The North Coast 500 has been billed as Scotland’s reply to America’s Route 66 however this Scottish highway 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 monitor roads. The NC500 is likely one of the nice highway 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 by the Scottish highlands and we’ve put collectively the last word NC500 Journey Planner that can assist you take advantage of your time within the Scottish highlands.
North Coast 500 Information
Dave and I’ve achieved plenty of highway journeys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they only may be our specialty. We’ve pushed a automotive from England to Mongolia within the Mongol Rally, we had been the primary media to drive Eire’s total Wild Atlantic Approach (the longest coastal route on earth) and sure, we now have pushed by 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 needed to see the Scottish Highlands and this route takes you thru the perfect of them. We love marking our map with must-see points of interest, stocking up on snacks, placing collectively a playlist, and hitting the highway.
The North Coast 500 loop counterclockwise from Inverness and we’ve put collectively the last word plan that can assist you plan forward and take advantage of your time within the Scottish highlands.
What’s the North Coast 500
The North Coast 500 (NC500) is a scenic route that runs alongside the northern coast of Scotland, 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 financial system and has now change into 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 by 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 Cross, the ruins of Ardvreck Citadel, and the white sands of Achmelvich Seaside. The route additionally passes by a number of communities, offering alternatives for guests to expertise native tradition and hospitality.
The NC500 has gained recognition as one of many world’s most scenic highway journeys, attracting guests from everywhere in the world who come to discover the pure fantastic thing about Scotland’s rugged north highlands. Once you go to Scotland, you will wish to expertise at the least 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 by a number of the most stunning landscapes within the nation, stopping at many cities and points of interest earlier than returning to Inverness.
The North Coast 500 is positioned within the North West nook of Scotland winding its manner up the east coast, alongside the the north and down west coast of Scotland beginning in Inverness.
NC500 Automotive Leases
One of the simplest ways to discover the North Coast 500 is on a highway journey is by driving. In case you don’t already reside within the UK and have your personal automotive, you’ll wish to e book a rental automotive nicely prematurely. There are many locations to e book rental automobiles in Scotland. We use Rental Automobiles Join to search out the perfect offers on any rental automotive. You possibly can evaluate costs on their web site.
Scorching Tip: Be certain your rental automotive is a smaller automotive as roads are sometimes single monitor roads alongside the North Coast 500 and a small automotive is simple to navigate by the North Highlands. The roads by 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 nowadays, so you should definitely e book nicely prematurely. Examine costs at RentalCars.com
Day 1: North Coast 500 – Inverness
We began our North Coast 500 highway journey in Inverness and spent two days having fun with this historic metropolis. Inverness is the principle 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 may 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 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 a number of high points of interest to see earlier than shifting alongside the North Coast 500.
Inverness is the principle hub for exploring Loch Ness. Folks go to the legendary Loch Ness seeking the Loch Ness Monster, however it’s value exploring the sandy seashores and surroundings round Inverness as nicely.
The guests heart in Drumnadrochit is enjoyable and kitschy and is a must-stop to study concerning the historical past of the Loch Ness Monster, however exploring the huge lake is the spotlight.
Drumnadrochit and Glen Affric
When you’ve got extra time, you may 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 consider the gorgeous Plodda Falls. That is the spot the place the tour busses cease although so be ready for giant crowds and visitors.
Remember to watch the sundown from Dores Seaside and you could even run into the Nessie Hunter who has arrange camp proper on this spot to maintain look ahead to the elusive monster.
Urquhart Citadel is one other must-see cease on the lake. It’s a stunning break that has survived many a battle over the previous 1000 years. The setting overlooks Loch Ness and the rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands, I can see why 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 Resort is positioned on a golf course simply exterior the downtown core. Set in a big historic mansion on a large 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. Test it out on TripAdvisor / Reserving.com
The Rocpool Reserve Resort is one other really helpful resort: Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Steered 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 option 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 good base in your subsequent set of explorations as there’s a lot to see and do within the space.
Alongside the A9 in direction of the NC500 presents many issues to see and locations to cease. Dornoch is known for the Dornoch Citadel and makes a very good base to discover the whisky route.
