The North Coast 500 has been billed as Scotland’s reply to America’s Route 66 however this Scottish street journey is not like 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 without doubt one of the nice street journeys on the planet.
When planning your North Coast 500 journey you should definitely give loads of days to discover the sights. We spent a really two weeks on this spectacular driving route via the Scottish highlands and we’ve put collectively the last word NC500 Journey Planner that will help you profit from your time within the Scottish highlands.
North Coast 500 Information
Dave and I’ve completed lots of street journeys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they simply could 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 whole Wild Atlantic Approach (the longest coastal route on earth) and sure, we now have pushed via massive chunks of America’s Route 66.
After we had the chance to drive the North Coast 500, we jumped on the probability, we now have at all times 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 street.
The North Coast 500 loop counterclockwise from Inverness and we’ve put collectively the last word plan that will help you 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, protecting 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 spice up the Northern Highland economic system and has now turn out to be a well-liked 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 metropolis of Inverness, taking guests on a round journey via 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 Go, the ruins of Ardvreck Fortress, and the white sands of Achmelvich Seashore. The route additionally passes via 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 everywhere in the world who come to discover the pure great thing about Scotland’s rugged north highlands. Once you go to Scotland, you’ll wish to expertise a minimum of a portion its spectacular surroundings.
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 alongside the north coast of Scotland in a 516-mile (830km) circle route via a few 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 Automobile Leases
One of the simplest ways to discover the North Coast 500 is on a street journey is by driving. In case you don’t already dwell within the UK and have your personal automotive, you’ll wish to e-book a rental automotive effectively upfront. There are many locations to e-book rental vehicles in Scotland. We use Rental Automobiles Join to search out the very best offers on any rental automotive. You possibly can evaluate costs on their web site.
Sizzling Tip: Be 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 via the North Highlands. The roads via the Scottish Highlands are winding and slim there are a number of hairpin turns. Small vehicles also can match simply into the passing locations to let sooner drivers overtake you. Rental vehicles are scarce nowadays, so you should definitely e-book effectively upfront. Evaluate 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 dwelling to the very well-known Loch Ness the place you may seek for Nessie herself. That was our principal 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 Issues 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 positively wish to spend a while right here. Listed here are just a few high sights to see earlier than shifting alongside the North Coast 500.
Inverness is the primary hub for exploring Loch Ness. Folks go to the legendary Loch Ness in quest of 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 study in regards to the historical past of the Loch Ness Monster, however exploring the huge lake is the spotlight.
Drumnadrochit and Glen Affric
In case you have extra time, you may keep in Drumnadrochit, there are many B&Bs within the space. If you’re staying within the space take a drive to Glen Affric to soak up its beautiful panorama and look at the attractive Plodda Falls. That is the spot the place the tour busses cease although so be ready for big crowds and site visitors.
Be sure you watch the sundown from Dores Seashore and you might even run into the Nessie Hunter who has arrange camp proper on this spot to maintain 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 individuals 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 liked it.
The Kingsmills Resort 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 lodge and the rooms had been spacious, and comfy. Parking is free and breakfasts are included. Test it out on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
The Rocpool Reserve Resort is one other really helpful lodge: Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Urged 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 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 provides many issues to see and locations to cease. Dornoch is legendary for the Dornoch Fortress and makes a great base to discover the whisky route.
Don’t simply beeline it to the following city, you should definitely pop into these highlights in your method out of Inverness earlier than hitting the North Coast 500 Route.
The Culloden Battlefield is without doubt one of the greatest stops on the North Coast 500 street journey. As you make your method via the Scottish Highlands, ensure that to cease at one of the crucial historic websites on the itinerary. The trendy 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 came about.
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. 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.
If you’re fascinated with Highland historical past (as we’re) this can be a place the place you may simply spend hours. For extra info see Culloden Battlefield Customer’s Centre
Clava Cairns isn’t removed from the Culloden Battlefield and is an effective cease for at the present time 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 collection (that is the place the place Claire was transported again in time) you may perceive why Diana Gambon felt time journey may occur right here.
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 in the present day, 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!
