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Dadventurer does the NC500

Ahoy there, adventure-seeking friends! Wow... that was a weird opener. Today we’re going to talk about an epic road trip - the North Coast 500. This 500-mile route takes you on a stunning journey through the rugged and wild landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. To all you fellow dadventurers out there (not discriminating against you legendary mumventurers too), I can tell you that this is the perfect adventure for families who want to experience the great outdoors, explore ancient castles, and discover quirky hidden gems along the way.

First things first, let’s talk about the route. The North Coast 500 begins and ends in Inverness, and takes you on a circular journey around the northern tip of Scotland. We went anticlockwise... I guess you can go whichever way you like. The route will drag you around crazy winding roads past towering mountains, picturesque beaches and charming villages and every day you'll stumble across some ancient ruins, incredible scenery and natural delights. This is not a road trip for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely one that’s worth the effort.

Now, let’s talk about some of the highlights of the North Coast 500. without doubt, the highlights for my family were the many brochs, cairns and pictish stones we found - by accident at first - then hunted down when the kids had enjoyed them so much! The incredible remails of 1000+ year old dwellings were easy to find and explore with functional staircases, hideyholes and rooms still accessible for the kids and us. Optional extras such as the Isle of Skye, Shetland isles and Loch Ness provided even more fuel for adventurers.

Of course, no road trip through Scotland would be complete without a visit to a castle. The North Coast 500 is home to several beautiful castles, including Dunrobin Castle, Eileen Donan, Doune Castle and Castle of Mey. These impressive structures are a great way to connect with Scotland’s history and are set up well for the kids with activity sheets and stickers provided by the teams there for a reasonable entry fee. We found the smaller castle ruins, free to visit and littered through the highlands, just as satisfying and the kids loved speculating about the histories of the often dramatic ruins while we explored.

One thing to keep in mind when planning your North Coast 500 adventure is that the weather can be unpredictable. We visited in October and met plenty of the infamous Scottish weather but, prepared with some decent waterproof gear and warm layers, it did not prevent us from enjoying the trip. In fact, as a trade for the super busy summer traffic, I'd recommend the autumn rain! The scenery along the route is so stunning that you’re sure to have an amazing time either way.

All in all, the North Coast 500 is a true adventure that’s perfect for families who love the great outdoors. Whether you’re hiking through the hills, exploring ancient castles, or simply taking in the stunning scenery, this road trip is sure to be an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, grab your adventure boots, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!


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