The North Coast 500 has been billed as Scotland’s reply to America’s Route 66 however this Scottish street 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 observe roads. The NC500 is among the nice street journeys on the earth.
When planning your North Coast 500 journey make certain to give loads of days to discover the sights. We spent a really two weeks on this spectacular driving route by way of the Scottish highlands and we’ve put collectively the last word NC500 Journey Planner to make it easier to profit from your time within the Scottish highlands.
North Coast 500 Guide
Dave and I’ve accomplished a number of street journeys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they simply is perhaps 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 whole Wild Atlantic Way (the longest coastal route on earth) and sure, we have now pushed by way of giant chunks of America’s Route 66.
Once we had the chance to drive the North Coast 500, we jumped on the likelihood, we have now at all times wished to see the Scottish Highlands and this route takes you thru one of the best of them. We love marking our map with must-see sights, stocking up on snacks, placing collectively a playlist, and hitting the street.
The North Coast 500 loop counterclockwise from Inverness and we’ve put collectively the last word plan to make it easier to plan forward and profit from 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, masking 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 at all times been there.
The official North Coast 500 was launched in 2015 to increase the Northern Highland economic system and has now turn out to be a preferred vacationer vacation spot providing beautiful coastal views, rugged landscapes, and an opportunity to go to picturesque villages and cities.
The route begins and ends within the city 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 best way, vacationers can go to iconic landmarks such because the Bealach Na Ba Go, the ruins of Ardvreck Fortress, 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 street journeys, attracting guests from all around the world who come to discover the pure great thing about Scotland’s rugged north highlands. Whenever you go to Scotland, you’re going to need to expertise a minimum of a portion its spectacular surroundings.
The place is the North Coast 500
Our North Coast 500 drive began and resulted in Inverness, the Capital of the Scottish Highlands. We drove counterclockwise alongside the north coast of Scotland in a 516-mile (830km) circle route by way of a number of the most stunning 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 method up the east coast, alongside the the north and down west coast of Scotland beginning in Inverness.
NC500 Automotive Leases
The greatest method to discover the North Coast 500 is on a street journey is by driving. Should you don’t already stay within the UK and have your individual automotive, you’ll need to e-book a rental automotive effectively prematurely. There are many locations to e-book rental automobiles in Scotland. We use Rental Automobiles Join to discover one of the best offers on any rental automotive. You’ll be able to examine costs on their website.
Scorching Tip: Make certain your rental automotive is a smaller automotive as roads are sometimes single observe roads 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 automobiles also can match simply into the passing locations to let quicker drivers overtake you. Rental automobiles are scarce today, so make certain to e-book effectively prematurely. Examine costs at RentalCars.com
Day 1: North Coast 500 – Inverness
We began our North Coast 500 street 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 house to the very well-known Loch Ness the place you possibly can 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 stunning walkways and gardens
- Golf and Spa at Kingsmills Spa
- Learn our full article Things to do in Inverness
Day 2: North Coast 500
There are many issues to do in Inverness and within the surrounding space, so you’ll undoubtedly need to spend a while right here. Listed here are a number of high sights to see earlier than transferring alongside the North Coast 500.
Inverness is the primary hub for exploring Loch Ness. Folks go to the legendary Loch Ness looking for the Loch Ness Monster, however it’s price exploring the sandy seashores and surroundings round Inverness as effectively.
The guests middle 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 large lake is the spotlight.
Drumnadrochit and Glen Affric
You probably have extra time, you possibly can 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 absorb its beautiful panorama and think about the attractive Plodda Falls. That is the spot the place the tour busses cease although so be ready for giant crowds and visitors.
Make certain to watch the sundown from Dores Seashore and chances are you’ll even run into the Nessie Hunter who has arrange camp proper on this spot to hold look ahead to the elusive monster.
Urquhart Fortress is one other must-see cease on the lake. It’s a stunning spoil 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 folks fought over this stunning setting.
The place to Keep in Inverness
Lodging Suggestion: Kingsmills Resort and spa with swimming pool and breakfast included. We stayed right here and completely cherished it.
The Kingsmills Hotel 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 comfy. Parking is free and breakfasts are included. Check it out on TripAdvisor / Booking.com
The Rocpool Reserve Hotel is one other beneficial resort: Trip Advisor / Booking.com
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
At the moment you’ll go away Inverness and make your method to Dornoch for the beginning of your east coast drive up North Coast 500 Street journey. Your subsequent in a single day is just a bit over an hour’s drive away, however it’s the excellent base in 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 gives many issues to see and locations to cease. Dornoch is legendary for the Dornoch Fortress and makes base to discover the whisky route.
Don’t simply beeline it to the subsequent city, make certain to pop into these highlights in your method out of Inverness earlier than hitting the North Coast 500 Route.
The Culloden Battlefield is among the greatest stops on the North Coast 500 street journey. As you make your method by way of the Scottish Highlands, be sure to cease at one of the vital historic websites on the itinerary. The fashionable visitor’s centre opened in 2008 and is a stark distinction to the empty land the place one of many bloodiest battles on British soil passed off.
On a spring day in 1746, greater than 1200 males had been killed in only one brief hour. It was the ultimate battle of the Jacobite rebellion and it got here to its fateful finish.