It’s time to maneuver 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 title, Black Isle isn’t an precise island however relatively 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 title “Black Isle” is alleged to come back from the truth that when considered from a distance, the world seems to be black as a result of forests that cowl a lot of the peninsula. Black Isle is a well-liked cease on the NC500 for many who need a style of the route with its scenic villages away from the bigger cities, seashores, and wildlife reserves. You possibly can 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 outlets alongside the route. One among our favourite stops for native meats & cheeses, recent fruits, and native treats, you should definitely cease in at Roberston’s The Larder.
You can even meet the livestock together with Highland Cows. If you’re apprehensive about not seeing the well-known highland cattle alongside the route, (don’t be) you’ll have a great probability 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 may simply be completed as a day journey from there. What makes a go to to Singleton distinctive is that it is without doubt one of the few distilleries in Scotland that also malts its personal barley and their Singleton mix can solely be purchased in Scotland or for those who 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.
The top of day 3 in your North Coast 500 journey ends at Dornoch Fortress. Dornoch is a vacation spot unto itself with the fort at its middle. The Scottish highlands are full of outdated castles which have been transformed into motels. Do your self a favor and e-book an evening a minimum of one fort lodge.
Dornoch Fortress is situated proper available in the market sq. of Dornoch instantly 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 street journey. The pub makes you are feeling like you’re 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 Fortress is dwelling to among the best 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 principal attraction. Sitting contained in the thick outdated stone partitions with the enormous hearth roaring with flame you are feeling as for those who’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 the planet and is presently the reigning no 1 whisky lodge of the yr as named by whiskybase.com.
Having the distillery tour helped us to know the distilling strategy of Scottish whiskey and gave us perception into aromas and flavors once we determined to style just a few drams at Dornoch Fortress’s whisky bar. This really made us really feel like we had been taking a tour via historical past and our information Alistair was as keen about 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 decide on. He’ll choose your mind to see what sort of Scotch you like and supply up selections of various whiskeys at totally different costs to fit your wants.
Word: Scotland spells whisky with out an “e”. So once you go to Scotland, you should definitely spell it the way in which they do in Scotland, it’s whisky NOT Whiskey.
The place to Keep in Dornoch
Dornoch Fortress – We liked our keep within the historic Dornoch Fortress. Every time we go to Eire or Scotland, we at all times attempt to keep in a fort for a very genuine and historic expertise. Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
There may be additionally The Dornoch Resort you may see extra info on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Royal Marine Resort – Just a bit farther up the East Coast is the Royal Marine Resort which was voted among the best locations to remain 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 on right 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 choose up a bottle of their favourite Scotch whisky. It’s price stopping a minimum of 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 can be from mere minutes to solely a few hours away.
- Dunnet Bay
- Pulteney Distilleries are all close by.
If you’re in search of 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.
If you’re a whisky lover, Dornoch fort or Royal Marine Resort is the right place to base your travels as you discover the distilleries of the route. Go to their web site for bookings and availability.
Open from April 1 to October 15, visiting Dunbrobin Fortress is a should. You possibly can 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 totally different from different castles in Scotland resembling a French Chateau relatively than the stark stone buildings in different components we noticed.
Dunrobin fort has been dwelling to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland because the thirteenth century.
This fort could be visited from Dornoch, or you may 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 Fortress right here.
The place to Keep – Ackergill Tower Resort
One thing we liked about driving the North Coast 500 was the prospect to remain in historic castles. There are a lot of 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 lodge. 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 recent 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 might need been like again in time.
Essentially the most well-known story of the fort tells the story of Helen Gunn, often known as the Fantastic 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 dying. It’s mentioned that her ghost haunts the halls to at the present time.
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 informed us the west coast was the very best, however the northern tip was beautiful. We may 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. In case you like mountain climbing and wildlife, you’ll love this space.
If you wish to get down inside one thing much like the Geo of Sclaites, the Whaligoe Steps is an excellent trek. The Whaligoe Steps include 330 steps main right down to one of the crucial 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 wish to study extra in regards to the fishing and historical past of the world, the Wick Heritage Centre is the place to go. Wick was Europe’s premier herring fishing port in the course of the nineteenth century and devoted guides volunteer their time to inform share their historic information.
There are a lot of artifacts on show and rooms furnished to painting the previous. To get instructions and lookup 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 informed us the west coast was the very 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. In case you like mountain climbing 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.
