North East 250 launched as Scotland's latest driving route

North East 250 developer Guy Macpherson-Grant launches the route with a Morgan Aero 8 at Ballindalloch Castle. Picture: North East 250
North East 250 developer Guy Macpherson-Grant launches the route with a Morgan Aero 8 at Ballindalloch Castle. Picture: North East 250
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A new driving route round the north east of Scotland was launched today following the success of the North Coast 500.

The North East 250 circuit includes Deeside, the snow-prone Cock Bridge-Tomintoul road and the coast from Buckie to near Aberdeen.

The North East 250 route. Picture: North East 250

The North East 250 route. Picture: North East 250

The 250-mile route has been developed by businessman Guy Macpherson-Grant in an effort to attract more tourists to the region.

He said: "I am excited by the potential of the North East 250 to bring more visitors to our area and experience, what I believe, is the very best that Scotland has to offer.

"You won't need to do another road trip.

"We need businesses along the route to really get behind it and help make it the success I know it can be.”

Backers include Chivas Brothers, Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, Turcan Connell, Walkers, Aberdeen Airport, Speyside Gardens and the Station Hotel in Rothes.

BACKGROUND: Concern over environmental impact of North Coast 500

Moray Speyside Tourism operations manager Laurie Piper said: “I am confident the North East 250 will contribute to the continued growth and development of the tourism industry."

VisitScotland regional director Jo Robinson said: “This exciting new route is a welcome asset to the north east and will, we would hope, simulate the success of other similar routes around Scotland.

“This area has arguably the best scenery, landscapes and views in Scotland and we would anticipate the introduction of such a route will bring economic benefit to the area and its tourism businesses through increased visitors."

The 516-mile North Coast 500 through Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness and Inverness-shire, which was launched in 2015 generated £9 million of extra spending in its first year, a Glasgow University study found.

However, the report for Highlands and Islands Enterprise also highlighted problems such as the “accelerated deterioration” of road surfaces and verges, “poor or inexperienced driver behaviour”, pressure on car parks in towns, villages and viewing points, and increased instances of speeding.

The route has since been joined by the South West Coastal Route 300 in Dumfries and Galloway and Ayrshire, which takes in Kirkcudbright, Glenluce, Portpatrick, Sanquhar and Girvan.

BACKGROUND: North Coast 500 tourists drive £10m Highlands boost

Neil Greig, the Scotland-based policy and research director of motoring group IAM RoadSmart said: “Whilst we do seem to have new routes being opened on a regular basis, we really like the idea of packaging trip highlights under one banner so visitors can be confident they won’t get lost.

"Planning and preparation are the keys to a great road trip, and this information will be really useful.

"With congestion growing in and around urban areas, a route like this will allow drivers to reconnect with the joy of motoring."