Guests are given headsets triggered by GPS telling them the story of the bloody battle as they stroll either side of the battlefield. One of the vital highly effective moments comes whenever 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 possibly can simply spend hours. For extra data see Culloden Battlefield Visitor’s Centre
Clava Cairns isn’t removed from the Culloden Battlefield and is an effective 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 series (that is the place the place Claire was transported again in time) you possibly can perceive why Diana Gambon felt time journey might occur right here.
The standing stones and round cairns really feel like magic. The Cairns of Scotland had been burial tombs used to home the lifeless and immediately, guests can stroll the grounds and stroll proper into the centre of the tombs feeling the peace and quiet of the sacred website. It’s free to go to so don’t miss it!
It’s time to transfer on from Inverness and cross into the Black Isle portion of the driving route. Black Isle is a peninsula situated simply north of town of Inverness. Regardless of its identify, Black Isle isn’t an precise island however reasonably a peninsula, bounded by water on three sides: the Cromarty Firth to the north, the Beauly Firth to the south, and the Moray Firth to the east.
The identify “Black Isle” is alleged to come from the truth that when seen from a distance, the realm seems to be black due to the forests that cowl a lot of the peninsula. Black Isle is a well-liked cease on the NC500 for individuals who need a style of the route with its scenic villages away from the bigger cities, seashores, and wildlife reserves. You’ll be able to simply discover Black Isle on a day journey from Inverness.
Street Journey Snacks
North Coast 500 Street Journey Snacks – We stocked up on water and snacks in Inverness, however there are many native retailers alongside the route. Considered one of our favourite stops for native meats & cheeses, contemporary fruits, and native treats, make certain to cease in at Roberston’s The Larder.
You can too meet the livestock together with Highland Cows. In case you are anxious about not seeing the well-known highland cattle alongside the route, (don’t be) you’ll have likelihood right here. It’s situated on the route from Inverness to Glen Ord Distillery.
Situated within the coronary heart of Black Isle, The Singleton Distilerry is the closest distillery to Inverness so it might probably simply be accomplished as a day journey from there. What makes a go to to Singleton 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 chrome steel.
The finish of day 3 in your North Coast 500 journey ends at Dornoch Fortress. Dornoch is a vacation spot unto itself with the fortress at its middle. The Scottish highlands are full of outdated castles which were transformed into resorts. Do your self a favor and e-book an evening a minimum of one fortress resort.
Dornoch Fortress 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 fortress units the tone for this distinctive Scottish street journey. The pub makes you are 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 are feeling like royalty.
Dornoch Fortress and Whisky Bar
Dornoch Castle is house to probably the greatest whisky bars on earth. It was voted the #1 Whisky Resort of the Yr by whiskybase.com. It’s the whisky bar that’s the most important attraction. Sitting contained in the thick outdated stone partitions with the enormous fire roaring with flame you are feeling as in case you’ve stepped again in time to when clans dominated the land.
The intensive whisky inventory has gained awards as one of the best whisky bar on the earth and is at present the reigning no 1 whisky resort of the 12 months as named by whiskybase.com.
Having the distillery tour helped us to perceive the distilling means of Scottish whiskey and gave us perception into aromas and flavors after we determined to style a number of drams at Dornoch Fortress’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 obsessed with his scotch as he was informative.
We ordered a tasting flight of three whiskeys after chatting with the bartender who will assist us determine what photographs to select. He’ll decide your mind to see what sort of Scotch you like and supply up decisions of various whiskeys at completely different costs to fit your wants.
Notice: Scotland spells whisky with out an “e”. So whenever you go to Scotland, make certain to spell it the best way they do in Scotland, it’s whisky NOT Whiskey.
The place to Keep in Dornoch
Dornoch Castle – We cherished our keep within the historic Dornoch Fortress. At any time when we go to Eire or Scotland, we at all times strive to keep in a fortress for a very genuine and historic expertise. Trip Advisor / Booking.com
There’s additionally The Dornoch Hotel you possibly can see extra data on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Royal Marine Resort – Just a bit farther up the East Coast is the Royal Marine Resort which was voted probably the greatest locations to keep in Britain. Simply an hour from Inverness alongside the North Coast 500, this can be a good place to make a base whereas exploring the east coast of Scotland. Test charges and availability on Expedia.com
Day 4: North Coast 500 – Dornoch to Wick
Click here for an interactive map of NC 500
Day 4 of your North Coast 500 street journey is all in regards to the whisky and the spectacular 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 may be a lot to see and do.
There are a number of distilleries in Northern Scotland the place street trippers can decide up a bottle of their favourite Scotch whisky. It’s price stopping a minimum of as soon as however if you need to spend longer within the space, test all of them out on a day tour. From the city of Dornoch, there are half a dozen distilleries to go to which are from mere minutes to solely a few hours away.
- Dunnet Bay
- Pulteney Distilleries are all close by.
In case you are searching for one thing outdoors of distilleries, make your method to the Black Isle Brewing Firm. Black Isle is an natural brewer with a variety of natural beers and seasonal specials.
In case you are a whisky lover, Dornoch fortress or Royal Marine Resort is the proper place to base your travels as you discover the distilleries of the route. Visit their website for bookings and availability.
Open from April 1 to October 15, visiting Dunbrobin Fortress is a should. You’ll be able to 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 fortress. It’s completely different from different castles in Scotland resembling a French Chateau reasonably than the stark stone buildings in different elements we noticed.
