Scotland’s own Route 66: campervan nirvana?
Article reposted from dailyamil.co.uk
Scotland unveils scenic North Coast 500 route taking in fairy tale castles, beaches and ruins
- The NC500 is a brand new driving route in the Highlands, promoting its spectacular scenery
- The initiative, backed by Prince Charles, aims to showcase local Scottish food, drink, accommodation and activities
- Key photographic points include the mountain ranges, Ben Hope and Suilven, and Dunrobin Castle
It is arguably the most famous road in America, but can Scotland compete with the iconic Route 66 that stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles?
In a bid to show visitors what the far north of Scotland has to offer, the North Highland Initiative, backed by Prince Charles, has launched the spectacular North Coast 500 route (NC500), which they hope will become as iconic as the American highway.
The stunning touring route will start in the Highland’s capital, Inverness, and snake past some of Scotland’s impressive coastal and mountain scenery.
The coastal route is said to be ideal for drivers, motorcyclists and even walkers who want to discover the far north of Scotland
The North Coast 500 route in Scotland covers over 500 miles of spectacular Scottish scenery, including sights such as the mountains of Suilven and Canisp from Loch Druim Suardalain
Taken from the roadside heading south a couple of miles from the Kylesku Bridge. The NC500 route runs over 500 miles through the Scottish Highlands
Enjoy Brora Beach along the way. You can sometimes see dolphins, minke whales, and grey and common seals off the coastline, which makes it an ideal place for walking and picnics
The coastal NC500 route has been created to showcase what the far north of Scotland has to offer, including local food, drink, accommodation and activities
It is hoped the 500-mile route will also help to showcase local food, drink, accommodation, culture, heritage and outdoor and adventure activities.
Unmissable sights along the road include mountain ranges, Ben Hope and Suilven, the fairytale grand castle, Dunrobin, the Ardvreck castle ruins and the breathtaking Achmelvich and Dornoch beaches.
The route can be completed in a long weekend, or over several weeks on a more leisurely schedule and can be explored as a loop or in part.
Dunrobin Castle has 189 rooms, making it the largest in the northern Highlands. Its origins lie in the Middle Ages, but most of the present building and the gardens was added by Sir Charles Barry between 1835 and 1850. It is located on the NC500 1 mile north of Golspie
Ardvreck Castle is a ruined castle dating from the 16th century which stands on a rocky promontory jutting out into Loch Assynt in Sutherland, north west Highland, Scotland
Stop off at the beautiful Achmelvich Bay on your driving, cycling or walking tour
NHI chairman David Whiteford said: ‘NC500 is one of the most exciting and innovative developments for tourism in the north Highlands for some time. Across the globe, touring routes have become famous and often the very reason for visitors making the journey to that country.
‘We have, in the North Highlands, an opportunity to create a globally significant route that captures the essence of the wonderful landscapes and seascapes, people, stories, culture, history, adventures, food and drink and much more.’
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: ‘There really is nothing quite like the open road, and 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.’
The NC500 route follows the A835 out of Iverness towards the west coast. It then follows the rugged coast line upwards through the north west highlands across the north edge of mainland Britain and then follows the east coast on the A9 from Britain’s most northerly village, John O’Groats, looping back to the starting point, Iverness.