Essentially the most well-known story of the fort tells the story of Helen Gunn, often known as the Fantastic 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 dying. It’s mentioned that her ghost haunts the halls to at the present time. Try Ackergill Tower to e-book your lodging
Day 6: North Coast 500 – Wildlife and Surroundings
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 akin to 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 time.
Fortress of Mey
It was the spectacular views of Dunnet Head and Brough Harbour that actually took our breath away. However what we liked probably the most was studying the attention-grabbing information of the world from Kate. For instance, Jimmy Web page of Led Zeppelin was an everyday customer to the world 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 title 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 once we determined to go for a stroll to it, the rain got here down in full pressure.
There was one specific second once we actually appreciated being on the tour. We had stopped with Kate to view seals within the harbor (an everyday 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 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 an alternative of the scene and missed this spotlight of the coast.
In case you lookup photographs of the North Coast 500 on Google, likelihood is you’ve seen numerous photographs of Duncansby Head. Mountaineering 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.
In case you have extra time, you may hike instantly from John O’Groats to soak up all the 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 way in which, ensure that to stay to the coast so you may view the dramatic slim sea gullies often known as 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 may view them from all instructions.
Geo of Sclaites
Be sure you hold an eye fixed out for seabirds. Completely different are continuously migrating via the world always of the yr. Together with puffins! A Geo is a deep inlet of water with excessive seacliffs and whereas there are lots 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 right base for exploring the northernmost level of Scotland. This Sixteenth-century tower has lots of 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 street journeys! We included the North Coast 500 in our greatest street journeys we’ve ever taken.
Day 7: Dunnet Head to Tongue
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
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 via 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 once 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 greatest left to the professionals at the moment of yr. 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 shall be open. It was below scaffolding once we arrived as we had been informed that that they had simply found a bone and it was being excavated. It needs to be open now so that you can see.
You possibly can hike from the Tongue Resort. It’s believed that the fort was constructed within the 14th century upon an outdated Norse fort. So that you could be positive there may be lots of historical past simply ready to be found right here.
Kyle of Tongue
As an alternative of driving instantly 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 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 Resort It has a comfy ambiance with massive rooms, and there’s at all times 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 street journey. See costs on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Ben Loyal Resort is one other instructed place to remain on this portion of the north coast 500. Situated on Most important Avenue Tongue. View it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.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.
One among 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 inside and outside. There are boardwalks main right down to the caves on both aspect providing you with views of the steep path. A bridge permits you to cross the river main in from the ocean whereas wanting into the enormous cavern.
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 information.
A gorgeous stretch of sandy seashore could 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 seashore whereas army autos drive by with nice goal.
The Royal Naval gunnery ranges are situated out right here and army personnel involves this space to coach. You continuously hear weapons and bangs within the distance making you marvel “what on earth is occurring on the market?”
There’s a scenic cemetery situated on the location by the seashore housing an outdated church and tombstones. It’s very photogenic and John Lennon’s aunt is buried right here.
John Lennon visited the world many instances 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 came about right here.
Belnakeil Craft Village
It is a cool spot the place locals are beginning to construct a craft group changing an outdated army 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 choose up a takeaway cappuccino for our drive out of city.
We didn’t attempt the new chocolate, however we heard two totally different clients give glowing suggestions on our method 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. Once you stroll in, you’ll wish to pattern all of the truffles and handmade native chocolate within the retailer.
Smoo Cave Resort
Smoo Cave Resort a primary lodge, however the location is an ideal cease after driving from Tongue, providing you with the prospect to spend a day or two in Smoo. There’s a great bar they usually have a few 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 a great bar they usually have a few of the greatest Haggis round.
Day 9: North Coast 500 – Belnakeil to Lochinver
At the moment is an enormous 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 one 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 put, so ensure that to take your time to actually take pleasure in the entire views. In case you can, take your time and presumably keep in Lochinver for an evening. We nevertheless 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 without doubt one of 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 may be lots of historical past human and geological on this land and the Geopark is acknowledged by UNESCO and is ready as much as promote and protect that historical past.