Dunrobin fortress has been house to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland because the thirteenth century.
This fortress will be visited from Dornoch, or you possibly can plan as we did and make it a cease alongside the best way to our subsequent vacation spot which in our case is Wick. Learn all about Donrobin Castle here.
The place to Keep – Ackergill Tower Resort
One thing we cherished about driving the North Coast 500 was the prospect to keep in historic castles. There are various distinctive lodging alongside the route from farmhouses, B&Bs, lighthouses, and luxurious estates. Making our method up the East Coast in the direction of the northernmost tip of Scotland, we stayed on the Ackergill Tower Resort.
We loved a scrumptious meal on this grand resort. Like Dornoch Fortress, 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 fortress and questioned what life might need been like again in time.
The most well-known story of the fortress tells the story of Helen Gunn, often called the Great thing about Braemore who was kidnapped on her marriage ceremony evening and held prisoner on this very tower. To flee her destiny she leapt to her demise. It’s stated that her ghost haunts the halls to today.
Day 5: Wick to Dunnet Head
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 street journey. Everybody advised us the west coast was one of the best, however the northern tip was beautiful. We might have spent a minimum of two extra days exploring the strolling trails alongside the coast.
It’s the space the place you see these huge sea cliffs and sea stacks housing migrating seabirds and seals. Should you like mountaineering and wildlife, you’ll love this space.
If you need to get down inside one thing related to the Geo of Sclaites, the Whaligoe Steps is an outstanding trek. The Whaligoe Steps include 330 steps main down to one of the vital inaccessible harbors in Scotland. Relationship 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 need 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 information.
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 recognized for its Scotch, however Gin is making an enormous mark within the nation. Excursions function from Could 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 advised us the west coast was one of the best, however the northern tip was beautiful. It’s the space the place you see these huge sea cliffs and stacks housing migrating seabirds and seals. Should you like mountaineering and wildlife, you’ll love this space.
Ackergill Tower – In a single day
The Ackergill Tower Resort grew to become our base for exploring this portion of the Scottish Highlands and we stayed right here one other evening.
Like Dornoch Fortress, 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.
The most well-known story of the fortress tells the story of Helen Gunn, often called the Great thing about Braemore who was kidnapped on her marriage ceremony evening and held a prisoner on this very tower. To flee her destiny she leaped to her demise. It’s stated that her ghost haunts the halls to today. Try Ackergill Tower to e-book your lodging
Day 6: North Coast 500 – Wildlife and Surroundings
Dave and I really like taking excursions. As a lot as we get pleasure from exploring on our personal, we discover that helps us uncover hidden gems and areas we might by no means have considered visiting. We spent a half day exploring with Caithness Wildlife Excursions. Guide and proprietor Kate is a marine biologist and outside lover who takes guests to see view seabirds, seals, and different wildlife within the space.
However she additionally confirmed us historic websites resembling Mary Ann’s Cottage relationship again to 1850 and The Fortress of Mey. The Queen Mom purchased and restored the Fortress of Mey and King Charles nonetheless visits every summer season.
Fortress of Mey
It was the spectacular views of Dunnet Head and Brough Harbour that basically took our breath away. However what we cherished probably the most was studying the attention-grabbing info of the realm from Kate. For instance, Jimmy Web page of Led Zeppelin was a daily customer to the realm and practically 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 identify on the Harrow Harbour commemorating the reopening.
Fortress Sinclair Girnigo
Situated only a brief stroll or drive from Ackergill Tower the ruins of Fortress Sinclair Girnigo is an imposing sight on the coast. We noticed this from the street, 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 he or she advised us to flip round.
The harbor was good, however the scene behind us was stunning. The peaceable setting housed an outdated mill and quiet brook that was simply screaming to be photographed. Different vacationers drove proper on by taking a look at us as a substitute of the scene and missed this spotlight of the coast.
Should you search for pictures of the North Coast 500 on Google, chances are high you’ve seen numerous pictures of Duncansby Head. Climbing right here is spectacular with many strolling paths alongside the coast. Situated only a mile and a half from John O’Groats, make your method to parking on the Duncansby Head Lighthouse.
You probably have extra time, you possibly can hike immediately from John O’Groats to absorb the complete spectacular view. It’s the most northern level of mainland Scotland, We had restricted time, so we began our hike from the lighthouse and made our method to the awe-inspiring stacks. It’s solely a few 10-15 minute stroll, however alongside the best way, be sure to stick to the coast so you possibly can view the dramatic slender sea gullies often called the Geo of Sclaites.
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 possibly can view them from all instructions.
Geo of Sclaites
Make certain to hold an eye fixed out for seabirds. Completely different are consistently migrating by way of the realm always of the 12 months. Together with puffins! A Geo is a deep inlet of water with excessive seacliffs and whereas there are a lot alongside the northern coast of Scotland, none are fairly as dramatic because the Geo of Sclaites.
Rock formations date again 4000 years and you’ll take strolling paths proper to the sting of the cliff to see migrating birds and the spectacular surroundings.
