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Recomendations for places to visit close to the NC5OO

Hi All
Just joined and introducing myself to the community.
I am an extreme sports photographer and I'm looking at doing a couple of trips this year in Scotland
The first one will be the NC500 (anti clockwise)
I have been to other areas regularly but wanted to extend the range and experiences.
So
 I know a few people close by to this route who do some sports or activities but for the first time in a long time I will be wanting to 'have a go' myself and I will be carrying kayaks (sit on), bikes (mtb), kites (power) and a kite buggy (if there's enough room) as well as fishing gear (sea). - ANY good places for any of this including trails, empty beaches, MTB trails, surf locations or boat trips / fishing locations
I was also wondering if people could recommend any outstanding spots to visit that will enhance the trip.
Could be historic, cultural, food / drink (definitely a distillery or two or three ;-) ) or walking spots.
As said I'm a photographer so would like to grab a few selfies or nice pics along the way for my blogs.

Thanks

Ian


Looking for  Adventures  #experiencetheextreme
@expixextreme
@ianpics
expix.co.uk

Answers

  • IANPICSIANPICS Member
    That's a good start ...!!
    Drumbeg looks good for the kayak as well!!
    Cheers
    Ian
    Looking for  Adventures  #experiencetheextreme
    @expixextreme
    @ianpics
    expix.co.uk
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 7
    @ianpics I loved Carn Liath Broch, The Hill o' Many Stanes and Dunrobin Castle on the East Coast.  

    North west highlights for me were Smoo Cave and Balnakeil Beach (spectacular) plus Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve.

    Food wise I really liked the Bealach Cafe at the Strathcarron side of the Bealach na Bà. 

    Natures Retreat at John O'Groats was also really good for food and the tiny Alt Inn at Lairg.  It serves brilliant, unfussy home cooked evening meals and has amazing sunsets on the doorstep! 

    It's a fabulous route with so much to see and do.  You'll have a wonderful trip. 


    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • HorizonsHorizons VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    Does "trails" include hiking trails or just biking? The Torridon area has some magnificent hikes, some of which are rated extreme by WalkHighlands. I did the simplest walk in the region (Triple Buttress of Coire Mhic Fhearchair) last year and was overwhelmed by the beauty.


    We're a globetrotting travel blogger couple. Find us on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 Week

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  • IANPICSIANPICS Member
    Hi again
    Preferably bike but walking is also good Have had a few 'tasters' up North from Thurso for surfing to Loch Lomond for wakeboarding and The Inner and Outer Hebs for kitesurfing.
    Wanted to do a bit more but for myself rather than following athletes around photographing their antics.
    Just a couple of very low res images from previous trips below ... hoping to get a few more !
    Berneray

    Tiree


    Exit to the Minch


    Ballephuil Beach Tiree

    Boat North Uists
    Now whats this castle called ....? ;-) (Eilean Donan)

    Ullapool and beyond


    Wakeboarding outside Ullapool
    Loch Lomond


    Loch Broom
    And got loads more!!! ;-)

    Looking for  Adventures  #experiencetheextreme
    @expixextreme
    @ianpics
    expix.co.uk
  • VisitScotlandNikkiVisitScotlandNikki Administrator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @IANPICS some great suggestions for you already! If you're looking for more attractions on the route (think castles, distilleries, beaches and more), check out our new advice on road trips in Scotland which includes 10 things to do around the North Coast 500. Hope you have a good trip!
  • willmackenziewillmackenzie Member ✭✭
    edited May 9
    Hey @IANPICS!

    I've not undertaken any extreme sports along the route, although I know there's an Air Extreme between John o'Groats and Thurso and I see it hasn't been mentioned here yet. When I undertook the route in June last year we found Olshoremore beach completely deserted, and it was an incredible day and big beach, so that's got to be on your list. Also, because Sandwood Bay is remote and you can't drive to it (it's a 4 mile walk I think) this might be a good one for a chance at solitude.

    Anyway, the reason I wanted to write was to offer up two less well-known spots for photos: the Clashnessie Falls and Wailing Widow Falls. They're in Assynt/Sutherland, both about 30mins north of Ardvreck Castle and both about 30mins apart. The photo of the Wailing Widow Falls on that second website isn't great so here's one of mine, and because of the angle I've not done its height justice:



    Hope this helps. If you want to chat about it any more just DM me on Instagram :smile:
    Edinburgh | Highlands of Scotland | Part-time explorer
    > My Instagram
  • ImogenBImogenB Member
    @IANPICS
    I spent a summer in Wick, so some of the spots I would recommend around there are Castle Sinclair Girnigoe and Reiss Beach. Duncansbay Stacks up near John O'Groats are pretty spectacular too - definitely worth a visit. And, slightly off topic, if you fancy an ice cream I'd definitely recommend Flavours ice cream shop in John O'Groats - so yummy!
  • johnmurrayjnrjohnmurrayjnr Member ✭✭✭
    I love Ardveck Castle nestled along the banks of Loch Assynt 


    Some stunning beaches and sunsets at Clachtoll and Stoer 




  • FullStopNextChapterFullStopNextChapter VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    Dunnet Head is a must, not just because it is the most northerly point but because of its views and the seabirds (read puffins!). 



    Dunrobin Castle, near Golspie, is also rather special and worth stopping for



    I recently visited Castle of Mey too and thats a bit of a hidden gem. 



    On the west coast, Inverewe and Garloch are really pretty. 

    I can't help on the places to paddle etc I'm afraid. 
    Join in my new chapter over on the blog. Discovering all things that make Scotland the place everyone wants to visit. 

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