The Important Information to Scotland’s North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 has been billed as Scotland’s reply to America’s Route 66 however this Scottish highway journey is in contrast to something you’ll see within the USA. The North Coast 500 takes you thru the Scottish highlands seeing legendary castles, extraordinary coastal surroundings, and well-known whisky distilleries lining the winding single-track lanes, the NC500 is the final highway journey for journey lovers.

When planning your North Coast 500 journey make sure you give loads of days to discover the sights. We spent a really hectic 10 days driving the loop however really feel that two weeks is a extra affordable time to expertise it correctly. We’ve put collectively the last word NC500 Journey Planner that will help you take advantage of your time within the Scottish highlands. 

North Coast 500 Information

Dave and I’ve carried out numerous highway journeys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they only may be our specialty. We’ve pushed a automotive from England to Mongolia within the Mongol Rally, we had been the primary media to drive Eire’s complete Wild Atlantic Method and sure, now we have pushed by way of massive chunks of America’s Route 66.

Once we had the chance to drive the North Coast 500, we jumped on the likelihood, now we have all the time wished to see the Scottish Highlands and this route takes you thru the very best of them. We love marking our map with must-see sights, stocking up on snacks, placing collectively a playlist, and hitting the highway.

We spent 10 days driving the North Coast 500 loop counterclockwise from Inverness and we’ve put collectively the last word plan that will help you plan forward and take advantage of your time within the Scottish highlands.

What’s the North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 (NC500) is a scenic route that runs alongside the northern coast of Scotland, overlaying a distance of roughly 516 miles (830 km). It was created as an official loop across the north coast of Scotland, however the roads have all the time been there. It was launched in 2015 to spice up the Northern Highland financial system and has now turn out to be a preferred vacationer vacation spot providing gorgeous coastal views, rugged landscapes, and picturesque villages and cities.

The route begins and ends within the metropolis of Inverness, taking guests on a round journey by way of the Scottish Highlands and alongside the coast of the North Atlantic, and down the west coast. Alongside the way in which, vacationers can go to iconic landmarks such because the Bealach Na Ba Cross, the ruins of Ardvreck Fort, and the white sands of Achmelvich Seashore. The route additionally passes by way of a number of communities, offering alternatives for guests to expertise native tradition and hospitality.

The NC500 has gained recognition as one of many world’s most scenic highway journeys, attracting guests from all around the world who come to discover the pure great thing about Scotland’s rugged north highlands.

The place is the North Coast 500

Our North Coast 500 drive began and led to Inverness, the Capital of the Scottish Highlands. We drove counterclockwise across the north coast of Scotland in a 516-mile (830km) circle route by way of a few of the most lovely landscapes within the nation, stopping at many cities and sights earlier than returning to Inverness.

The North Coast 500 is situated within the North West nook of Scotland winding its manner across the north and west coast beginning in Inverness.

NC500 Automobile Leases

rental car north coast 500 road trip

One of the simplest ways to discover the North Coast 500 is on a highway journey in a Rental Automobile. We use Rental Vehicles Join to search out the very best offers on any rental automotive or campervan leases. You may evaluate costs on their web site.

Sizzling Tip: Make certain your rental automotive is a smaller automotive as roads are sometimes single-lane tracks alongside the North Coast 500 and a small automotive is simple to navigate by way of the North Highlands. The roads by way of the Scottish Highlands are winding and slender there are a number of hairpin turns. Small vehicles can even match simply into the passing locations to let sooner drivers overtake you.

Be sure that to be thoughtful of different drivers when driving the NC500. The roads are slender and many individuals don’t use the passing locations devoted to permitting others to move. In case you are driving slowly, pull over when one of many passing locations comes as much as let one other move.

Plus, it’s simpler to search out parking in cities and you’ll pull off on small turnouts alongside the path to be out of the way in which whereas capturing these awe-inspiring photographs of the panorama and surroundings. When you’ve got a smaller automotive, you received’t have an excessive amount of hassle getting round.

Day 1: North Coast 500 – Inverness

north coast 500 inverness capital of the scottish highlands

We began our North Coast 500 highway journey in Inverness and spent two days having fun with this historic metropolis. Inverness is the primary metropolis on the North Coast 500 route and it’s the capital of the Scottish Highlands.

The capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is residence to the very well-known Loch Ness the place you’ll be able to seek for Nessie herself. That was our most important curiosity when visiting Inverness, however there are many different issues to see and do.

  • St. Andrew’s Cathedral
  • Abertarff Home relationship again to 1592
  • Nessie Islands – Islands linked by lovely walkways and gardens
  • Golf and Spa at Kingsmills Spa
  • Learn our full article Issues to do in Inverness

Day 2: North Coast 500

north coast 500 scotland itinerary loch ness center

There are many issues to do in Inverness and within the surrounding space, so you’ll positively wish to spend a while right here. Listed here are just a few prime sights to see earlier than transferring alongside the North Coast 500.

Loch Ness

north coast 500 loch ness near inverness

Inverness is the primary hub for exploring Loch Ness. Individuals go to the legendary Loch Ness in quest of the Loch Ness Monster, however it’s price exploring the seashores and surroundings round Inverness as nicely.

The guests heart in Drumnadrochit is enjoyable and kitschy and is a must-stop to be taught in regards to the historical past of the Loch Ness Monster, however exploring the huge lake is the spotlight.

 Drumnadrochit and Glen Affric

When you’ve got extra time, you’ll be able to keep in Drumnadrochit, there are many B&Bs within the space. In case you are staying within the space take a drive to Glen Affric to soak up its gorgeous panorama and examine the gorgeous Plodda Falls. That is the spot the place the tour busses cease although so be ready for giant crowds and site visitors.

Be sure you watch the sundown from Dores Seashore and you could even run into the Nessie Hunter who has arrange camp proper on this spot to maintain look ahead to the elusive monster.

Urquhart Fort

north coast 500 Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Fort is one other must-see cease on the lake. It’s a lovely break that has survived many a battle over the previous 1000 years. The setting overlooks Loch Ness and the rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands, I can see why individuals fought over this lovely setting.

The place to Keep in Inverness

north coast 500 accommodation kingsmills hotel

Lodging Suggestion: Kingsmills Lodge and spa with swimming pool and breakfast included. We stayed right here and completely liked it.

The Kingsmills Lodge is situated on a golf course simply outdoors the downtown core. Set in a big historic mansion on an enormous treed property with spa and pool. We stayed within the newer spa portion of the resort and the rooms had been spacious, and cozy. Parking is free and breakfasts are included. Test it out on TripAdvisor /

The Rocpool Reserve Lodge is one other beneficial resort: Journey Advisor /

Recommended locations to eat: Rocpool Restaurant or Dores Inn at Loch Ness in Dores after you’ve watched the sundown.

Day 3 – Drive North to Dornoch

north coast 500 scotland dornoch castle

At this time you’ll go away Inverness and make your technique to Dornoch for the beginning of your east coast drive up North Coast 500 Highway journey. Your subsequent in a single day is just a bit over an hour’s drive away, however it’s the excellent base to your subsequent set of explorations as there’s a lot to see and do within the space.

