The route starts in the northern city of Inverness, heads west to the coast and Applecross. You will then turn northwards towards the bustling towns of Torridon and Ullapool. 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. The official NC500 Website can be found here.
As you can imagine the route is almost exclusively winding, twisty highland roads and our campervans are not only perfect for the road conditions but perfect for giving you a once in a lifetime experience of a road trip around the NC500 with the stunning Scottish landscape as your companion and on what has been voted one of the best coastal routes in the world!.
Featuring 500-miles of deserted roads, in some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery the UK has to offer, it’s the ideal place to take a week-long road trip.
While the North Coast 500 website has a variety of itineraries on its website designed for every kind of traveller, here are our six must-see locations!
Dunrobin Castle has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland for more than 700 years, making it one of the oldest inhabited houses in Scotland. With 189 rooms, it’s also one of the largest in the Scottish Highlands and features a museum as well as castle tours.
If that wasn’t reason enough to visit, it’s surrounded by formal gardens that were laid out by Sir Charles Barry, the architect behind the Palace of Westminster, in addition to miles of dog-friendly woodland walks.
No visit to Scotland would be complete without whisky and The Old Pulteney distillery has a history stretching back to 1826. Located in Wick – a town with the distinction of being the former herring capital of Europe – the distillery is the perfect place for a first night stop on your North Coast 500 road trip.
Tours take place throughout the year and with plenty of accommodation nearby, you’ve got no excuse not to get acquainted with the range of malt whiskies on offer…
Dunnet Head, four-and-a-half miles north of Dunnet itself, is the most northerly point in mainland Britain. Managed by the RSPB, the area is home to puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, kittiwakes, shags and cormorants, making it a wonderful place for bird lovers to spend a couple of hours with a pair of binoculars or a camera.
Entry to the reserve is free – although donations are welcome – and the Seadrift Visitor Centre is well worth a visit too.
Smoo Cave is the ideal place to indulge your inner hermit, although at 200 feet deep, 130 wide and 50 feet high there would be plenty of space to invite friends and family to come and stay…
Access is relatively straightforward (although those with restricted mobility might struggle) and a short boat trip is necessary to reach the third chamber. Featuring a river, underground waterfalls, a deep sinkhole and links to the supernatural – including the Prince of Darkness himself – why not find out for yourself why Smoo Cave attracts more than 40,000 visitors a year?
While the North Coast 500 attracts keen drivers by the thousand, Sandwood Bay is the ideal place to take a day off to go rambling.
The beach itself is a four-and-a-half-mile walk from the road, so is rarely crowded. With many believing it is the most beautiful beach in the UK, if you happen to catch it on a sunny day you’ll wonder why anyone bothers to travel abroad! It’s also a good place to try and spot marine mammals, such as dolphins and seals.
Listed by National Geographic magazine as one of the Best Driving Roads in the World, the Bealach Na Bà is an 11-mile stretch of tarmac that winds its way across the Applecross peninsula.
While it’s not suitable for caravans or the bigger motorhomes due to its steep inclines, sharp bends and single-track road (there is a low-level route for that’s suitable for all), everyone else will have a ball winding their way along it.