Scotland’s Haven is a tidal pool in Caithness that in the past was used as a sheltered haven offering protection for small fishing boats, probably wooden boats used for herring fishing, that would use this area as a natural harbour and landing area, and as shelter in poor weather conditions. Today it is often populated by seals and other wildlife. On Canmore it is suggested that the bay was used as fish trap although little detail is known about this. The tidal pond can be visited if you are willing to take 20 to 30 minutes to walk over heather down to the small sandy beach.
When I visited Scotland’s Haven several years ago it was to see if I could photograph the seals that often use this bay, on my trip there were only a few seals swimming around. Certainly, the area is an interesting trek, with few if any signs of other people, with prospects of beautiful views over the inlet and to the island of Stroma (a Caithness island) and more distant views of Orkney. It is definitely off the beaten track and you will need to wear suitable hiking footwear if you want to keep your feet dry. It is well worth the effort and you may be rewarded with views of seals playing and sunning themselves. Take binoculars with you as well as your camera.
To get to Scotland’s Haven (tidal pool) you will find it on a map between East May and Gills (ferry), turning off onto the single-track road from the A836 towards St John’ Point. At the sharp turn in the road you can park your car in the small area available and then walk towards St John’s Point along the path and then cut across the heather covered moorland towards Scotland’s Haven. Other routes can be used as there is no defined paths. If there are seals on the beach it is best to observe them from a distance rather than disturb them.