Alongside the A9 in the direction of the NC500 affords many issues to see and locations to cease. Dornoch is legendary for the Dornoch Fort and makes base to discover the whisky route.

Don’t simply beeline it to the subsequent city, make sure you pop into these highlights in your manner out of Inverness earlier than hitting the North Coast 500 Route.

Culloden Battlefield

north coast 500 cullodon battlefield
Memorial to the Clans

The Culloden Battlefield is among the finest stops on the North Coast 500 highway journey. As you make your manner by way of the Scottish Highlands, make sure that to cease at one of the historic websites on the itinerary. The fashionable customer’s centre opened in 2008 and is a stark distinction to the empty land the place one of many bloodiest battles on British soil happened.

On a spring day in 1746, greater than 1200 males had been killed in only one quick hour. It was the ultimate battle of the Jacobite rebellion and it got here to its fateful finish.

north coast 500 scotland battle of culloden

Guests are given headsets triggered by GPS telling them the story of the bloody battle as they stroll either side of the battlefield. Probably the most highly effective moments comes once you enter the inside museum and stand inside a room projecting a 360-degree reenactment of the battle. You’re surrounded by the cries of the soldiers assembly their destiny.

In case you are fascinated with Highland historical past (as we’re) this can be a place the place you’ll be able to simply spend hours. For extra info see Culloden Battlefield Customer’s Centre

Clava Cairns

north coast 500 clava cairns
Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns shouldn’t be removed from the Culloden Battlefield and is an efficient cease for today of sightseeing on the North Coast 500. Cairns are historical stone cemeteries relationship again 4000 years. There are a number of cairns alongside the nc500 however none as well-known as Clava Cairns.

Clava Cairns was used because the inspiration for the Outlander sequence (that is the place the place Claire was transported again in time) you’ll be able to perceive why Diana Gambon felt time journey may occur right here.

north coast 500 stops clava cairns

The standing stones and round cairns really feel like magic. The Cairns of Scotland had been burial tombs used to deal with the useless and at this time, guests can stroll the grounds and stroll proper into the centre of the tombs feeling the peace and quiet of the sacred web site. It’s free to go to so don’t miss it!

Dornoch Fort

north coast 500 dornoch castle
Lovely Dornoch Fort

The top of day 3 in your North Coast 500 journey ends at Dornoch Fort. Dornoch is a vacation spot unto itself with the fort at its heart. The Scottish highlands are crammed with previous castles which have been transformed into accommodations. Do your self a favor and ebook an evening not less than one fort resort.

Dornoch Fort is situated proper available in the market sq. of Dornoch immediately throughout from the Dornoch Cathedral. This Twelfth-century cathedral is such a draw that Madonna had her son Rocco christened right here.

The fort units the tone for this distinctive Scottish highway journey. The pub makes you’re feeling like you might be sitting in a Seventeenth-century tavern as the hearth roars and the whiskey pours. The set dinner menu is divine and the rooms make you’re feeling like royalty.

Dornoch Fort and Whisky Bar

north coast 500 dornoch castle whisky bar
Keep at Dornoch Fort

Dornoch Fort is residence to probably the greatest whisky bars on earth. It was voted the #1 Whisky Lodge of the Yr by It’s the whisky bar that’s the most important attraction. Sitting contained in the thick previous stone partitions with the large hearth roaring with flame you’re feeling as in case you’ve stepped again in time to when clans dominated the land.

The in depth whisky inventory has received awards as the very best whisky bar on this planet and is at the moment the reigning number one whisky resort of the yr as named by

  • Word: Scotland spells whisky with out an “e”. So once you go to Scotland, make sure you spell it the way in which they do in Scotland, it’s whisky NOT Whiskey. 
North Coast 500 Dornoch Whiskey Bar

We ordered a tasting flight of three whiskeys after chatting with the bartender who will assist us resolve what photographs to decide on. He’ll decide your mind to see what kind of Scotch you like and supply up selections of various whiskeys at completely different costs to fit your wants.

The place to Keep in Dornoch

In case you are a whisky lover, Dornoch fort is the proper place to base your travels as you discover the distilleries of the route. Go to their web site for bookings and availability.

Day 4: North Coast 500 – Dornoch to Wick

north coast 500 wick

Click on right here for an interactive map of NC 500

Day 4 of your North Coast 500 highway journey is all in regards to the whisky and the surroundings of the North Highlands. The drive from Dornoch to Wick takes roughly 4 hours however as with each a part of the NC500 route, you’ll find yourself taking for much longer as there’s a lot to see and do.

Glen Ord Distillery

north coast 500 distillery tours
The fermentation course of at Glen Ord takes place in wood barrels.

We visited the Glen Ord Distillery. It’s the closest distillery to Inverness so it will probably simply be carried out as a day journey from there. What makes a go to to Glen Ord distinctive is that it is among the few distilleries in Scotland that also malts its personal barley and their Singleton mix can solely be purchased in Scotland or in case you go to Asia.

For us, it was additionally the primary time we’d seen wood fermentation barrels. Each different distillery tour we’ve ever taken was stainless-steel.

Having the tour helped us to know the distilling strategy of Scottish whiskey and gave us perception into aromas and flavors after we determined to style just a few drams at Dornoch Fort’s whisky bar. This really made us really feel like we had been taking a tour by way of historical past and our information Alistair was as enthusiastic about his scotch as he was informative.

Distillery Excursions

North Coast 500 Singleton Glen Ord Distillery

There are a number of distilleries in Northern Scotland the place highway trippers can decide up a bottle of their favourite Scotch whisky. It’s price stopping not less than as soon as however if you wish to spend longer within the space, examine all of them out on a day tour. From the city of Dornoch, there are half a dozen distilleries to go to which might be from mere minutes to solely a few hours away.

  • Balblair
  • Glenmorangie
  • Dalmore
  • Dunnet Bay
  • Pulteney Distilleries are all close by.

Dunrobin Fort

north coast 500 dunrobin castle
The attractive gardens at Dunrobin Fort

Open from April 1 to October 15, visiting Dunbrobin Fort is a should. You may go to the gardens and grounds year-round. We parked our automotive and walked down the steps to a powerful view of this 800 year-old fort. It’s completely different from different castles in Scotland resembling a French Chateau somewhat than the stark stone buildings in different elements we noticed.

Dunrobin fort has been residence to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland for the reason that thirteenth century.

This fort will be visited from Dornoch, or you’ll be able to plan as we did and make it a cease alongside the way in which to our subsequent vacation spot which in our case is Wick. Learn all about Donrobin Fort right here.

The place to Keep – Ackergill Tower Lodge

north coast 500 ackergille tower hotel

One thing we liked about driving the North Coast 500 was the possibility to remain in historic castles. There are various distinctive lodging alongside the route from farmhouses, B&Bs, lighthouses, and luxurious estates. Making our manner up the East Coast in the direction of the northernmost tip of Scotland, we stayed on the Ackergill Tower Lodge.

north coast 500 ackergill billiards

We loved a scrumptious meal on this grand resort. Like Dornoch Fort, Ackergill Tower is an lodging that could be a vacation spot. The Tower is an unimaginable 600-year-old stone tower that stands proud on the shores of Sinclair Bay. The Northernmost level of Scotland. This luxury highland property is as romantic as it’s distant.

