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Doing NC500 & camping - any tips, sites to see, etc.?


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We're planning on taking the ambulance oop norf and doing the NC500 in September (plague conditions allowing), so looking for suggestions on things that are worth trying to include while we're in the area, and any other tips etc.

We won't be doing any off-roading as it shakes the beer up :P

Local breweries and gin distilleries are of particular interest ;)

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Take a boat load of patience, and make sure your clutch is up for going up the Belach na barr, camp sites shouldn't be that busy, but who knows since Covid etc.

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The route via Apple cross is stunning loads of places to wild camp if necessary also heading north past Gairloch you will come to a village called Portewe if you turn off left and follow the single track road at the very end is a set of old Russian pillar boxes from the second world war if your interested in that sort of thing also along that road a farmer has a field set up for wild camping  only a fiver a night but is right on the beach beautiful location also you will be tripping over distillerys they are not hard to find due to the Scots penchant for fire water regards Stephen 

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1 hour ago, Maverik said:

Take a boat load of patience, and make sure your clutch is up for going up the Belach na barr, camp sites shouldn't be that busy, but who knows since Covid etc.

We've done the Trollsteigen and Colle San Carlo as well as a few others so I'm hoping Scotland isn't going to throw us any great challenges :ph34r:

Definitely going to be booking camping where possible as they keep messing with people's European hols it could get unexpectedly busy any time.

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Following with interest as a few mates and I are taking the Volvo 850 replica BTCC estate, a 1994 1.4 Corsa SXI and a Rover 220 of similar vintage up there early October. Camping for the majority of it too

 

Make sure you share plenty of pictures Fridge !

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Tell your mates they have to source a stuffed labrador with flat-cap to put in the Volvo like the original BTCC one had -  they have a stuffed beagle these days it would seem:

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1 hour ago, FridgeFreezer said:

We've done the Trollsteigen and Colle San Carlo as well as a few others so I'm hoping Scotland isn't going to throw us any great challenges :ph34r:

Definitely going to be booking camping where possible as they keep messing with people's European hols it could get unexpectedly busy any time.

I'm presently hiding away in the west (knapdale) thankfully is pretty quiet, the North West and outer hebredies are my most favourite part of the world, oban was reported to be rather quiet this week which bods well.

For when you come back Dornoch, north of Inverness we found quite the surprise, good Gin stop and pretty village.

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The Highlands are currently mobbed with domestic visitors unable (or unwilling) to holiday abroad, while good for tourism businesses it's fair to say that it is causing some flash points in particularly busy spots with ridiculous levels of "wild camping"*, litter, waste etc. etc.

My advice would be to book into campsites for sure, both for the reason you have already noted but also because of the above. It's a much nicer experience anyway than some grotty layby or track and winding up all the locals.

Every turn is stunning if the weather's good, and there's no shortage of diversions off the core route to nice little villages and sights to see. An OS map has all the points of interest. It will be busy though in September, especially if the weather's good, and the narrow roads don't cope well with the endless campervans and caravans however no different from busy times in the Alps really - just more concentrated.

Stick to the west coast on the way up or down as it's far nicer than heading up the A9 and, personally I find it actually more interesting scenery-wise than the very far north where it can be quite bleak. But anywhere north and west of Loch Lomond is generally favourable.

*in inverted commas as camping with/in a vehicle is technically not wild camping and not legal - though generally tolerated in most areas.

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1 hour ago, Maverik said:

I'm presently hiding away in the west (knapdale) thankfully is pretty quiet, the North West and outer hebredies are my most favourite part of the world, oban was reported to be rather quiet this week which bods well.

I was in Knapdale today too!

And Oban - it seemed busy to me but it’s all relative!

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Thanks all, most useful, keep it coming!

Our intention is that we book the sites up in advance, and if everywhere says they're mobbed we'll have to take that as a cue to postpone it as we really don't want to be joining the hordes of unwashed bimblers, we were hoping they might all bu&&er off down to the west country and mob the beaches instead but I guess that might be a bit hopeful :mellow:

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Good plan. But you may well be alright by September as the English schools will be back by then. Noticeable quieter in the last few weeks since they went back up here, though still plenty of tourists about.

