North Coast 500 route ‘could be world’s best road trip’

The  North Coast 500 - hailed as 'maybe the world's best road trip'
The North Coast 500 - hailed as 'maybe the world's best road trip'
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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.

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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.”

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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.