Eating within the nice corridor, we ate a scrumptious three-course menu earlier than retiring to the sitting rooms for an after dinner drink. It felt contemporary out of Downton Abbey. As we sat by the hearth we learn in regards to the historical past of the fort and questioned what life may need been like again in time.

north coast 500 deb at ackergill tower hotel

Essentially the most well-known story of the fort tells the story of Helen Gunn, often known as the Great thing about Braemore who was kidnapped on her wedding ceremony evening and held prisoner on this very tower. To flee her destiny she leapt to her loss of life. It’s mentioned that her ghost haunts the halls to today.

Day 5: Wick to Dunnet Head

north coast 500 dunnet head
Across the Northern Tip of Scotland on the North Coast 500

As soon as we reached the Northern Tip of Scotland, the surroundings turned to dramatic views. This was in all probability our favourite space to discover on the highway journey. Everybody informed us the west coast was the very best, however the northern tip was gorgeous. We may have spent not less than two extra days exploring the strolling trails alongside the coast.

It’s the space the place you see these large sea cliffs and sea stacks housing migrating seabirds and seals. When you like mountaineering and wildlife, you’ll love this space.

Whaligoe Steps

whalegoe steps north coast 500 scotland
the view from Whalegoe Steps

If you wish to get down inside one thing just like the Geo of Sclaites, the Whaligoe Steps is an outstanding trek. The Whaligoe Steps encompass 330 steps main all the way down to one of the inaccessible harbors in Scotland. Courting again to the mid 18th century, the Whaligoe Steps had been utilized by fishermen’s wives to haul fish up of their baskets. At its prime, 24 fishing boats had been working these waters fishing for herring.

Wick Heritage Centre

If you wish to be taught extra in regards to the fishing and historical past of the realm, the Wick Heritage Centre is the place to go. Wick was Europe’s premier herring fishing port through the nineteenth century and devoted guides volunteer their time to inform share their historic data.

There are various artifacts on show and rooms furnished to painting the previous. To get instructions and search for hours go to the Wick Heritage Centre web site. 

Dunnet Bay Distillery

Scotland could also be identified for its Scotch, however Gin is making an enormous mark within the nation. Excursions function from Might to Sept at 3 pm on Mon, Wed, Fri and on Saturdays at 11 am and 1 pm.

This was in all probability our favourite space to discover on the North Coast 500. Everybody informed us the west coast was the very best, however the northern tip was gorgeous. It’s the space the place you see these large sea cliffs and stacks housing migrating seabirds and seals. When you like mountaineering and wildlife, you’ll love this space.

Ackergill Tower – In a single day

accommodations on the north coast 500 are a destination

The Ackergill Tower Lodge turned our base for exploring this portion of the Scottish Highlands and we stayed right here one other evening.

Like Dornoch Fort, Ackergill Tower is an lodging that could be a vacation spot. The Tower is an unimaginable 600-year-old stone tower that stands proudly on the shores of Sinclair Bay. The Northernmost level of Scotland. This luxury highland property is as romantic as it’s distant.

Essentially the most well-known story of the fort tells the story of Helen Gunn, often known as the Great thing about Braemore who was kidnapped on her wedding ceremony evening and held a prisoner on this very tower. To flee her destiny she leaped to her loss of life. It’s mentioned that her ghost haunts the halls to today. Try Ackergill Tower to ebook your lodging

Day 6: North Coast 500 – Wildlife and Surroundings

North Coast 500 caithness wildlife tours
Dave and Katie taking a look at nesting birds within the distance

Dave and I like taking excursions. As a lot as we take pleasure in exploring on our personal, we discover that helps us uncover hidden gems and areas we’d by no means have considered visiting. We spent a half day exploring with Caithness Wildlife Excursions. Information and proprietor Kate is a marine biologist and out of doors lover who takes guests to see view seabirds, seals, and different wildlife within the space.

However she additionally confirmed us historic websites reminiscent of Mary Ann’s Cottage relationship again to 1850 and The Fort of Mey. The Queen mom purchased and restored the Fort of Mey and King Charles nonetheless visits every summer season.

Fort of Mey

North Cost 500 castle of mey scotland
The Fort of Mey

It was the spectacular views of Dunnet Head and Brough Harbour that basically took our breath away. However what we liked probably the most was studying the fascinating info of the realm from Kate. For instance, Jimmy Web page of Led Zeppelin was a daily customer to the realm and almost purchased an property in Caithness for a recording studio.

He by no means did purchase the studio, however he did rebuild the harbor and there’s a plaque along with his title on the Harrow Harbour commemorating the reopening.

Fort Sinclair Girnigo

North Coast 500 scenery
Deserted Mill on our Wildlife Tour

Situated only a quick stroll or drive from Ackergill Tower the ruins of Fort Sinclair Girnigo is an imposing sight on the coast. We noticed this from the highway, however after we determined to go for a stroll to it, the rain got here down in full drive.

There was one specific second after we actually appreciated being on the tour. We had stopped with Kate to view seals within the harbor (a daily vacationer would miss seeing this on their very own) and she or he informed us to show round.

The harbor was good, however the scene behind us was lovely. The peaceable setting housed an previous mill and quiet brook that was simply screaming to be photographed. Different vacationers drove proper on by taking a look at us as an alternative of the scene and missed this spotlight of the coast.

Duncansby Head

north coast 500 hiking

When you search for pictures of the North Coast 500 on Google, likelihood is you’ve seen numerous pictures of Duncansby Head. Mountain climbing right here is spectacular. Situated only a mile and a half from John O’Groats, make your technique to parking on the Duncansby Head Lighthouse.

When you’ve got extra time, you’ll be able to hike immediately from John O’Groats to soak up your entire spectacular view. We had restricted time, so we began our hike from the lighthouse and made our technique to the awe-inspiring stacks. It’s solely a few 10-15 minute stroll, however alongside the way in which, make sure that to stay to the coast so you’ll be able to view the dramatic slender sea gullies often known as the Geo of Sclaites.

north coast 500 duncansby head
Stacks of Duncansby Head

After marveling on the views right here, we moved alongside the North Highlands to the stacks of Duncansby Head. There’s a path proper alongside the coast overlooking the stacks so you’ll be able to view them from all instructions.

 Geo of Sclaites

north coast 500 scotland  Geo of Sclaites
Lovely surroundings alongside coastal hikes

Be sure you preserve an eye fixed out for seabirds. Totally different are consistently migrating by way of the realm always of the yr. Together with puffins!

