Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report :

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report
Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

In the Summer of 2016 I took on another European coastal route :  Scotland’s NC500 :

UPDATED DOWNLOAD LOCATION : Get the GPX File for the Scottish North Coast 500 Route right here :

https://tbni.blog/2016/09/27/scotlands-north-coast-500-gpx-route-file-nc500-gpx/

Scotland's NC500 Coastal Route
Scotland’s NC500 Coastal Route

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.

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 1/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/11/29/scotlands-north-coast-500-in-2-days/

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 2/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/07/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-in-2-days-day-2-4/

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 3/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/08/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-in-2-days-day-3-4/

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 4/4) :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/08/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-in-2-days-day-4-4/

For more information on this route have a look here :

https://www.northcoast500.com

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 4/4)

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

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.

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : The Route Back
Scotland’s North Coast 500 : NC500 : The Route Back

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.

Read moreScotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 4/4)

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 3/4)

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

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 3 : 31/07/2016 : Scourie – Inverness : Day 3 of the trip and therefore Day 2 of the NC500 route. This section takes us from Scourie back to Inverness, finishing off the West Coast then taking in the North and East Coasts back to Inverness. The route for the day looks very roughly like :

Scotland’s North Coast 500 : Day 2 Route : NC500

Read moreScotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 3/4)

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 2/4)

Scotland's North Coast 500 : NC500 : Ride Report

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 2 : 30/07/2016 : Inverness – Scourie : Day 2 of the trip is actually Day 1 of the NC500 route and after the glorious day we had travelling over to Scotland I was so very hopeful for more of the same for the start of the actual NC500. However it was not to be. As any resident, or visitor, with experience of the United Kingdom, Ireland, British Isles, outlying islands will be all to aware – the weather is changeable – and it had changed. What was blue skies, fluffy white clouds and sunshine had been replaced by grey – and to make things that little bit worse all that grey was now wet – wet and grey.

We started off with the easy choice for breakfast – a nearby Morrison’s Supermarket for a fry. The grub was decent, but the tea was horrible. I blame the UHT milk, for goodness sake – surely a supermarket should be able to stretch to proper fresh milk for the tea? It took ages for the food as well which meant we weren’t getting on the road until just after 10:00 am. This late start would bite us later, so if you are planning on following a similar timescale get moving earlier. This is a pretty long day.

Read moreScotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 2/4)

Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 1/4)

North Coast 500 : Scotland : NC500

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 1 : 29/07/2016 : Two of us set off on this journey, myself on my 2014 BMW F800GS Adventure, my mate on his Kawasaki ZX10R. Yep an adventure bike and a sports bike are heading to the Highlands.

The day starts of at Belfast heading to Cairnryan on the 07:30 am ferry. At 07:30 am the most important thing is breakfast and at £10.00 for a fry I am expecting a great breakfast. Nope – not great at all. It tasted alright but the portions were beyond miserable. The beans consisted of 3 lonely individuals drowning in a sea of watered down tomato sauce. One good point is that if you buy a cup of tea / coffee your refills are free. Maybe the £10 fries subsidise the hot drinks bill?

Here are a few tips for this ferry :

1. Get a McD’s breakfast on the way to the boat.

2. Sit in the bar – not the restaurant. FIFA on an xBox was in the bar.

3. Find someone a bit secluded on the boat – the bodies (by the time you move off) will be strewn about everywhere, the noises are like when zombies fall asleep with a sinsus infection. People really need to try sleeping the night before their journey!

On a plus note through the weather was glorious! My fingers were crossed it stays this way!

NC500 : Belfast - Cairnryan Ferry
NC500 : Belfast – Cairnryan Ferry

Read moreScotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) – In 2 Days (Day 1/4)

Scotland’s North Coast 500 GPX Route File – NC500 GPX

North Coast 500 : Scotland : NC500

I have now uploaded my galleries and Ride Report of my 2016 trip around the Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500).  You can find them all here :

http://tbni.blog/2017/12/09/scotlands-north-coast-500-nc500-ride-report/

One thing I did notice (for example in comparison to the Irish Wild Atlantic Way) was the lack of signage.  Unless you knew you were actually on the NC500 you probably wouldn’t know you were on it.

The GPX file is available from the official North Coast 500 site, along with a printable map however my Sat Nav (a Tom Tom Rider V) found it far too complex, there are thousands of way points on it, and the sat nav just just refused to load it.  The printable map is nice, but let’s be honest an A4 map covering 500 miles isn’t an ideal solution either.

Thankfully there is a good solution.  I found this GPX, I have no idea where, or who made it but is sat nav friendly and guides you perfectly around the route.

Enjoy

http://www.tbni.blog/downloads/North-Coast-500.gpx

(If you have any trouble downloading the file just Contact Me and I will email it to you.

North Coast 500 : Scotland : NC500
North Coast 500 : Scotland : NC500