The place to Keep close to Dunnet Head
Ackergill Tower was the proper base for exploring the northernmost level of Scotland. This Sixteenth-century tower has a number of historical past, and you’ll sit by the hearth studying about its checkered previous as you get pleasure from a dram of whiskey. Eating within the nice corridor, we ate a scrumptious three-course menu earlier than retiring to the assorted sitting rooms for an after-dinner drink.
We love street journeys! We included the North Coast 500 in our best road trips we’ve ever taken.
Day 7: Dunnet Head to Tongue
This stretch of the nc500 takes you throughout the highest of Scotland. It was shocking to take 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 surprise Northern Scotland reminded us a lot of Iceland!
Browsing in Scotland
It was additionally actually shocking to discover 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 up the swells. These bays are nonetheless method 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 a number of skilled kayakers within the water. Trying on the tough seas, we determined it was greatest left to the professionals at the moment of 12 months. We’ll courageous the North Sea when the climate is a bit more inviting.
Hopefully, by the point you go, the ruins of Fortress Varrich will probably be open. It was below scaffolding after we arrived as we had been advised that they’d simply found a bone and it was being excavated. It ought to be open now for you to see.
You’ll be able to hike from the Tongue Resort. It’s believed that the fortress was constructed within the 14th century upon an outdated Norse fort. So that you will be positive there may be a number of historical past simply ready to be found right here.
Kyle of Tongue
As a substitute 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 one observe roads 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 positive 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 Resort
The Tongue Hotel It has a comfy ambiance with giant rooms, and there’s at all times somebody providing a drop of sherry whenever you arrive. There’s a eating room and on the town there’s a retailer shut by to fill up on provides for the remainder of your street journey. See costs on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Ben Loyal Hotel is one other steered place to keep on this portion of the north coast 500. Situated on Fundamental Road Tongue. View it on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Day 8 – Tongue to Balnakeil
That is one other fabulous stretch full of lengthy abandoned sandy seashores, extra coastal hike and one unimaginable cave.
Considered one of our favourite issues on our journeys was to discover the Smoo Caves. Stopping within the city of Durness, the Smoo Caves are stunning to see in and out. There are boardwalks main down to the caves on both aspect supplying you with views of the steep path. A bridge permits you to cross the river main in from the ocean whereas trying into the enormous cavern.
Many individuals simply go into the caves and take a fast look, however we extremely advocate 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 website for extra data 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.
A lovely stretch of sandy seaside will be discovered simply out of city and it’s undoubtedly price visiting. Not solely is it very picturesque, however you’ll additionally expertise the distinctive feeling of strolling on a seaside whereas army automobiles drive by with nice function.
The Royal Naval gunnery ranges are situated out right here and army personnel comes to this space to prepare. You consistently hear weapons and bangs within the distance making you surprise “what on earth is occurring on the market?”
There’s a scenic cemetery situated on the positioning by the seaside housing an outdated 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 stated that a few of his happiest recollections passed off right here.
Belnakeil Craft Village
It is a cool spot the place locals are beginning to construct a craft neighborhood changing an outdated army camp into an artist’s compound. 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 clients give glowing suggestions on our method out. Don’t fear although, we undoubtedly had our fill of handmade chocolate and an oh so easy cappuccino.
Be ready to give your pockets a exercise. Whenever you stroll in, you’ll need to pattern all of the truffles and handmade native chocolate within the retailer.
Smoo Cave Resort
Smoo Cave Resort a fundamental resort, however the location is an ideal cease after driving from Tongue, supplying you with the prospect to spend a day or two in Smoo. There’s bar and so they have a number of the greatest Haggis round.
The place to eat – Sango Sans, The Whale Story, or Decide up a picnic lunch on the Carfour and cease on the Cocoa Mountain espresso store in Belnakeil Craft Village
Smoo Cave Resort has bar and so they have a number of the greatest Haggis round.
Day 9: North Coast 500 – Belnakeil to Lochinver
At the moment is a giant day as we make our method down the west towards Achmelvich Bay. It’s throughout this part that the driving will get actually enjoyable. The single observe roads can get fairly hair-raising and the drive is alongside large lakes and thru mountains is a thrill.
That is one other beautiful drive alongside a single observe with views to die for. The surroundings alongside the North Coast 500 is exclusive. It varies from place to place, so be sure to take your time to actually get pleasure from the entire views. Should you can, take your time and probably keep in Lochinver for an evening. We nonetheless moved on.
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 midst of Scotland’s 2,000 km2 (770 sq mi) World Geopark. There’s a number of historical past human and geological on this land and the Geopark is acknowledged by UNESCO and is about up to promote and protect that historical past.
Many individuals reduce this portion of drive and head immediately to Lochinver alongside the A894 and A837 however one of the vital picturesque street routes we took within the north highlands had been towards Drumbeg. The open roads that we had seen to date, gave method to slender single observe roads dropping off into deep valleys.
It was a fantastic winding journey. It was solely 10 miles lengthy however it took us effectively over an hour to navigate and take within the sights. It was right here that we noticed numerous stags operating 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 tons of of sheep grazing within the fields and skittering away every time we drew close to.
The Stoerhead Lighthouse was definitely price a brief detour. The lighthouse itself isn’t tall, however it stands on a cliff that’s 54 meters (162 toes) above sea stage jutting out from the West Coast of Scotland.
The scene is spectacular and you’ll truly e-book a keep within the lighthouse. There are two flats and a kitchen, so if you need 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!