The place to Keep close to Dunnet Head

Ackergill Tower Scotland
Ackergill Tower

Ackergill Tower was the proper base for exploring the northernmost level of Scotland. This Sixteenth-century tower has numerous historical past, and you’ll sit by the hearth studying about its checkered previous as you take pleasure in a dram of whiskey. Eating within the nice corridor, we ate a scrumptious three-course menu earlier than retiring to the varied sitting rooms for an after-dinner drink.

We love highway journeys! We included the North Coast 500 in our finest highway journeys we’ve ever taken. 

Day 7: Dunnet Head to Tongue

north coast 500 route northern scotland
Persevering with alongside the Northern Coast

This stretch of the nc500 takes you throughout the highest of Scotland. It was stunning to have a look at our map and see simply how far north we had been. Northern Scotland is the equal of being midway up the Hudson Bay in Canada’s north, or simply one-degree shy of Oslo, Norway, Stockholm Sweden, or St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s no marvel Northern Scotland reminded us a lot of Iceland! 

Browsing in Scotland

north coast 500 road trip Armadale Bay

It was additionally actually stunning to search out out that this space is a well-liked browsing vacation spot. World browsing occasions are held right here. We didn’t courageous the water, however whereas driving by way of the likes of Armadale Bay and Melvich, we did see surfers within the water taking over the swells. These bays are nonetheless manner up within the north coast of Scotland so I can solely think about what the temperatures had been like.

We had been a bit too early within the season for kayaking and after we return to Scotland we will certainly give it a go. However we did see just a few skilled kayakers within the water. Trying on the tough seas, we determined it was finest left to the professionals presently of yr. We’ll courageous the North Sea when the climate is a bit more inviting.

Fort Varrich

Hopefully, by the point you go, the ruins of Fort Varrich might be open. It was underneath scaffolding after we arrived as we had been informed that they’d simply found a bone and it was being excavated. The resort workers informed us it needs to be open by summer season.

You may hike from the Tongue Lodge. It’s believed that the fort was constructed within the 14th century upon an previous Norse fort. So that you will be certain there’s numerous historical past simply ready to be found right here.

Kyle of Tongue

north coast 500 kyle of tongue reflections
Admiring the lake reflections

As an alternative of driving immediately alongside the A383 to cross the Kyle of Tongue, take the scenic route across the tip of the loch for extraordinary scenic views. We had the only monitor highway all to ourselves. We’d spy a lake, park the automotive and hike to extraordinary views.

We spent the day right here earlier than assembly up once more with the A383 on the Kyle of Tongue Bridge. We made certain to cross the bridge for a full view of the highlands earlier than turning round once more to proceed our journey.

In a single day at Tongue Lodge

where to stay on the north coast 500
Our room on the Tongue Lodge

The Tongue Lodge It has a comfy ambiance with massive rooms, and there’s all the time somebody providing a drop of sherry once you arrive. There’s a eating room and on the town there’s a retailer shut by to refill on provides for the remainder of your highway journey. See costs on Journey Advisor /

Ben Loyal Lodge is one other recommended place to remain on this portion of the north coast 500. Situated on Essential Avenue Tongue. View it on Journey Advisor /

Day 8 – Tongue to Balnakeil

nc500 map tongue to balnakiel
Tongue to Balnakiel

That is one other fabulous stretch crammed with lengthy abandoned seashores, extra coastal hike and one unimaginable cave.

Smoo Cave

north coast 500 smoo caves
Entrance to the Smoo Caves

One among our favourite issues on our journeys was to discover the Smoo Caves. Stopping within the city of Durness, the Smoo Caves are lovely to see inside and outside. There are boardwalks main all the way down to the caves on both aspect providing you with views of the steep path. A bridge enables you to cross the river main in from the ocean whereas trying into the large cavern.

north coast 500 road trip smoo caves

Many individuals simply go into the caves and take a fast look, however we extremely suggest taking a geological tour. Beforehand it was run by Colin who spent his lifetime excavating these caves. We had the privilege of doing a tour with him, however sadly he handed away in 2019.

Try the web site for extra info on his excursions and the geology of the caves. It’s an interesting learn and also you’ll end up getting misplaced within the info.

Balnakeil Bay

north coast 500 road trip Balnakiel Beach
Admiring Balnakiel Seashore

A wonderful stretch of sandy seaside will be discovered simply out of city and it’s positively price visiting. Not solely is it very picturesque, however you’ll additionally expertise the distinctive feeling of strolling on a seaside whereas navy automobiles drive by with nice function.

The Royal Naval gunnery ranges are situated out right here and navy personnel involves this space to coach. You consistently hear weapons and bangs within the distance making you marvel “what on earth is occurring on the market?”

John Lennon

John Lennon memorial Durness Scotland on the North Coast 500 road trip
John Lennon Memorial

There’s a scenic cemetery situated on the positioning by the seaside housing an previous church and tombstones. It’s very photogenic and John Lennon’s aunt is buried right here.

John Lennon visited the realm many occasions to see his aunt and there’s a memorial within the city of Durness. He revisited it once more with Yoko Ono and it’s mentioned that a few of his happiest reminiscences happened right here.

Belnakeil Craft Village

chocolate shop on nc500
Selecting up snacks for the highway

This can be a cool spot the place locals are beginning to construct a craft neighborhood changing an previous navy camp into an artist’s compound. Essentially the most well-known attraction right here is the Cocoa Mountain espresso store. We stopped right here to load up on chocolate and decide up a takeaway cappuccino for our drive out of city.

We didn’t strive the recent chocolate, however we heard two completely different prospects give glowing suggestions on our manner out. Don’t fear although, we positively had our fill of handmade chocolate and an oh so clean cappuccino.

Be ready to offer your pockets a exercise. Whenever you stroll in, you’ll wish to pattern all of the truffles and handmade native chocolate within the retailer.

Smoo Cave Lodge – In a single day

It’s a fundamental resort, however the location is an ideal cease after driving from Tongue, providing you with the possibility to spend a day or two in Smoo. There’s bar they usually have a few of the finest Haggis round.

The place to eatSango Sans, The Whale Story, or Choose up a picnic lunch on the Carfour and cease on the Cocoa Mountain  espresso store in Belnakeil Craft Village 

Smoo Cave Lodge has bar they usually have a few of the finest Haggis round.

Day 9: North Coast 500 – Belnakeil to Lochinver

At this time is a giant day as we make our manner down the west towards Achmelvich Bay. It’s throughout this part that the driving will get actually enjoyable. The one-lane tracks can get fairly hair-raising and the drive is alongside enormous lakes and thru mountains is a thrill.

north coast 500 guide Achmelvich Bay Scotland
Kylesku to Achmelvich Bay Scotland

That is one other gorgeous drive alongside a single monitor with views to die for. The surroundings alongside the North Coast 500 is exclusive. It varies from place to put, so make sure that to take your time to actually take pleasure in all the views. When you can, take your time and probably keep in Lochinver for an evening. We nonetheless moved on.

Kylesku Bridge

north coast 500 kylesku bridge
Kylesku Bridge

Situated the place Loch Glencoul and Loch Glendhu meet, this can be a very picturesque spot within the coronary heart of the highlands. The Kylesku bridge is among the Most Photographed Stops on the North Coast 500.