Many individuals reduce this portion of drive and head on to Lochinver alongside the A894 and A837 however one of the crucial picturesque street routes we took within the north highlands had been towards Drumbeg. The open roads that we had seen up to now, gave method to slim single observe roads dropping off into deep valleys.
It was an attractive winding journey. It was solely 10 miles lengthy but it surely took us effectively over an hour to navigate and take within the sights. It was right here that we noticed numerous stags working via 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, but it surely stands on a cliff that’s 54 meters (162 ft) above sea degree jutting out from the West Coast of Scotland.
The scene is spectacular and you’ll really e-book a keep within the lighthouse. There are two flats and a kitchen, so if you wish to spend extra time exploring the world, that is as distinctive because it will get for lodging and also you’ll have unimaginable views of the ocean!
Dave and I like a great 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 once 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 creating nice espresso to heat your bones from the damp Scottish climate. When driving via this part, you should definitely refill!
The one observe roads proceed from Clachtol via an extremely stunning rocky and rolling panorama. When in Clachtol you should definitely try 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 via 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 informed to come back again in just a few hours by employees, however alas, we needed to transfer on as we had been on a mission to complete our NC500 street journey.
The time to go to Achmevilch Bay is in the course of the summer time season anyway as there may be water snowboarding, windsurfing, a number of strolling trails and fishing. Okay then, it’s settled, we should return to Northern Scotland!
The place to Keep
Kylesku lodge is an effective base There are boat journeys, mountain climbing trails and wildlife excursions the place you may spot sea otters, seals and migrating sea birds. See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com There may be additionally the Drumbeg Resort.
We stayed at a small farmhouse known as the Croft 338 B&B. It’s a primary 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
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 one-track street weaves via 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.
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 pals. He’s positively that man that you simply wish to hang around with. He provides 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 provides multiday treks, however we had been on a schedule so solely had the morning with him. You possibly can 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 as much as 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 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 keen about selling tourism and conservation within the highlands. His enterprise is increasing quickly and we are able to’t wait to come back again within the close to future to do some correct mountaineering with him.
It’s best to positively e-book a visit with him and tell us what we should 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 slim field canyon the place you may cross the suspension bridge.
The bridge is a bit hair-raising because it’s slim and the railings are low, however it’s definitely worth the view. There are mountain climbing 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. Evidently 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
Westlea Home Boutique B&B was by far our favorite place to remain on the North Coast 500. You’ll wish to sit by the hearth perusing the large selection of books and magazines, or you might wish to pop into the music room and select from the in depth assortment of vinyl data.. Test it out on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Argyll Resort is another choice for motels on this portion of the NC500 – See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Ullapool provides a substantial selection of eating choices for the dimensions of the city. Suggestions are the Arch Inn, Argyle Resort Seafood Bar for recent 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 out of doors lover’s twist. The pleasant workers made us really feel heat and welcome.
Day 11: North Coast 500 – Gairloch
Gairloch makes for an important base when exploring the west coast portion of the NC 500. You possibly can go up and down the coast in each instructions. There’s a lot to see and do right here and you’ll cowl lots of 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 lots of 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 once we had our Ancestry DNA completed 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 world wide 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, you might wish 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 offer their fish its personal distinctive taste.
They’ve a present store the place you may choose up provides and native seafood to your street journey or seize a present field for somebody particular at dwelling. You possibly can even order on-line!
There are such a lot of lochs in Northern Scotland it’s troublesome to decide on the place to cease, however Loch Maree is unquestionably an attractive place to go to at dawn. Campervans park in a single day on the shores of this loch however you may drive in for a view as effectively. It’s not extremely traveled and could be troublesome to search out.
At first, we parked at a logging street and began to stroll the space to the loch, however fortunately we determined to maneuver on. Simply a few kilometers down the street we discovered the reduce off to the seashore and had been handled to a spectacular view.
Beinn Eighe is Britain’s oldest nature reserve and a premier mountain climbing vacation spot. There may be 48 Sq. km to discover with trails as brief as 1 1/2 km. Mountaineering is fashionable in Scotland and you’ll’t go to the nation with out doing a correct trek.
The principle 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 Nationwide Nature Reserve web site
Choosing up a espresso on the newly opened Klinlochewe Espresso Store on the gasoline station we chatted with the house owners who gave us some tips on the very best viewpoint within the space. I can’t imagine we nearly missed this!
