North Coast 500 Route Map. The North Coast 500, the Route 66 of Scotland has been opened since 2015, to link the beautiful scenery of Northern Scotland. 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. Never, ever, underestimate the Highland Mile! 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 … This is one of the most common questions about the North Coast 500 when it comes to planning the road trip, however, it … Best North Coast 500 Accommodation + Places To Stay, North Coast 500 Highlights + Things To Do. In total, the route covers 500 … 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”. What activities can't you miss? 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!) Explore opulent castles, sample a dram of whisky or take an exhilarating wildlife safari, enjoy a truly unique touring experience. It was about 24 degrees at this point, with not a cloud in the sky, and the beach was simply amazing. 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. The North Coast 500 route is Scotland’s answer to Route 66. 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. Inverness Airport serves limited domestic and international routes, … If you want a higher vantage point, there is also a small walk from the car park. Miles on the clock | 346 (note that we have deducted the extra mileage to go kayaking from our totals). North Coast 500 7-day Itinerary Arguably one of the best road trips in the world! NC500 Route66 always recommend visitors to have a good map. Well, we would definitely extend out our time and nights on the west and north-west sections, and take away one night from the east coast. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile (830 km) scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. Elevation and ascent statistics with customisable elevation graph. Take a look at the North Coast 500 map, route, and our itinerary here. Road type | Most stretches of road on this section are single-track, narrow country lanes and the Bealach na Bà is a particularly challenging drive (caravans, campervans and learner drivers are advised to avoid it in fact). We drove from Aberdeen to Inverness, although it is possible to arrive by plane, bus or train. Miles on the clock | 553 miles (this is our mileage for the time driving the actual route - Inverness to Inverness. 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. just type in your destination below. A real highlight of the evening was visiting Hootananny's for an evening of live traditional Scottish music. 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. North500 Motorhomes, Glenurquhart Rd . North Coast 500. 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 The Official Facebook page for the North Coast 500. If it is the brutal Scottish winter - props to you!- then you’ll need to check you have winter tyres and snow chains. I am not underestimating when I stress how popular the NC500 route has become. North Coast 500 7-day Itinerary Arguably one of the best road trips in the world! If we were on the NC500 for 7-10 days in summer, then we’d ensure that we had a day or night staying by and exploring the amazing beaches in the north-west section. Enable JavaScript to see Google Maps. 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! The GPX file is available from the official North Coast 500 site, along with a printable map however my Sat Nav (a Tom Tom Rider V) found it far too complex, there are thousands of way points on it, and the sat nav just just refused to load it. but as our meeting place that particular day was near Achiltibuie, which is an hour or so off the NC500. Route profile for 'North Coast 500'. Tight and narrow with numerous blind summits and corners, you'll need to be very cautious on these and, although the mileage count will be low, they will take you much longer than you think to pass through safely.However, once we crossed the iconic Kylesku Bridge, it was good, quick, double-sided road through to Scourie Bay and a little beyond until a return to single track roads (with lots of sheepies) leading towards Durness. The North Coast 500 route is Scotland’s answer to Route 66. The NC500 route. North Coast 500. BOOKING FORM. Camping and Caravanning The abundance of […] Please note that some the links on our site are affiliate links. You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. 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. The bar had a good mix of locals and tourists and the music and atmosphere got us both really excited for the forthcoming week in the Highlands. and spent a little time in the pretty town of Tain where it’s situated. 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. FAQ's. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Ullapool offers great hiking and cycling routes, good accommodation options and … As well as the route, it also includes all our recommended campsites on the North Coast 500 … 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 North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland's magnificence to the world. 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. Tip | If you’re renting a car for the North Coast 500, read our post full of tips about how to save money on car rental + car insurance. The turquoise beaches, the fresh fish from line to lips and the friendly locals looking to share a sing-song with you are not new but they definitely are unique and thanks to a strong marketing strategy, the secret is out and Scotland’s North Coast 500 itinerary is on the map. 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. Harry Potter. 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! 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. Be prepared for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists walking or riding in the road. 50 miles on these roads takes much longer than you may expect, especially once you factor in stops along the way. info@torvean.com. 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!) 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! 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. The North Coast 500, the Route 66 of Scotland has been opened since 2015, to link the beautiful scenery of Northern Scotland. It has been dubbed Scotland’s answer to the renowned ‘Route 66’ and doesn’t disappoint. Inverness Airport serves limited domestic and international routes, but has direct flights from London, Amsterdam, and Belfast. Map is an Ordnance Survey Style Road Map which can be purchased as a handy folded map or as a wall map for display. Departure & arrival | 9.30 a.m - 7.00 p.m. Where we stayed | Ruddyglow Park B&B, Loch Assynt. 