Be prepared for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists walking or riding in the road. This will be confined to village and town centres, and potentially certain "destination lay-bys" in the open countryside which serve as car parks for all types of visitors. The above North Coast 500 map details the main NC500 route, however, I’ve broken it down into smaller, more detailed, day to day itineraries below. However, after several days of stunning sunshine, the weather had turned into rolling mist and fog, so the visibility was very poor (this is summer in Scotland remember). Enjoy it, the two variants from the 'official' 500 route are far better for bicycles … The North Coast 500 route is Scotland’s answer to Route 66. Back in the car, we continued on to walk around the gardens of the incredible fairytale-esque Dunrobin Castle before a wee stop off at a pub in Golspie. A quick stop in Ullapool to watch the ferries at the harbour and to fill up on fuel (we would have loved to stop at one of the pubs for a drink in the sunshine!) This detailed day-by-day 1 week North Coast 500 road trip itinerary covers all the basic details (mileage, general route) and sightseeing highlights along the approximately 500 mile route. Route profile for 'North Coast 500'. We use cookies on our website. Accommodation Along The North Coast 500 Route There are multiple ways to stay when exploring the fabulous circular Route 500 in the Scottish Highlands. and spent a little time in the pretty town of Tain where it’s situated. There was simply too much driving involved across too many miles, and it should have been spread out over 2-3 nights. The Ultimate North Coast 500 Route - And How to Plan Your Own! If you’re still in full on planning mode for your North Coast 500 itinerary, then we highly recommend you read three other posts: 23 Things To Know Before Driving The North Coast 500, The Best North Coast 500 Accommodation + Places to Stay, The North Coast 500 Highlights + Best Things To Do. Where we stayed | Dornoch Castle Hotel. In total, the route covers 500 … The North Coast 500, the Route 66 of Scotland has been opened since 2015, to link the beautiful scenery of Northern Scotland. There is the popular North Coast 500 route, alongside a number of other routes beyond our website. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Ullapool offers great hiking and cycling routes, good accommodation options and has a few pretty cafes. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). North Coast 500 - Distance: 816.99 km - Elevation: 2029 hm - Location: Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom By using these affiliate links you are directly supporting Along Dusty Roads to stay on the road, and to provide you with free content to help you travel more, and travel better. You can then print the map and a list of directions or just use the map to find your way around the northern Scottish Highlands. The descent into the peninsula of Applecross, with the blues of the calm water, the sweeping greens of the landscapes and the setting sun, hinted that this was going to be a road trip to remember! The official North Coast 500 route begins in Inverness and heads west towards Kyle of Lochalsh. The North Coast 500 is a roughly 500-mile road trip around the far north-west of Scotland. For example, if you find a cottage, Airbnb, or hotel that you absolutely love or an experience you want to stay close to, simply adjust your itinerary around making that your last stop for that particular day’s driving. Elevation and ascent statistics with customisable elevation graph. 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). 50 miles on these roads takes much longer than you may expect, especially once you factor in stops along the way. You can get directions from any location on the route map below, you can choose multiple routes or choose if you are you are walking, cycling or driving. ), but we unfortunately couldn't spot any seals from their lookout point. Do not worry, we create NC 500 Route Maps using Google Maps with all the attractions and sightseeing highlights that we share with you including (hotels,Guesthouses, pubs, cafes, Campsites, Glamping Pods). Miles on the clock | 346 (note that we have deducted the extra mileage to go kayaking from our totals). Here’s how t… This is one of the most common questions about the North Coast 500 when it comes to planning the road trip, however, it … Twenty-seven years later, the North Highland Initiative created a 500-mile route around Scotland’s most northerly coastal roads. 6. Whether you like to rough it up on the campground or are looking for a little more luxury, there are a plethora of options available. We knew the highlight of today's section would be the notorious Bealach na Bà road, however we wanted to start the route with open eyes and to drink in the first few hours of scenery. 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. There are several excellent distilleries in the surrounding area, so we paid a visit to Glenmorangie in Tain for a tour and tasting (unfortunately for Andrew he was driving!) 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 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! Road type | The majority of this section was on very decent 'A' roads, so the driving was pretty easy-going. Starting and ending in Inverness, this 500-mile circular drive takes you along stunning coastlines and countless lochs.You’ll navigate through winding mountain passes and awe-inspiring landscapes. East Coast 250. Where we stayed | Rhian Guest House, Tongue. Main points of interest | Duncansby Head and Stacks, Sinclair & Girnigoe ruins, Ackergill Tower, Old Pulteney Distillery, Whaligoe Steps, Grey Cairns of Camster, Dunrobin Castle, Dornoch Beach, the village of Dornoch and the Castle Whisky bar. 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. This was another day of sensible distances and enjoyable driving, with plenty time to do things along the way and arriving at accommodation with enough time to enjoy the evening with a wee dram. The circular route starts and finishes in Inverness, the unofficial Capital of the Highlands. Inverness Airport serves limited domestic and international routes, … All of which we can aid you further with. For example, when travelling Applecross to Shieldaig, you need make sure you go via Kalnakill on the coast or it'll send you on a much more direct road and you'll miss a beautiful whole chunk of the route! Camping and Caravanning The abundance of […] 3 Day North Coast 500 Itinerary Interactive Route Map. 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! Are you being realistic in terms of daily driving times? We spent a fantastic morning kayaking around the Summer Isles with Summer Isles Sea Kayaking (highly recommended!) A long long day, but excellent roadtrippin'! Changes | An earlier start from Inverness would have been sensible and given us more time to linger in certain parts. Aside from knowing the defined NC500 route map in advance (and not blindly following the GPS voice), when planning your specific itinerary, you should factor in both accommodation and activities. We’re about to take you on the ultimate road trip adventure along Scotland’s North Coast 500 route! You can also take a look at the ‘official’ North Coast 500 map (also linked at the bottom of the page). 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.. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site. The North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland's magnificence to the world. Take a look at the North Coast 500 map, route, and our itinerary here. 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. We have shared key information about the driving and road conditions in specific route sections in our day-by-day breakdown below.3. 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. - Inverness to Inverness but not as fun or picturesque as those elsewhere on the local community and the... To your smartphone Vehicle Stickers, Do n't rely on digital online maps in rural North Coast 500.... 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