Dave and I really like espresso on a street 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 street, 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 constructing nice espresso to heat your bones from the damp Scottish climate. When driving by way of this part, make certain to fill up!
The single observe roads proceed from Clachtol by way of an extremely stunning rocky and rolling panorama. When in Clachtol make certain to take a look at the stone broch. Scottish Brochs date again to someplace across the first century BC.
Specialists 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 Bay is outwardly fairly beautiful and a great place to park your caravan. Sadly for us, we had been heading in that course whereas the street was below building. We had been advised to come again in a number of hours by employees, however alas, we had to transfer on as we had been on a mission to end our NC500 street journey.
The time to go to Achmevilch Bay is through the summer season season anyway as there may be water snowboarding, windsurfing, a lot of strolling trails and fishing. Okay then, it’s settled, we should return to Northern Scotland!
The place to Keep
Kylesku hotel is an effective base There are boat journeys, mountaineering trails and wildlife excursions the place you possibly can spot sea otters, seals and migrating sea birds. See it on Trip Advisor / Booking.com There’s additionally the Drumbeg Resort.
We stayed at a small farmhouse referred to as the Croft 338 B&B. It’s a fundamental B&B, however the Web is sweet, there’s cable TV and he or she makes a hearty breakfast within the morning.
Day 10 – Lochinver to Ullapool
The surroundings is breathtaking within the North Highlands, and as soon as once more as we make our method additional down the west coast to Ullapool we’re treating to beautiful views. The single-track street weaves by way of mountainous terrain and closely wooded areas. Have your digital camera prepared, there are many picture alternatives of untamed deer on this leg from Lochinver to Ullapool.
On our method to Ullapool, we met up with adrenaline junkie and information extraordinaire, Tim Hamlett. Tim runs Hamlett Mountaineering and we immediately grew to become quick mates. He’s undoubtedly that man that you really want to hang around with. He gives guided climbing journeys and guided treks into the mountains. Tim actually does all of it!
With kayaking adventures and snorkelling journeys coming quickly, you may spend every week hanging with him exploring the highlands. He gives multiday treks, however we had been on a schedule so solely had the morning with him. You’ll be able to stroll the paths your self, however to rent a information is the place you actually get the true expertise.
We met Tim on the Stac Pollaidh automotive park the place we joined up to climb Stac Pollaidh. It is a premiere attraction within the space however we met early sufficient within the morning that the opposite trekkers had but to arrive and we had the path all to ourselves.
Tim advised us of the geology and different climbs within the space. His spouse works for the GeoPark and he’s very obsessed with selling tourism and conservation within the highlands. His enterprise is increasing quickly and we are able to’t wait to come again within the close to future to do some correct mountaineering with him.
You must undoubtedly e-book a visit with him and tell us what we must always do subsequent! Go to Hamlet Mountaineering for extra particulars.
Situated simply quarter-hour outdoors of Ullapool, the Corrieshalloch Gorge is an attention-grabbing cease. A brief but steep stroll from the automotive park takes you to a deep and slender field canyon the place you possibly can 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
Ullapool is a picturesque fishing city that’s bustling with enterprise. Plainly everybody driving the North Coast 500 stays right here. We cherished our B&B and extremely advocate it. We put it up there as the best lodging on the NC500.
The place to Keep in Ullapool
Westlea House Boutique B&B was by far our favorite place to keep on the North Coast 500. You’ll need to sit by the hearth perusing the large alternative of books and magazines, or it’s your decision to pop into the music room and select from the intensive assortment of vinyl information.. Test it out on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Argyll Hotel is an alternative choice for resorts on this portion of the NC500 – See it on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Ullapool gives a substantial alternative of eating choices for the dimensions of the city. Suggestions are the Arch Inn, Argyle Resort Seafood Bar for contemporary native seafood, The Ceilidh Place and Ferry Boat Inn.
We completely loved espresso at Mountain Provides Espresso Store. Situated on the second flooring of a mountaineering tools retailer, this café has a hipster vibe with and outside lover’s twist. The pleasant workers made us really feel heat and welcome.
Day 11: North Coast 500 – Gairloch
Gairloch makes for a terrific base when exploring the west coast portion of the NC 500. You’ll be able to go up and down the coast in each instructions. There’s a lot to see and do right here and you’ll cowl a number of floor so if you need to make a base right here for a few days, it’s a terrific possibility. Gairloch is a particularly vital city in Scotland with a number of historical past.
Gairloch was based by the McKenzies as a secure vacation spot for Scottish Highlanders to put on their kilts and proceed their Scottish traditions when the British weren’t permitting them to accomplish that. Dave has ties to Gairloch. We came upon about it after we had our Ancestry DNA accomplished simply earlier than leaving.
Inverewe Gardens is an attention-grabbing cease full of 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
Fishing is a large a part of the economic system in Northern Scotland and if you are in Gairloch, it’s your decision to cease on the Isle of Ewe Smokehouse. It’s attention-grabbing to cease and see what occurs to the fish after the catch. This family-run store smokes all its fish in conventional stone kilns utilizing whisky barrel staves & native Larch to give their fish its personal distinctive taste.
They’ve a present store the place you possibly can decide up provides and native seafood in your street journey or seize a present field for somebody particular at house. You’ll be able to even order on-line!