Kylesku sits in the course of Scotland’s 2,000 km2 (770 sq mi) World Geopark. There’s numerous historical past human and geological on this land and the Geopark is acknowledged by UNESCO and is about as much as promote and protect that historical past.


scotland cow
Well-known Scottish Cattle

Many individuals minimize this portion of drive and head on to Lochinver alongside the A894 and A837 however one of the picturesque highway routes we took within the north highlands had been towards Drumbeg. The open roads that we had seen to this point, gave technique to slender single-track lanes dropping off into deep valleys.

north coast 500 road trip wildlife

It was a wonderful winding journey. It was solely 10 miles lengthy but it surely took us nicely over an hour to navigate and take within the sights. It was right here that we noticed numerous stags working by way of the hills. And, it was right here that we got here throughout the very fairly highland cows, and it was right here that we noticed a whole lot of sheep grazing within the fields and skittering away every time we drew close to.

Stoerhead Lighthouse

north coast 500 guide Stoerhead Lighthouse
Stoerhead Lighthouse

The Stoerhead Lighthouse was actually price a brief detour. The lighthouse itself isn’t tall, but it surely stands on a cliff that’s 54 meters (162 ft) above sea stage jutting out from the West Coast of Scotland.

The scene is spectacular and you’ll really ebook a keep within the lighthouse. There are two flats and a kitchen, so if you wish to spend extra time exploring the realm, that is as distinctive because it will get for lodging and also you’ll have unimaginable views of the ocean!

Flossies coffee shop northern scotland
Flossies espresso store has glorious espresso

Dave and I like espresso on a highway journey and admittedly the alternatives for on-the-go espresso on the North Coast 500 had been few and much between. That’s why after we noticed an indication selling espresso forward, we adopted it.

Flossies is a tiny espresso store situated on the aspect of the highway, however it’s an establishment within the space. Opened in 1972 by Mrs Flossie Machphail it has now been taken over by her son William and his spouse Caroline who proceed the custom of creating nice espresso to heat your bones from the damp Scottish climate. When driving by way of this part, make sure you refill!


The one monitor enjoyable continues from Clachtol by way of an extremely lovely rocky and rolling panorama. When in Clachtol make sure you take a look at the stone broch. Scottish Brochs date again to someplace across the first century BC.

Consultants can’t fairly agree on what they had been, however these stone buildings are price a go to to witness how these mounds of stones have survived by way of the centuries.

Achmevilch Seashore

Achmevilch Bay is outwardly fairly gorgeous and a great spot to park your caravan. Sadly for us, we had been heading in that route whereas the highway was underneath development. We had been informed to return again in just a few hours by staff, however alas, we needed to transfer on as we had been on a mission to complete our NC500 highway journey.

The time to go to Achmevilch Bay is through the summer season months anyway as there’s water snowboarding, windsurfing, numerous strolling trails and fishing. Okay then, it’s settled, we should return to Northern Scotland!

The place to Keep

kylesku hotel scotland where to stay on the north coast 500
The Kylesku Lodge

Kylesku resort is an efficient base There are boat journeys, mountaineering trails and wildlife excursions the place you’ll be able to spot sea otters, seals and migrating sea birds. See it on Journey Advisor / There’s additionally the Drumbeg Lodge.

We stayed at a small farmhouse known as the Croft 338 B&B. It’s a fundamental B&B, however the Web is nice, there’s cable TV and she or he makes a hearty breakfast within the morning.

Day 10 – Lochinver to Ullapool

north coast 500 stag

The surroundings is breathtaking within the North Highlands, and as soon as once more as we make our manner additional down the west coast to Ullapool we’re treating to gorgeous views. The one-track highway weaves by way of mountainous terrain and closely wooded areas. Have your digicam prepared, there are many picture alternatives of untamed deer on this leg from Lochinver to Ullapool.

Staic Pollaidh

north coast 500 saic pollaidh
Mountain climbing to Staic Pollaidh

On our technique to Ullapool, we met up with adrenaline junkie and information extraordinaire, Tim Hamlett. Tim runs Hamlett Mountaineering and we immediately turned quick mates. He’s positively that man that you just wish to hang around with. He affords guided climbing journeys and guided treks into the mountains. Tim actually does all of it!

With kayaking adventures and snorkelling journeys coming quickly, you would spend every week hanging with him exploring the highlands. He affords multiday treks, however we had been on a schedule so solely had the morning with him. You may stroll the paths your self, however to rent a information is the place you actually get the true expertise.

North coast 500 guide to staic pollaidh
Tim of Hamlett Mountaineering

We met Tim on the Stac Pollaidh automotive park the place we joined as much as climb Stac Pollaidh. This can be a premiere attraction within the space however we met early sufficient within the morning that the opposite trekkers had but to reach and we had the path all to ourselves.

Tim informed us of the geology and different climbs within the space. His spouse works for the GeoPark and he’s very enthusiastic about selling tourism and conservation within the highlands. His enterprise is increasing quickly and we are able to’t wait to return again within the close to future to do some correct mountaineering with him.

It’s best to positively ebook a visit with him and tell us what we should always do subsequent! Go to Hamlet Mountaineering for extra particulars.

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Corrieshalloch Gorge north coast 500 scotland road triop
Corrieshalloch Gorge

Situated simply quarter-hour outdoors of Ullapool, the Corrieshalloch Gorge is an fascinating cease. A brief but steep stroll from the automotive park takes you to a deep and slender field canyon the place you’ll be able to cross the suspension bridge.

The bridge is a bit hair-raising because it’s slender and the railings are low, however it’s well worth the view. There are mountaineering trails to discover and a waterfall to go to.

In a single day in Ullapool

north coast 500 road trip ulapool

Ullapool is a picturesque fishing city that’s bustling with enterprise. Plainly everybody driving the North Coast 500 stays right here. We liked our B&B and extremely suggest it. We put it up there as the best lodging on the NC500.

The place to Keep in Ullapool

ullapool hotels westlea interior
Our room on the Westlea B&B

Westlea Home Boutique B&B was by far our favorite place to remain on the North Coast 500. There are unimaginable hikes and scenic views within the space, and you need to give your self time to remain in Ullapool. Test it out on Journey Advisor /

Argyll Lodge is another choice for accommodations on this portion of the NC500 – See it on Journey Advisor /

Westlea Home is an elegant and cozy resort that has an incredible widespread space. You’ll wish to sit by the hearth perusing the large selection of books and magazines, or you could wish to pop into the music room and select from the in depth assortment of vinyl data.

Ullapool affords a substantial selection of eating choices for the scale of the city. Suggestions are the Arch Inn, Argyle Lodge Seafood Bar for contemporary native seafood, The Ceilidh Place and Ferry Boat Inn.

We totally loved espresso at Mountain Provides Espresso Store. Situated on the second flooring of a mountaineering gear retailer, this café has a hipster vibe with and out of doors lover’s twist. The pleasant workers made us really feel heat and welcome.

