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NC500/Kally1000 Day 1 & 2

Updated on August 30, 2020
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Kally is an amalgamation of both my partner and myself, and we document all of our adventures no matter how big or small.

Day 1 - Glasgow > Inverness 18/08/2020

So we embarked on our trip on 18/08/2020.

After work, we left Glasgow (£1.08/l petrol @Asda fuel) and set off on our trip to Inverness stopping in Pitlochry at our favourite wee cafe for dinner.

Bonus - because of the Government Eat Out to Help Out Scheme (Cafe Biba was part of) we got our dinner practically half price. Masks are to be worn when not at your designated table, booking is recommended as we were lucky it was quiet and got a table. There was sufficient social distancing between tables, and as usual, the food is always very good and filling! Parking in the nearby car park is also free after 6 pm!

Not the most exciting part of the journey because, well, we have made this journey quite a few times over the last few years. But it was still stunning, the hills were bright purple because of the heather in prime and going through the Cairngorms is always gorgeous. The roads were relatively quiet, the slowest parts were definitely the average speed cameras but we weren't exactly in a rush so it didn't matter to us.

***If we were going up during the day or if you're looking for a pit stop we would recommend visiting the Highland Wildlife Park and Blair Drummond Safari. You have to book tickets in advance but they are incredible! Especially now there is a Dino world at Blair Drummond!

We stayed at the Jurys Inn, in Inverness (for £56 double room) , as it was just off of the A9 it was the perfect starting point for our NC500, especially when we saw on the map that Morrisons was close by for fueling up and most importantly BREAKFAST! To note, especially during current climates I have to say we were nervous about staying in the hotel, but as we already had dinner and weren't planning on drinking in the bar we stayed in our room and found there were signs for everything that was sanitised especially the dreaded remote! GO JURYS INN CLEANERS

Jurys Inn

Day 2 - Inverness > Dornoch 19/08/2020

We started off leaving the Jurys Inn first thing and headed to the Morrisons to fuel up (petrol £1.09/l) and get some breakfast! Again Morrisons is part of the scheme so we got breakfast for practically half price!

Granted this was our first trip up North together, we had never camped together nor had we ever driven these roads, this trip was going to be full of new experiences and making memories!

We stuck on our Scotland Rugby shirts (yes we are typical ruggers), put on our Spotify (make sure to download all your songs in your playlist as some parts of the North you will be lucky to have 1G) and had our maps downloaded and routes downloaded ready with all of our potential pitstops.

Then we headed off to the marina to embark on our boat trip with Dolphin Spirit where we had booked tickets (£19.50pp) a couple of weeks beforehand to hopefully go out and see some dolphins! They usually have 4 trips every 2 hours from 10am everyday but due to social cong measures they only allow 1/3 of people on the boat on each trip so booking is ESSENTIAL! Unfortunately for us the fog prevented us from going out, we were so disappointed because we were offered to reschedule but as our itinerary was already packed we asked for the refund and said we would have a wee weekend trip up at some point to do it!

From there we headed to Fortrose where we were advised to essentially find a good parking spot and walk to Channory Point (supposed great spot to see seals and dolphins) as the car park there got busy very quickly (which it did). It was a nice walk but unfortunately, when we got there we didn't see any seals or dolphins

Cromarty

By this point, we were getting hungry so we headed to Cromarty and on our walk, we heard of a Pirate's Graveyard from some other tourists but we didn't go and see but it is on our list for our next visit. We also spotted the smallest cinema ever, super cute but we weren't able to have a look inside to see what it was like as it was closed. Instead, we found a wee place to eat called Sutor Creek, the food was so good, definitely recommended!

Again, no dolphins. We were quite disheartened at this point as lots of people had been these places recently and saw them so we thought it must be because of the storm coming and we would make a point of coming back.

Rogie Falls

After being fed we went to Rogie Falls where we were told during August and September there would be a high chance of seeing salmon swimming upstream (after being chased in by the dolphins) and although the walk was stunning we didn't see any

Tain & Dornoch

As time was getting on and we had to get to our campsite before the Storm we headed off to the see the Mermaid of the North. There wasn't a designated car park or anything but it was easily accessible especially with the tide going out. We parked up at the side of the road when we spotted the sign and walked down the beach. I know many people who have climbed up to get pictures with her but I wasn't up to it.

With the weather changing, and a storm on its way, we managed to make it to our first campsite in Dornoch, it was easy to find. Plenty of spaces for motorhomes and tent pitches and a short walk to a beach. The facilities were open (thankfully) and you had to book a time slot to use the shower. The town is only about a 15-minute walk so if you needed supplies after settling down it's not too far to the Co-op, which had a traffic light system for customers to know when it was safe to enter the shop (masks on obviously).

Whether you chose to do the NC500 like we did or have a staycation elsewhere, have fun on your adventure and stay safe!

© 2020 Kally

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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      11 months ago from UK

      This sounds like a great trip. We stayed in Jurys Inn Bradford in July with no problem. If you are avoiding public areas, hotels are fine. I felt safer than I had expected. I appreciate the suggestions of what to do en route.

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