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North Coast 500 Tour September 2019 Gallery

A five day trip covering 1300 miles of stunning scenery

North Coast 500 Tour 12th – 16th September 2019

Our long-awaited tour of the North Coast 500 trip, kindly organised by R3 members, Philip and Jacquie Sayer, didn’t disappoint.  
After breakfast at Beamish Hall, we headed north, stopping in the shadow of the Forth Rail Bridge for lunch. After a quick stop for photos at 2,132ft above sea level at the Glenshee Ski Centre and a cake & coffee stop in Braemar we arrived at our first stopover, the Dornoch Castle Hotel.
We started the next day with a tour of the Clynelish Distillery, the drivers didn’t miss out on the tasting either, all leaving with a wee bottle to enjoy once the cars were parked up for the night. Our lunch stop was at John O’Groats, with a cheeky photo opportunity, before the leisurely scenic drive across the northern coast and another photo stop on the Kyle of Tongue Causeway. A relaxed evening meal at the Kylesku Hotel, on the banks of Loch Glendhu meant it was dark as we drove carefully to our next hotel, avoiding the Scottish wildlife.
The next morning, the weather wasn’t in our favour as we left the Inver Lodge Hotel in Lochinver; apparently the remains of an Atlantic hurricane. In Ullapool we enjoyed a cuppa and said our goodbyes to the first car to stay on to enjoy more of Scotland. After a rather wet break to admire the view of Corrieshalloch Gorge we stopped for lunch at Inverewe Garden. The heavy rain & gales continued as we drove around the Applecross Peninsula, a road that we had all been looking forward to. Though not quite what we hoped for, the waves crashing over the rocks gave us some spectacular views down the coast. Arriving in Applecross we were disheartened to learn that the Stromeferry Bypass was closed, putting us on a 4 hour, 140 mile diversion, hampered further by thick fog over the Applecross Pass. It was late when we arrived at the Duisdale House Hotel, our stopover on the Isle of Skye.
Next morning we took the early ferry to Mallaig, with a quick stop in Fort William to say farewell to another one of our group, before lunch at the Glencoe Visitor Centre, where where our numbers dwindled still further, such is the lure of the Scottish glens. The weather was in our favour as we enjoyed the majestic drive through Glencoe, on to our final stopover at the Inglewood House and Spa in Alloa. Being our last evening we decided a curry night was in order, followed by the answers to our tour quizzes. With the highest score, Alastair won a cuddly haggis, promptly christened Hamish, now his new passenger in the 996. Lowest score was Charles, winning him the booby prize of the evening; a Tam O Shanter wig.
Down to only four Porsches, we decided on a visit to the newly reopened Jim Clark Museum in Duns. After lunch we paid a visit to Jim Clark’s final resting place, in Chirnside, which turned out to be of as much interest as the museum, when one of the locals, who knew Jim, regaled us with stories of the racing legend.  Back into Northumberland, the beauty of our own Regions roads wasn’t lost on us as we headed south through the Cheviots, with a final stop at Errington Coffee House before we all made our way home.
All in all, like most R3 weekends away, great roads, great company. If you’ve never joined an R3 trip, you don’t know what you’re missing. This one was a definite tick off the bucket list!

North Coast 500 Tour September 2019 gallery contains 32 images and is part of the PCGB North East region activities from November 2019

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