There are such a lot of lochs in Northern Scotland it’s tough to select the place to cease, however Loch Maree is certainly a fantastic place to go to at dawn. Campervans park in a single day on the shores of this loch however you possibly can drive in for a view as effectively. It’s not extremely traveled and will be tough to discover.
At first, we parked at a logging street and began to stroll the gap to the loch, however fortunately we determined to transfer on. Simply a few kilometers down the street we discovered the reduce off to the seaside and had been handled to a spectacular view.
Beinn Eighe is Britain’s oldest nature reserve and a premier mountaineering vacation spot. There’s 48 Sq. km to discover with trails as brief as 1 1/2 km. Climbing is fashionable in Scotland and you’ll’t go to the nation with out doing a correct trek.
The most important 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 data see the go to Scotland National Nature Reserve website
Selecting up a espresso on the newly opened Klinlochewe Espresso Store on the gasoline station we chatted with the homeowners who gave us some tips on one of the 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 route to Applecross. However make certain to a minimum of drive up to 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 might take the shortcut by way of the mountains immediately. Each are extremely beneficial.
One other unimaginable view that we stumbled upon was Diabag Viewpoint. Driving from Torridon we heard that this was a terrific place for panoramic views and whoever gave us that recommendation was proper!
The street is an unimaginable thrill of 1 lane switching forwards and backwards 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 beautiful west coast.
It’s well worth the drive and to do the complete route to Decrease Diabag took us about an hour every method. (we do like to cease for lots pictures although)
The place to Keep in Gairloch
The Old Inn. It’s an outdated teaching inn reworked with fashionable conveniences. Set on a fantastic property, there are strolling trails, gardens and streams operating by way of the property. On-site, there is a wonderful seafood restaurant and an award-winning pub. It is a place that felt like we had been in the true Scotland. See it on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Shieldaig Lodge This outdated searching lodge is situated on Loch Gairloch. It’s set on a 26,000 acre property within the West Highlands. See it on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Day 12: North Coast 500 – Klinlochewe to Applecross
When it comes to the North Coast 500, the surroundings is the star attraction so take your time to cease, go for hikes, benefit from the trails, e-book a path experience (the Highlanders had been nice horsemen), go kayaking, crusing, and seek for wildlife. The sky is the restrict right here.
This ultimate 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 brief 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 Resort and bar and started our scenic journey alongside Higher Torridon Loch. It is a nice day journey for a coast journey taking you all the best way across the route to Applecross the place you drive probably the most spectacular go Baelnabach Go; The star attraction of the North Coast 500.
City of Sheildag
Make certain to pull over as a lot as attainable alongside this route as you’re going to discover some wonderful overhead views. The preliminary climb up the coast has hairpin turns and viewpoints. A stunning one we discovered was a pull-off with a brief path main to a view of the city of Sheildag.
Well-known Crimson Home
Have you ever ever seen the images of the little pink home in northern Scotland? Effectively, it’s right here alongside this route that you just’ll discover it. Get pleasure from a quiet cease on the aspect of the street right here and watch the sheep graze within the yard.
Continuous pullovers and Passing Locations
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 a number of highland cows alongside this street too. The slender roads have pullovers and passing locations the place you possibly can both get out of your automotive for images or let quicker drivers go. It is a place you need to take your time, but in addition be thoughtful of quicker 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 stunning sunny climate, however the wind was sturdy. When getting out of the automotive we had to placed on a jacket. By no means assume you’ll be fantastic in shorts or a t-shirt all day when driving in Northern of Scotland.
Applecross to Baelnabach Go
That is the spotlight of the complete North Coast 500 and it doesn’t disappoint. Baelnabach Go used to be an outdated cattle path that was become 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 a number of 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 go make certain to 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
It’s been a giant day and also you’ve in all probability constructed up an urge for food. Should you hold following the primary street 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 full of wonderful decisions for lunch or dinner and the workers is pleasant. They even gave us a style of the native specialty. Should 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
Our ultimate vacation spot earlier than ending off the loop to Inverness took us to Plockton. Plockton grew to become our house base to discover the realm. Like different elements of the nc500, there may be a number of historical past, wildlife and surroundings to get pleasure from and listed below are a number of highlights of what you need to see and do!
Reraig Forest Tour
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 method 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.
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 stunning 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’ll be able to inform he loves the herd and he even identified a number of that jumped over the fence to stick round.
Colin additionally has sheep and rams on the land that come operating when he arrives. It was fairly humorous to see the deer observe our buggy over the hills like a flock of sheep. They had been very excited to see him!
Eilean Donan Fortress
Presumably probably the most well-known fortress within the land, Eilean Donan Fortress was used for the set of Highlander, James Bond’s The World is Not Sufficient, and the New Avengers. It’s a fantastic fortress the place you possibly can 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 superb audio-visual show in regards to the Jacobite rebellion and fall, and the wars of the clans. You’ll be able to stroll by way of the completely different rooms of the fortress which are adorned simply as they had been tons of of years in the past and get a real sense of what life was like. The present store is superb and it was right here that we purchased a woolen scarf within the colours of Dave’s ancestors the McKenzies.
A far much less intact fortress however nonetheless stunning to go to is Drome Fortress. At the moment it’s in ruins, the outer partitions are nonetheless standing and you’ll stroll in and out exploring the coastal piece of land.