Don’t simply beeline it to the following city, you should definitely pop into these highlights in your manner out of Inverness earlier than hitting the North Coast 500 Route.
The Culloden Battlefield is likely one of the greatest stops on the North Coast 500 highway journey. As you make your manner by the Scottish Highlands, be certain that to cease at probably the most 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 befell.
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 highly effective moments comes once you enter the inside museum and stand inside a room projecting a 360-degree reenactment of the battle. You’re surrounded by the cries of the soldiers assembly their destiny.
In case you are fascinated with Highland historical past (as we’re) this can be a place the place you may simply spend hours. For extra data see Culloden Battlefield Customer’s Centre
Clava Cairns will not be removed from the Culloden Battlefield and is an efficient cease for today of sightseeing on the North Coast 500. Cairns are historical stone cemeteries relationship again 4000 years. There are a number of cairns alongside the nc500 however none as well-known as Clava Cairns.
Clava Cairns was used because the inspiration for the Outlander 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 accommodate the useless 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 maneuver on from Inverness and cross into the Black Isle portion of the driving route. Black Isle is a peninsula positioned simply north of town of Inverness. Regardless of its title, Black Isle will not be an precise island however fairly 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 claimed to return from the truth that when considered from a distance, the realm seems to be black because of the forests that cowl a lot of the peninsula. Black Isle is a well-liked cease on the NC500 for many who desire 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 retailers alongside the route. One in every of our favourite stops for native meats & cheeses, recent fruits, and native treats, you should definitely cease in at Roberston’s The Larder.
You too can meet the cattle together with Highland Cows. In case you are fearful about not seeing the well-known highland cattle alongside the route, (don’t be) you’ll have a very good probability right here. It’s positioned on the route from Inverness to Glen Ord Distillery.
Positioned within the coronary heart of Black Isle, The Singleton Distilerry is the closest distillery to Inverness so it might simply be achieved as a day journey from there. What makes a go to to Singleton distinctive is that it is likely 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 Citadel. Dornoch is a vacation spot unto itself with the citadel at its heart. The Scottish highlands are full of previous castles which have been transformed into accommodations. Do your self a favor and e book an evening at the least one citadel resort.
Dornoch Citadel is positioned proper out there 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 citadel units the tone for this distinctive Scottish highway journey. The pub makes you’re feeling like you’re sitting in a Seventeenth-century tavern as the fireplace roars and the whiskey pours. The set dinner menu is divine and the rooms make you’re feeling like royalty.
Dornoch Citadel and Whisky Bar
Dornoch Citadel is house to the most effective whisky bars on earth. It was voted the #1 Whisky Resort of the 12 months by whiskybase.com. It’s the whisky bar that’s the most important attraction. Sitting contained in the thick previous stone partitions with the enormous hearth roaring with flame you’re feeling as for those who’ve stepped again in time to when clans dominated the land.
The intensive whisky inventory has received awards as the perfect whisky bar on the planet 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 know the distilling strategy of Scottish whiskey and gave us perception into aromas and flavors after we determined to style a number of drams at Dornoch Citadel’s whisky bar. This really made us really feel like we had been taking a tour by 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 resolve what photographs to decide on. He’ll choose your mind to see what sort of Scotch you favor and provide 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 best way they do in Scotland, it’s whisky NOT Whiskey.
The place to Keep in Dornoch
Dornoch Citadel – We cherished our keep within the historic Dornoch Citadel. Every time we go to Eire or Scotland, we at all times attempt to keep in a citadel for a really genuine and historic expertise. Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
There’s additionally The Dornoch Resort you may see extra data on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Royal Marine Resort – Just a bit farther up the East Coast is the Royal Marine Resort which was voted the most effective 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 highway journey is all concerning 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’s a lot to see and do.
There are a number of distilleries in Northern Scotland the place highway trippers can choose up a bottle of their favourite Scotch whisky. It’s value stopping at the least as soon as however if you wish to spend longer within the space, verify all of them out on a day tour. From the city of Dornoch, there are half a dozen distilleries to go to which might be from mere minutes to solely a few hours away.