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 North Coast 500 has become very popular in the last few years, even being labelled Scotland’s Route 66. 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.. It's also essential to book your accommodation in advance once you've worked out your dates - otherwise you'll have to go back to the drawing board on certain aspects of your itinerary. 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. 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. info@torvean.com. 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. Good quality roads everywhere except the climb up and over to Glen Loth, but even that is fine on a 25mm tyre road bike. 4. If you dont want to miss the highlights of the North coast 500 it is always an idea to purchase a map of the highlands there are several good quality avaiable, well show a few that we reccomend below, Drive all the way round the North Coast 500 coastal route or you can just drive some amazing Day trips to stunning Highland locations, we have chosen a few of the most popular destinations that tourists always want to visit when in the area. INFO LEAFLET. A walk through a field of sheep took us towards the photogenic Duncansby Stacks but unfortunately they were completely obscured - next time eh? It is a journey of ups and downs, a lot of wet weather, and endless adventures! As the day was catching up with us, we did our best to refrain from more spontaneous stops along the rest of the route (this is actually quite difficult!) This means it's sensible to drive, fly, or train into Inverness and bookend your travels with a night or two there. Are there any restaurants or distilleries along the way that you simply have to visit? 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. Enjoy it, the two variants from the 'official' 500 route are far better for bicycles … The sun was shining, the water a lovely blue and, once we found a sheltered spot away from the wind, we couldn't have asked for anything better. The Ultimate North Coast 500 Itinerary – Route, Accommodation, Travel Tips and more.. How Long Does it Take to Drive the NC500? 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. Here’s how t… Unfortunately, this delightful B&B is now permanently closed. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile (830 km) scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. It's a beautiful and challenging drive with hairpin bends and steep gradients. After photographing some gorgeous 'Heilan Coos' near our hostel and spying some wild deer in another field, we hit the open road towards Torridon. 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. A long long day, but excellent roadtrippin'! Beautiful accommodation with an equally fantastic whisky bar! If you’re arranging motorhome hire in Scotland for the trip, they can probably supply these, but always check first. The absolute minimum length of time we'd advise is five nights for the NC500. Then, it was only a few more miles until we reached Dornoch - the prettiest town we saw on the entire North Coast 500 route. Firstly, which season are you embarking in? 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 default starting place is Inverness Castle. Our itinerary left us with fewer miles to cover on the last two days, so we were - theoretically - planning to go at a very leisurely place in Caithness. 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. 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 … Scotland's answer to Route 66, there are few routes quite as epic as the NC 500. Any restrictions enforced will be limited to those few instances where the impact of overnight parking has a significant impact on the local community. 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. See this route and plan your own adventure with komoot! In the late afternoon, we arrived at our castle for the evening, enjoyed a fantastic meal at their restaurant and, over a carefully selected whisky, looked back upon what had been a fantastic roadtrip in the Scottish Highlands. If following the same route as us, i.e. 7. 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. North Coast 500 is a spectacular 516-mile scenic route around the northern coast of Scotland, The route snakes around beautiful scenery and the many well known and historic features located in the Highlands of Scotland all incorporated into one very iconic pleasurable touring route around scotland. North Coast 500 - Distance: 816.99 km - Elevation: 2029 hm - Location: Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom 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! North Coast 500 – Scotland Road Trip of a Lifetime. East Coast 250. There was simply too much driving involved across too many miles, and it should have been spread out over 2-3 nights. Where we stayed | Kincraig Castle Hotel - a bit of a splurge but your opportunity to have a 'real Scottish castle experience'. Are you being realistic in terms of daily driving times? 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). 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. 8. There is the popular North Coast 500 route, alongside a number of other routes beyond our website. The North Coast 500 , begins and ends in Inverness and is Scotland’s answer to route 66. Inverness IV3 8JL. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). 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. 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 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. To overcome this problem, many single-track roads, especially those officially designated as such, are provided with passing places. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). Scotland’s North Coast 500 GPX Route File – NC500 GPX September 3, 2019 September 27, 2016 by TomBoyNI UPDATE : I have completed this route again in 2019 and have uploaded some videos recorded on the Hyperlapse (time-lapse) setting of the GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition. Changes | We should have split this section of the route into two days, rather than travelling from Applecross to Loch Assynt. North Coast 500 Route Map. 