You can search for businesses that are open, and Good to Go, where they have a Covid-19 risk assessment. We spent the first day driving up from Edinburgh to Inverness. Traveller rating. 705 Reviews 173 Q&A. Keen cyclist? The locals half-jokingly refer to this looping journey as “Route 500”. Join angling experts for fishing lessons, guiding and holidays. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. Expert local knowledge, gifts and inspiration. Often compared to America’s famously scenic Route 66, it starts and finishes next to Inverness Castle, in the heart of Inverness. Reviews. Other sea stacks along the NC500 include the Stacks of Duncansby in Caithness, and the Old Man of Stoer near Culkein in Assynt. Great drives: Scotland’s ‘Route 500' I would drive 500 miles to fall down at your door THE CRESCENDO of “oohs” and “aahs” swells as amazing mountains and lochs are revealed on every turn of this 500-mile lap of A-roads on the north coast of Scotland. Since its launch in 2014, the North Coast 500 has been named many things - Scotland's answer to Route 66, the only way to discover the Highlands and one of the best road trips in the world. Watersports enthusiasts will find themselves well catered for along the NC500. If you’re doing the opposite, and cruising dow… It is crucial for the wellbeing of Scotland's landscapes, as well as for local residents and businesses, that the areas around the route are respected and looked after properly. Read More NC500 Cycle Tour with Wilderness Scotland Read More Achnagairn Estate Set on 30 acres, 7 miles away from Inverness city centre, the estate provides a perfect escape for the NC500 visitor. If you want to experience the jam-packed North Coast 500 road trip but don’t want the stress of driving in Scotland do consider one of these local NC500 tours. Which time of the year to travel the route. Why not stay in a castle, a lighthouse or on a working farm? Whether you're looking for secluded sands, epic surf or pure natural beauty, the beaches of the north Highlands have it all. Therefore, we probably don’t need to spend too much time telling you how incredible this drive is. You’ll also need a lot of blankets, a heater, and an emergency kit in case of being snowed in. These NC500 itineraries suit a variety of interests, take your pick. The Scottish Highlands are synonymous with untouched wilderness and when it comes to awesome scenery the Nor… Route Overview The NC500 starts in the northern city of Inverness, weaves along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards the towns of Torridon and Ullapool. 500-mile road trip takes you along some of Scotland’s most incredible scenery.After only 24 years of living here, we decided it was finally time to make the trip to the true north and see what lay there. Clynelish Distillery Nestled in the countryside of the tranquil coastal village of Brora, Clynelish is a perfect stop on your NC500 journey. The increase in traffic has also led to more instances of bad and dangerous driving, as well as damage to th North Coast 500 route and its highlights. Scotland is now operating a 5-level Covid-19 system on a local basis. We’ve said it before, but research, research, research! The walk to Sandwood Bay may take a couple of hours, but the beautiful beach, dramatic cliffs and impressive Am Buachaille sea stack make it worth it. You can even stop off at John O'Groats - famously Britain's (almost) northernmost tip. 250 miles (402 km) North East 250 Choose this route for - 250 miles of outstanding coastline, magnificent castles, spectacular mountain landscapes and a wealth of fascinating history to explore. It follows a sweeping loop around the whole northern tip of Scotland; from Inverness all the way to John O’Groats in the north east, along jagged coastline overlooking the North Sea to Durness, then down the west coast before returning inland at the Applecross peninsula. The North Coast 500 is Scotland's newest driving route. It's not long before you find yourself outside one of Scotland's many whisky distilleries (and subsequently inside). We’ve put together this comprehensive North Coast 500 guide to help you plan the perfect North Coast 500 road trip in Scotland. A few things to keep in mind: Please remember to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres at all times, both indoors and outdoors, when required. Be enchanted by this magical fairy-tale castle. The North Coast itinerary is now followed by drivers, cyclists, locals and visitors ticking over the 500 miles (516 to be exact) of ‘Scotland’s Route 66’. The NC500 / North Coat 500 road in Scotland, is not actually a road as such you can find on the map - it's actually a well documented 500 mile scenic drive, which is actually made up of many roads which together form a loop of the north of Scotland, starting and ending in Inverness, at offically the Inverness Castle. Day 2 … For more information go to: www.northcoast500.com. This remote part of the country is becoming more and more popular, especially with lovers of the great outdoors and road trippers. How long will it take to drive? Lover of golf? The route is also known as the NC500 and was launched in 2015, linking many features in the north Highlands of Scotland in one touring route. Drink driving limits in Scotland are strict, different to the rest of the UK, and strictly observed - as a guest in the country, you have to observe them too. The north eastern tip of the Scottish mainland - perfect for stunning cliff walks. Why not stay in a castle, a lighthouse or on a working farm? At the remains of Urghurt Castle you have the opportunity to look out for the legendary Loch Ness Monster. A challenging 2053 ft ascent up the winding, single track Bealach na Bà route between Kishorn and Applecross, is rewarded with views over Wester Ross, the Isle of Skye, Rum and the Outer Hebrides. All rights reserved. Inverness is … With ancient castles, glistening sandy beaches and spell-binding heritage, the North Coast 500 has captured the imaginations of thousands of people. 