North Coast 500 run

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White Exec
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North Coast 500 run

Post by White Exec » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:43 pm

>>> EDIT, 26 July 2017
This complete post - including missing photos - is available by clicking this link:
https://frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/view ... 35#p529764

Chris


Following some ideas and discussion on FCF, members there are planning a French Car re-run of the famous North 500 route around the Western Highlands and north coast (with a few tweaks), this September 2017.

The route starts with a meet-up and overnight in Fort William, and ends in Inverness. Driving will be about 70-100 miles a day (-ish), and overnight stops will be at B&B or affordable hotels. (The route precludes caravans: the Applecross climb, for example, was included by popular request!)

FCF David Mckay (from Macduff) and I are organising this, and we're happily extending an invitation to members here to join us on the seven-day run (or part of it).

If you're interested in coming, please post below, and we'll go from there. It should be quite something; seeing some of the best parts of Highland Scotland by XM is rather special, after all.


Our proposed route for North Coast 500 run

After a good bit of discussion with Davie, we have put together a route for our driving tour of north Scotland. Davie has volunteered himself to do an Advance Reccy, and to investigate B&B and affordable accommodation for our overnight stops. Exact details of the route could be tweaked, as needed. Mileages are approximate.

The route starts in Fort William on Sunday 3 September, and finishes in Inverness on Saturday 9.

On the way to Fort William, if you come up the A82 (from either the Stirling or Loch Lomond directions), you have the delightful option of crossing Rannoch Moor (careful, now!)...
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and down through the hauntingly atmospheric Glencoe...
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...and across the Ballachulish bridge over Loch Leven, before arriving in Fort William



Day 1 Sun 3 Sep
Meet up in Fort William, and overnight there.
Just 30mins' (17 mi) drive west of Fort William is Glenfinnan - famous viaduct, monument and loch. Optional jaunt there.

Image


Day 2 Mon 4 Sep
Fort William to Applecross (100 mi)

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with a visit to Aanoch Mor/Ben Nevis just outside Fort William (gondola cablecar)...
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and a fabulous day's drive towards Applecross and over the Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle)...
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Day 3 Tue 5 Sep
Applecross to Ullapool (119 mi)

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Highlights of this day include the Applecross 'new' northern coastal road (which replaced the original postal motorcycle tack) and though some once-deserted villages to...

Shieldaig village...
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Glen Docherty, and the view down to Loch Maree...
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Poolewe...
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and onwards along the Atlantic coast via Laide, and the roadside Corrieshalloch Gorge (waterfalls), to the fishing and ferry town of Ullapool.


Day 4 Wed 6 Sep
Ullapool to Durness and the north coast (105 mi)

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A swing inland first, then back out to the west coast at Lochinver...
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and to the peninsula tip for The Old Man of Stoer...
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Up through mountainous Sutherland, skirting the Summer Isles area...
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and towards the very north coast at Durness.


Day 5 Thu 7 Sep
Durness to Thurso (70 mi)

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Durness, and the Smoo Cave...
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and Balnakeil Bay and old Radar Station (now craft village)...
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... and along the topmost north coast to Tongue, Dounreay, and on to Thurso.


Day 6 Fri 8 Sep
Thurso to Helmsdale (75 mi)

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taking in John O'Groats and Dunscansby Head...
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and Helmsdale...
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Day 7 Sat 9 Sep
Helmsdale to Inverness (78 mi)

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At Dornoch, a swing west along the old A9 route, and via Bonar Bridge and the Millionaire's View...
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At Inverness, our road tour ends, with options to head off south down the A9, or take a look at Loch Ness...
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-----------------------


The complete FCF North Coast 500 thread appears here:
http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... &start=135
Last edited by White Exec on Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
Chris
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive RP7165 Polar White
2003 RAV4 D4D 2.0 5dr LHD Silver WORKHORSE
1989 BX19RD Delage Red Deceased; 1998 ZX 1.9D Avantage auto Triton Green Company car 1998-2001; 2001 Xantia 1.8i auto Wicked Red Company car 2001-2003

Peter.N.
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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by Peter.N. » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:50 pm

Hi Chris

Beautiful pictures and very emotive, we go to Sutherland and Caithness every year, have been since the '70s so know the area pretty well, certainly better than Dorset. :) We have quite a few friends up there and will be going again this year in June.

Its a beautiful part of the country I can thoroughly recommend it especially to those who haven't been that way before, well worth the journey. There's a nice fish and chip restaurant at Helmsdale on the way back, 'La Mirage'.

Enjoy your trip

Peter
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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by raynoon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:04 am

Oh wow! That looks simply spectacular! I'll give this some thought...
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White Exec
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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by White Exec » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:44 am

Would be great if you could make it, Ray.
Chris
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2003 RAV4 D4D 2.0 5dr LHD Silver WORKHORSE
1989 BX19RD Delage Red Deceased; 1998 ZX 1.9D Avantage auto Triton Green Company car 1998-2001; 2001 Xantia 1.8i auto Wicked Red Company car 2001-2003

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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by raynoon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:33 am

I spoke to my XM friends about it yesterday and this seems like a great idea, will keep watching!
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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by MTXM » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:34 am

That certainly does look very tempting Chris and it was not for the Challenge across North-eastern France in June I might have been up for it. Both the countryside and coastline are superb, but does the sun always shine like that!! With regards, Matthew T.
Last edited by MTXM on Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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White Exec
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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by White Exec » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:57 pm

I've been tempted by the France challenge too, so know what you mean!
You are right about the sun and Scotland :? which is one reason why we chose September (or it could have been June).
Chris
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive RP7165 Polar White
2003 RAV4 D4D 2.0 5dr LHD Silver WORKHORSE
1989 BX19RD Delage Red Deceased; 1998 ZX 1.9D Avantage auto Triton Green Company car 1998-2001; 2001 Xantia 1.8i auto Wicked Red Company car 2001-2003

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White Exec
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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by White Exec » Tue May 16, 2017 4:25 pm

Davie has just flagged this, which starts on BBC Alba tonight at 20:30, four parts.
Easily available live or catch-up through iPlayer...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39894789

Come on, fellas, it would be magnificent to have several XMs there for this (September 3 - 9) not just mine! :)
Chris
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive RP7165 Polar White
2003 RAV4 D4D 2.0 5dr LHD Silver WORKHORSE
1989 BX19RD Delage Red Deceased; 1998 ZX 1.9D Avantage auto Triton Green Company car 1998-2001; 2001 Xantia 1.8i auto Wicked Red Company car 2001-2003

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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by normanlindley » Thu May 18, 2017 2:35 pm

Hi Chris are you calling in to see us if you have the time?

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White Exec
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Re: North Coast 500 run

Post by White Exec » Thu May 18, 2017 4:49 pm

Hi you two,
I'll have a look at things, and see what I can do. Thanks for the invitation!
C.
Chris
1996 XM 2.5TD Exclusive RP7165 Polar White
2003 RAV4 D4D 2.0 5dr LHD Silver WORKHORSE
1989 BX19RD Delage Red Deceased; 1998 ZX 1.9D Avantage auto Triton Green Company car 1998-2001; 2001 Xantia 1.8i auto Wicked Red Company car 2001-2003

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