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Keep an eye in your mirrors and let the bikers past 😁

No particular recommendations, I thought it was all fab really. The West is probably more stunning but the East was still great - the Old Military Road is worth a trip.

If you fancy a trip over to Arran I enjoyed the tour round here: https://www.arranwhisky.com/our-distillery/visit-us and I had no interest in Whiskey!

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We are planning to meander up the west coast too in Sept. probably going to do some detailed exploring by starting in Dunoon and then following the coast. I know there’s about a million miles of coastline so not sure just how far north we’ll get.

 

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A friend took his family up there recently and drove the NC500 in his 90, and Sankey with roof tent combo. I know he booked a proper site for their first night, but rough camped it most other nights. From his photos I don't think they ran into many people at all.

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19 hours ago, DaveSIIA said:

Lochinver Larder are legendary for their pies - https://shop.lochinverlarder.com/collections/pies

 

I can 2nd this, the pies are beyond belief and you'll need the fuel for the next leg of the trip over to Ullapool.

I'll also echo what others have been saying re proper camp sites. It's insane up there right now with all the 'staycationers' and the locals have been getting a bit feisty! If you've got time, stay a night in Dornoch and go to their whisky castle. They sell good drams by the nip instead of the whole bottle so you get to taste some amazing stuff. Just leave some time the next day to sober up!

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=dornoch whisky&sxsrf=ALeKk00w92bU1PUPA8sTwznigg9KQIxXEA:1597995596964&npsic=0&rflfq=1&rlha=0&rllag=57879639,-4030085,25&tbm=lcl&rldimm=1781117402613131482&lqi=Cg5kb3Jub2NoIHdoaXNreUifwJmSrY-AgAhaHgoGd2hpc2t5EAEYABgBIg5kb3Jub2NoIHdoaXNreQ&phdesc=q2vWXpE6I_c&ved=2ahUKEwj2jaO_5avrAhXTURUIHWWICDUQvS4wAHoECAsQLA&rldoc=1&tbs=lrf:!1m4!1u3!2m2!3m1!1e1!1m4!1u2!2m2!2m1!1e1!1m4!1u16!2m2!16m1!1e1!1m4!1u16!2m2!16m1!1e2!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e16!2m1!1e3!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:9&rlst=f#rlfi=hd:;si:1781117402613131482,l,Cg5kb3Jub2NoIHdoaXNreUifwJmSrY-AgAhaHgoGd2hpc2t5EAEYABgBIg5kb3Jub2NoIHdoaXNreQ,y,q2vWXpE6I_c;mv:[[57.87981680000001,-4.029725],[57.87946170000001,-4.0304455]];tbs:lrf:!1m4!1u3!2m2!3m1!1e1!1m4!1u2!2m2!2m1!1e1!1m4!1u16!2m2!16m1!1e1!1m4!1u16!2m2!16m1!1e2!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e16!2m1!1e3!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:9

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18 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Tell your mates they have to source a stuffed labrador with flat-cap to put in the Volvo like the original BTCC one had -  they have a stuffed beagle these days it would seem:

FoS_18_13530D.jpg.4e8960c66049db67eb692a14a3f1e030.jpg

That is a great idea! Ours is the Lammers car

 

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12 hours ago, darthdicky said:

- the Old Military Road is worth a trip.

 

Following this with interest, as we have started talking about Scotland for next year.
Which "Military road", please?
Google maps has 4-5 of them...

 

Thanks


Tobias

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I have been walking in Torridon twice. It's an amazing place. The mountains need to be respected but they are very rewarding. I remember walking over to Lower Diabaig from Upper Loch Torridon; its a beautiful place. From there you can walk along the coast to and from Red Point.

More strenuously, you can park halfway down the Glen from Kinlochewe and walk north-west and the around into the corrie to see the Triple Buttress which is a fantastic sight. You can continue along the ridge back towards Kinlochewe but it isn't for the faint hearted. We did it years ago but it's an open-ended walk and I borrowed a tiny (a really tiny) kids bike and freewheeled all the way back down from Kinlochewe to the car, a few miles, with my legs sticking out the whole way.

Ben Alligin on the north side of the Loch is spectacular.

Pics to whet your appetite, taken in October 2010 when the weather was setting itself up for a particularly snowy pre-Christmas period across the whole of the UK.

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