The North Coast 500 (NC500) is Scotland’s answer to the legendary Route 66 and prolific Wild Atlantic Way. Measuring at just over 500 miles, this meandering route snakes along the Highland’s rugged coastline bringing together ancient castles, serene lochs and glistening beaches.
The northern Highlands is one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. Taking the NC500 route helps you to discover everything the Highlands has to offer.
During the last week of June 2017, Stuart Evans and I, Renier Botha, are riding the NC500 route on motorcycles.
Day 1: For me, the journey starts in Aldershot on Friday 23 June 2017 from where I'll ride my BMW R1200GSA up to Edinburgh with an overnight stop and Penrith. Stuart flies up to Edinburg where we are meeting on Saturday morning 10:00 at BMW Motorad where Stuart has rented a BMW F800GS for the trip.
Day 2: From Edinburgh we'll head to Stirling, visiting some of Stuart's family, and then further north to Killin for the evening.
Day 3: On Sunday we head up to Inverness following the route pass Fort William, Fort Augustus andalong the west banks of Loch Ness to Invernss where the NC500 route officially starts. We'll overnight at Invergordon. The NC500 route officially starts and ends in Inverness - we'll complete the route in an anit-clockwise direction. The NC00 will cover th northen Scotland ection of the TGGBCT.
Day 4: The next day will take us pass some of the world famous Scotch Distilliries including Glen Morangie, my favourite single malt. With a definate pit stop at John O'Groats and the "Stacks of Duncansby", far north, we'll overnight in Mey.
Day 5: Following the coastal tracks west all along the North Sea towards Durness, then south... For the evening we heading inland (off-route) to Loch Shin.
Day 6: Back tracking towards the coast, we'll pick up the NC500 route at Laxford Bridge and ride to Ullapool. Again we'll turn in land to explore the highlands and overnight at Inchbae Lodge Inn close to Bargat.
Day 7: Finding our way back to the NC500 route we'll head to Applecross following the roads less travelled, going through little coastal towns like Mungasdale, Tournaig, Taagan and Fearnmore.
Day 8: Our journey concludes the NC500 route today as we are heading back to inverness. The route home will take us into the Cairngorms National Park where we'll overnight close to Loch Alvie.
Day 9: Riding to Edinburgh, Staurt will fly home and I am riding home to Aldershot. The end of another unforgetable adventure!
Trip Statistics at the end of my adventure
Tour Distance: 2020mls (3232km) = alittle more than 500miles :-)
Tour Time in the Saddle: 54h 55m or 2d 6h 55m
NC500 Interesting & Useful links:
- North Coast 500 - Home
- Interactive Map
- NC500 App in Apple AppStore
- Article in The Telegraph
- Visit Scotland
- 10 Reason to drive the North Coast 500
- Article in The Scotsman
- Article in The Guardian
- Article in The Scots Magazine
- Several useful tipes from Along Dusty Roads
Day 9 - Saturday 1 July 2017
Day 8 - Friday 30 June 2017
Day 7 - Thursday 29 June 2017
Day 6 - Wednesday 28 June 2017
Day 5 - Tueaday 27 June 2017
Day 4 - Monday 26 June 2017
Day 3 - Sunday 25 June 2017
Day 2 - Saturday 24 June 2017
Day 1 - Friday 23 June 2017
Route: Driving from Aldershot (HOME) to Penrith in the Lake District