Many individuals miss this view as a result of they take the coastal scenic path to Applecross. However you should definitely a minimum of drive as much as the perspective. 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 via the mountains in the present day. Each are extremely really helpful.
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 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 wanting from Scotland’s beautiful west coast.
It’s definitely worth the drive and to do all the path to Decrease Diabag took us about an hour every method. (we do prefer to cease for lots images although)
The place to Keep in Gairloch
The Previous Inn. It’s an outdated teaching inn reworked with trendy conveniences. Set on an attractive property, there are strolling trails, gardens and streams working via the property. On-site, there is a superb seafood restaurant and an award-winning pub. It is a place that felt like we had been in the true Scotland. See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.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 Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Day 12: North Coast 500 – Klinlochewe to Applecross
In relation 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 trip (the Highlanders had been nice horsemen), go kayaking, crusing, and seek for wildlife. The sky is the restrict right here.
This last 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 via 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 commenced our scenic journey alongside Higher Torridon Loch. It is 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 go Baelnabach Go; The star attraction of the North Coast 500.
City of Sheildag
Be sure you pull over as a lot as potential alongside this route as you’ll discover some wonderful 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
Have you ever ever seen the photographs of the little purple home in northern Scotland? Nicely, it’s right here alongside this route that you simply’ll discover it. Take pleasure in 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 lots of highland cows alongside this street too. The slim roads have pullovers and passing locations the place you may both get out of your automotive for photographs or let sooner drivers go. It is a place you wish to take your time, but additionally 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 stunning 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 wonderful in shorts or a t-shirt all day when driving in Northern of Scotland.
Applecross to Baelnabach Go
That is the spotlight of all the North Coast 500 and it doesn’t disappoint. Baelnabach Go was an outdated cattle path that was was a driving transport route and is now a well-liked vacationer route.
The drive is thrilling with hairpin activates single-lane tracks that you simply nonetheless share with transports. There are just a few pullovers and it’s price stopping for those who see one and really feel assured. The views are magnificent wanting down the valley.
Once you get to the highest of the go you should definitely 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 an enormous day and also you’ve in all probability constructed up an urge for food. In case you hold following the primary street in the direction of Lochcarron you’ll come throughout the nice Kishorn Seafood Bar. Serving recent native seafood, this isn’t to be missed.
This family-run eatery is full of wonderful selections for lunch or dinner and the workers is pleasant. They even gave us a style of the native specialty. In case 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 last vacation spot earlier than ending off the loop to Inverness took us to Plockton. Plockton grew to become our dwelling base to discover the world. Like different components of the nc500, there may be lots of historical past, wildlife and surroundings to take pleasure in and listed here are just a few highlights of what it’s essential 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 received 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 via deep mud and trotted alongside the rocky panorama. However that was simply a part of the journey.
The true magnificence got here once we reached the pack of deer and stags roaming the land. It’s right here that you simply’ll discover stunning deer that roam free on 1000’s of acres of property.
Colin feeds the deer particular pellets to subsidize their weight-reduction plan as he says the vegetation doesn’t give them the vitamins they want. You possibly can 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 observe our buggy over the hills like a flock of sheep. They had been very excited to see him!
Eilean Donan Fortress
Probably probably the most well-known fort 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 an attractive fort the place you may tour and study in regards to the historical past of the clans that dominated the Highlands.
It tells the story via a wonderful audio-visual show in regards to the Jacobite rebellion and fall, and the wars of the clans. You possibly can stroll via the totally different rooms of the fort which can be adorned simply as they had been tons of of years in the past and get a real sense of what life was like. The reward 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 fort 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 inside and outside exploring the coastal piece of land.
At low tide you may stroll fairly far out to the ocean for a great view of the fort and you’ll snap the compulsory image via the doorway arch.
Duncraig Fortress is a fort that has been was a mattress and breakfast and is price a photograph cease in case you are not staying there. The street resulting in the railway station goes instantly via the fort grounds, you may simply drive your automotive proper as much as the entrance door to take a look. It’s situated on Loch Carron and could be seen from the city of Plockton. There are even hikes that lead out to the fort.
