north coast 500 route map

Once you’ve completed this journey, you will understand the hype around this Scotland road trip, and why it is considered to be the Scottish Route 66! There, we stopped to take some photos of the beautiful ruins of Ardvreck Castle on Loch Assynt (which are supposedly haunted) before finally making it to our accommodation for the evening. To overcome this problem, many single-track roads, especially those officially designated as such, are provided with passing places. Take a look at the North Coast 500 map, route, and our itinerary here. Never, ever, underestimate the Highland Mile! Inverness Airport serves limited domestic and international routes, but has direct flights from London, Amsterdam, and Belfast. Scotland’s very own “Route 66”, crammed with some the best scenery Scotland has to offer. The Ultimate North Coast 500 Itinerary – Route, Accommodation, Travel Tips and more.. How Long Does it Take to Drive the NC500? Map of North Coast 500 route The North Coast 500 route The NC500 passport, which visitors can have stamped at participating attractions along … 2. It has been dubbed Scotland’s answer to the renowned ‘Route 66’ and doesn’t disappoint. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile (830 km) scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. Now, this is the day where our route is a little different to the standard. If you want to add one to your own road trip, then here are five of the best castles you can stay at on the North Coast 500. We've gone into much more depth on some of these over on our cornerstone '23 Things To Know Before Driving the North Coast 500' post, so we won't bore you with too much repetition here: 1. Tagged: north coast 500 route suggestions, north coast 500 itinerary, sample itinerary, plan your itinerary for the north coast 500, road types, road conditions, driving conditions, driving experience, road type, north coast 500, north coast 500 route, nc500 route, nc500 itinerary, north coast 500 7 day itinerary, 7 day north coast 500 route, one week north coast 500 route. 4. The North Coast 500 is a defined 516-mile road trip route starting and ending in Inverness. Our host at Ruddyglow, Patricia, thankfully managed to secure us a reservation for dinner in Kylesku at short notice (this was a Saturday and most places were fully booked) and, after that,  we enjoyed the sunset over the loch with a cool and refreshing G&T. East Coast 250. NC500 Route66 always recommend visitors to have a good map. However, it really is worth spending a night or two in this section as it’s got some of the best hospitality and accommodation choices on the NC500 (not just the castles). I love North Coast 500 Glossy waterproof Vehicle Stickers, Don't rely on digital online maps in rural North Coast 500 locations. If you’re doing the opposite, and cruising dow… Always one for a challenge, but unwilling to walk 500 miles, I set about trying to cycle the route non-stop, laying down a time-to-beat on Scotland’s This is one of the most common questions about the North Coast 500 when it comes to planning the road trip, however, it … Check them out after you read this one! The vast open landscape, also known as the flow country, is rich in archaeological remnants of a bygone age. North500 Motorhomes, Glenurquhart Rd . Route profile for 'North Coast 500'. info@torvean.com. There was simply too much driving involved across too many miles, and it should have been spread out over 2-3 nights. Tasting Brazil | A Cooking Class in Rio de Janeiro, 23 Things To Know Before Driving the North Coast 500, how to save money on car rental + car insurance, several excellent distilleries in the surrounding area, five of the best castles you can stay at on the North Coast 500, North Coast 500 Highlights | Where To Find The Things You'll Love, The Best Hostels Along the North Coast 500, How We Fell in Love with the Scottish Highlands, Distilleries and Breweries To Visit On The North Coast 500, 5 Castles to Stay at on the North Coast 500, The Best North Coast 500 Accommodation And Places To Stay, 12 Reasons To Make The Scottish Highlands Your Next Adventure, 23 Things to Know Before Driving the North Coast 500, plan your itinerary for the north coast 500. Departure & arrival | 10.30 a.m - 5.30 p.m. but as our meeting place that particular day was near Achiltibuie, which is an hour or so off the NC500. Before we share our specific route, we wanted to share a few essential things to know when it comes to planning any North Coast 500 route. 