World-class cycling star launches North Coast 500 challenge


Endurance athlete Mark Beaumont is challenging cycling enthusiasts to join him on “the trip of a lifetime” around the North Coast 500.

Mark, who holds the Guinness World Record for cycling around the world, will return to the iconic touring route for two, ultra-distance rides this summer and is appealing to felow cyclists to join him.

The rides will take place on the 4th May and the 31st August 2020, lasting five days.

Beginning and ending in Inverness, riders will cycle clockwise around a newly created North Coast 500 cycling route, travelling more than 500 miles (800 kilometres) and climbing over 10,000 metres on some of the quietest and most spectacular roads and scenery in Europe.

Image supplied

Each trip includes all accommodation, meals and energy snacks and drinks, logistical support throughout, an expert guide from Wilderness Scotland, and the company of one of the world’s most experienced endurance athletes at your side.

Over the past four years, the North Coast 500 has been hailed as the number one road trip in the world, and one of the top reasons for people to travel to Scotland.

The route has been credited with boosting business by 20-25% each year, extending the season to 10 months, and increasing visitor spend by an additional £13.46million in 2018 alone.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Mark Beaumont said: “The creation of North Coast 500 in the past five years has taken the north of Scotland from an unknown wilderness for cyclists, to an absolute bucket-list challenge.

“It truly is the most breathtaking route in the UK, with wildlife, local food and scenery making it so unique and memorable.

Mark Beaumont – Image supplied

“But it is also tough, with over 10,000 feet of ascent as well as the 500 miles, so not for the faint hearted if you are up for the added challenge of completing it in four days. I’m excited to be heading back in 2020 to explore this wonderful route.”

Tom Campbell, Managing Director of the North Coast 500, said: “After completing all 516 miles of the route back in 2015, then returning earlier this year on a ‘bikepacking’ adventure with Global Cycling Network, one of the world’s biggest online cycling brands, we’re delighted to welcome Mark back to the North Coast 500 this summer.

“Our trip with Mark and Wilderness Scotland is an exclusive opportunity to travel on the world’s best touring route under the expert guidance of one of the world’s best athletes.”

Paul Easto, Founder of Wilderness Scotland, said: “The NC500 is on the wish list for many roadies who want to take on an iconic challenge.

“This exciting opportunity is sure to include a heady mix of type 1 and 2 fun. If you’re feeling strong then the May trip will be awash with lush spring colour, and if you need time to build your endurance, then the September trip is for you.

“On day one you’ll meet a group of 12 avid cyclists that will become your friends and when you finish your trip you’ll be able to look back and say you’ve completed 500 miles and climbing that totals more than the height of Everest, in just 4 days, with one of the world’s most inspiring endurance athletes spinning away alongside you.”

Places on ‘The North Coast 500 Challenge with Mark Beaumont’ are available to book now through Wilderness Scotland.