- Dunnet Bay
- Pulteney Distilleries are all close by.
In case you are on the lookout for one thing exterior of distilleries, make your option 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 citadel or Royal Marine Resort is the proper place to base your travels as you discover the distilleries of the route. Go to their web site for bookings and availability.
Open from April 1 to October 15, visiting Dunbrobin Citadel is a should. You possibly can go to the gardens and grounds year-round. We parked our automotive and walked down the steps to an impressive view of this 800 year-old citadel. It’s totally different from different castles in Scotland resembling a French Chateau fairly than the stark stone buildings in different elements we noticed.
Dunrobin citadel has been house to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland for the reason that thirteenth century.
This citadel may be visited from Dornoch, or you may 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 Citadel right here.
The place to Keep – Ackergill Tower Resort
One thing we cherished about driving the North Coast 500 was the prospect to remain in historic castles. There are various distinctive lodging alongside the route from farmhouses, B&Bs, lighthouses, and luxurious estates. Making our manner up the East Coast in 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 Citadel, Ackergill Tower is an lodging that may 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 fireplace we learn concerning the historical past of the citadel and puzzled what life may need been like again in time.
Essentially the most well-known story of the citadel tells the story of Helen Gunn, often called the Fantastic thing about Braemore who was kidnapped on her marriage ceremony night time and held prisoner on this very tower. To flee her destiny she leapt to her loss of life. 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 highway journey. Everybody advised us the west coast was the perfect, however the northern tip was beautiful. We may have spent at the least two extra days exploring the strolling trails alongside the coast.
It’s the space the place you see these large sea cliffs and sea stacks housing migrating seabirds and seals. In case you like mountaineering and wildlife, you’ll love this space.
If you wish to get down inside one thing just like the Geo of Sclaites, the Whaligoe Steps is an excellent trek. The Whaligoe Steps include 330 steps main right down to probably the most 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 concerning 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 identified for its Scotch, however Gin is making an enormous mark within the nation. Excursions function from Might to Sept at 3 pm on Mon, Wed, Fri and on Saturdays at 11 am and 1 pm.
This was in all probability our favourite space to discover on the North Coast 500. Everybody advised us the west coast was the perfect, however the northern tip was beautiful. It’s the space the place you see these large sea cliffs and stacks housing migrating seabirds and seals. In case 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 night time.
Like Dornoch Citadel, Ackergill Tower is an lodging that may 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 citadel tells the story of Helen Gunn, often called the Fantastic thing about Braemore who was kidnapped on her marriage ceremony night time and held a prisoner on this very tower. To flee her destiny she leaped to her loss of life. 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 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 might 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 outside lover who takes guests to see view seabirds, seals, and different wildlife within the space.
However she additionally confirmed us historic websites reminiscent of Mary Ann’s Cottage relationship again to 1850 and The Citadel of Mey. The Queen Mom purchased and restored the Citadel of Mey and King Charles nonetheless visits every summer season.
Citadel of Mey
It was the spectacular views of Dunnet Head and Brough Harbour that basically took our breath away. However what we cherished essentially the most was studying the fascinating information of the realm from Kate. For instance, Jimmy Web page of Led Zeppelin was an everyday customer to the realm and almost purchased an property in Caithness for a recording studio.
He by no means did purchase the studio, however he did rebuild the harbor and there’s a plaque together with his title on the Harrow Harbour commemorating the reopening.
Citadel Sinclair Girnigo
Positioned only a brief stroll or drive from Ackergill Tower the ruins of Citadel Sinclair Girnigo is an imposing sight on the coast. We noticed this from the highway, however after we determined to go for a stroll to it, the rain got here down in full pressure.
There was one specific second after 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 he or she advised us to show round.
The harbor was good, however the scene behind us was stunning. The peaceable setting housed an previous mill and quiet brook that was simply screaming to be photographed. Different vacationers drove proper on by taking a look at us as a substitute of the scene and missed this spotlight of the coast.