Day 11: North Coast 500 – Gairloch

north coast 500 gairloch
Dave goes again to his roots in Gairloch

Gairloch makes for an important base when exploring the west coast portion of the NC 500. You may go up and down the coast in each instructions. There’s a lot to see and do right here and you’ll cowl numerous floor so if you wish to make a base right here for a few days, it’s an important possibility. Gairloch is a particularly essential city in Scotland with numerous historical past.

Gairloch was based by the McKenzies as a protected vacation spot for Scottish Highlanders to put on their kilts and proceed their Scottish traditions when the British weren’t permitting them to take action. Dave has ties to Gairloch. We discovered about it after we had our Ancestry DNA carried out simply earlier than leaving. 

Inverewe Gardens

Inverewe Garden Scotland
Inverewe Backyard

Inverewe Gardens is an fascinating cease crammed with unique crops that merely shouldn’t have the ability to develop on this nook of northern Scotland. In 1860 Osgood McKenzie created this rigorously sculpted backyard out of some scrub willows and naked rocks.

The 50-acre backyard stands on the shore of Loch Ewe and unique crops from around the globe thrive right here due to the nice and cozy currents of the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic. Drift In 2016 the home was opened to the general public after present process a £2million restoration by the Nationwide Belief for Scotland.

Isle of Ewe Smokehouse

isle of ewe smokehouse scotland
Esle of Ewe Smokehouse for fish and snacks

Fishing is a big a part of the financial system in Northern Scotland and when you might are in Gairloch, yoiu might wish to cease on the Isle of Ewe Smokehouse. It’s fascinating to cease and see what occurs to the fish after the catch. This family-run store smokes all their fish in conventional stone kilns utilizing whisky barrel staves & native Larch to offer their fish its personal distinctive taste.

They’ve a present store the place you’ll be able to decide up provides to your highway journey or seize a present field for somebody particular at residence. You may even order on-line! 

Loch Maree

north coast 500 road trip stops Loch Maree
Dawn at Loch Maree

There are such a lot of lochs in Northern Scotland it’s troublesome to decide on the place to cease, however Loch Maree is certainly a wonderful place to go to at dawn. Campervans park in a single day on the shores of this loch however you’ll be able to drive in for a view as nicely. It’s not extremely traveled and will be troublesome to search out.

At first, we parked at a logging highway and began to stroll the space to the loch, however fortunately we determined to maneuver on. Simply a few kilometers down the highway we discovered the minimize off to the seaside and had been handled to a spectacular view.

Beinn Eighe

Beinn Eighe is Britain’s oldest nature reserve and a premier mountaineering vacation spot. There’s 48 Sq. km to discover with trails as quick as 1 1/2 km. Mountain climbing is well-liked in Scotland and you’ll’t go to the nation with out doing a correct trek.

The primary entry is from Loch Maree close to the village of Kinlochewe and trails go away from both the customer centre right here or the Coille na Glas-Leitir automotive park additionally on the shores of Loch Maree. For full path maps and knowledge see the go to Scotland Nationwide Nature Reserve web site

Klinlochewe Viewpoint

north coast 500 applecross to klinlochewe

Selecting up a espresso on the newly opened Klinlochewe Espresso Store on the fuel station we chatted with the homeowners who gave us some tips about the very best viewpoint within the space. I can’t consider we virtually missed this!

Many individuals miss this view as a result of they take the coastal scenic path to Applecross. However make sure you not less than drive as much as the point of view. Prime Gear named it one of many nice drives of the UK.

We had been fortunate as a result of we had a few days within the space so we drove the coast the day earlier than and may take the shortcut by way of the mountains at this time. Each are extremely beneficial.

Diabag Viewpoint

Diabag Viewpoint north coast 500
Diabag Viewpoint

One other unimaginable view that we stumbled upon was Diabag Viewpoint. Driving from Torridon we heard that this was an important place for panoramic views and whoever gave us that recommendation was proper!

The highway is an unimaginable thrill of 1 lane switching backwards and forwards up a steep mountain. There are a number of stops to see views to the east, to the west, and over the water trying from Scotland’s gorgeous west coast.

It’s well worth the drive and to do your entire path to Decrease Diabag took us about an hour every manner. (we do wish to cease for lots pictures although)

The place to Keep in Gairloch

north coast 500 gairloch where to stay
The Previous in outdoors Gairloch

The Previous Inn. It’s an previous teaching inn transformed with fashionable conveniences. Set on a wonderful property, there are strolling trails, gardens and streams working by way of the property. On-site, there is a superb seafood restaurant and an award-winning pub. This can be a place that felt like we had been in the true Scotland. See it on Journey Advisor /

Shieldaig Lodge This previous searching lodge is situated on Loch Gairloch. It’s set on a 26,000 acre property within the West Highlands. See it on Journey Advisor /

Day 12: North Coast 500 – Klinlochewe to Applecross

With regards to the North Coast 500, the surroundings is the star attraction so take your time to cease, go for hikes, benefit from the trails, ebook a path journey (the Highlanders had been nice horsemen), go kayaking, crusing, and seek for wildlife. The sky is the restrict right here.

This closing stretch of driving alongside the coast might be probably the most scenic and enjoyable driving you’ll have alongside the North Coast 500. There are such a lot of viewpoints to cease and benefit from the scene, you’ll spend a complete day getting by way of only a quick 32-mile stretch. As you drive from Torridon the views are plentiful.

We picked up a scrumptious cappuccino for takeaway (have you ever observed we like espresso?) on the Torridon Lodge and bar and commenced our scenic journey alongside Higher Torridon Loch. This can be a nice day journey for a coast journey taking you all the way in which across the path to Applecross the place you drive probably the most spectacular move Baelnabach Cross; The star attraction of the North Coast 500.

City of Sheildag

north coast 500 town of sheildag
View of Sheildag

Be sure you pull over as a lot as potential alongside this route as you’re going to discover some superb overhead views. The preliminary climb up the coast has hairpin turns and viewpoints. A beautiful one we discovered was a pull-off with a brief path resulting in a view of the city of Sheildag.

Well-known Purple Home

famous red cottage of the North coast 500
Well-known Purple Farmhouse

Have you ever ever seen the pictures of the little pink home in northern Scotland? Nicely, it’s right here alongside this route that you just’ll discover it. Take pleasure in a quiet cease on the aspect of the highway right here and watch the sheep graze within the yard.

Continuous pullovers  and Passing Locations

north coast 500 beautiful coastal views
Plentiful Coastal Views

This route across the North Highlands takes you alongside the ocean aspect of the west coast and there are such a lot of stops you simply might take a complete day to get to your vacation spot. We noticed numerous highland cows alongside this highway too. The slender roads have pullovers and passing locations the place you’ll be able to both get out of your automotive for pictures or let sooner drivers move. This can be a place you wish to take your time, but in addition be thoughtful of sooner drivers.

Flocks of sheep had been plentiful and there have been even views of the Isle of Skye. It was an unimaginable drive however be ready for lots of wind. We had lovely sunny climate, however the wind was robust. When getting out of the automotive we needed to placed on a jacket. By no means assume you’ll be high-quality in shorts or a t-shirt all day when driving in Northern of Scotland.

