The Proclaimers famously sang about walking 500 miles and now visitors to their homeland can take the ultimate 500 mile journey as a brand new touring route has been launched in the Highlands of Scotland.
A potentially iconic route to rival the likes of the USA’s Route 66, the North Coast 500 (NC500) is the brand name of the project designed to bring together the best of the North Highlands in one iconic touring route round the coastal edges.
Image courtesy of VisitScotland
The route was launched by the North Highland Initiative (NHI) and aims to showcase and promote the brilliant moments to be experienced in the area, with a particular focus on food and drink, accommodation, culture, landscapes, heritage and outdoor and adventure based activities.
The NC500 route is just over 500 miles and begins in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness. From Inverness, it follows the A835 towards the west coast, and snakes along the coastline upwards through the North West Highlands, across the north edge of mainland Britain and finally down the east coast on the A9 from Britain’s most northerly town; John O’Groats, completing the loop in Inverness.
Perfect for cars, motorbikes cyclists and walkers alike, the route is arguably one of the most scenic in Scotland. Key ‘stop and take a picture’ locations along the route include:
Spectacular beaches such as Achmelvich and Dornoch
Stunning mountain ranges such as Ben Hope and Suilven
Mesmerising castles such as the fairytale Dunrobin and the striking ruins of Ardvreck.
Achmelvich Beach. Image courtesy of Steve Bittinger
e Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “From our enchanting wildlife and countless historic attractions, to magnificent mountains, dramatic lochs and sandy beaches, the Highlands is a true touring paradise.
“There really is nothing quite like the open road, and whether by car, motorbike or bicycle, this particular route really does take in some of the most picturesque parts of our beautiful country. People travel from all over the world for Route 66, and with our scenery, there’s no reason why the North Coast 500 can’t prove to be just as popular.
“You never know, at the end of the 500 miles, visitors might just be tempted explore 500 more.”