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A trip round the Highlands on the North Coast 500 is top choice for a St Valentine's romantic road trip

By Calum MacLeod

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The NC500 has been named Scotland's most romantic route – and the second best in the UK.
The NC500 has been named Scotland's most romantic route – and the second best in the UK.

The North Coast 500 has been named as one of the UK's very top roads to romance by online travel experts, Enjoy Travel.

The popular route, which begins and ends in Inverness and along the way takes in some of the most dramatic landscapes in the British Isles, was pipped only by the Cotswolds in Enjoy Travel's list of the best romantic journeys to take with a loved one.

Only one other Scottish journey made Enjoy Travel's list of the 10 best UK trips, the Glasgow to Glencoe road over the Rest and Be Thankful, which came in at number nine.

The drives were ranked based on Enjoy Travel's romantic road-trip factor, which includes natural scenery, unique things to do along the way, jaw-dropping viewpoints and overall popularity on social media.

The study comes as Covid restrictions lead to an upturn in domestic travel for UK holiday makers with 63 per cent of 25-34-year-olds making at least one holiday in the UK.

The 'bucket list' NC500. Picture: DGS
The 'bucket list' NC500. Picture: DGS

Describing the NC500 as a bucket-list road trip for many driving enthusiasts and one of the best coastal driving journeys in the world, Enjoy Travel sums up the route as: "A brilliant road trip for couples who like to embrace the great outdoors, as well as each other.

"This 500-mile (805km) epic road trip whisks you through the evocative, rugged Highland scenery and takes you past historic castles, traditional distilleries, sea caves, sea stacks and deserted beaches. How incredibly romantic. Make sure you park up and get out of the car to fully appreciate the remarkable and beautiful scenery that surrounds you."

Opportunities to go whale watching, fishing, swimming or white water rafting, as well as sample the local cuisine, also add to the route's attractions.

Editor Sarah Clayton-Lea said: "We're thrilled to highlight the UK's Most Romantic Road Trips for 2022.

"The North Coast 500 is known for its breathtaking beauty and we wanted to shine a spotlight on this beautiful drive. This road trip suits every type of couple; from stopping off at whisky distilleries to sample some of the best whiskey in the world, taking a romantic stroll on one of the many sandy beaches dotted along the drive to spending a night cuddled up to the fire in a medieval castle. The North Coast 500 is truly a unique road trip experience that will not be forgotten."

To read the article and learn about the other routes in the top 10, visit the Enjoy Travel website.

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