Disclaimer : Having completed the Wild Atlantic Way in under a week I thought a reasonable time period to complete the North Coast 500 would be two days. However you will notice that this ride report actually covers four days – so what’s that about? Well it’s simply about travel. One day to get to the start and one day takes me home. So really it’s a four day trip to Scotland, during which I completed the NC500 in two.
Download the NC500 GPS File Here : http://www.tbni.blog/downloads/North-Coast-500.gpx
Day 4 : 01/08/2016 : Inverness – Cairnryan : Day 4 of the trip and yesterday saw the completion of the North Coast 500 (NC500). This final day is simply the dash home from Inverness to Cairnryan Port. It is almost 5 hours down the motorway towards Glasgow then to Cairnryan. No scenic route, no epic country roads like on Day 1 – with the timing of the ferry it really was just a dash to the port.
Only one thing needed sorted and that was my brakes. So I knew thanks to my internet buddies where I needed to go and who could help me, I was faced with one further dilemma, it was a bank holiday Monday so businesses were opening a little later than usual or simply not at all.
A few phone calls later and the brake pads were sourced in Mitchell’s Motorcycles unfortunately their mechanic wasn’t in so I needed to go somewhere else to get them fitted.
BRC Motorcycles came up trumps on this one. They were one of the few places open and when I told them of my plight and impending journey they said they would help me out as soon as I arrived. They were absolutely true to their word and as soon as I rode up to the shop they pulled the bike into the workshop, 2 lads got to work and a short time later I was I riding back towards Inverness Centre to get back on track towards Cairnryan with new pads and my braking power back up to 100%. All in all – pads included I was back and running for just over £40! Bargain! Thanks to Mitchell’s Motorcycles and BRC Motorcycles for sorting me out so quickly, reasonably and hassle free!
That was us back on the move and although behind schedule we were still well within the worry free zone for heading to the Port. It really was just a dash down the road with minimal stops.
After a quick leg stretch just outside Glasgow it was back on the motorway towards Cairnryan : (This place looked like it would be perfect for a set of the Walking Dead.)
Another quick stop just outside Cairnryan at a little town / village called Girvan to take a few snaps of the coastline and Ailsa Craig – the very distinctive island just off the coast.
And that pretty much sums that up – and as you can see the weather for the return trip was glorious. So it was glorious on the way over, then two days of rain whilst doing the NC500 then another glorious day to see us home. What can you say expect thanks to the typical UK weather.
The NC500 is a brilliant road trip and easy to recommend. You can do it in 2 days, but you could easily spend a lot more time on the route. So whether you want to blast round it or relax and take your time and do it over a longer trip you will absolutely have a ball! Whatever option you go for, and no matter what you think the weather is going to be like bring some waterproofs. Other than that there are plenty of petrol stations – the Kawasaki had no issues at all. Plenty of places to stop and eat from garages to chippies to pubs and even the odd hotel. The beauty of the Highlands really shows when you realise you are middle of nowhere but not too far away from anywhere!
Enjoy and thanks for reading – if you have any questions please feel free to ask them, and any comments are of course appreciated.
Check out the Official NC500 Website here : http://www.northcoast500.com