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With travel restrictions ever-changing, many event profs are opting to hold events at destinations in the UK, rather than travel abroad. Scotland’s NC500 route holds a wealth of unique events venues and team building ideas for organisers to consider.

Scotland is renowned for its breath-taking scenery and natural beauty, UK tourists have been exploring the north of Scotland as an alternative to travelling abroad and the popularity of routes such as the NC500 has seen increased footfall in the area. As well as its stunning scenery and history, the north of Scotland also holds some truly impressive event and team building venues.

The Black Isle

Despite its name, the Black Isle is neither black, nor an island. It’s actually a peninsula located in the north of Scotland, just above Inverness. The region is famous for its locally crafted food and drink – it’s a craft beer enthusiasts dreamland.

World-renowned food and drink aren’t all this peninsula has to offer; it is also the best place in Scotland to go dolphin watching. The Black Isle is also home to Newhall Mains, an incredible venue which was renovated from nearly derelict condition using traditional materials. Previously a working farm, the venue is how a hotel and event space which can hold 150 delegates. It even offers an exclusive package which allows you to take over the whole estate for your event.

Caithness

Caithness is located in the north-east of Scotland and contains the most northernly point of mainland Britain, Dunnett Head, as well as the most northernly village, John O’Groats. The vast wide-open landscape of Caithness is also known as the flow-lands and is one of the most archeologically rich sites in the world.

The north coast offers a view out on to the rugged waters of the Pentland Firth, the towering sea stacks dotting the coastline, and the majestic sea birds that make them their home. Nethercliffe Hotel, built in 1824, sits in the centre of Wick, just one mile from the airport. Containing a function room able to seat 60 delegates theatre-style, Nethercliffe Hotel is ideal for smaller conferences. The hotel can provide a range of catering options to suit any budget or dietary requirements, and both hot and cold buffets are available. Nethercliffe Hotel is perfect for an intimate event surrounded by classic Scottish charm

Easter Ross

This region sits on the east coast of Scotland and is touted as the most romantic part of the route. Easter Ross is full of Pict history and amazing views alike. The coastline is home to herds of seals, which can be seen basking along the shore, as well as beautiful highland wilderness and forestry inland.

The Pictish Trail winds through the area, allowing travellers to discover the ancient beauty of the Pict sculptures dotted through the region. If you’re looking to wow your attendees then consider holding an event in Mansfield Castle, which sits in Easter Ross. Nothing makes the jaw drop quite like the grandeur of a castle, and Mansfield Castle offers day and overnight delegate rates for up to 30 delegates, and can offer breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and two course evening meal catering options, among other services.

Inverness-shire

As the name might suggest, Inverness-shire contains the cultural hub of Inverness, a lively city known for its culture. In the city you can try Scottish cuisine, check out the city’s live music scene, or take a stroll along the river. Inverness Castle sits on the edge of the city and overlooks the River Ness. While most of the castle is closed to the public, the ground and the viewing tower are open and offer incredible 360-degree views of Inverness.

The area is perfect for team building days. Activities include mountain biking over the amazing scenery, to water sports or even becoming a whisky connoisseur.

Eden Court is the main theatre and entertainment venue for the Highlands of Scotland and boasts a magnificent riverside setting in the heart of Inverness. Only 20 minutes from Inverness Airport the venue offers several different seating options including two theatres, a cinema, two studios, and seven boardrooms, and is currently taking bookings for April 2022.

Sutherland

Sutherland makes up the largest part of the NC500 and is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who travels there. Known as Europe’s last great wilderness, the north-west of Sutherland is a vast area of unspoilt mountain ranges and natural landscapes. The peaks of Suilven, Ben More, Foinaven and Arkle offer suitable challenges for budding mountain climbers, not to mention spectacular views for those who ascend.

The Tongue Hotel is a former sporting lodge nestled within the village of Tongue on the north coast of the stunning Scottish highlands. Overlooking the beautiful landscape of Sutherland, this venue sure to impress. With 19 rooms and a restaurant and bar, Tongue hotel is available for exclusive hire for corporate events.

Wester Ross

Lochs hidden in hills, mist-shrouded mountains, and magical white sand beaches, Wester Ross has it all. The region has a huge network of paths, making it an ideal place to stop for avid walkers, and those who want to get out and about in nature. The many lochs of Wester Ross make it an ideal place for fishing, salmon and sea trout being the main catch in the area, while freshwater mussels can be found in the fast-flowing rivers of the region. If you’re looking for venue off the beaten track then Letterewe Estate is perfect.

The estate is only accessible by private launch from the estate pier on the south side of the loch, making arrival a truly memorable experience. The lodge contains a games area with snooker table, atmospheric dining room with panelled ceiling and log fire perfect for meetings, farmhouse kitchen with flagstone floor and aga, and a library with open fire to retreat post-business. The space can hold 19 delegates and offers a cosy atmosphere for an event away from the city bustle.