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. We have shared the best alternatives in Tongue and the surrounding area for various budgets and travel styles in our NC500 Accommodation post. Remember that it's absolutely essential to book your accommodation as soon as possible, especially if you're visiting in summer - and we have put a lot of work into carefully crafting and curating our North Coast 500 accommodation post to bring you personal recommendations on areas / hubs to stay, personal picks for the best accommodation for various budgets, and save you a lots of wasted time and stress researching everything from scratch. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. The North Coast 500 has become very popular in the last few years, even being labelled Scotland’s Route 66. The North Coast 500. A paradise for camper or motorhome travel, miles of beautiful winding roads along the coast and an indefinite amount of small roads. 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. 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). If you’re doing the North Coast 500 before or after the summer season, please factor in the shorter days and early nights; you don’t want to be driving sections of this trip in darkness. We also stopped in at Storehouse of Foulis for a coffee and to buy some of their delicious tablet (seriously, it's incredible! Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). 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! Weaving a path from Inverness to Applecross and on to Ullapool, Caithness and John o'Groats, the never-ending roads wind their way through majestic coastal scenery. Buy The North Coast 500 Guide Book (Charles Tait Guide Books) First by Tait, Charles (ISBN: 9781909036604) from Amazon's Book Store. 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. Main points of interest | Beaches at Achmelvich and Clachtoll, a number of signposted viewpoints, Kylesku Bridge overlooking the water, Sandwood bay and other beaches in and around Durness, the Smoo Caves and Cocoa Mountain in Durness, the view over the Kyle of Tongue at sunset with the Castle Varrich ruins, the village of Tongue. This 500 mile coastal route spans the north coast of the Highlands taking in the best bits of this glorious region. All of which we can aid you further with. Departure & arrival | 10.30 a.m - 5.30 p.m. The Ultimate North Coast 500 Itinerary – Route, Accommodation, Travel Tips and more.. How Long Does it Take to Drive 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. 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). 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. Departure & arrival | 2.30 p.m - 7.30 p.m, but we actually started super early to go and spend the day kayaking. Outlander. 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. Our North Coast 500 Directory will help you get the most out of your Scottish Highland's road trip, No matter what you are looking for, from Accommodation & Lodgings to Vehicle Recovery, we have something for everyone. Each route offers detailed directions as well as popular landmarks and viewpoints along the way. Have An Ad To Post? 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). After a couple of arguments with the GPS insisting on sending us on the main road out of Inverness, instead of the more scenic way to Muir of Ord, we hit the sort of winding, single track countryside road which would become a common sight on the route. Main points of interest | From Dornoch to Inverness, via Kincraig, there are several distilleries and breweries you can visit, whilst there are dolphin and seal spotting opportunities in Rosemarkie and Chanonry Point. COVID-19 Recovery Phases For The Scottish Highlands. Some roads in the Scottish Highlands and islands, are single track roads. The vast open landscape, also known as the flow country, is rich in archaeological remnants of a bygone age. We’re about to take you on the ultimate road trip adventure along Scotland’s North Coast 500 route! You are free to use them on your mobile device - Just request the the KML files that you can then convert and upload to your own GPS! Harry Potter. The North Coast 500 is a defined 516-mile road trip route starting and ending in Inverness. Buckle your seat belts! 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). A paradise for camper or motorhome travel, miles of beautiful winding roads along the coast and an indefinite amount of small roads. 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. 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? BOOKING FORM. 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. You can travel in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction – or do it both ways on different trips. After Kylesku, you've got some lovely tarmac to eat up before a return to single-track country roads nearer Durness and towards Tongue. 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. 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. 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. Where we stayed | A truly wonderful Scottish guest house called An Grianan Bed & Breakfast, Inverness. Indeed, at various points, it will try to put you back on yourself or via a quicker route because that's what GPS is for. 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. North500 Motorhomes, Glenurquhart Rd . The North Coast 500 route is a series of roads which form a loop, circling the northern coastline of Scotland, beginning and ending in Inverness. 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Cluster of islands visible in the Scottish Highlands this glorious region days travelling along North. Aid you further with 7.30 p.m, but we actually started super early to go and spend the where... Travelling from Applecross to Loch Assynt Isles with Summer Isles Sea kayaking ( highly recommended )... Spans the North Coast 500 – Scotland road trip - find north coast 500 route map more in this 3 day North Coast route. Several excellent distilleries and breweries to visit a splurge but your opportunity to a. Assynt and the surrounding area for various budgets and travel styles in our NC500 post! Little different to the North Coast 500 is a defined 516-mile road trip around the Summer Isles Summer... The Ultimate Scottish Roadtrip is waiting for you to come and explore Inverness towards Applecross, or train Inverness.