Applecross to Baelnabach Cross

north coast 500 road trip applecross
All Round Applecross

That is the spotlight of your entire North Coast 500 and it doesn’t disappoint. Baelnabach Cross was once an previous cattle path that was changed into a driving transport route and is now a preferred vacationer route.

The drive is thrilling with hairpin activates single-lane tracks that you just nonetheless share with transports. There are just a few pullovers and it’s price stopping in case you see one and really feel assured. The views are magnificent trying down the valley.

Whenever you get to the highest of the move make sure you get out of your automotive and go for a hike. The rocky panorama is like nothing you’ve ever seen main out to the ocean.

Kishorn Seafood Bar

north coast 500 road trip where to eat
Kishorn Seafood Bar for Lunch

It’s been a giant day and also you’ve in all probability constructed up an urge for food. When you preserve following the primary highway in the direction of Lochcarron you’ll come throughout the nice Kishorn Seafood Bar. Serving contemporary native seafood, this isn’t to be missed.

This family-run eatery is crammed with glorious selections for lunch or dinner and the workers is pleasant. They even gave us a style of the native specialty. When you haven’t tried oysters earlier than, that is the place to do it. They even give certificates to first-timers.

Day 13: North Coast 500 – Plockton

north coast 500 plokton
Plockton again to Inverness

Our closing vacation spot earlier than ending off the loop to Inverness took us to Plockton. Plockton turned our residence base to discover the realm. Like different elements of the nc500, there’s numerous historical past, wildlife and surroundings to take pleasure in and listed here are just a few highlights of what you have to see and do!

Reraig Forest Tour

north coast 500 reraig forest
Buggy journey on the Reraig Forest

We met our information Colin at Lochcarron village not having a clue as to what we had been doing or the place we had been going. Hopping into his truck he took us to Reraig Forest the place we acquired right into a buggy to make our manner up a steep mountain.

The buggy was an journey sufficient as we clung to the sting of steep banks, rammed by way of deep mud and trotted alongside the rocky panorama. However that was simply a part of the journey.

north coast 500 road trip reraig forest
The large deer herd of Reraig Forest

The true magnificence got here after we reached the pack of deer and stags roaming the land. It’s right here that you just’ll discover lovely deer that roam free on hundreds of acres of property.

Colin feeds the deer particular pellets to subsidize their food plan as he says the vegetation doesn’t give them the vitamins they want. You may inform he loves the herd and he even identified just a few that jumped over the fence to stay round.

Colin additionally has sheep and rams on the land that come working when he arrives. It was fairly humorous to see the deer comply with our buggy over the hills like a flock of sheep. They had been very excited to see him!

Eilean Donan Fort

north coast 500 eilean donan castle
Walkway to Eilean Donan Fort

Presumably probably the most well-known fort within the land, Eilean Donan Fort was used for the set of Highlander, James Bond’s The World is Not Sufficient, and the New Avengers. It’s a wonderful fort the place you’ll be able to tour and be taught in regards to the historical past of the clans that dominated the Highlands.

It tells the story by way of a wonderful audio-visual show in regards to the Jacobite rebellion and fall, and the wars of the clans. You may stroll by way of the completely different rooms of the fort which might be embellished simply as they had been a whole lot of years in the past and get a real sense of what life was like. The present store is great and it was right here that we purchased a woolen scarf within the colours of Dave’s ancestors the McKenzies.

Strome Fort

Strome Fort overlooks the ocean

A far much less intact fort however nonetheless lovely to go to is Drome Fort. At this time it’s in ruins, the outer partitions are nonetheless standing and you’ll stroll inside and outside exploring the coastal piece of land.

At low tide you’ll be able to stroll fairly far out to the ocean for view of the fort and you’ll snap the compulsory image by way of the doorway arch.

Duncraig Fort

north coast 500 duncraig castle
Duncraig Fort

Duncraig Fort is a fort that has been changed into a mattress and breakfast and is price a photograph cease if you’re not staying there. The highway resulting in the railway station goes immediately by way of the fort grounds, you’ll be able to simply drive your automotive proper as much as the entrance door to take a look. It’s situated on Loch Carron and will be seen from the city of Plockton. There are even hikes that lead out to the fort.

The place to Keep in Plockton

north coast 500 road trip plokton accomodation
Downtown Plockton Lodge

The Plockton Lodge – Situated on the waterfront of Plockton, the Plockton Lodge is the preferred spot on the town. With a Michelin rated pub, it has a few of the finest pub meals and ambiance in Scotland. We ate there every evening, having fun with native seafood with whiskey and wine. Journey Advisor /

Plocton Inn is one other resort on the town and it has glorious eating as nicely.

Duncraig Fort is a fort that has been changed into a mattress and breakfast and is price a photograph cease

The place to eat in Plockton: The Plockton Inn, Plockton Lodge, and Plockton Shores all concentrate on seafood and are all glorious. 

Day 14: Isle of Skye – North Coast 500

game of thrones filming locations Scotland
The Previous Man of Storr from our Scotland Highway journey on the Isle of Skye

Visiting the Isle of Sky is an good non-compulsory aspect journey. Whereas it’s not situated immediately on the North Coast 500, it’s a stones throw away. Plockton can also be a wonderful place to make a base for visiting the Isle of Sky. As one individual mentioned to us, “You may’t actually come to this a part of Scotland and never go to Skye.” We made some extent to go to the Isle of Skye to see a few of the highlights. A day shouldn’t be sufficient however was simply sufficient to view its prime sights.

When visiting the Isle of Sky, don’t miss seeing the Previous Man of Storr, its most well-known web site. We made a b-line on the market whereas the climate was good after which weaved our manner across the island to see its lovely panorama from its dramatic sea cliffs, waterfalls, fairy swimming pools and the city of Portree. In case you are a whisky lover, pop into the Talisker Distillery for a tasting.


north coast 500 inverness

And that ends a two-week North Coast 500 itinerary. You can also make your manner again to Inverness or proceed on to discover Scotland. When you’ve got your individual automotive, why not keep a month? There’s nonetheless a lot to see from Edinburgh to Glasgow and all over the place in between.

The NC500 is among the best drives on this planet. Sooner or later, the single-track roads could also be changed into double-lane highways and extra accommodations may be popping up all over the place. However in case you get there shortly, you’ll take pleasure in previous Scottish hospitality with some extraordinary scenic views. So what are you ready for? E book your North Coast 500 Lodging now, rooms replenish quick and you could miss out in case you wait!

North Coast 500 Suggestions

tips for driving the north coast 500

The climate modifications dramatically in Scotland. When asking the locals what the temperature is like in the summertime, many mentioned it wasn’t a lot completely different from after we visited in late March/early April.

So when touring Northern Scotland, make sure you pack layers, waterproof mountaineering boots, and waterproof outer layers. We had all of this with us and apart from this one time at Fort Sinclair Girnigo, we didn’t let wind or rain cease us from exploring and also you shouldn’t both.

