Author Topic: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)  (Read 2132 times)

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  • Offline Pegasus   gb

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    Offline Pegasus

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    2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    on: August 19, 2019, 03:56:17 pm
    August 19, 2019, 03:56:17 pm
    I purchased my pride and joy just over a month ago. My first ride (literally picking it up from the dealer) was just over 200 miles home from furthest North Wales to the Cotswolds. It was soo comfortable and manageable! Just ate the miles and my face hurt from grinning so much when I got home. 
    700 miles under the belt and I am aiming to plan a ride in July 2020 to do the North Coast 500, which is an epic coastal route going round Scotland. It encompasses some of the best roads in the UK and has scenery is jaw dropping. Route can be seen below. Check it out. https://www.northcoast500.com

    Thought I'd see if anyone else has done this trip or if numbers allow, get a group ride organised?

    Looking to do it over around 4 days next summer. Basically an opportunity to use the bike for what it was made for and very little beats driving through Scotland. Would probably look to camp or BnB if budget friendly enough.

    Any advice is appreciated!


    Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 04:01:14 pm by Pegasus
    Sometimes you need a really crooked road to get your head straight

    Online buzzardbilly   gb

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 07:28:17 pm
    August 19, 2019, 07:28:17 pm
    Hi Pegasus, I did 5 days on a Scottish tour last year on the Multi - I was going to do the NC500 but looked as some feedback and it appeared that the route was, to some extent, a tick in the box for a coastal circuit and so I opted for selected bits of it and added some other bits in . I have to say it was fantastic but you have to pick your time on the popular bits as the roads get overcrowded with camper vans in the holiday period - the congestion just spoiled Applecross pass for me and I went the weeks after the school hols ended 

    Accommodation is getting more expensive up there as people are cashing in on the notoriety of the NC500 but with booking well in advance you should be able to get some B&B's at a fairly reasonable rate

    I set off from Gloucester and was able to get up to my first stop at at Crianlarich (Inverardran Guest House - very reasonable)  in one day's comfortable riding on the Multi

    There are some Forum members from Scotland so they can probably advise better than me

  • Offline Grahew   gb

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      #2

    Offline Grahew

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #2 on: August 19, 2019, 07:43:52 pm
    August 19, 2019, 07:43:52 pm
    Pick the month carefully if the tourists dont get you the midges will :745:

  • Offline wethogs   gb

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    Offline wethogs

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #3 on: August 19, 2019, 09:09:31 pm
    August 19, 2019, 09:09:31 pm
    Hi:

    I live in the central belt of Scotland and driven many parts of the NC500. The previous poster said avoid tourist season .. most definitely avoid July and August. August also being the second wettest month of the year in Scotland. September is better for being dry. During the summer the route gets lots of camper van and caravan traffic from Europe. And they like to travel in convoys.

    The Applecross section has some very narrow roads that most tourists do not know how to drive on.

    The west coast section from Achnasheen up to Durness is the most scenic.

    Book your accommodation early to get best selection. Enjoy the route.
    Kind Regards,
    Wethogs

    (A transplanted Canadian in Scotland)

    Offline Tynedale   gb

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    Offline Tynedale

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 08:13:09 am
    August 20, 2019, 08:13:09 am
    If you see a petrol station, fill up. The more remote ones have been out of petrol on occasions when I have been up there.

    Online buzzardbilly   gb

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 08:42:34 am
    August 20, 2019, 08:42:34 am
    + 1 on Tynedale's comments. Plan your petrol stops on the more remote sections . A few are unmanned self service pumps and take only credit cards with set to dispense a fixed amount of something like £10 of fuel if I remember rightly . OK if you have a car fuel tank and can fuel up on multiples of £10 but on a bike.......

    An obvious website - but it is quite good for route planning : https://www.motorcyclescotland.com/

    Offline IakWhisky   scotland

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    Offline IakWhisky

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #6 on: August 20, 2019, 11:46:37 am
    August 20, 2019, 11:46:37 am
    Some good comments above. In general the NC500 has become a victim of its own success. Back in the day before it was a thing, you hardly saw a soul on those roads and you could do it in either direction.

    If you go then I'd also say that you should avoid June to mid-Sept. Late April or early May are good if the weather is behaving. But we've had snow at that time of the year too.

    The alternative is to do bits of it and then plan your own route in and around it. If your going clockwise then the west coat is the best bit.
    For instance, you might want to go as far east as Tongue and then south to Lairg or some other variation.

    Offline resovoir   gb

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    Offline resovoir

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #7 on: August 20, 2019, 04:45:01 pm
    August 20, 2019, 04:45:01 pm
    I can only add hat has already been said. Some petrol stations are closed because they run out of petrol or pumps broken. You can get a map from tourist office of where petrol stations are. Going over the hill at Applecross is deadly because of the car idiots,  You must do the Snow Road very technical. We stayed in the middle and radiated out and along the coast. used Invershin Hotel as a base, good food, bar, plain and simple, good hosts. Hope that helps. If coming up from the South we stayed at  Buccleuch Arms Hotel, Moffat, even has a metal sheet shed to park your  bike and a key to lock up your treasured vehicle. Good bar and good food excellent price

  • Offline Pegasus   gb

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    Offline Pegasus

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #8 on: August 21, 2019, 12:21:30 pm
    August 21, 2019, 12:21:30 pm
    Cheers everyone for the hints and recommendations.

    So in summary:
    Time to go - Early May or Late September (Thinking a nice birthday treat for me in September)
    Accommodation - Book early to avoid price hikes and peak times
    Keep the tank half full

    Good few suggestions on places to stay. So shall have a look at them all.
    I am a photographer and drone pilot so would love to do the whole route to get some good shots. Would be great to see if i can train my missus to pilot the drone whilst we ride. Would make for an epic shot! But i think a little more planning and we'll see where it leads.
    Really appreciate the feedback all.
    Sometimes you need a really crooked road to get your head straight

  • Offline Wassers   gb

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    Re: 2020 North Coast 500 (UK's version of Route 66)
    Reply #9 on: August 21, 2019, 05:08:12 pm
    August 21, 2019, 05:08:12 pm
    Pegasus - Whist up in Scotland on your travels... see if you can capture a great photo (or even better.... aerial drone footage) of the lesser spotted wild haggis  :005: :020: :745:
    Sometimes you need a really crooked road to get your head straight