The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle.
We would recommend to fully experience the NC500, you should spend a minimum of 5-7 days along the route.
The North Coast 500 brings together a route of more than 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery – 516 miles, to be exact. Not only is the NC500 one of the world’s best road trips, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. While the North Coast 500 is an experience in itself, you’ll also find plenty of adventures to be had along the way and here we highlight just some of the many things to do on your trip.
Five walks of Many on the North Coast 500
The bridge over the Black Water at Rogie Falls – a short but popular walk to visit the impressive Rogie Falls which are seen from a dramatic suspension bridge
The path to Coire Mhic Fhearchair between Liathach and Beinn Eighe in Torridon – plenty of scenic walking here with a gradual walk and stunning scenery.
The beautiful Sandwood Bay Beach is reputedly the most beautiful beach in Britain and backed by huge sand dunes and a loch. This remote bay has no road access but can be reached by a 4 mile, well trodden path leading from the car park at Blairmore.
One of the Duncansby Stacks – go in May or June and be rewarded by many different sea birds including Fulmars, Kittiewake, guilemots, razorbills and maybe even a puffin.
Stac Pollaidh has a dramatic outline but is an accessible walk with an excelled pitched path to make it easy underfoot.
Four Distilleries and tours whisky lovers won’t want to miss
- Wolfburn – founded in 1821 with a brand new distillery built in 2012
- Old Pulteney – on the most northerly shores of Scotland.
- Clynelish – the Clynelish story is full of drama. It beckons those who relish a good mystery and possess an appetite for adventure.
- Glen Ord – the only remaining single malt scotch whiskey distillery on the Black Isle.
The NC500 starts and ends at Inverness.
A great way to explore the art, history and heritage of the highlands is the Inverness Museum and Art gallery
A visit to the the award winning restaurant and whisky bar The Anderson, Fortrose is a must for any trip to Scotland.
Situated in Fortrose on the Black Isle just north of Inverness, the Anderson was once named one of the best places in the world to get a beer and features an impressive collection of Scottish and international tipples. Try local favourites from the Black Isle Brewery or the Cromarty Brewery, both known for their prize-winning beers.
For a Magical Feel ….
Walk along the beautiful woodland paths and look out for waterfalls and the ‘Money Tree’, which features hundreds of old coins hammered into its bark as offerings to the fairies.
The black isle is also the best place for Dolphin spotting:
At the opposite end of the beach is Chanonry Point, a great place to spot dolphins. Walk the famous ‘Dolphin Mile’ from Rosemarkie Beach to Chanonry Point – the best land based viewpoint in mainland UK to see dolphins.
Heading to Easter Ross
Nigg Bay is a vast area of mudflat, saltmarsh and wet grassland on the Cromarty Firth.
The story of Glenmorangie began back in 1843 when William Matheson acquired the Morangie Farm and converted its brewery.
Mysterious and often beautiful, Pictish sculpture presents one of the great puzzles of Dark Age archaeology”
Sinclair’s Bay – known locally as Reiss Beach – is spectacularly beautiful. Long stretches of white sand and azure waters make the coastline look almost tropical and home to 16th century castles at both ends of the beach.
Their precious botanicals are carefully harvested and stored in bespoke copper pot stills called Elizabeth and Margret.
From this point you could take Pentland Ferries from Gills Bay wick to St Margret’s Hope in Orkney.
Takes approx. 1 hour.
Castle and Garden Mey
Heading to Sutherland
Fancy some walking
Explore the beautiful sandy beaches and dunes of Faraid head.
See if you can find Sandwood Bay, which is thought to be the most remote beach in the United Kingdom. You can’t drive directly here so would need to walk from Blairmore about 4 miles to the bay.
Take a stroll through the Culag Woods.
The Culag Wood is situated within walking distance of the village of Lochinver
Heading to Wester Ross
How about a little retail therapy at Lochcarron. With a heritage dating back to 1892, Lochcarron of Scotland is the world’s leading manufacturer of tartan.
Smith Hubb is a Community Hub with art, crafts, events, activities, shop, wifi and visitor information.
Here some ideas on where to stay.
The journey up to Scotland.
From our depot in Leicestershire it will take around 7 hours, we would recommend stopping halfway around the Carlisle area. You could take detour to the Lakes district, or maybe run away to the famous Grenta Green for a romantic wedding and make your NC500 trip your honeymoon.