North Coast 500 – Scotland’s Route 66 - has launched a ‘passport’ for the iconic Highlands road trip, helping visitors record their bucket list experiences.
The NC500 Passport includes 25 recommended stop-over points along the route, including off-the-beaten-track views attractions and experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Tourists will be able to have their passport stamped at various businesses around each stop, making them official North Coast 500 Passport Holders for life if they collect all 25.
Attractions in the Passport include: Inverness Floral Hall and Botanical Gardens; Strathpeffer Pump Room in the picturesque, historic spa village of Strathpeffer; Ullapool Museum; Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve; Camster Cairns; and The Mermaid of the North in Balintore.
The final stop is Glen Ord Distillery, where Passport Holders can claim a free commemorate NC500 engraved glass by showing four photographs they have taken on their trip.
Tom Campbell, Managing Director of North Coast 500, said: “Our new Passport Scheme is a really fun way of telling visitors about some of the amazing attractions and hidden gems on the North Coast 500, and helping them write their North Highlands ‘Bucket List’.
“We want people to spend at least a week exploring the delights of the route, taking their time to appreciate all the rich history and beautiful scenery that can be found along the way.
“Within the Passport you’ll find information on each of the stamping points, as well as recommended detours from the route, places to stay, and local activities and restaurants. We hope lots of visitors will sign up for one for their trip and become lifelong North Coast 500 Passport Holders.”
John F Mackenzie, Founder and Managing Director of GlenWyvis Distillery, said: “We are delighted that GlenWyvis Distillery is one of the recommended stops in the NC500 Passport. We see this as a great way of showcasing businesses, communities and must-see places for visitors travelling the route.
“We look forward to welcoming NC500 Passport holders at GlenWyvis Basecamp in the town of Dingwall itself, where we’ve now got our new GlenWyvis NC500 gin and the full range of NC500 clothing waiting for them. We believe the Passport will help to encourage more visitors into Dingwall to complete the route, and to learn more about GlenWyvis Distillery and our community development plans.”
The NC500 Passport is available online at www.northcoast500.com/shop for £10 - or complimentary as part of a NC500 Explorer Membership.
The full list of 25 stops is:
Inverness Floral Hall and Botanical Gardens
Strathpeffer Pump Room
Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve
Sand Beach, Gairloch
Gairloch Heritage Museum
The viewpoint overlooking Loch Broom and Ullapool
Dunnet Bay Distillers
The Castle of Mey
Wick Heritage Centre
Carn Liath Broch
The Mermaid of the North
Glen Ord Distillery
Bringing together a route of just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery, the North Coast 500 naturally follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands, taking in the regions of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross, the Black Isle and Inverness-Shire.
However, the North Coast 500 is more than just a coastal route: it’s one that encircles the whole of the North Highlands and its communities, and a whole host of amazing things to see and do.
The Official North Coast 500 route begins and ends in Inverness at Inverness Castle which, perched on top of a hill, is the perfect starting point to the route and offers unparalleled views over the capital city of the Highlands.