In case 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. Positioned only a mile and a half from John O’Groats, make your option to parking on the Duncansby Head Lighthouse.
When you’ve got extra time, you may hike instantly from John O’Groats to absorb your entire 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 option to the awe-inspiring stacks. It’s solely a couple of 10-15 minute stroll, however alongside the best way, be certain that to stay to the coast so you may 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 may view them from all instructions.
Geo of Sclaites
Remember to maintain a watch out for seabirds. Totally different are continually migrating by 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 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 may 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 plenty of historical past, and you may sit by the fireplace 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 assorted sitting rooms for an after-dinner drink.
We love highway journeys! We included the North Coast 500 in our greatest highway 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 shocking 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 surprise Northern Scotland reminded us a lot of Iceland!
Browsing in Scotland
It was additionally actually shocking to search out out that this space is a well-liked browsing vacation spot. World browsing occasions are held right here. We didn’t courageous the water, however whereas driving by the likes of Armadale Bay and Melvich, we did see surfers within the water taking over the swells. These bays are nonetheless manner up within the north coast of Scotland so I can solely think about what the temperatures had been like.
We had been a bit too early within the season for kayaking and after we return to Scotland we will certainly give it a go. However we did see a number of skilled kayakers within the water. Wanting on the tough seas, we determined it was greatest left to the professionals right now 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 Citadel Varrich shall be open. It was underneath 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 so that you can see.
You possibly can hike from the Tongue Resort. It’s believed that the citadel was constructed within the 14th century upon an previous Norse fort. So that you may be positive there’s plenty of historical past simply ready to be found right here.
Kyle of Tongue
As a substitute 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 one monitor 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 replenish on provides for the remainder of your highway journey. See costs on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Ben Loyal Resort is one other advised place to remain on this portion of the north coast 500. Positioned on 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 in every 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 right 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 web site 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 information.
A phenomenal stretch of sandy seashore may be discovered simply out of city and it’s positively value 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 function.
The Royal Naval gunnery ranges are positioned out right here and army personnel involves this space to coach. You continually hear weapons and bangs within the distance making you surprise “what on earth is occurring on the market?”
There’s a scenic cemetery positioned on the location by the seashore housing an previous church and tombstones. It’s very photogenic and John Lennon’s aunt is buried right here.
John Lennon visited the realm many 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 stated that a few of his happiest reminiscences befell right here.
Belnakeil Craft Village
This can be a cool spot the place locals are beginning to construct a craft group changing an previous 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 strive the recent chocolate, however we heard two totally different clients give glowing suggestions on our manner out. Don’t fear although, we positively had our fill of handmade chocolate and an oh so easy cappuccino.
Be ready to present 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 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 a very good bar they usually 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 a very good bar they usually have a number of the greatest Haggis round.
Day 9: North Coast 500 – Belnakeil to Lochinver
At the moment is an enormous day as we make our manner down the west towards Achmelvich Bay. It’s throughout this part that the driving will get actually enjoyable. The one monitor 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 monitor with views to die for. The surroundings alongside the North Coast 500 is exclusive. It varies from place to put, so be certain that to take your time to actually take pleasure in all the views. In case you can, take your time and presumably keep in Lochinver for an evening. We nonetheless moved on.
Positioned 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 likely one of the Most Photographed Stops on the North Coast 500.
Kylesku sits in the course of Scotland’s 2,000 km2 (770 sq mi) International Geopark. There’s plenty 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 probably the most picturesque highway routes we took within the north highlands had been towards Drumbeg. The open roads that we had seen so far, gave option to slender single monitor roads dropping off into deep valleys.
It was a ravishing winding journey. It was solely 10 miles lengthy however it took us nicely over an hour to navigate and take within the sights. It was right here that we noticed numerous stags working by 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 actually value a brief detour. The lighthouse itself isn’t tall, however it stands on a cliff that’s 54 meters (162 ft) above sea stage jutting out from the West Coast of Scotland.
The scene is spectacular and you may truly e book a keep within the lighthouse. There are two flats and a kitchen, so if you wish to spend extra time exploring the realm, that is as distinctive because it will get for lodging and also you’ll have unimaginable views of the ocean!
