The famous Signposts at Lands end and John O groats attractions :
These famous signposts and the sites themselves at either end are both owned by the same business “Heritage Attractions Limited” or is it “Heritage UK” ? at either end of the country, a name designed to make a private company try to sound like it’s a national government backed agency or something, and in opening hours during the tourist season there is a charge of £10.00 per person to take your photograph next to the infamous signs at either end of the journey, for this you get an an 8 x 10 print posted anywhere in the UK and they put the lettering up on the sign etc, which is ok value, but to be honest, admiteadly its not more than thorpe park would charge for a photo on a log flume or something, but I dont think that either end of the “end to end” should be turned into some kind of themepark ? and since practically every one has a digital camera these days, this service in my opinion is just milking it too far, and after hours and out of season the sign is reduced to a plain post as both directional fingers and the roundel on top are removed to prevent people from getting their evidential photograph standing next to the sign for free, which seems to me demonstrate something of the kind of highland welcome they should not be promoting in their tourist industry ? I should not get too aggressive at John Carter who I believe is still the photographer in question ? as many have said he’s a nice enough guy ? but I cannot vouch for what goes on at John O Groats, no doubt there some local/familial and private investor squabbling that goes on, that can often turn, once lovely locations like this into somekind of hotbed of powermongering and plotting to control some ailing tourist cash register, as is the case with most private ownership in this country.
the photo is borrowed from a very good article about the general sorry state of john o groats in a great article on urban realm which can be read by clicking this link, they also seem to run something called the carbuncle award, which surely has too many contenders architecturally in britain
This seems uncivilised, that both these sign locations are privately owned, they should obviously be free as when people come to these uk furthest points, they will spend money in the facilities on site and the nearby area anyway, therefore people should be able to freely take their own photograph next to the signs, or perhaps english heritage should purchase them ? as currently this charge sadly bookends what by foot is a personal and epic pilgrimage of britain, with a really touristic tacky experience at either end, quite unpleasant, and not british in nature.
Dunnet head is in fact the geographically most northern point on the UK mainland, and John O Groats is the grockle cash register they built at a convenient ferry crossing point, they want you to visit to spend your cash, which apart from it being geographically incorrect, wouldn’t be so bad if they hadn’t run to the extent of charging you to stand next to the sign ? which is egregiously money orientated, after all tourists would no doubt spend money there, but to be charged for standing next to a sign is just plain cheap and gouging ! My advice get your journey stamped in the post office > take your photo next to the dunnet head sign, and visit john o groats for a bit to eat and drink, and you if you feel the necessity of the sign itself being in your photo album then pay for that also, as regardless of how crass it seems to pay for a photo with a sign, its no worse than any other horrifically over commercialised places in the UK.
to resume :
toilets are 20p (sadly most of the public lavatories have gone) I blame cottaging and weak councils)
a cup of tea at John O groats ? no idea anyone got any experience on that front ?
take your photo with the sign > £10.00 larger photos cost more. once youve paid you can also take digital photos too.