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The North Coast 500
The NC500, also known as the North Coast 500, is a scenic driving route in the Scottish Highlands that stretches for approximately 500 miles (805 kilometers) along the northern coast of Scotland.
It was created in 2015 to promote tourism in the region and has since become a popular destination for visitors to Scotland.
The route passes through stunning landscapes, including rugged coastlines, mountains, lochs, and forests, and provides access to numerous attractions, such as castles, distilleries, and historic sites.
It is estimated that the NC500 generates millions of pounds for the local economy each year, with a significant portion of the revenue coming from tourism-related businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and shops. The route has also brought new investment and job opportunities to the highlands region.
In addition to traditional driving, visitors can also explore the NC500 on foot or by bike!
The Aurora Borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights, is a naturally occurring light display visible at high latitudes such as the Scottish Highlands. The spectacle is caused by the sun’s charged particles interacting with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, creating colorful light patterns in the night sky.
The Scottish Highlands offer a prime viewing location for the Northern Lights, especially during the longer, darker winter months. Due to its low light pollution levels, the region provides ideal conditions to witness this natural phenomenon. Remote areas with clear skies and minimal cloud cover are the best places to view the Northern Lights in the Scottish Highlands.
It is crucial to check the aurora and weather forecasts before planning a trip to view the Northern Lights, as they are not visible every night. Additionally, visitors should dress in warm layers and bring appropriate equipment, such as a camera and tripod, to capture the experience amidst the unpredictable and chilly weather.
While the Northern Lights are a captivating and awe-inspiring phenomenon, responsible tourism practices are essential to respect the environment when visiting the Scottish Highlands. This includes leaving no trace, respecting local communities and wildlife, and supporting local businesses that prioritize conservation and sustainability.