Dave and I like a very good espresso on a highway journey and admittedly the alternatives for on-the-go espresso on the North Coast 500 had been few and much between. That’s why after we noticed an indication selling espresso forward, we adopted it.
Flossies is a tiny espresso store positioned on the aspect of the highway, however it’s an establishment within the space. Opened in 1972 by Mrs Flossie Machphail it has now been taken over by her son William and his spouse Caroline who proceed the custom of creating nice espresso to heat your bones from the damp Scottish climate. When driving by this part, you should definitely replenish!
The one monitor roads proceed from Clachtol by an extremely stunning rocky and rolling panorama. When in Clachtol you should definitely take a look at the stone broch. Scottish Brochs date again to someplace across the first century BC.
Consultants can’t fairly agree on what they had been, however these stone buildings are value a go to to witness how these mounds of stones have survived by 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 highway was underneath development. We had been advised to return again in a number of hours by staff, however alas, we needed to transfer on as we had been on a mission to complete our NC500 highway journey.
The time to go to Achmevilch Bay is through the summer season season anyway as there’s water snowboarding, windsurfing, plenty of strolling trails and fishing. Okay then, it’s settled, we should return to Northern Scotland!
The place to Keep
Kylesku resort is an efficient base There are boat journeys, mountaineering trails and wildlife excursions the place you may spot sea otters, seals and migrating sea birds. See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com There’s 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 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 manner additional down the west coast to Ullapool we’re treating to beautiful views. The one-track highway weaves by 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 option 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 presents 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 presents 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. This can be a premiere attraction within the space however we met early sufficient within the morning that the opposite trekkers had but to reach and we had the path all to ourselves.
Tim advised 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 will’t wait to return again within the close to future to do some correct mountaineering with him.
It is best to positively e book a visit with him and tell us what we must always do subsequent! Go to Hamlet Mountaineering for extra particulars.
Positioned simply quarter-hour exterior of Ullapool, the Corrieshalloch Gorge is an fascinating cease. A brief but steep stroll from the automotive park takes you to a deep and slender field canyon the place you may cross the suspension bridge.
The bridge is a bit hair-raising because it’s slender and the railings are low, however it’s definitely 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. Evidently 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 Home Boutique B&B was by far our favorite place to remain on the North Coast 500. You’ll wish to sit by the fireplace perusing the large selection of books and magazines, or you could wish to pop into the music room and select from the intensive assortment of vinyl information.. Test it out on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Argyll Resort is another choice for accommodations on this portion of the NC500 – See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Ullapool presents 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 totally loved espresso at Mountain Provides Espresso Store. Positioned on the second ground 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 an excellent 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 may cowl plenty of floor so if you wish to make a base right here for a few days, it’s an excellent choice. Gairloch is a particularly necessary city in Scotland with plenty 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 after we had our Ancestry DNA achieved simply earlier than leaving.
Inverewe Gardens is an fascinating cease full of unique vegetation that merely shouldn’t be capable of 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 vegetation 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 big a part of the financial system in Northern Scotland and if you are in Gairloch, you could wish to cease on the Isle of Ewe Smokehouse. It’s fascinating to cease and see what occurs to the fish after the catch. This family-run store smokes all its fish in conventional stone kilns utilizing whisky barrel staves & native Larch to present their fish its personal distinctive taste.
They’ve a present store the place you may choose up provides and native seafood in your highway journey or seize a present field for somebody particular at house. 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 certainly a ravishing 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 nicely. It’s not extremely traveled and may be troublesome to search out.
At first, we parked at a logging highway and began to stroll the space to the loch, however fortunately we determined to maneuver on. Simply a few kilometers down the highway we discovered the reduce off to the seashore 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 standard in Scotland and you may’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 knowledge see the go to Scotland Nationwide Nature Reserve web site
Selecting up a espresso on the newly opened Klinlochewe Espresso Store on the fuel station we chatted with the house owners who gave us some tips about the perfect 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 at the least drive as much as the perspective. High Gear named it one of many nice drives of the UK.