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From there, you'll venture to some of the most northerly coastal points in Scotland, passing by Caithness and John o' Groats before heading south again through Dingwall and finally back to Inverness. Dolphin spotting boat tours take place in the summer months. The popular adventure, with four seasons in one day, heading west from Inverness to the top of Scotland’s mainland, John O’Groats, and back down the east coast (or … Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Stirling & Forth Valley. See if you can spot the resident dolphin population in the Moray Firth from Chanonry Point, a narrow peninsula between Rosemarkie and Fortrose. Choose from a variety of walking routes in the mountain range. 516-miles (830 km) Is the North Coast 500 Scotland’s Route 66? Starting in Inverness and travelling anti-clockwise. North Coast 500 (NC500) is a 516-mile scenic route that starts and ends at Inverness Castle. Although the official speed limit on single carriage roads in Scotland is 60 mph, you should not be driving at that speed very often on the North Coast 500. Iconic Ben Nevis needs to be top of your Scottish to-do list. The NC500 starts in the northern city of Inverness, weaves along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards the towns of Torridon and Ullapool. One of the world’s best road trips is none other than the epic 500-mile Scotland road trip known as the North Coast 500. All rights reserved. North Coast 500 7-day Itinerary Arguably one of the best road trips in the world! scotland by car, north coast 500 “scotland’s route 66” This route includes some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, and has been dubbed “Scotland’s Route 66”. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route along Scotland’s northern coast that begins and ends in the city of Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. How long is the North Coast 500? © 2021 VisitScotland. The North Coast 500 website promises “fairy-tale castles, beaches, and ruins,” and deliver it does. Discover the coastline on a guided watersports adventure. See the highlights of the Scottish Highlands from the comfort of the car or bus and learn from guides and locals about life on Scotland’s most popular drive. What to see and do. Other water-based activities to try include kayaking at Gairloch or taking a speed boat tour from Ullapool. I need to plan a good itinerary, places to see, places to stay, managing time for driving/sightseeing. The North Coast 500 is a road-tripping route around the far north coast of Scotland. If it is the brutal Scottish winter - props to you!- then you’ll need to check you have winter tyres and snow chains. Includes 3 star accommodation. Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris & Stornoway, architectural guide to the North Coast 500, Take all litter, waste and rubbish away with you to dispose of correctly, Book your accommodation in advance; don't park or stay outwith designated camping/caravan areas. Another spectacular ruin not far off the NC500 route is Urquhart Castle, on the banks of Loch Ness. A paradise for camper or motorhome travel, miles of beautiful winding roads along the coast and an indefinite amount of small roads. Explore the crumbling ruins of Ardvreck Castle on the edge of Loch Assynt, just north of Inchnadamph. Strap yourself in for the road trip of a lifetime. The North Coast 500 is a 516 mile-long touring route that takes in stunning coastal scenery in the far north of Scotland. Explore the coast and see the magnificent Duncansby sea stacks. More info. Scotland’s answer to America’s legendary Route 66 has swiftly established itself as one of the world’s most iconic driving routes. If you are looking for stunning landscapes, fascinating history, endless horizons, ancient castles, golden beaches and crystal-clear water, all wrapped up in a 500-mile road trip, then the NC500 is for you. Hopefully, you enjoyed your first taste of the North Coast 500 yesterday and are … Visit the most iconic landmark in … Sample a sweet, fruity Highland malt whisky on a tour. View the interactive map in more detail and start planning now! Please don't be a dick. For those in larger vehicles, and drivers who don't fancy it, there is an alternative route - phew! Escape to the western Highlands between Ullapool and Achnasheen. It is a scenic driving route that has been designed to bring visitors to the most rural regions of the Scottish Highlands. Dornoch to Wick. Sitting along the north coast of Scotland this (you guessed it!) Now, you’ve probably stumbled upon this post because you’re already planning to drive the North Coast 500, an award-winning route in north Scotland. US$67.61 per adult. At the northern tip of Scotland, Smoo Cave is a mystical limestone sea cave, with a staggering 50 ft entrance and impressive cascading waterfall which is especially mesmerising following wet weather. Arguably one of the best road trips in the world! Drive the first official leg of the iconic North Coast 500 Route. The North Coast 500, the Route 66 of Scotland has been opened since 2015, to link the beautiful scenery of Northern Scotland. Bringing together just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery, the route follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands. You can now search our website to see what businesses are open and signed up to the Good to Go scheme. To help you find your ideal hotel, we’ve handpicked our