The place to Keep in Plockton
The Plockton Resort – Situated on the waterfront of Plockton, the Plockton Resort is the preferred spot on the town. With a Michelin rated pub, it has a few of the greatest pub meals and ambiance in Scotland. We ate there every evening, having fun with native seafood with whiskey and wine. Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Plocton Inn is one other lodge on the town and it has wonderful eating as effectively.
Duncraig Fortress is a fort that has been was 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 isn’t situated instantly 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 possibly can’t actually come to this a part of Scotland and never go to Skye.” We made a degree to go to the Isle of Skye to see a few 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 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 method across the island to see its stunning panorama from its dramatic sea cliffs, waterfalls, fairy swimming pools and the city of Portree. If you’re 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. In case you have your personal automotive, why not keep a month? There may be nonetheless a lot to see from Edinburgh to Glasgow and in all places in between.
The NC500 is without doubt one of the best drives on the planet. Sooner or later, the single-track roads could also be was double-lane highways and extra motels could be popping up in all places. However for those who get there rapidly, you’ll take pleasure in outdated 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 might miss out for those who wait!
North Coast 500 Ideas
The North Coast 500 covers an enormous portion of mainland Scotland and planning could be overwhelming. We’ve put collectively just a few ideas that will help you arrange your lodging, packing and automotive leases to your official North Coast 500 street journey.
The climate modifications dramatically in Scotland. When asking the locals what the temperature is like in the summertime season, many mentioned it wasn’t a lot totally different from once we visited in late March/early April.
So when touring Northern Scotland, you should definitely pack layers, waterproof mountain climbing 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 allure of Scotland. It’s precisely the identical as Iceland. In case you don’t just like the climate simply wait a minute or so, it’s going to change.
The right way to Get to Inverness
There are a number of methods to get to Inverness, Scotland. In case you aren’t driving your personal automotive from one of many different international locations 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, akin to London, Manchester, and Birmingham, you may fly on to Inverness. There are additionally direct flights from some European cities, akin to Amsterdam and Dublin. When you arrive on the airport, you may 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 practice station in Inverness is situated within the metropolis middle, making it handy for vacationers. You possibly can examine practice schedules and e-book tickets on-line by way of web sites akin to 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. If you’re driving from the south, you may take the M6 and A74(M) to succeed in the A9. The journey time from Edinburgh or Glasgow to Inverness is roughly 3-4 hours by automotive, relying on site visitors situations. There are a number of automotive rental corporations obtainable at Inverness airport or within the metropolis middle, if it’s essential to hire a automotive.
Ideas 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 exciting journey for drivers. Listed here are some ideas 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’ll have to again up or pull over typically for oncoming site visitors. The foundations work that if there’s a passing place in your aspect, you’re the individual to tug over. If the passing place is on the opposite aspect of the street, they’ll.
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 may pull in to let oncoming site visitors via. In the summertime season, site visitors is busier, for those who journey within the low season, you’ll come throughout fewer vehicles.
In Scotland, like within the UK, site visitors drives on the left aspect of the street. If you’re not used to this, take a while to regulate and be further cautious when driving, particularly on slim and winding roads.
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 autos, and use pull-outs or designated passing locations to let different vehicles go in case you are driving slower. There isn’t any hurt in pulling over to let somebody go you. It’s a widespread courtesy so be respectful of the drivers behind you.
Driving the North Coast 500 could be difficult. The route runs via a various panorama with slim single observe roads winding via 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 situations: Scotland’s climate could be unpredictable, so be prepared for every type of climate and climate can change immediately. You can encounter snow, rain, wind and sunny climate. Gown in layers and pack waterproof clothes. Deliver heat clothes, waterproof gear, and a primary help package in case of an emergency. See our ideas
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, akin to deer, sheep, and cows. They are often unpredictable, so decelerate and drive cautiously.
Automobile Leases and Driving
Ensure that to be thoughtful of different drivers when driving the NC500. The roads are slim and many individuals don’t use the passing locations devoted to permitting others to go. If you’re driving slowly, pull over when one of many passing locations comes as much as let one other go.
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 beautiful coastal surroundings. In case you have a smaller automotive, you received’t have an excessive amount of hassle getting round.
We rented a small automotive and it made issues a lot simpler to tug 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 automobile.