We had been fortunate as a result of we had a few days within the space so we drove the coast the day earlier than and may take the shortcut by the mountains immediately. 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 excellent place for panoramic views and whoever gave us that recommendation was proper!
The highway is an unimaginable thrill of 1 lane switching backwards and forwards up a steep mountain. There are a number of stops to see views to the east, to the west, and over the water trying from Scotland’s beautiful west coast.
It’s definitely worth the drive and to do your entire path to Decrease Diabag took us about an hour every manner. (we do prefer to cease for lots images although)
The place to Keep in Gairloch
The Previous Inn. It’s an previous teaching inn reworked with fashionable conveniences. Set on a ravishing property, there are strolling trails, gardens and streams working by the property. On-site, there is a superb seafood restaurant and an award-winning pub. This can be a place that felt like we had been in the true Scotland. See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Shieldaig Lodge This previous looking lodge is positioned 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 terms of 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 journey (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 essentially 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 whole day getting by 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. This can be a nice day journey for a coast journey taking you all the best way across the path to Applecross the place you drive essentially the most spectacular move Baelnabach Cross; The star attraction of the North Coast 500.
City of Sheildag
Remember to pull over as a lot as potential alongside this route as you will 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 pictures of the little pink home in northern Scotland? Properly, it’s right here alongside this route that you simply’ll discover it. Take pleasure in a quiet cease on the aspect of the highway right here and watch the sheep graze within the yard.
Continuous pullovers and Passing Locations
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 whole day to get to your vacation spot. We noticed plenty of highland cows alongside this highway too. The slender roads have pullovers and passing locations the place you may both get out of your automotive for pictures or let quicker drivers move. This can be a place you wish 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 robust. When getting out of the automotive we needed to placed on a jacket. By no means assume you’ll be high quality in shorts or a t-shirt all day when driving in Northern of Scotland.
Applecross to Baelnabach Cross
That is the spotlight of your entire North Coast 500 and it doesn’t disappoint. Baelnabach Cross was an previous 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 a number of pullovers and it’s value stopping for those who see one and really feel assured. The views are magnificent trying down the valley.
Once you get to the highest of the move 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 maintain following the principle highway in 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 glorious 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 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’s plenty of historical past, wildlife and surroundings to take pleasure in and listed below are a number of highlights of what you could 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 obtained right into a buggy to make our manner up a steep mountain.
The buggy was an journey sufficient as we clung to the sting of steep banks, rammed by 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 simply’ll discover stunning deer that roam free on hundreds of acres of property.
Colin feeds the deer particular pellets to subsidize their weight loss 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 a number of that jumped over the fence to stay round.
Colin additionally has sheep and rams on the land that come working when he arrives. It was fairly humorous to see the deer comply with our buggy over the hills like a flock of sheep. They had been very excited to see him!
Eilean Donan Citadel
Probably essentially the most well-known citadel within the land, Eilean Donan Citadel was used for the set of Highlander, James Bond’s The World is Not Sufficient, and the New Avengers. It’s a ravishing citadel the place you may tour and study concerning the historical past of the clans that dominated the Highlands.
It tells the story by a superb audio-visual show concerning the Jacobite rebellion and fall, and the wars of the clans. You possibly can stroll by the totally different rooms of the citadel which might 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 citadel however nonetheless stunning to go to is Drome Citadel. At the moment it’s in ruins, the outer partitions are nonetheless standing and you may stroll in and out exploring the coastal piece of land.
At low tide you may stroll fairly far out to the ocean for a very good view of the citadel and you may snap the compulsory image by the doorway arch.
Duncraig Citadel is a citadel that has been was a mattress and breakfast and is value a photograph cease in case you are not staying there. The highway resulting in the railway station goes instantly by the citadel grounds, you may simply drive your automotive proper as much as the entrance door to take a look. It’s positioned on Loch Carron and may be seen from the city of Plockton. There are even hikes that lead out to the citadel.
The place to Keep in Plockton
The Plockton Resort – Positioned 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 night time, having fun with native seafood with whiskey and wine. Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
Plocton Inn is one other resort on the town and it has glorious eating as nicely.
