In Scotland walking holiday trips are the most effective way to see the country. The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s answer to Route 66. North Coast 500 covers 500 miles of stunning coast lines and meandering country roads. The route allows you to take in some of Scotland’s most beautiful and dramatic scenery. From the coastal areas to the beautiful Black Isle, there is something for everyone.
The Black Isle
The route of the North Coast 500 passes through the the gorgeous peninsula of the Black Isle. Although the Black Isle is not actually an Isle, it is surrounded by water on three sides – the Beauly Firth, the Moray Firth and the Cromarty Firth. When visiting the Black Isle, one of the highlights has to be the pod of resident bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins can often be seen swimming in the Moray Firth, between the villages of Fortrose and Rosemarkie.
The Black Isle is a must for nature lovers, with two RSPB nature reserves in the peninsula. Fairy Glen is a truly magical wooded glen, home to beautiful wild flowers and many song birds. The reserve is almost like something plucked straight out a story book. The second nature reserve, Udale Bay, is a natural habitat for the pink-footed geese. The geese migrate to the area from the likes of Iceland and Greenland.
With so much stunning open space, the Black Isle is popular with nature lovers and mountain bikers alike. The Black Isle offers some exciting off road forest trails, as well as quiet back roads, with brilliant cycling routes for all abilities.
Caithness and Sutherland
The North Cost 500 allows you to take in some of Scotland’s most beautiful, untouched coastlines. Some of the most dramatic and breath-taking areas are located in Caithness and Sutherland. The areas of Caithness and Sutherland are often referred to as the extreme edge of Europe, as one of the last true wilderness areas of Europe. The area remains largely untouched, with vast areas of moorland and peat bog covering the inland areas. The coastline also varies hugely from long sandy beaches in the east to dramatic cliffs and stacks in the west.
With so many natural landscapes to explore in Caithness and Sutherland, this route is the best way to take in all the area has to offer. Scotland walking holidays trips, along this route, follow the northern coastline, allowing visitors to take in some truly spectacular views. Walking is certainly the best way to take in all the dramatic and natural landscapes on offer in the area.
The route of the North Coast 500 starts and ends in the Highland city of Inverness. Located just north of the world-famous Loch Ness, Inverness attracts visitors from across the globe. Although compact, the city is full of history, from the Victorian Market to St Andrew’s Cathedral there is plenty to do and see before embarking on the North Coast 500. A beautiful place to visit – in Scotland walking holiday trips in this area are so popular!
North Coast 500 – Scotland Walking Holiday
When embarking on the North Coast 500, the NHW is a great way to take in even more of Scotland’s gorgeous coast. It allows you to explore some of the most beautiful landscapes which can only be reached on foot. Whether you are looking to explore some of the last areas of true wilderness in Europe, or visit some stunning beaches, the North Highland Way has it all. Also, if you are interested in learning more about the Scottish past, look at our last post about Clans.