Campaign Will Make Responsible Touring on The North Coast 500 Second Nature

NatureScot is joining force with the North Highland Initiative and North Coast 500 Ltd to encourage visitors to slow down and enjoy the north’s attractions responsibly.

Supported by an online e-brochure, the Explore North Coast 500 campaign showcases over 50 sites of historical interest and natural heritage, including Smoo Cave, Duncansby Head, Wick Heritage Centre, Castle of Mey, Sandwood Bay, Attadale Gardens, Gairloch Museum and Torridon Countryside Centre and Deer Museum.

The campaign has been designed to encourage responsible and sustainable tourism in the north Highland countryside and along the region’s coastline, whilst respecting the fragile landscape and local communities.

Urging visitors to slow down and explore away from the beaten track and sample the food and drink produced in the Highlands, there is also a focus on wellbeing experiences, such as walking, hiking and wildlife spotting.

Travellers are encouraged to be mindful of their environmental impact with a series of tips for visitors including leaving no trace of litter, travelling conscientiously, stepping away from the car to look for alternative ways to travel, moving on if places look busy and using local expert guides where available.

Ian Sargent, NatureScot’s nature reserve manager, said: “The NC500 route showcases Scotland’s outstanding nature and cultural heritage, taking in world-famous UNESCO sites, National Scenic Areas and five National Nature Reserves.

“The Explore NC500 e-brochure features more than 50 destinations for people to discover, including many hidden gems.

“As lockdown restrictions lift, we want everyone to explore our world-renowned outdoors, have an amazing adventure and help conserve and protect our unique nature by following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code – remember to care for the environment; respect the interests of other people, and be responsible for your actions.’

North Highland Initiative board member David Hughes added: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Explore North Coast 500 campaign and actively encourage visitors to respect, protect and enjoy the North Highlands this summer and beyond.

“The north Highlands has over 10,000 square miles of wild, wide open countryside, rugged coastlines, breathtaking lochs and majestic mountain ranges as a place of tranquillity to slow down, take stock and refresh after lockdown.”

Craig Mills, head of operations at North Coast 500 Ltd, commented: “NC500 Ltd is pleased to be working in partnership with our friends at NatureScot and North Highland Initiative to promote the safe and responsible re-opening the North Highlands to visitors this summer and beyond.

“It’s really important that we all work together to help each other through the challenges ahead after almost a year in lockdown.

“With its breath-taking beauty and endless opportunities for getting close to nature, North Coast 500 is the perfect way to explore and rediscover the north Highlands.”