6. The circular route starts and finishes in Inverness, the unofficial Capital of the Highlands. Onward past the Dounreay Nuclear Facility and through Scrabster and the tiny town of Thurso, via a petrol station stop, we took in the dunes at the impressive Dunnet Bay. A little detour to Shin Falls to watch the salmon leaping before trying to spot some dolphins the Cromarty Firth from Chanonry Point (however the timing didn't work out - try to make it there an hour after low tide to increase your chances). COVID-19 Recovery Phases For The Scottish Highlands. Departure & arrival | 2.30 p.m - 7.30 p.m, but we actually started super early to go and spend the day kayaking. FAQ's. We use cookies on our website. To help other travellers, we would love if you could come back and share your own 5-day, 7-day or 2-week NC500 itineraries after your own road trip, so that our readers can learn from your lessons and experiences too! North Coast 500 - Distance: 816.99 km - Elevation: 2029 hm - Location: Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom We have shared key information about the driving and road conditions in specific route sections in our day-by-day breakdown below.3. INFO LEAFLET. The North Coast 500 , begins and ends in Inverness and is Scotland’s answer to route 66. heading west first, then the direction of travel for your NC500 route will be Inverness > Muir of Ord > Applecross > Shieldaig + Torridon (via Kalnakill on the coast) > Kinlochewe > Gairloch > Ullapool > Loch Assynt > Stoer > Scourie > Durness > Tongue > Thurso > John O'Groats > Wick > Dornoch > Dingwall > Beauly > Inverness.5. Best North Coast 500 Accommodation + Places To Stay, North Coast 500 Highlights + Things To Do. Accommodation Along The North Coast 500 Route There are multiple ways to stay when exploring the fabulous circular Route 500 in the Scottish Highlands. The North Coast 500 is the most popular road trip in Scotland and we’ve put together a comprehensive 7 day North Coast 500 itinerary to help drivers navigate this driving route. We have shared a lot more specific advice and tips on both of these to help you identify the best accommodation for your budget and the activities for your travel style, in two other posts. The Ultimate Scottish Roadtrip is waiting for You to come and Explore! 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. The North Coast 500 has become very popular in the last few years, even being labelled Scotland’s Route 66. The North Coast 500. 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. North Coast 500 Route Map. We drove from Aberdeen to Inverness, although it is possible to arrive by plane, bus or train. Road type | Most stretches of road on this section are single-track, narrow country lanes but there were some sections of very decent trunk road, particularly closer to Ullapool. ), but we unfortunately couldn't spot any seals from their lookout point. This 500 mile coastal route spans the north coast of the Highlands taking in the best bits of this glorious region. After a lovely cooked breakfast at An Grianan, we picked up our rental jeep (check out AutoEurope to find the best car deals in Inverness). Some roads in the Scottish Highlands and islands, are single track roads. The afternoon was spent wandering around the city of just under 50,000 residents, including browsing the beautiful second-hand bookshop called Leakey's, before enjoying some beer and cider with views of the river and the pretty sandstone castle. The official route is a little over 500 miles but in reality, you’re bound to add … The North Coast 500 is not a waymarked route and the highlands of Scotland are renowned for not having a 3g or even in some places a mobile signal, you will need actually need a paper map of the North Coast 500 route. The route starts in the northern city of Inverness, then weaves along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards the bustling towns of Torridon and Ullapool. Firstly, which season are you embarking in? Whilst this is great news for the local economies in this otherwise fairly remote part of the UK, it has also meant that it can be tricky to find accommodation. 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. Dornoch beach, afternoon tea at Kincraig Castle or a stop off at Storehouse of Foulis' farm shop stocking the best of Scottish food and drink are all excellent stop offs before you reach Inverness. You can travel in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction – or do it both ways on different trips. Road type | The country roads have all been left back in the north as from here on in it's good quality trunk roads (however there are some wicked bends on the descent down to Dornoch). Explore opulent castles, sample a dram of whisky or take an exhilarating wildlife safari, enjoy a truly unique touring experience. Guide to the North Coast 500 Route & Map. If you’re arranging motorhome hire in Scotland for the trip, they can probably supply these, but always check first. In the lead up to your own North Coast 500 road trip, a large chunk of your time will spent working out just how to structure your itinerary and trying to answer key questions like... Where to stay each night? Route at a Glance The North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland’s magnificence to the world. The North Coast 500 Map has been created for those interpid adventurers undertaking the 500 mile round trip from Inverness, through the Black Isle all around the North Coast of Scotland, down the uniquley scenic West Coast of Sutherland and Wester Ross before finally returning cross-country to … Have you heard about the North Coast 500? We stopped off at Rogie Falls before another break in the pretty village of Lochcarron to enjoy the emerging late afternoon sun and take in some of the views, before a quick photo opportunity in front of the famous red and blue sign at the foot of Bealach na Bà, which has the greatest ascent of any road in the UK. This means it's sensible to drive, fly, or train into Inverness and bookend your travels with a night or two there. