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Discover Scotland’s very own Route 66

And you could drive 500 miles

Scotland’s answer to Route 66: that’s the intriguing idea behind the newly launched North Coast 500 – a driving route through the wildest reaches of the Highlands. While the highway of all-American legend stretched almost 2,500 miles from Chicago to LA, this Scottish whippersnapper clocks in at 500 (well, just a little bit over by our count). It traces a crinkly parallelogram, starting and finishing in Inverness, with the other corners at John o’Groats, Durness in the northwest and Applecross, facing Skye on the Atlantic shore. An anticlockwise circuit lets the scenery build, from the gentler hills of the North Sea coast to the commanding peaks and deeply indented sea lochs of Scotland’s own Wild West. It’s a manageably adventurous drive – a hundred miles or more from the nearest motorway, sometimes on single-track roads. And, of course, a Route 66-style road trip needs an appropriate soundtrack: The Proclaimers are an almost-too-obvious choice to kick things off.

10 Loch Maree, said to be the home of the loch monster Muc-sheilche, is one of the many beautiful destinations on the North Coast 500 route
PHOTOGRAPH: STEVECARTER.COM
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August 2015
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