That’s the appeal of Scotland. It’s precisely the identical as Iceland. When you don’t just like the climate simply wait a minute or so, it would change. 

The best way to Get to Inverness

There are a number of methods to get to Inverness, Scotland. When you aren’t driving your individual automotive from one of many different nations in the UK, likelihood is you’ll be flying.

Inverness has its personal airport (Inverness Airport – INV) with home and worldwide flights. From main cities within the UK, reminiscent of London, Manchester, and Birmingham, you’ll be able to fly on to Inverness. There are additionally direct flights from some European cities, reminiscent of Amsterdam and Dublin. When you arrive on the airport, you’ll be able to take a taxi or bus to get to the town heart.

By Prepare: Inverness is well-connected by rail to different main cities within the UK, together with London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. The practice station in Inverness is situated within the metropolis heart, making it handy for vacationers. You may examine practice schedules and ebook tickets on-line by way of web sites reminiscent of Nationwide Rail Enquiries.

By Vehicle: Inverness is accessible by automotive by way of the A9, which is the primary highway linking the town to the remainder of Scotland. In case you are driving from the south, you’ll be able to take the M6 and A74(M) to achieve the A9. The journey time from Edinburgh or Glasgow to Inverness is roughly 3-4 hours by automotive, relying on site visitors circumstances. There are a number of automotive rental firms obtainable at Inverness airport or within the metropolis heart, if it is advisable lease a automotive.

Suggestions for Driving the North Coast 500

north coast 500 road trip tps

The North Coast 500 is a scenic driving route that covers the northern coast of Scotland, and it may be an exciting journey for drivers. Listed here are some suggestions to bear in mind when driving the North Coast 500:

When driving the North Coast 500 be ready for singletrack lanes. You share one lane in each instructions and you’ll have to again up or pull over usually for oncoming site visitors. There are many passing locations the place slower drivers can transfer out of the way in which if they’ve vehicles behind them, and there are pullovers the place you’ll be able to pull in to let oncoming site visitors theourh. In the summertime site visitors is busier, in case you journey within the low season, you’ll come throughout fewer vehicles.

We rented a small automotive and it made issues a lot simpler to drag over for oncoming site visitors. Many individuals camp on the NC 500. Campervans are allowed, however can’t navigate a few of the trails and smaller tracks. So take that into consideration when reserving your car.

In Scotland, like within the UK, site visitors drives on the left aspect of the highway. In case you are not used to this, take a while to regulate and be further cautious when driving, particularly on slender and winding roads.

Be respectful of different drivers and locals: The North Coast 500 can get busy throughout peak season, so be respectful of different drivers and locals. Comply with the velocity limits, yield to different automobiles, and use pull-outs or designated passing locations to let different vehicles move if you’re driving slower. There is no such thing as a hurt in pulling over to let somebody move you. It’s a widespread courtesy so be respectful of the drivers behind you.

Keep alert and centered: Driving the North Coast 500 will be difficult, with slender and winding roads, steep hills, and blind corners. Keep alert and centered, particularly when driving within the night or early morning when visibility is low.

Plan your route and stops prematurely: The North Coast 500 route covers over 500 miles and takes you thru some distant areas. Plan your route rigorously, and analysis the sights and ebook your lodging prematurely.

Be ready for all climate circumstances: Scotland’s climate will be unpredictable, so be prepared for every type of climate and climate can change instantly. You can encounter snow, rain, wind and sunny climate. Costume in layers and pack waterproof clothes. Deliver heat clothes, waterproof gear, and a primary support equipment in case of an emergency. See our suggestions

Be careful for wildlife: The North Coast 500 takes you thru some wild and distant areas, so preserve an eye fixed out for wildlife on the highway, reminiscent of deer, sheep, and cows. They are often unpredictable, so decelerate and drive cautiously.

Scotland is on the Pound Sterling – 1 Pound Sterling = 1.30 USD. For updated alternate charges go to XE Foreign money Convertor. 

Eagle Creek Plug Adapter – This multi function adapter is all of your want for Scotland shops and different European and world travels.

Get your tunes prepared, there are various locations you received’t get radio service – See our Highway Journey Songs Playlist

Take your time and benefit from the surroundings: The North Coast 500 affords a few of the most breathtaking surroundings in Scotland, so take your time and luxuriate in it. Cease usually to take pictures, stretch your legs, and benefit from the views. There are many scenic spots to cease and admire, reminiscent of seashores, cliffs, and waterfalls.

By following the following tips, you’ll be able to have a protected and pleasant driving expertise on the North Coast 500 in Scotland.

North Coast 500 Packing Suggestions

north coast 500 packing tips

The climate modifications dramatically in Scotland. When asking the locals what the temperature is like in the summertime, many mentioned it wasn’t a lot completely different from after we visited in late March/early April.

We really had unimaginable climate for many of our journey with sunny skies and cozy temperatures within the excessive teenagers (Celcius). We had been informed by Kate of Caithness Excursions that final summer season the typical temperature was about 16 levels Celcius. 

Packing for the North Coast 500 in Scotland requires cautious planning, particularly if you’re touring through the cooler months. Listed here are some packing tricks to take into account:

Heat and waterproof clothes: Scotland’s climate will be unpredictable, and it will probably get chilly and moist even through the summer season months. Pack heat and waterproof clothes, together with a water-resistant jacket, pants, and footwear. Layering can also be important to remain heat, so convey sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and thermals.

Snug mountaineering boots. The North Coast 500 affords loads of alternatives for out of doors actions, reminiscent of mountaineering and strolling. Deliver snug strolling footwear or mountaineering boots with good traction to discover the countryside.

Solar safety: Whereas Scotland’s climate will be chilly and moist, the solar can nonetheless be robust, particularly through the summer season months. Pack solar safety, together with sunscreen, sun shades, and a hat.

Insect repellent: Scotland has its justifiable share of midges, tiny flying bugs that may be a nuisance through the summer season months. Pack insect repellent to keep away from being bitten.

Digital camera and binoculars: The North Coast 500 affords a few of the most gorgeous landscapes and wildlife in Scotland, so convey a digicam and binoculars to seize the surroundings and wildlife.

Cell phone and charger: Be sure that to convey a cell phone and charger, as there are many scenic spots with no telephone protection. Additionally it is important to have a GPS and a paper map to navigate the route. We additionally carry a conveyable adaper.

Money and bank cards: Whereas there are ATMs and bank card amenities obtainable alongside the North Coast 500 route, it’s all the time good to have some money available for smaller transactions, reminiscent of parking or buying gadgets from native markets.

By packing properly and being ready for all climate circumstances, you’ll be able to have an pleasant and cozy journey on the North Coast 500 in Scotland.

So when touring the North Coast 500, make sure you pack layers, waterproof mountaineering boots, and waterproof outer layers. We had all of this with us and apart from this one time at Fort Sinclair Girnigo, we didn’t let wind or rain cease us from exploring and also you shouldn’t both. That’s the appeal of Scotland. It’s precisely the identical as Iceland. When you don’t just like the climate simply wait a minute or so, it would change. 

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