North Coast 500 | We're Off To The Highlands!

6 Jul 2018

North Coast 500 - we're off to the highlands!


Okay, not quite. But you know when you just wanna scream that the moment you stick your out of office on and shut your emails down for the next 9 days? That’s where I’m at right now.

Tomorrow morning, G and I will head on over to Luton airport (a necessary evil) for a lil flight to Inverness. We shall then pick up a hire car and drive off into the highlands not to be seen again… until we fly home 9 days later obviously.

We’re driving the North Coast 500, the 516 mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland which starts and ends in Inverness. I’m trying to pack lightly whilst also packing for all weathers – which is somewhat difficult – and I am extremely nervous about driving a) a hire car and b) on roads that quite literally come with NOT FOR INEXPERIENCED driver warnings… but zomg so excited. We shall be heading clockwise from Inverness (I think you’re supposed to actually go anti-clockwise but we like to live rebelliously), following the coast all the way round. We plan to hit Dunnet Head (the furthest point north of the UK) on day 6 and be back in Inverness by day 9, stopping at all sorts of places along the way.

This trip has been a long time in the making. I feel like it was very early on in our relationship that G and I talked of hiring a VW type 2 and doing a Scottish road trip, and the idea never let up. When I came across the North Coast 500 route last year, we knew it was 100% for us (although we’ve not hired the van because they are stupidly expensive and also, I’m not sure my driving nerves could cope…).

Planning the NC500 has used the very best of our organisation skills to ensure we have somewhere to sleep and eat on each night (naturally G has a spreadsheet) but we’ve left our plans for what we’re going to see and do each day a little more loose. We’ve researched of course, and we’ll be going armed with a couple of guidebooks, but I want the freedom to be like holy shit, look at that beach, let’s sit on that for 5 hours, should the moment arise. The highlands look absolutely stunning and I don’t want to miss an opportunity to randomly pull over to see something I wasn’t expecting – that’s the point of road trips right?

This is going to sound kinda wanky but my intention for the trip is very much to ‘get back to nature’ (soz for making you vom). I feel like I need to clear my head and shut off for a while. Breathe some fresh air, spend quality time with G and really appreciate what I can see around me with a complete lack of distractions. I’m planning on going a bit old school. I’m usually most inspired to write when I’m away but I’m not taking my laptop with me this time; just good old pen and paper (pray for my writing hand). My phone will mostly remain on airplane mode and I really ain’t that fussed if I can’t find wifi for a week.

I desperately need to let go of usual everyday stresses for a while. To stop muttering ‘oh fuck off’ at Thameslink train announcements or the work email from that rude person. I want to sleep well, marvel at nature, get lost inside my own head, laugh with my love and have a bit of an adventure along the way.

If I decide to turn my phone off airplane mode and if I can find wifi, I may update the ol’ Instagram with our journey’s progress. If there are no updates, I’ve got lost in the hills with the highland cows and am probably quite happy about it.

Until I get back kids x