Duncraig Citadel is a citadel that has been was a mattress and breakfast and is value a photograph cease
The place to eat in Plockton: The Plockton Inn, Plockton Resort, and Plockton Shores all specialise in seafood and are all glorious.
Day 14: Isle of Skye – North Coast 500
Visiting the Isle of Sky is an good optionally available aspect journey. Whereas it’s not positioned instantly on the North Coast 500, it’s a stones throw away. Plockton can be a superb place to make a base for visiting the Isle of Sky. As one particular person stated 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 number of the highlights. A day will not be sufficient however was simply sufficient to view its high points of interest.
When visiting the Isle of Sky, don’t miss seeing the Previous 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 manner 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 can also make your manner again to Inverness or proceed on to discover Scotland. When you’ve got your personal automotive, why not keep a month? There’s nonetheless a lot to see from Edinburgh to Glasgow and in every single place in between.
The NC500 is likely one of the biggest drives on the planet. Sooner or later, the single-track roads could also be was double-lane highways and extra accommodations may be popping up in every single place. However for those who get there rapidly, you’ll take pleasure in previous Scottish hospitality with some extraordinary scenic views. So what are you ready for? E-book your North Coast 500 Lodging now, rooms replenish quick and you could miss out for those who wait!
North Coast 500 Ideas
The North Coast 500 covers an enormous portion of mainland Scotland and planning may be overwhelming. We’ve put collectively a number of ideas that can assist you manage your lodging, packing and automotive leases in your official North Coast 500 highway journey.
The climate modifications dramatically in Scotland. When asking the locals what the temperature is like in the summertime season, many stated it wasn’t a lot totally different from after we visited in late March/early April.
So when touring Northern Scotland, you should definitely pack layers, waterproof mountaineering boots, and waterproof outer layers. We had all of this with us and apart from this one time at Citadel 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 can change.
How you can 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, chances are high you’ll be flying.
Inverness has its personal airport (Inverness Airport – INV) with home and worldwide flights. From main cities within the UK, reminiscent of London, Manchester, and Birmingham, you may fly on to Inverness. There are additionally direct flights from some European cities, reminiscent of Amsterdam and Dublin. When you arrive on the airport, you may take a taxi or bus to get to town heart.
By Prepare: 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 positioned within the metropolis heart, making it handy for vacationers. You possibly can verify prepare schedules and e book tickets on-line through web sites reminiscent of Nationwide Rail Enquiries.
By Vehicle: Inverness is accessible by automotive through the A9, which is the principle highway linking town to the remainder of Scotland. In case you are 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 visitors situations. There are a number of automotive rental corporations obtainable at Inverness airport or within the metropolis heart, if you should 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 exhilarating journey for drivers. Listed here are some ideas to bear in mind when driving the North Coast 500.
When driving the North Coast 500 be ready for singletrack lanes. You share one lane in each instructions and you’ll have to again up or pull over usually for oncoming visitors. The principles work that if there’s a passing place in your aspect, you’re the particular person to tug over. If the passing place is on the opposite aspect of the highway, 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 may pull in to let oncoming visitors by. In the summertime season, visitors is busier, for those who 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 highway. In case you are not used to this, take a while to regulate and be further cautious when driving, particularly on slender and winding roads.
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 autos, and use pull-outs or designated passing locations to let different automobiles move in case you are driving slower. There isn’t any hurt in pulling over to let somebody move you. It’s a widespread courtesy so be respectful of the drivers behind you.
Driving the North Coast 500 may be difficult. The route runs by a various panorama with slender single monitor roads winding by steep hills, and blind corners. Keep alert and centered, particularly when driving within the night or early morning when visibility is low.
Be ready for all climate situations: Scotland’s climate may be unpredictable, so be prepared for all sorts of climate and climate can change immediately. You would encounter snow, rain, wind and sunny climate. Gown in layers and pack waterproof clothes. Deliver heat clothes, waterproof gear, and a primary support 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 maintain a watch out for wildlife on the highway, reminiscent of 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 move. In case you are driving slowly, pull over when one of many passing locations comes as much as let one other move.