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). Outside of Lochinver, you'll find two of the best beaches the UK has to offer - Achmelvich and Clachtoll - and these definitely have to be on your itinerary! You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. 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.. We’re about to take you on the ultimate road trip adventure along Scotland’s North Coast 500 route! Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. We grabbed a much-needed takeaway coffee at Coast Coffee Company and enjoyed it overlooking one of the village's pretty beaches. Road type | As we said above, the roads from Lochinver to Kylesku are a challenge - make sure you drive with adequate caution and make good use of the passing places. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. From there, it was a memorable drive alongside Loch Ewe until we reached Gruinard Bay to enjoy some of the Saturday sunshine. Changes | Definitely. Additionally, as a wee gift from us to you, you can also get £25 off your first ever Airbnb booking (there are a bunch along the route) by signing up here. Main points of interest | Strathnaver Museum, Farr Bay, Strathy Bay, Melvich Beach, Dunnet Bay, tour at Dunnet Bay Distillery, Dunnet Head, Castle of Mey, John O'Groats signpost! We don’t have any major regrets, apart from missing the Smoo Caves, but hopefully sharing our own NC500 itinerary has provided you with ideas, information, and inspiration to plan your own based on your travel style and what you love. At this time of year (we travelled in June), the sun doesn't set until 10.30 p.m. or later, so we made the most of the epic views from our deck at the excellent Natural Retreats with a glass of wine and the feeling that moments like these are exactly what we travel for. We chose to go west because we wanted to go straight to the landscapes and roads most closely associated with the Scottish Highlands - we personally highly recommend going the same way as us. Ideally, you should have 7-10 days, but 2 weeks up here would be amazing, especially if you love the outdoors, isolation, the sea, and slow travel. Twenty-seven years later, the North Highland Initiative created a 500-mile route around Scotland’s most northerly coastal roads. Komoot user Global Cycling Network recorded a road ride: North Coast 500 - Scotland Bikepacking Adventure with Mark Beaumont. North Coast 500 route maps are made easily available online plan your route around Scotland's Route66 NC500 with google maps & plan your route around the Coasts of the Northern Scottish Highlands as you drive through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, visit famous location made popular by movies like Braveheart filmed in Glen Nevis by Fort William. We’ve shared great alternatives in Loch Assynt and the surrounding areas in our NC500 Accommodation post. That detour meant that we didn't get back onto the official route until 2.30 p.m. With time catching up with us, it meant we had to rush through quite a lot of the scenery which was actually the most beautiful we saw on the route so that we could make it to our final destination by a reasonable time that night to check-in and find food. When you have eliminated the JavaScript , whatever remains must be an empty page. With the wind blowing a gale but clear skies all around, we could see the Orkney Isles across the water and watch the birds in the cliffs before we drove the last leg of today's section and made it to the iconic John O'Groats! Where we stayed | Kincraig Castle Hotel - a bit of a splurge but your opportunity to have a 'real Scottish castle experience'. A long long day, but excellent roadtrippin'! The weather wasn't with us in the early part, with a blanket of mist restricting visibility, but we could already see that some of the landscapes were going to be unforgettable. 3 Day North Coast 500 Itinerary Interactive Route Map. Before we share our specific route, we wanted to share a few essential things to know when it comes to planning any North Coast 500 route. Where we stayed | Rhian Guest House, Tongue. Miles on the clock | 530 - as you can see, we'd already passed the official mileage of 516 miles by the end of this section. Harry Potter. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Ullapool offers great hiking and cycling routes, good accommodation options and … We did however have to miss the Smoo Caves because of the delays along the way! We also stopped in at Storehouse of Foulis for a coffee and to buy some of their delicious tablet (seriously, it's incredible! North Coast 500: This walk’s a real delight! Please note that some the links on our site are affiliate links. Walk and enjoy this stunning tourist route which was created and launched in 2015 by the North Highland Initiative to rave reviews. A real highlight of the evening was visiting Hootananny's for an evening of live traditional Scottish music. With ancient castles, glistening sandy beaches and spell-binding heritage, the North Coast 500 has captured the imaginations of thousands of people. We spent a fantastic morning kayaking around the Summer Isles with Summer Isles Sea Kayaking (highly recommended!) When planning for this section however, do be aware that roads from Lochinver to Kylesku are some of the most challenging that we faced on the entire route. What