The North Coast 500 driving route in the Highlands has been described as “possibly the world’s best road trip” by a prestigious travel magazine.
Writers at Conde Nast Traveler have praised the route’s “fairy-tale castles, beaches, and ruins”, as well as its historic sites including Dunrobin Castle and Hill O’ Many Stanes.
In an online article entitled “Scotland’s North Coast 500 May Be the Best Road Trip in the World”, Conde Nast said: “The North Coast 500 website promises ‘fairy-tale castles, beaches, and ruins’, and deliver it does.
“South of Brora you’ll find Dunrobin Castle, a French-style chateau inhabited since the 1300s, which served as a hospital during WWI.
“Near Durness, white-sand Balnakeil Beach looks like it belongs on a Caribbean postcard. The 200, 4,000-year-old stones at Hill O’ Many Stanes near Lybster, Caithness, are reminiscent of a mini-Stonehenge.
“Other things not promised that you’ll find, anyway? The 12-mile, single-track Bealach na Bà (Gaelic for “pass of the cattle”) route through the mountains to and from the coastal town of Applecross; some of the largest caves in the UK at Smoo Cave; award-winning pies from the Lochinver Larder; traditional dancing at Ullapool’s Ceilidh Place; and tipples at distilleries Old Pulteney and Glenmorangie.”
Created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative, the North Coast 500 - often billed as Scotland’s answer to the iconic Route 66 in the US - is a circular route beginning and ending at Inverness Castle.
Driven in full, its actual mileage is 516.