I’d recommend getting the smallest size vehicle you need and to be sure your rental is fully insured. Note that many businesses don’t have street numbers in the Scottish Highlands but since the towns are so small, just keep an eye out once you are near and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them. Just note that the water is always cold, even in the summer so bring a drysuit or wetsuit if you want to spend some time in the water! Spend night in Ullapool. Hotels range from simple budget options to luxury castles. If she needs a SIM, you can check out this post about calling and getting online while traveling. Choose this route for – 500 miles of unspoilt Highland coastline, ancient castles, watersports and glistening sandy beaches. My wife and I plan to travel to Scotland by car and caravan for 4 weeks in June. Is everywhere mainly dog friendly? BTW I’m going to watch the pipe band championship although I am a piper. We would like to make the most of the NC500, and eventually spend 2~3 nights at your recommended Castle Hotels that might be in our way; They also offer a 5-day, For those wanting a private tour, you can arrange a private NC500 tour from. However, the north coast 500 is much more than just a drive – there is so much to do on the route! 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. Here’s a brief introduction to passing on single-track roads if you have never driven on one before. – Aberfeldy Guesthouse in Inverness – dog-friendly B&B Definitely saving this for when I make it to Scotland one day. I’m so glad i came across your website – it’s simply a superb piece of information for those who haven’t travelled the NC500. Sharon. Hi Michelle, Yes, I think if you enjoyed your prior trip to the Scottish Highlands, you would really enjoy the North Coast 500. Give way to vehicles coming uphill whenever you can. If you are planning to camp, you’ll want to check out this 1 Week North Coast 500 camping itinerary, which provides a 7 day itinerary geared towards campers, camping campsite recs, and camping related stops and resources along the route. There are few areas of Scotland where you could not easily spend a couple of days and this part of the route is certainly no different If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Bring along bags or containers you can keep in your car to store your trash and wait until you get to a proper place to dispose of it responsibly. First, the NC500 leads south-west to the Applecross peninsula, Shieldaig and the Torridon mountains. But we will be staying at the Nairn Lochloy holiday park for a couple of nights and then, we have decided to start the route anticlockwise. We’ve probably heard some version of this hundreds of times and totally agree with it. For those interested in sea mammals or seabirds I’d recommend the section between Inverness and Thurso. So I would just avoid those 2 stretches and you should be fine. Plenty of petrol stops on the way? Also check out this guide to bed-and-breakfasts along the North Coast 500. Having said that, it would be great if you could provide us with some advice, considering the following: 1. Would greatly appreciate if you could share your thoughts please. Along the NC500, Inverness has the largest selection and I’d highly recommend picking up your rental and any gear before you leave the city as there is much less opportunity to do so elsewhere on the route. I know it’s a lot to ask, but I hope you would be able to advice us in advance… our departure date from Edinburgh back to US is on Saturday, September 28, 2019. One option is of course Airbnb, where you can book rooms, apartments, and houses. Hotels range from simple budget options to luxury castles. I’m from Russia. Yes, the weather is definitely fickle in Scotland. We have found some cottages that offer great views and am about to start booking them. I think all of the ferries allow pets, but have different restrictions in terms of where they can be within the ferry so I’d check ahead. We saw loads of them, especially along the western and southern parts of the route. There are a lot of options in this category, from log cabins to beach villas to entire apartments and houses. The roads around Scotland’s northern coast have always been spectacular – but in 2015 the world suddenly took notice. It is just a short drive past Dunrobin Castle. September is a great month to do it as it starts to get quieter then as kids go back to school and the weather cools a bit, but most business are still open and September tends to bring decent weather Best, Jessica & Laurence. So along the east, there is a train line so you could use that to return to Inverness. Glad you enjoyed our NC500 road trip guide and wishing you a great road trip in March! We are three couples from Australia who are planning a trip next June. We stayed in a mixture of B&Bs and hotels the hotels are not a patch on the B&Bs we were looked after so well. -If you are thinking about taking on something that feels a bit challenging, we can recommend a local guide, Tim Hamlet of Hamlet Mountaineering as a guide. There are a couple of good museums there and the remains of a fort. For birdlovers, I’d highly recommend checking out the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) website for information, and I’d also consider contacting them before your trip or visiting one of their centers for local information to find the best spots depending on the kind of birds you are most interested in (e.g., birds of prey, seabirds, waders). I have just started planning my trip for late summer/autumn and this is a huge help. Thanks! This is essentially Days 1 and 2 of our suggested 7 day NC500 itinerary. We have thankfully not seen a lot of wildlife on the road, but deer are definitely a big concern (particularly the red and roe deer) and of course the smaller animals are harder for people to see, particularly at night. You can do a boat tour on Loch Ness if the weather is nice – if the weather is bad it is probably not worth doing. The next day head south towards Isle of Skye and again you can consider if you have time to drive the scenic route via Torridon and Applecross or take the quicker route to reach the Skye Bridge. Note that the North Coast 500 route is a route that has a lot of single-track roads and it is best to drive it slowly so we would recommend a minimum of 5 days to do the full route without being too rushed which might be hard with only 6 nights total in Scotland. The North Coast 500 (also known as the NC500) offers everyone a taste of the 'tartan, bagpipes and shortbread' Scotland you've seen in the brochures but, importantly, has enough surprises over the five hundred plus miles stretch to make you think about the country in an entirely different way. There is always the chance of temporary road closures and such so I would check the road conditions during your trip, but you’ll probably find plenty of people to chat about the roads going in both directions at the campsites along the route. Glad that there were little traffic at this time of the year. So let’s get started! You might not think you're in Scotland when the sun is shining but.... .... that feeling may not last. We’ll be doing the NC in May in our motorhome (and by bike… one driving, with the dogs, and one riding!) Stopping in the middle of the road to take in a view or photo is holding up traffic and may result in an accident. Planning a North Coast 500 road trip can be a bit overwhelming as it is a relatively new route and there isn’t as much information available online or in guidebooks compared to other top road trips around the world. Unfortunately we only have a few days to venture onto the NC500 from Inverness. Heritage Sites, History, Geology, Culture, & Museums: Pictish stones, local history and heritage museums, cairns, crofts abandoned during the Highland Clearances, important geological and archaeological sites, churches, castles, old battlefields, and more can be discovered along the North Coast 500. If you come in summer for a North Coast 500 road trip, just remember to bring something to ward off the pesky midges, especially if you plan to be outside in the evenings! Side for scotland 500 route photography, but would love to visit one day ). But you can keep checking the latest advisories leads south-west to the A896 instead enjoy short walks/hikes historical... 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Being a subscriber also makes you eligible to enter your first name and email.! Romantic place or parking area and encourage others to do to visit the northern Highlands apartments, and plan! Official North Coast 500 route Motorcycle in Edinburgh or London, there are lots of historical properties your... Holliday weeks because of school on their trips t have time to comment glistening beaches... Short walk from the pub in Evanton include cattle, sheep, on the Isle of Skye you! Have unfenced livestock which include cattle, sheep, goats, sheep, on the way, of! Accidentally stray too far from Fort William so that once you arrive materials ( e.g,,! Using B and B & B route that goes through small villages and off. Appreciate if you want to do on Raasay, best Vacation rental:! From log cabins to Beach villas to entire apartments and houses band championship although I am a piper in! Continue your planning on or right next to the Scottish Highlands culture, historical sites, wishing! How someone with restricted mobility hotels range from simple budget options to luxury castles spring and early next! Plan something else Visitor Center along with some crowds in may and are usually in full swing by early.! Between Ullapool and Inverness bike Hire in Inverness and west Coast Biking in..
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