favourite hotels along the NC500. You won’t find Scotland’s North Coast 500 Route (NC500) on a map — it is not an actual road. Other beaches worth stopping for are Achmelvich Bay and Gairloch Beach. If you are looking for stunning ... Eilean Donan Castle, Portree, and the Old Man of Storr. Board a boat for the wildlife watching trip of a lifetime. Just south of Brora, you'll come across Dunrobin Castle, a French-style chateau. Edinburgh to Inverness. Choose this route for – 500 miles of unspoilt Highland coastline, ancient castles, watersports and glistening sandy beaches. Brims Ness near Thurso in Caithness is particularly popular with surfers, as well as Thurso East. Now that we’ve convinced you to start planning your North Coast 500 (NC500) road trip, it’s time to find your ideal hotel. Bring your camera: This trip offers endless panoramic views of Scotland’s natural landscape. Your way will take you along the shores of Loch Ness deep into the Scottish Highlands. Driving Scotland’s answer to Route 66. The first day of our itinerary has you exploring the city of Inverness and … NC500 / North Coast 500 Road, Scotland . The shop is on the A836, on the most northerly section of the North Coast 500, the touring route launched in 2015 to promote less-visited parts of the … Great British Drives: North Coast 500, the best driving route in Scotland – but is it best by car or motorcycle? Expert local knowledge, gifts and inspiration. Day 2 Highlights: Wick Heritage Museum, Castle of Mey, most northerly part of mainland UK. Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Stirling & Forth Valley. Balnakeil Beach near Durness in Sutherland is renowned for its pristine white sands. Write a review. I would like advice on driving route 500. We toured this route Climb this prominent ridge in Wester Ross for stunning views across Assynt on a clear day, and a massive sense of achievement, of course! The NC500 route traces the top section of mainland Scotland in a loop. You really can’t do too … Home to the 'Highland Capital', Inverness, and the famous Loch Ness Monster! It is important to plan ahead! Tour the grand rooms and lush gardens once owned by the Royal Family. Walk through the machair to an unspoilt beach. Touring the North Coast 500 with Scottish Terrier Tours will take the stress out of driving these windy roads and allows you to sit back and take in all its breathtaking beauty. There's nothing quite like the freedom of the long open road. The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s answer to route 66 and one of the most beautiful coastal touring routes in the world (well, we think so, anyway!). It brings together all of the best bits of the North Highlands via wild coastal roads, historic towns such as Ullapool, and pretty seaside villages. The official route is a little over 500 miles but in reality, you’re bound to add a few more miles with diversions you take along the way. The route has increased visitor numbers to parts of the north of Scotland, which has brought economic benefits to some areas. Find more advice on exploring Scotland during Covid-19 on our dedicated page. Iconic Ben Nevis needs to be top of your Scottish to-do list. Glutton for history? If you’re arranging motorhome hire in Scotland for the trip, they can probably supply these, but always check first. Follow this rolling east coast landscapes between Inverness and Tain. © 2021 VisitScotland. The route heads north from Inverness, hugging Scotland’s east coast to John O’Groats before taking the high road through spectacular scenery to Durness on the northwestern tip of the mainland. Your journey will take you through landscapes framed by ancient geology. Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris & Stornoway. Take a look at the architectural guide to the North Coast 500 which features 48 inspiring structures, for more. This peninsula is located on the east coast of the Highlands, just north of Inverness. Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice. North Coast 500 Guides Inhabited since the 1300s, the castle was a war hospital during the First World War. The NC 500 begins and ends at Inverness Castle, Scotland, and one of the few urban stretches on the route which is quickly left behind after photo stops to annoy the morning commuters. A carefully designed itinerary, travelling the North Coast 500 driving route – covering more than 500 miles of the best coastal scenery the North Highlands has to offer, but within a leisurely week’s holiday. Since it was introduced in 2014 it became a major success and tourism in the area has increased. Empty Roads - Astonishing views - One of the … The heart of the north Highlands, think beautiful beaches and spectacular mountains. Find other recommended locations for spotting these delightful creatures. Please remember to plan your trip in advance. Stac Pollaidh is just one of the mountains you can ascend along the NC500, with others including Ben Hope, An Teallach and Suilven. Manage Cookie Settings. It's time to create a splash! Find out what level each area is under and read more about the 5-level Covid-19 restrictions to plan and book ahead when considering your trip. Firstly, which season are you embarking in? Mainland Scotland (including Skye) is now under a temporary lockdown, and all island communities are under level 3 restrictions. Never-ending back roads, wide meandering country tracks and beautiful bends through some of Scotland's finest coastal scenery are just a few things you can expect along the North Coast 500. Cookies are required to view this content. The North 500 Driving Tour 5 day 500 mile drive that starts in Edinburgh/Inverness and provides you with the drive of your life as you experience the wild and forlorn far north coast of Scotland.