At low tide you possibly can stroll fairly far out to the ocean for view of the fortress and you’ll snap the compulsory image by way of the doorway arch.
Duncraig Fortress is a fortress that has been become a mattress and breakfast and is price a photograph cease in case you are not staying there. The street main to the railway station goes immediately by way of the fortress grounds, you possibly can simply drive your automotive proper up to 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 fortress.
The place to Keep in Plockton
The Plockton Hotel – Situated on the waterfront of Plockton, the Plockton Resort is the most well-liked spot on the town. With a Michelin rated pub, it has a number of the greatest pub meals and ambiance in Scotland. We ate there every evening, having fun with native seafood with whiskey and wine. Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Plocton Inn is one other resort on the town and it has wonderful eating as effectively.
Duncraig Fortress is a fortress that has been become a mattress and breakfast and is price a photograph cease
The place to eat in Plockton: The Plockton Inn, Plockton Resort, and Plockton Shores all focus on seafood and are all wonderful.
Day 14: Isle of Skye – North Coast 500
Visiting the Isle of Sky is an good non-obligatory aspect journey. Whereas it’s not situated immediately on the North Coast 500, it’s a stones throw away. Plockton can also be a superb place to make a base for visiting the Isle of Sky. As one particular person stated to us, “You’ll be able to’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 number of the highlights. A day isn’t sufficient however was simply sufficient to view its high sights.
When visiting the Isle of Sky, don’t miss seeing the Outdated Man of Storr, its most well-known website. We made a b-line on the market whereas the climate was good after which weaved our method across the island to see its stunning 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.
And that ends a two-week North Coast 500 itinerary. You may make your method again to Inverness or proceed on to discover Scotland. You probably have 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 the earth. Sooner or later, the single-track roads could also be become double-lane highways and extra resorts is perhaps popping up all over the place. However in case you get there shortly, you’ll get pleasure from outdated Scottish hospitality with some extraordinary scenic views. So what are you ready for? Ebook your North Coast 500 Lodging now, rooms refill quick and chances are you’ll miss out in case you wait!
North Coast 500 Suggestions
The North Coast 500 covers an enormous portion of mainland Scotland and planning will be overwhelming. We’ve put collectively a number of suggestions to make it easier to arrange your lodging, packing and automotive leases in your official North Coast 500 street journey.
The climate adjustments dramatically in Scotland. When asking the locals what the temperature is like in the summertime season, many stated it wasn’t a lot completely different from after we visited in late March/early April.
So when touring Northern Scotland, make certain to pack layers, waterproof mountaineering boots, and waterproof outer layers. We had all of this with us and aside from this one time at Fortress Sinclair Girnigo, we didn’t let wind or rain cease us from exploring and also you shouldn’t both.
That’s the attraction of Scotland. It’s precisely the identical as Iceland. Should you don’t just like the climate simply wait a minute or so, it should change.
How to Get to Inverness
There are a number of methods to get to Inverness, Scotland. Should you aren’t driving your individual automotive from one of many different international locations in the UK, chances are high you can be flying.
Inverness has its personal airport (Inverness Airport – INV) with home and worldwide flights. From main cities within the UK, resembling London, Manchester, and Birmingham, you possibly can fly immediately to Inverness. There are additionally direct flights from some European cities, resembling Amsterdam and Dublin. When you arrive on the airport, you possibly can take a taxi or bus to get to town middle.
By Practice: Inverness is well-connected by rail to different main cities within the UK, together with London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. The prepare station in Inverness is situated within the metropolis middle, making it handy for vacationers. You’ll be able to test prepare schedules and e-book tickets on-line by way of web sites resembling Nationwide Rail Enquiries.
By Vehicle: Inverness is accessible by automotive by way of the A9, which is the primary street linking town to the remainder of Scotland. In case you are driving from the south, you possibly can take the M6 and A74(M) to attain the A9. The journey time from Edinburgh or Glasgow to Inverness is roughly 3-4 hours by automotive, relying on visitors circumstances. There are a number of automotive rental corporations accessible at Inverness airport or within the metropolis middle, in case you want to lease a automotive.
Suggestions for Driving the North Coast 500
The North Coast 500 is a scenic driving route that covers the northern coast of Scotland, and it may be an exhilarating journey for drivers. Listed here are some suggestions to remember 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 should have to again up or pull over usually for oncoming visitors. The guidelines work that if there’s a passing place in your aspect, you’re the particular person to pull over. If the passing place is on the opposite aspect of the street, they are going to.
There are many passing locations the place slower drivers can transfer out of the best way if they’ve automobiles behind them, and there are pullovers the place you possibly can pull in to let oncoming visitors by way of. In the summertime season, visitors is busier, in case you journey within the low season, you’ll come throughout fewer automobiles.
In Scotland, like within the UK, visitors drives on the left aspect of the street. In case you are not used to this, take a while to modify and be further cautious when driving, particularly on slender and winding roads.
The North Coast 500 can get busy throughout peak season, so be respectful of different drivers and locals. Comply with the pace limits, yield to different automobiles, and use pull-outs or designated passing locations to let different automobiles go in case you are driving slower. There is no such thing as a hurt in pulling over to let somebody go you. It’s a frequent courtesy so be respectful of the drivers behind you.