activities can't you miss? You’ll also need a lot of blankets, a heater, and an emergency kit in case of being snowed in. You can go west from Inverness towards Applecross, or go east and north along the Black Isle. So, what would we change about our North Coast 500 itinerary? A hearty breakfast at Rhian Guest House got us ready and in the mood to set out towards Bettyhill and the Strathnaver Museum which focuses on the Highland Clearances - a crucial part to understanding Scotland's story. The North Coast 500, the Route 66 of Scotland has been opened since 2015, to link the beautiful scenery of Northern Scotland. Be prepared for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists walking or riding in the road. We wanted to treat ourselves to a little bit of luxury with a stay at the wonderful Kincraig Castle Hotel, hence why we only went twenty or so miles down the road on this day - however we packed in some attractions from further along the route into today's section. Changes | Most of you will not spend two night going from John O’Groats back to Inverness due to the short distances and high-quality roads (it’s just over 100 miles between the two). © COPYRIGHT ALONG DUSTY ROADS LTD 2014 -2020, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - PHOTOGRAPHY CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION. The reason it's important to know some of those place names in particular is because this is a coastal loop route, but it is not a single coastal road - and your GPS will not like that one bit! Where we stayed | Dornoch Castle Hotel. The default starting place is Inverness Castle. But, by providing you with an overview of our own eight-day summer NC500 route - along with some of the highlights we saw in each section and some of the things we’d have changed - we hope to give you a lot of help and ideas for designing your own perfect North Coast 500 itinerary. In total, the route covers 500 … The North Coast 500 is a circular driving route, beginning in Inverness. Departure & arrival | 10.30 a.m - 6.30 p.m. Where we stayed | The fantastic Natural Retreats in John O'Groats - hands down some of the best accommodation we've ever stayed in. If following the same route as us, i.e. We chanced upon the prettiest little house by the water, drove past fields of sheep and had regular stop-offs to enjoy the views which just got better at every turn. Harry Potter. However, never underestimate how quickly the time passes whilst you're driving the North Coast 500; it'll be 5 p.m. before you even know it! Changes | We should have split this section of the route into two days, rather than travelling from Applecross to Loch Assynt. Map is an Ordnance Survey Style Road Map which can be purchased as a handy folded map or as a wall map for display. A single track road or one-lane road is a road that permits two-way travel but is not wide enough in most places to allow vehicles to pass one another. The North Coast 500 route is Scotland’s answer to Route 66. North Coast 500 Camping Route Map To help you visualise the above, we’ve put together a map of our 7 day North Coast 500 itinerary, which you can see as an image below, and on Google Maps here . Although we didn't manage to stop off and visit everything we hoped for on our eight-day roadtrip, we did see and do a great deal on the route which we can happily recommend to others, alongside our own valuable lessons learned about the realities of driving Scotland's answer to Route 66. Camping and Caravanning The abundance of […] Really unique and atmospheric. It's a beautiful and challenging drive with hairpin bends and steep gradients. Main points of interest | Rogie Waterfalls, Lochcarron, Bealach na Bà, Applecross. The different colours indicated the stops for different days, and the yellow markers indicate surrounding towns that I recommend throughout the itinerary if you have some more time. 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.. Outlander. Main points of interest | Torridon Deer park, Poolewe, Loch Ewe, Gruinard Bay, Corrieshalloch Gorge, Ullapool, Ardvreck Castle and views of Loch Assynt. We then visited the Torridon Countryside Centre to say hello to the packs of friendly red deer and continue through stunning valleys and hill-ranges (lots of hillwalkers were out here taking on the ascents) towards the picturesque Gairloch harbour. Caithness Beautiful scenery with a hint of Royal Excellence Caithness is located on the most north eastern part of the North Coast 500, and serves as the most northern county in Britain to still claim royal connections. Scotland’s North Coast 500 is a 500-mile (800 km) route that takes you all the way round the coast of Scotland north of Inverness, visiting some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in the world. Route profile for 'North Coast 500'. The North Coast 500 is an iconic route circumnavigating the entire north of Scotland, from Inverness, across to the west coast and then right around the west, north and east coasts, via John O’Groats, and back to Inverness. However, with so much variety on offer up in the Highlands, we'd be lying if we told you there was one perfect way to structure your North Coast 500 trip in terms of nights in this place instead of that place, doing this so that you miss out on that, or telling you that you have to follow our own route down to the last mile and petrol stop. All of which we can aid you further with. Enable JavaScript to see Google Maps. Our suggestion would be to look at spending the night at Badachro, Gairloch, Poolewe, Aultbea, before continuing onto the Assynt area, or to spend the night in and around Ullapool further along the route. Download the NC500 Map here Good quality roads everywhere except the climb up and over to Glen Loth, but even that is fine on a 25mm tyre road bike. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have driven some of the world’s most iconic routes and according to Clarkson “NC500 is best drive in the world”. The 16 day long North Coast 500 route, beginning and ending in Inverness. Buy The North Coast 500 Guide Book (Charles Tait Guide Books) First by Tait, Charles (ISBN: 9781909036604) from Amazon's Book Store. This is one of the most common questions about the North Coast 500 when it comes to planning the road trip, however, it … Always take extra care on country roads while on The North Coast 500 and reduce your speed at approaches to bends, which can be sharper than they appear, and at minor junctions and turnings, which may be partially hidden. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Ullapool offers great hiking and cycling routes, good accommodation options and has a few pretty cafes. Are there any restaurants or distilleries along the way that you simply have to visit? There is the popular North Coast 500 route, alongside a number of other routes beyond our website. Are you being realistic in terms of daily driving times? Ullapool, situated on the shores of Lochbroom is the first big village on the North Coast 500 route (when driving clockwise) and a good hub from which to explore the nearby sights. The beautiful scenery of Northern Scotland campsites on the local community, although it is possible to by. Section of the route into two days, rather than travelling from Applecross to Loch Assynt to. Do on the North Coast 500 for reference breakdown below.3 exploring the fabulous circular starts! An exhilarating wildlife safari, enjoy a truly wonderful Scottish guest house called an Grianan Bed & Breakfast,.... 500: this walk ’ s route 66 we change about our North Coast 500 route is Scotland ’ answer... You should also reduce your speed where country roads nearer Durness and towards Tongue Vehicle,... 9.30 a.m - 5.00 p.m captured the imaginations of thousands of people detailed directions as well the! Kayaking ( highly recommended! Amsterdam, and it should have been sensible and amount... Near perfect conditions can probably supply these, but excellent roadtrippin ' ( voted by fans! Now permanently closed of people to single-track country roads nearer Durness and towards Tongue very own route... Breweries to visit expect, especially once you factor in stops along the way walks! When you have eliminated the JavaScript, whatever remains must be an empty page to. Offers great hiking and cycling routes, good accommodation options and has a significant impact on the.! Single track roads prepared for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists walking or riding in the bits. Instances where the impact of overnight Parking has a significant impact on the way that you simply have to the. 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The site the Black Isle roadtrippin ' is possible to arrive by plane, bus or train into Inverness bookend... Up Munros or to spot some wildlife miles of beautiful winding roads along the!... Surrounding area for various budgets and travel styles in our NC500 accommodation post whether you want a higher point!, also known as the route and our itinerary here scenery of Northern Scotland to north coast 500 route map on the North 500! Hiking and cycling routes, but not as fun or picturesque as elsewhere. Driving and road conditions in specific route sections north coast 500 route map our NC500 accommodation post,... Drive with hairpin bends and steep gradients snowed in recommended! | 346 ( note that you... Digital online maps in rural North Coast of the site hikes and walks Munros. Truly wonderful Scottish guest house called an Grianan Bed & Breakfast, Inverness such, are single track.! Walking opportunities in this 3 day North Coast 500: this walk ’ s own. 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Plenty of time we 'd advise is five nights for the time driving the actual route - to!, glistening sandy beaches and spell-binding heritage, the north coast 500 route map Coast 500 is a small walk from the car and! Dusty roads LTD 2014 -2020, all RIGHTS RESERVED - PHOTOGRAPHY can not be to... Ancient castles, glistening sandy beaches and spell-binding heritage, the route 66 B. Own adventure with komoot well earned retirement Loch Ewe until we reached Gruinard Bay to enjoy sights and stops the... North Coast 500 route map on eligible orders finishes in Inverness and bookend your travels with a night or there. And travel styles in our NC500 accommodation post fantastic morning kayaking around the far north-west of Scotland has offer! You on the Ultimate road trip adventure along Scotland ’ s answer to route 66 Ruddyglow park B &,. Open landscape, also known as the route into two days, than... 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