Scotland is on the Pound Sterling – 1 Pound Sterling = 1.30 USD. For updated change charges go to XE Forex Convertor.
Eagle Creek Plug Adapter – This multi functional adapter is all of your want for Scotland shops and different European and world travels.
Get your tunes prepared, there are lots of locations you received’t get radio service – See our Street Journey Songs Playlist
Take your time and benefit from the surroundings: The North Coast 500 provides a few of the most breathtaking surroundings in Scotland, so take your time and luxuriate in it. Cease typically to take photographs, stretch your legs, and benefit from the views. There are many scenic spots to cease and admire, akin to seashores, cliffs, and waterfalls.
By following the following tips, you may have a protected and pleasing driving expertise on the North Coast 500 in Scotland.
North Coast 500 Packing Ideas
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 totally different from once we visited in late March/early April.
Packing for the North Coast 500 in Scotland requires cautious planning, particularly in case you are touring in the course of the cooler months. Listed here are some packing tricks to think about:
Heat and waterproof clothes: Scotland’s climate could be unpredictable, and it may get chilly and moist even in the course of the summer time months. Pack heat and waterproof clothes, together with a water-proof jacket, pants, and footwear. Layering can also be important to remain heat, so convey sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and thermals.
Snug mountain climbing boots: The North Coast 500 provides loads of alternatives for out of doors actions, akin to mountain climbing and strolling. Deliver comfy strolling footwear or mountain climbing boots with good traction to discover the countryside.
Solar safety: Whereas Scotland’s climate could be chilly and moist, the solar can nonetheless be robust, particularly in the course of the summer time months. Pack solar safety, together with sunscreen, sun shades, and a hat.
Insect repellent: Scotland has its fair proportion of midges, tiny flying bugs that may be a nuisance in the course of the summer time months. Pack insect repellent to keep away from being bitten.
Digicam and binoculars: The North Coast 500 provides a few of the most beautiful landscapes and wildlife in Scotland, so convey a digicam and binoculars to seize the surroundings and wildlife.
Cell phone and charger: Ensure that to convey a cell phone and charger, as there are many scenic spots with no cellphone protection. Additionally it is important to have a GPS and a paper map to navigate the route. We additionally carry a transportable adaper.
Money and bank cards: Whereas there are ATMs and bank card amenities obtainable alongside the North Coast 500 route, it’s at all times good to have some money readily available for smaller transactions, akin to 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 now have rounded up the very best luxurious motels, self catering lodging, and BnBs so that you can try on this wonderful driving route. It’s best to e-book your lodging upfront as this
- Dornoch Fortress – A historic fort situated within the coronary heart of Dornoch Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- Royal Marine Resort – One of many few luxurious motels on the North Coast 500 East Caost and makes for an important base to discover this portion of the driving route.
Wick / Dunnet Head
- Ackergille Tower Resort – If you’re in search of extra luxurious motels on the North Coast 500, try the fort motels. We liked our keep at Ackergille Tower lodge making for an excellent base to discover alongside the north coast. Test it out on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- If you’re in search of self catering lodging, Riverside Flats has kitchens, washing machines and free WiFi view it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- Smoo Cave Resort a primary lodge, however the location is an ideal cease after driving from Tongue. There’s a great bar they usually have a few of the greatest Haggis round. Evaluate costs on TripAdvisor
Lochinver / Drumbeg / Lochinver
- Kylesku lodge is an effective base There are boat journeys, mountain climbing trails and wildlife excursions the place you may spot sea otters, See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com There may be additionally the Drumbeg Resort.
- We stayed at a small farmhouse known as the Croft 338 B&B. It’s a primary B&B, however the Web is nice, there’s cable TV and she or he makes a hearty breakfast within the morning.
- The Plockton Resort – Situated on the waterfront of Plockton, the Plockton Resort is the preferred spot on the town. Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- Plocton Inn is one other lodge on the town and it has wonderful eating as effectively.
- Duncraig Fortress is a fort that has been was a mattress and breakfast and is price a photograph cease
Plan your route and stops upfront: 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 upfront.
Once you go to Scotland, ensure that so as to add the North Coast 500 to your itinerary. It is without doubt one of the nice street journeys on the planet and takes you thru a few 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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