Driving the North Coast 500 will be difficult. The route runs by way of a various panorama with slender single observe roads winding by way of steep hills, and blind corners. Keep alert and targeted, particularly when driving within the night or early morning when visibility is low.
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 would encounter snow, rain, wind and sunny climate. Gown in layers and pack waterproof clothes. Deliver heat clothes, waterproof gear, and a primary help equipment in case of an emergency. See our tips
Be careful for wildlife: The North Coast 500 takes you thru some wild and distant areas, so hold an eye fixed out for wildlife on the street, resembling deer, sheep, and cows. They are often unpredictable, so decelerate and drive cautiously.
Automotive Leases and Driving
Be sure 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 go. In case you are driving slowly, pull over when one of many passing locations comes up to let one other go.
Plus, it’s simpler to discover parking in cities and you’ll pull off on small turnouts alongside the route to be out of the best way whereas capturing these awe-inspiring photographs of the panorama and beautiful coastal surroundings. You probably have a smaller automotive, you gained’t have an excessive amount of bother getting round.
We rented a small car and it made issues a lot simpler to pull over for oncoming visitors. Many individuals camp on the NC 500. Campervans are allowed, however can not navigate a number of the trails and smaller tracks. So take that into consideration when reserving your car.
Scotland is on the Pound Sterling – 1 Pound Sterling = 1.30 USD. For up to date change charges go to XE Currency Convertor.
Eagle Creek Plug Adapter – This multi functional adapter is all of your want for Scotland retailers and different European and world travels.
Get your tunes prepared, there are lots of locations you gained’t get radio service – See our Road Trip Songs Playlist
Take your time and benefit from the surroundings: The North Coast 500 gives a number of the most breathtaking surroundings in Scotland, so take your time and revel in it. Cease usually to take images, stretch your legs, and benefit from the views. There are many scenic spots to cease and admire, resembling seashores, cliffs, and waterfalls.
By following the following tips, you possibly can have a secure and fulfilling driving expertise on the North Coast 500 in Scotland.
North Coast 500 Packing Suggestions
The climate adjustments dramatically in Scotland. When asking the locals what the temperature is like in the summertime, many stated it wasn’t a lot completely different from after we visited in late March/early April.
Packing for the North Coast 500 in Scotland requires cautious planning, particularly in case you are touring through the cooler months. Listed here are some packing suggestions to take into account:
Heat and waterproof clothes: Scotland’s climate will be unpredictable, and it might 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 keep heat, so deliver sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and thermals.
Comfy mountaineering boots: The North Coast 500 gives loads of alternatives for outside actions, resembling mountaineering and strolling. Deliver comfy 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 sturdy, 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.
Digicam and binoculars: The North Coast 500 gives a number of the most beautiful landscapes and wildlife in Scotland, so deliver a digital camera and binoculars to seize the surroundings and wildlife.
Cell phone and charger: Be sure to deliver a cell phone and charger, as there are many scenic spots with no cellphone protection. It is usually 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 accessible alongside the North Coast 500 route, it’s at all times good to have some money readily available for smaller transactions, resembling parking or buying objects from native companies.
The place to Keep on the North Coast 500
We broke down the place we stayed on the North Coast 500 in every part, however to make issues simpler for you, we have now rounded up one of the best luxurious resorts, self catering lodging, and BnBs for you to take a look at on this wonderful driving route. You must e-book your lodging prematurely as this
- Dornoch Castle – A historic fortress situated within the coronary heart of Dornoch Trip Advisor / Booking.com
- Royal Marine Resort – One of many few luxurious resorts on the North Coast 500 East Caost and makes for a terrific base to discover this portion of the driving route.
Wick / Dunnet Head
- Ackergille Tower Resort – In case you are searching for extra luxurious resorts on the North Coast 500, take a look at the fortress resorts. We cherished our keep at Ackergille Tower resort making for an outstanding base to discover alongside the north coast. Test it out on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
- In case you are searching for self catering lodging, Riverside Flats has kitchens, washing machines and free WiFi view it on Trip Advisor / Booking.com
- Smoo Cave Resort a fundamental resort, however the location is an ideal cease after driving from Tongue. There’s bar and so they have a number of the greatest Haggis round. Examine costs on TripAdvisor
Lochinver / Drumbeg / Lochinver
- Kylesku hotel is an effective base There are boat journeys, mountaineering trails and wildlife excursions the place you possibly can spot sea otters, See it on Trip Advisor / Booking.com There’s additionally the Drumbeg Resort.
- We stayed at a small farmhouse referred to as the Croft 338 B&B. It’s a fundamental B&B, however the Web is sweet, there’s cable TV and he or she makes a hearty breakfast within the morning.
- The Plockton Resort – Situated on the waterfront of Plockton, the Plockton Resort is the most well-liked spot on the town. Trip Advisor / Booking.com
- Plocton Inn is one other resort on the town and it has wonderful eating as effectively.
- Duncraig Fortress is a fortress that has been become a mattress and breakfast and is price a photograph cease
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 e-book your lodging prematurely.
Whenever you go to Scotland, be sure to add the North Coast 500 to your itinerary. It is among the nice street journeys on the earth and takes you thru a number of the most beautiful coastal surroundings within the nation and really permits you to expertise all of the highlights of the Scottish Highlands.
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