began as an experiment to replenish the land and the forest is now thriving, as Sitka spruce and pine trees dominate. It is a fantastic place to explore, with a range of different zones, walking paths, cycle routes and outdoor activities on offer.

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So much to explore

There are three different zones within the forest – a family zone, a quiet zone and an active zone. And a choice of walking paths of different lengths and levels, along with a horse-riding trail and a mountain-biking trail. You can view a map here, which shows the various zones, paths and points of interest.


Really enjoyed my stay at Mackays Hotel, all the staff are very friendly and welcoming. Quality of food and service great with a good selection to choose from Room was a decent size and modern. Will be back again during my next visit

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Points of interest ...
A butterfly sits on a vibrant green leaf
A bee on a bright purple thistle

Sculpture trail & Log cabin

There is a wonderful way-marked sculpture trail, featuring wooden sculptures. Including carvings of animals, such as owls and fish. Not to mention a giant xylophone! Also, look out for the beautiful log cabin in the middle of the forest. There is some interesting information about Dunnet Forest inside.

Visiting Dunnet Forest

Nature and wildlife

The forest covers 260 acres of land and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. There are a wide variety of trees, from the original pine, spruce and sycamore, to more recent additions of ash, birch and willow. With areas of wild flowers and grass, it is a magnet for insects and birds. Bring your camera and binoculars and see how many creatures you can spot!

Getting there

Dunnet Forest is south of Dunnet village, off the A836. There is a free car park, which is well-signposted. It’s on the North Coast 500 route, and well worth a stop on your road trip. For those staying with us at Mackays Hotel, it is around a half-hour drive north west.

Walking in the Highlands

Wick and the far north of Scotland

There are so many routes for walkers near Wick that you really are spoiled for choice. You’ll find more walks and trails on our walking page. So book your stay at Mackays Hotel today and start planning your walking adventures in the far north of Scotland!

Stacks in the sea near John O'Groats