SCOTLAND’s newest driving route, the North East 250, has been officially launched, with high hopes it will bring a tourist boom to Speyside, the Cairngorms, Deeside, Aberdeen, the east coast and the Moray coast.

Launched at the Moray Speyside Tourism Conference in Elgin, the circular route takes in fantastic roads and views along with castles, wildlife, coastal villages, stunning beaches, golf courses, mountains, forests and distilleries.

The North East 250 has been developed by local businessman Guy Macpherson-Grant, whose family’s roots on Speyside go back to the 16th century.

Passionate about the north-east of Scotland, Macpherson-Grant is confident the North East 250 will encourage more people to come to the region.

He said: “I am excited by the potential of the North East 250 to bring more visitors to our area and experience what I believe is the very best that Scotland has to offer. We need businesses along the route to really get behind it and help make it the success I know it can be.”

Laurie Piper, operations manager at Moray Speyside Tourism, said: “I am confident that the North East 250 will contribute to the continued growth and development of Moray Speyside’s tourism industry – which is what everybody gathered at the today’s conference is aiming for.”

The North East 250 has already attracted backing from Chivas Brothers, Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, Turcan Connell, Walkers, Aberdeen International Airport, Speyside Gardens and the Station Hotel, Rothes.