Scotland’s biggest and best road trip!
A world-famous 516-mile (830km) scenic driving route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. The route is also known as the NC500 and was launched in 2015, linking many features in the north Highlands of Scotland in one iconic touring route.
From Inverness, the ‘capital of the Highlands’, the route weaves its way along the west coast to Applecross, northwards to Torridon and Ullapool, before passing some of Scotland’s most northerly points, Caithness and John O’Groats. From there, journey south through Dingwall back to Inverness.
To complete this road trip challenge you only have one objective:
- Drive the full NC500 route!
Though to make the most of your experience we would recommend completing as many of these activities as possible:
- Check out the views at Inverpolly.
- Consider driving the single track Bealach na Bà in Wester Ross.
- Take a tour of a Whisky Distillery like Glenmorangie, Dalmore or Old Pulteney.
- Enjoy a Craft Brewery tour with Black Isle Brewery.
- Visit the magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the shore of Loch Ness.
- Try a variety of delicious fresh seafood.
- Get out of the car for a while and take a walk along one of the many beaches.
- Gaze at Suilven, one of the most distinctive mountains in Scotland.
- Drive across Kylesku Bridge.
- Visit Smoo Cave and take a tour.
- Take a photo with the John O’Groats Signpost.
- Listen to (I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles by The Proclaimers at least once along the way.
If you want you can also share your overall time in days, your experience and adventures along the way as well as tips and information to help others complete this travel challenge.
After completing the challenge you can reward yourself with a North Coast 500 themed Travel Medal! Good luck!
Click on the medal to be redirected to our store or click here.
To start your research go to the Visit Scotland page for the NC500. As you would expect their site covers everything required for taking not this challenge including accommodation, car hire, weather and other practical information.
The site NorthCoast500.com is another fantastic resource for planning this journey. It includes all various itineraries and all everything to see and do along the route. To help with this they have an incredibly useful interactive map which will make planning your trip very easy.
Scotland from Above – North Coast 500
If your still not convinced that this epic drive deserves a place on your bucket list, watch this video from Visit Scotland. Long open roads, vast scenic landscapes, wide meandering country tracks and some of Scotland’s finest coastal scenery are just a few of the memorable things that await you on the famous North Coast 500. So, strap yourself in and prepare for a road trip of a lifetime.