Maybe experienced drivers in a small campervan would be fine, but I would rather be on the side of caution to avoid issues. Seeing wildlife is never guaranteed on the North Coast 500, but Chanonry Point might be your best bet. The North Coast 500 is mostly a coastal route and therefore there are numerous breathtaking beaches. I guess it is a chance to return for more on another opportunity! Like most places, the summertime is going to be the ideal time to travel the North Coast 500 in terms of weather. The sand is soft, and the water although cold is a beautiful turquoise color. Achmelvich Beach Youth Hostel is one of my accommodation favourites: Unique Places to Stay in Scotland – from hotels to B&Bs! If you prefer to wind down after your long journey on the NC500, the beautiful golden and white sand beaches of Dornoch Beach and Embo Beach might be just what you need. The sheer 300ft cliffs are home to an abundance of birds including puffins, guillemots, fulmars, razorbills and more. Check out VISIT SCOTLAND or UK GOVERNMENT for more guidance and advice on driving in Scotland or POLICE SCOTLAND for driving in winter. John O’Groats! Achmelvich is very remote, which means there is very little (if any) reception, but to be honest you want to unplug in an area like this. Stunning coastal scenery, magnificent Munros, historic castles and vast lochs, Scotland’s version of a road trip will leave you in awe… Launched in … Join here!). My favourite 30 things to do on the North Coast 500 to pick & choose from. The first glimpse of the wild North Atlantic crashing onto the shores of this incredible 1.5-mile-long secluded pink sand beach comes as you pass Sandwood Loch. There is an easy walk out a rocky headland across the road from the shop. Roads can take you anywhere you want to go and new ones are being built every day, but for a truly epic journey, only the best stops and sites make the cut. The Bealach na Ba road to Applecross is among the finest roads in Scotland and makes for an incredibly scenic drive through the Highlands. A clear track leads from Blairmore car park near Kinlochbervie all the way to Sandwood Bay. A highlight on the NC500 road trip is definitely the hairraising Bealach na Bà road – one of the highest mountain pass roads in the UK and sometimes as steep as 20%. A handy map you can save to your Google Maps. I loved our lunch at West Coast Delicatessen (vegan options available) and exploring all the quirky shops. It is small, but there are many international flights to Inverness. Here are some articles about the issue too: Dunrobin Castle is one of the oldest, biggest, and most iconic castles in Scotland. The view of the stacks from the top of the cliffs (Kav Dadfar). The most popular attraction of Inverness is Loch Ness. All the photos were breath taking. There are a campsite, restaurant and bar here, making this a perfect place to spend the night. If you’re a Scotland first-timer, download my FREE Scotland Travel Toolkit with all my recommended tools and booking platforms! It is believed that it was built single-handed over 6 months in 1950 by David Scott, an architect from Norwich. To reach it you have to master various steep hills and hairpin bends, all the while looking out for incoming traffic. Many believe it was built by the Vikings or the Norse. Our days out consist of visiting two or three of the places you mentioned. An ultimate guide on where you have to stop and eat along the North Coast 500 route. Hi, I’m Kathi! Get it here. Here is an article about the impact motorhome drivers have on the road, and here is a story about a lorry that attempted the journey – just to give you an idea. This NC500 travel guide contains everything you need to know to plan your own North Coast 500 adventure –. Hence, walking barefoot on … North Coast 500, Inverness: "What is the best time of year to experience the..." | Check out answers, plus see 705 reviews, articles, and 842 photos of North Coast 500, ranked No.3 on Tripadvisor among 288 attractions in Inverness. Inverness-Shire. It closely follows the coastline with its castle ruins and quaint small towns, before offering the option for a detour on the Black Isle peninsula. 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. North Coast 500 Highlights (The Best Places to Eat on the NC500 Route) by Ivana December 10, 2018. It’s best to park at Keiss Harbour and walk to Old Keiss Castle along the shore. Behind the hostel – a 20-minute walk or 5-minute drive – lies Big Sands, a sandy beach with views of the mountains of Torridon and Skye. Beautifully set on Loch Assynt to a backdrop of Ben More Assynt, Ardvreck Castle dates to the late 14th century. The only trouble is that it closed in December, 2018 and is now in private hands. The advice you gave is misleading. If you are lucky, you can even spot puffins here! From butchers to fishmongers, as well as fab cafes and restaurants. Wild camping is legal in campervans as long as you stick to the rules of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code regarding the duration of stays and waste disposal. Immerse yourself in the local culture! The hike takes about 4-5 hours round-trip, but add a few hours to enjoy the beach in its full glory! The River Droma rushes through the rock over a series of waterfalls, cutting it deeper and deeper over millions of years. Continue to make your way west and you will reach Lochcarron and the adjoining Loch Kishorn. The Black Isle peninsula is worth a trip of its own, but it is also a perfect final place to visit on the North Coast 500. Take a trip to the Black Isle. The volunteer guides will give you a little map, but the path is very easy to follow. The North Coast 500 is a roughly 500-mile road trip around the far north-west of Scotland. North Coast 500 | Scotland's answer to Route 66. