I was threatened on the NC500 – I don’t feel safe as a tourist, the locals hate us

A terrified tourist claimed he was threatened by locals after he parked his RV overnight at an official North Coast 500 campground.

The holidaymaker claimed he had a terrible night after being tormented by local residents while using a £10 car park near Durness.

The North Coast 500 has been voted one of the best road trips in the world


The North Coast 500 has been voted one of the best road trips in the worldCredit: Alamy
The NC500 is famous for its spectacular views of northern Scotland


The NC500 is famous for its spectacular views of northern ScotlandCredit: Alamy
Locals are divided over the route's impact


Locals are divided over the route’s impactCredit: Alamy

They claim residents honked their horns throughout the night and even got out of their cars to “kick their van” while the visitor slept.

The shy traveler said he explored the famous route in his motorhome last November after plucking up the courage to visit the north of Scotland on a solo adventure.

The 500-mile NC500 loop – which starts and ends at Inverness Castle – offers all visitors stunning distant views and has become increasingly popular in recent years.

But due to the time of year many of the official campsites were closed during the season – so weary visitors arrived in Durness, some 120 miles from Inverness, and parked in a car park with an honesty box.

Love the NC500, tourists turn it into a dump - they should be fined more
NC500 tourists condemn'selfish' parking by motorhome drivers, but not everyone agrees

Reporting on an NC500 group, the unnamed poster described the experience as “intimidating” and “terrifying”.

They said: “I paid for it myself, didn’t empty my tanks or toilets outside campsites and picked up the rubbish I saw on my walks.”

“I was blown away by the beauty of the Highlands and felt completely free (and safe).

“Until I got to Durness.

Most Read in Scottish News

I pre booked parking for the night and put my £10 in the honesty box.

“In the early hours of the morning several cars drove past with their horns constantly on.

“One car even stopped next to me and the occupants got out and kicked my van before getting back in the car and then honking their horn for a good five minutes before driving off.”

Referring to the tactic, the tourist said tensions between visitors and locals were so high that it now felt “no one is welcome” on the north road trip, which was voted one of the best in the world earlier this year .

They continued, “This type of intimidation was inappropriate, unwarranted and frankly appalling.”

“I understand that people don’t always welcome tourists – but I’m genuinely concerned by the level of spite shown and the message that no one is welcome.”

“That doesn’t mean protecting your local area, that’s violent – albeit minor – intimidation.”

“My question is: Who thinks the NC500 tourist route should be banned?

“Do you think the above behaviors are okay?”

While some of the tourist’s concerns were noted with sympathy, others were divided over the contribution.

One commenter said that while the behavior of locals was “regrettable”, more needs to be done to protect the landscape from “dirty camping”.

They wrote: “The route should not be banned and the behavior of those who intimidated you was deplorable.”

However, I believe RVs, RVs, and autocampers are a problem in many parts of the country, not just on the special routes.

The access code, which is required by law in Scotland, needs to be more publicized and enforced where necessary.

“There is no ‘right’ to park and camp wherever you want, which many seem to think is possible.”

“Personally, I would like people to use designated campsites and tent sites instead of just parking anywhere.”

But a disgruntled local resident echoed the abuses suffered, saying tourists were making their daily life in the highlands a torture.

They wrote, “Locals will never stop defending their community from unwanted invaders.”

“Maybe it’s time for you to grow up, get on with your life and stop whining about things that won’t change.

“You are not welcome here as our community and culture has been ruined by a greed based industry and you as a tourist are contributing to that.”

We previously reported that an angry biker turned on selfish tourists who plagued the NC500 with a “tsunami of trash”.

Rory Stone enjoys riding his motorbike the famous route but said it’s ruined by people who don’t clear it.

The Scottish beach has been voted one of the best in the world
Helen Flanagan flaunts her boobs in a plunging playsuit in Ibiza

And littering isn’t the only annoying habit locals have noticed in visitors.

They recently condemned tourists for a “selfish” act that they say is “pathetic and disrespectful” and is ruining the landscape by behaving like animals.

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at scoop@thesun.co.uk or call 0141 420 5200

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button