After a busy old run of work, some uncooperative weather, and an unseasonal bout of coughs and sneezes, I was pleased to finish up today for a week of annual leave. So… what to do? Lazy days in bed relaxing? A week abroad in the sunshine?
I’ve been thinking for a while about exploring parts of Scotland that I haven’t yet reached on my travels, especially the northern extents, so next week seems like the perfect opportunity for a roadtrip! Today I’ve been looking through books for ideas and planning a rough itinerary for a few days travel, largely inspired by the North Coast 500 route promoted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
“Bringing together a route of just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery, the route path naturally follows the main roads across the coastal edges of the North Highlands taking in the villages and towns of places like Ullapool, Durness, John O’Groats, Dornoch and Inverness”
Much of the the western coast I have travelled as far north as Applecross and Ullapool, but after that it will be a complete drive into the wild. A sneaky peek here and there on Google Street View, especially along the single – track Highland roller coaster roads, gives me a hint of skylines to look forward to.
Hopefully it won’t all be driving, and with a little bit of fair weather and luck there should be some excellent hiking opportunities for exploring parts of Cape Wrath on foot, as well as some of the reknowned coastal reserves for wildlife watching, including Britain’s most northerly point at RSPB Dunnet Head. If I can make time for a trip across to Orkney, even better.
I’m really excited to be planning another long-distance tour, although I’ll have to go some way to beat the 3,500-mile Italian Job epic of 2012. Somehow I think Scotlands wild north will manage to win hands down!