Plus, it’s simpler to search out parking in cities and you may pull off on small turnouts alongside the path to be out of the best way whereas capturing these awe-inspiring photographs of the panorama and beautiful coastal surroundings. When you’ve got a smaller automotive, you received’t have an excessive amount of bother getting round.
We rented a small automotive and it made issues a lot simpler to tug over for oncoming visitors. Many individuals camp on the NC 500. Campervans are allowed, however can’t navigate a number 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 Foreign money 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 received’t get radio service – See our Street Journey Songs Playlist
Take your time and benefit from the surroundings: The North Coast 500 presents a number of the most breathtaking surroundings in Scotland, so take your time and revel in it. Cease usually to take pictures, stretch your legs, and benefit from the views. There are many scenic spots to cease and admire, reminiscent of seashores, cliffs, and waterfalls.
By following the following tips, you may have a protected and fulfilling 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 stated it wasn’t a lot totally 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 tricks to take into account:
Heat and waterproof clothes: Scotland’s climate may be unpredictable, and it might get chilly and moist even through the summer season months. Pack heat and waterproof clothes, together with a water-proof jacket, pants, and sneakers. Layering can be important to remain heat, so convey sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and thermals.
Snug mountaineering boots: The North Coast 500 presents loads of alternatives for outside actions, reminiscent of mountaineering and strolling. Deliver snug strolling sneakers or mountaineering boots with good traction to discover the countryside.
Solar safety: Whereas Scotland’s climate may be chilly and moist, the solar can nonetheless be robust, particularly through the summer season months. Pack solar safety, together with sunscreen, sun shades, and a hat.
Insect repellent: Scotland has its fair proportion of midges, tiny flying bugs that may be a nuisance through the summer season months. Pack insect repellent to keep away from being bitten.
Digital camera and binoculars: The North Coast 500 presents a number of the most beautiful landscapes and wildlife in Scotland, so convey a digital camera and binoculars to seize the surroundings and wildlife.
Cell phone and charger: Be sure to convey a cell phone and charger, as there are many scenic spots with no telephone protection. It’s also 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 services obtainable alongside the North Coast 500 route, it’s at all times good to have some money available for smaller transactions, reminiscent of parking or buying gadgets 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 perfect luxurious accommodations, self catering lodging, and BnBs so that you can take a look at on this wonderful driving route. It is best to e book your lodging prematurely as this
- Dornoch Citadel – A historic citadel positioned within the coronary heart of Dornoch Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- Royal Marine Resort – One of many few luxurious accommodations on the North Coast 500 East Caost and makes for an excellent base to discover this portion of the driving route.
Wick / Dunnet Head
- Ackergille Tower Resort – In case you are on the lookout for extra luxurious accommodations on the North Coast 500, take a look at the citadel accommodations. We cherished our keep at Ackergille Tower resort making for an excellent base to discover alongside the north coast. Test it out on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- In case you are on the lookout for self catering lodging, Riverside Residences has kitchens, washing machines and free WiFi view it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- Smoo Cave Resort a primary resort, however the location is an ideal cease after driving from Tongue. There’s a very good bar they usually have a number of the greatest Haggis round. Examine costs on TripAdvisor
Lochinver / Drumbeg / Lochinver
- Kylesku resort is an efficient base There are boat journeys, mountaineering trails and wildlife excursions the place you may spot sea otters, See it on Journey Advisor / Reserving.com There’s 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 sweet, there’s cable TV and he or she makes a hearty breakfast within the morning.
- The Plockton Resort – Positioned on the waterfront of Plockton, the Plockton Resort is the most well-liked spot on the town. Journey Advisor / Reserving.com
- Plocton Inn is one other resort on the town and it has glorious eating as nicely.
- Duncraig Citadel is a citadel that has been was a mattress and breakfast and is value 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 points of interest and e book your lodging prematurely.
Once you go to Scotland, be certain that so as to add the North Coast 500 to your itinerary. It is likely one of the nice highway journeys on the planet 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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