Route 500

Most of us have heard of Route 66, the iconic road trip across the United States. Now it has a rival – Route 500. This is a circumnavigation of the North of Scotland. It begins and ends in Inverness and you can chose to go clockwise or anti-clockwise, as the mood takes you.

By happy chance, years ago, Clare and I have travelled the route, or the most parts of it. From our then home in Linlithgow we motored into the Central Highlands, over to the West Coast, north to Durness and along the North Coast. We then crossed from Scrabster to Stromness for a wonderful week in Orkney exploring its neolithic past, then back to Sutherland and home via Inverness.

I guess I did the equivalent again a few summers later in a 1930s yacht from Oban, through the Caledonian Canal, across Loch Ness, out into the North Sea for Orkney and after a couple of days, home by way of Cape Wrath, inside Skye under the Kyle of Lochalsh bridge and on past Ardnamurchan and the Sound of Mull to Oban. As I remember it was a stormy homeward voyage with day-long passages with no sight of land.

Maybe I’ve done ‘Route 500’ twice, but I’m eager to go again planning my journey with the aid of the detailed Route 500 website to pick fine dining and comfortable hostelries along the way. Maybe not in the winter months, in the summer months of long daylight and, fingers crossed, sunny days.

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