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to head on to our next accommodation, but this zip line will not get away that easy – I will be back! It is possible to drive the NC500 anti-clockwise too. The SOAC specifically excludes activities reliant on motorised activities, this common misconception is causing serious environmental damage here in the Highlands. There is a lot to do on the Black Isle – from the RSPB bird sanctuaries at Udale Bay or Fairy Glen, to the delights of a tour at Black Isle Brewery. Bealach Na Ba! The NC 500 offers a little bit of everything that makes Scotland such a wonderful place to visit. For those who want to take in the view of the Suilven itself, head to the Falls of Kirkaig. Stay on top of planning your independent trip to Scotland with my Scotland Travel Resource Library! Before you set off it is worth reading up on the rules of the road in Scotland – Visit Scotland have a great video guide to how to drive in Scotland . When you have had enough of the views, take the same road back to Torridon and continue on the main route of the North Coast 500. Visitor Attractions - North Coast 500. Brilliant places to stay on the North Coast 500. Helmsdale was one of the biggest surprises on our North Coast 500 road trip. If you are in a small vehicle though, you are rewarded with mind-boggling hairpin bends and fantastic views throughout the drive. An ultimate guide on where you have to stop and eat along the North Coast 500 route. It would almost be rude not to pay her a closer visit. Located out from the west coast and just south of the official North Coast 500 route, it makes most sense to visit before you drive the route clockwise, or last after you drive the route anti-clockwise. This seems to be the most popular option. The falls are impressive, but the highlight of your visit will be seeing the wild salmon leaping upstream (in August and September). Take a string of whitewashed cottages, place them next to a gorgeous loch with a backdrop of imposing mountains and you have Shieldaig. Before setting off on your North Coast 500 road trip, make sure you have a valid travel insurance policy. An 874-mile test of endurance that connects John O’Groats to Land’s End in Cornwall (or vice versa). Along the North Coast 500 there are many wonderful places to visit, have a bite to eat, or find something fun to do for the whole family. Wild Camping North Coast 500 – The Best Places to Wild Camp; 7-day North Coast 500 Itinerary – FREE, Detailed and Unforgettable! The Black Isle is a lovely final stop before returning to Inverness. 10 minutes, £15 per person) where they are greeted by a welcome committee of volunteer guides. Jutting out into the North Sea, Dunnet Head is the most northerly point of mainland Britain. There is a sign at the bottom stating that it is not suitable for learner drivers, caravans and very large vehicles – see photo on the article; unfortunately, many people put stickers on top of this essential warning. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile (830 km) scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. What Ardvreck Castle is for the west, Dunrobin Castle is for the east of the North Coast 500. Across the turquoise water, you will be able to see the distinctive outline of Suilven. The trail is waymarked – a rare occasion for mountain trails in Scotland – and is just over 6 km (4 miles) long. North Coast Discover the stunning beauty, native animals, excellent fishing and surfing heritage that make the North Coast of NSW one of the world’s top holiday destinations. Eat seafood so local it practically swam in the door! The castle looks like it is clinging on to dry land for its life and it’s a fascinating site to visit. Join my Facebook group "Wild Adventures Scotland" to find inspiration for big & small adventures. This is a place that you will want to savour, so give yourself plenty of time to explore it. Some people we met on the road had suggested that the east of the North Coast 500 was not quite as scenic and exciting as the west. Also perfect locations if you wish to do a smaller road trip in Scotland! The lighthouse is only 66 feet tall but sits on cliffs that rise 300 feet above sea level. The walk from the car park is easy along clear paths. Launched in 2015, the North Coast 500 encompasses over 500 miles of wild scenery, secluded beaches and historic castles in Scotland’s northern highlands. There are generally a lot of restaurants in towns and villages along the North Coast 500. I loved the selection at Ullapool Bookstore, including the children’s book The Guillemot Who Wouldn’t Jump which is written and illustrated by a local artist Jenny Rant. You can find a detailed route description here. Have a great trip . Here are some tips for driving on the North Coast 500: For more tips, read my post about driving in Scotland. On 16 April 1746, the English army defeated the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart in one of the bloodiest battles Scotland had ever seen. It is just under 5 km (3 miles) and takes only 1.5 hours – or a little more if you bring a picnic, for example from the Loch Torridon Smokehouse in the village. Passing places are peppered along the single track roads. Foraging Along The North Coast 500. The Trip Planning Workbook in my Scotland Travel Resource Library is the perfect tool to help you plan a great NC500 road trip. 13. All the best, Kathi, Your email address will not be published. I congratulate for getting so much out of your journey and also taking your lovely little detours. Visit on the island to research different species of rhododendron tour from Inverness Thurso. Is only 66 feet tall but sits on cliffs that rise 300 feet north coast 500 places to visit sea.! The unmistakable shape of Suilven mountain seems to make an appearance wherever you look when you are to... Villages along the cliffs so bird lovers should take their binoculars 300ft are... Tarbet to the Old Man of Hoy in Orkney in the southern part the! Passenger ferry takes visitors from Tarbet to the beach for panoramic views of the largest sea cave entrances in hairpin... A series of awe-inspiring waterfalls not just take up your temporary residence anywhere m deep and km. 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