Skip to main content

John o' Groats Hotel

John o' Groats House Hotel
25 x 35 cm

The settlement of John o' Groats gets its name from a Dutchman, called Jan de Groot, who ran a ferry from there to the Orkney Isles in the early 16th Century.

The striking John o' Groats House Hotel was built in 1875, near to the site of Jan de Groot's house. It's in a run-down state at the moment, but there are plans to renovate it and to improve the area generally.


  1. Nice little sketch, with a lovely story along with it.

    Jan de Groot, yes a very familiar name over here still.

  2. I wandered through you blog again
    to see what I was missing here and
    now I know what it's missing in
    this sketch. It's the suggestion!
    It's much to much painted out, the
    last time you painted Jan's house
    it was more simplified, suggestive
    and there for more interesting for
    the viewer to imagine things.

    Maybe you should do some urban
    scene more often, for that matter
    I would love too see where you
    live, ... in watercolour that is.

  3. Beautiful painting - I have been up there and you make it seem less desolate than it felt on that day. I hope the hotel's face lift goes well and it is restored to its former glory.

  4. Keith, I like it. continued happy painting to you.

  5. Thanks René. I can see what you mean. When I paint buildings close-up, I tend to treat them as portraits and get caught up in trying to get a true likeness. When they are further away it's easier to paint them more loosely. That's something I'll have to think about.

  6. Thanks PurestGreen. It would be really desolate without the hotel.

  7. Hi Keith!... It's a "dilly"!... It's a Tilley! Stay the course!Your paintings have a panoramic beauty... they say Scotland.... sunny... and unfettered spaces.

    Good Painting my Friend!

  8. Does the desolation of the scene and the grandeur of the hotel actually 'come together'? I realize, of course, that this is the reality of the scene, but it is interesting that two so disparate images can reside together. For me, they both seem to pull in their own direction.

  9. I think it was the contrast that interested me Diane. I seem to be drawn to buildings in isolated positions.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

North Coast 500

In 2015 the North Highland Initiative started a project to boost tourism in the northern counties of Scotland. The idea was to publicise a 500 mile route through Inverness-shire, Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland and my home county of Caithness, and promote it as a superb road trip. I don't know how successful they expected it to be, but it has quickly become very popular and has been called one of the top five coastal routes in the World. In fact its popularity is becoming a problem for the local residents: some of the roads are single-track, with bays at intervals to allow two vehicles to pass each other, but there is an etiquette for their use that strangers are not always aware of. The result is that local people going about their business find themselves held up by slow-moving tourist vehicles, so if you use the route please pull over and allow other vehicles to pass. The amount of traffic will probably also cause damage to the roads, which were not intended for heavy use. Desp…

Old Broubster Village

Throughout the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, tenant farmers were evicted from their homes, or 'crofts', during the notorious Highland Clearances. Landowners, in a drive for efficiency and more profitable land use, wanted to replace the old system of small-holdings with large sheep ranches. The crofters were forced out of their scattered homes, often in a brutal manner, and re-housed in new communities. The land that they were given was often of poor quality and they had to work hard to maintain even a subsistence level of life. During this period many people took up the offer of a new life overseas, emigrating to Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where their descendants still have strong links with Scotland.

In 1839 tenants from the estates of Broubster and Shurrery, in Caithness, were resettled in a new village. Land was provided for them, but they probably had to build their own houses. The dwellings were in the form of long-houses, which consisted of a …

Christmas Wishes

A couple of my latest watercolours and -

Best Wishes to all for Christmas

"The Fuel Bowser", Watercolour, 24 x 18 cm

"View at Skelbo", Watercolour, 16 x 26 cm