2020 has been a difficult year for work & travel as a photographer. October 1st had been in my work diary for months as departure date for ‘Road Trip to Monza with Omologato Watches’. 14 day quarantine on return to UK meant the organisers had to postpone it to 2021. My brother had taken the time off for the Monza trip… “Fancy a Porsche Road Trip to the Scottish Highlands instead?”
Day 1 – We set off early on Thursday morning to Scotland & our first overnight stop in Edinburgh. The plan was to eat up some motorway miles before cutting inland to drive up through the Cairngorms. The A939, The Old Military Road is one of the country’s top driving roads and rightly so!!
The road trip was to be a recce for a return visit to create landscape images for my stock photography portfolio. The soft green and brown tones of the heather and bracken covered the rolling landscape. We were incredibly lucky with the weather but the reminders were all along the route of the bleak conditions in Winter.
Day 2 – With memories of a lovely ‘birthday’ dinner at Tom Kitchin’s Scran and Scallie last night (thanks R Kid!!), we got back in the car and headed towards Inverness. We hadn’t planned to do the whole route but we were now at the start of one of the World’s best touring routes. The North Coast 500 winds its way around the coastal roads of the North Highlands. My brother Nick and I both grew up competing in rally cars, so reading a map is second nature to us. We had made the decision to go ‘old school’ and use OS Maps rather than the car SatNav. You see things you didn’t know are there if you only use SatNav #justsaying
As we made our way North along the A9 the mountains gave way to beautiful coastal sea views. The North Sea to our right with is rugged coast line and small villages dotting the way. I have never been this far north before and its stunning! Our overnight stop was to be the Bettyhill Hotel overlooking Torrisdale Bay. Where only 2 nights before we were there, the Northern Lights were photographed from their beer terrace!! You don’t need to go to Iceland to see them…
Day 3 – Our original plan was to head south down through the Highlands towards Cumbria. That all changed when checking out of the hotel reception. “Carry on around the coast road on the A836, you won’t be disappointed!” I’m so glad we did… Around every corner, over every ridge, a different stunning view awaited us.
A836 onto A838, onto A894, these are not A Roads as we know them down in the South. These were narrow single track with passing places cutting through beautiful scenery. As we gradually turned down the West side the blues of the coast and mountains were replaced by greens again. Joining the A837, I just had to get Nick to stop..yet again.
The weather turned as we made our way down to the Motorway to an overnight in Cumbria before continuing down South and home again. It had been a great few days with my brother and his awesome Porsche 911 Carrera GTS. The North Coast 500 is an experience made all the better in a car designed for driving roads like these.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our Porsche Road Trip. Right now our home tourism needs all the help it can get. If you get the chance to visit this beautiful area, it’s a must. I for one am already planning a return ASAP!!