Loch & Loaded – The North Coast 500 Adventure Begins

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Road trips don’t come more spectacular than Scotland’s breathtaking North Coast 500 – and it’s even more luxurious if you take your bespoke tour in a Rolls-Royce Ghost, says Luxurious Magazine’s owner, Paul Godbold

Having travelled to numerous countries, eaten at the finest restaurants and driven the most incredible cars, I thought there was probably little left to inspire me.

After politely declining invitations to spend more than a day out of my office during the past two-and-a-half years, a telephone call was put through to me which caused some long-forgotten inner feelings to stir.

I was being offered the chance to drive Scotland’s legendary North Coast 500 route in a factory-fresh, top-specification Rolls-Royce Ghost – a perfect way to experience the luxury on offer in this beautiful part of the United Kingdom.


By pure coincidence, the last time I accepted an offer to do a review, I headed up to Kelso in Scotland’s border counties. That, I thought, was my Nirvana: beautiful rolling countryside, a wide variety of wildlife, peace, tranquillity and friendly people. I’m a huge fan of the countryside, living only 40 minutes from the Lake District, but as much as I adore England’s most stunning scenery, the Scottish countryside is my personal yardstick.


The brief provided to me was clear and enticing: drive the 500 miles around Scotland’s North Coast, sample three different types of luxury accommodation, eat fine food, meet some entrepreneurs and, lest I forget, do it all in the comfort and luxury of a two-tone liveried Rolls-Royce Ghost II.

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Mike Heybourne and Paul Godbold

I was invited to bring along a plus-one but, although I’m very happily married, I chose to go with a good friend (Mike Heybourne) who works as a professional driver and, dare I say it, is a little more fun to be with on a road-trip.

Mike and I are no strangers when it comes to high-end luxury cars. The week before our trip, he took delivery of a gleaming white Mercedes-Benz AMG LWB S-Class as his everyday car, and that’s what we would be using to get us from Lancashire to our starting-point in Inverness.

We headed North from the darkness of Lancashire and after a couple of hours of motorway driving, reached the ‘Welcome To Scotland’ sign just as the sun was rising over the distant hills. From the Border counties, we still had a few hours’ drive to our first destination, the Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant Inverness.

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We arrived to be greeted by our first sight of the Rolls-Royce Ghost, and believe me when I say it looked stunning. In the bright sunshine, the chrome glistened and the two-tone colour scheme seemed to pop and elevate the almost peerless luxury car to an even higher level.

Editorial Team

The independent luxury magazine showcasing the finest and most luxurious things in life. Luxurious Magazine travels the world visiting the best resorts, hotel and restaurants to see whether they warrant the 'Luxurious Magazine' seal of approval. We also feature the latest news, finest products and services, luxury events and talk to leading personalities and celebrities.

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