Finding accommodation for your NC500 road trip is easy, if you plan ahead. The route is well known now and North Coast 500 accommodation fills up fast so booking well in advance will mean you can get the hotel/campsite/B+B you want.
No matter what your budget is there is accommodation to suit you. There are luxury hotels, basic hostels, top notch B+B’s, guest houses and campsites with beautiful views.
When I was planning my accommodation I was looking for something a little different, I prefer something quirky but no matter your taste and budget the best way to begin planning is with a map. Once you have planned your route and thought about how long you want to be driving each day then you will have a rough idea of the area you need accommodation in.
Then the fun begins
Are you planning to visit Scotland and looking for some inspiration? As well as my Scottish travel blog ?How about watching some of the best films about Scotland? This list of movies will have your booking your trip before you can say "Take me to the mountain". Whether it's a movie set in Scotland, a Scottish historical romance or movies about those Scottish Highlanders this list has something for everyone. It's also a list of films I'd like to add to so if I'm missing out your favourite please let me know in the comments below so i can add it on. I'm always looking for good films about Scotland or ones which use Scottish filming locations, the film industry here is booming at the moment and with news of new film studios in the pipeline I'm excited to watch this list grow.
This post contains some affiliated links, meaning i get a little cut if you click on the movies below and decide to purchase. Just click the photo if you fancy some Scottish inspiration.
Shakespeare’s tale of murder, guilt, witches and tyranny hardly shows of the most beautiful side of Scotland but it’s a well known story and definitely one of watch. I particularly like the 2015 version with Michael Fassbender playing a rather dishy Macbeth. Receiving a prophecy from three witches that one day he will become the King of Scotland, he is consumed by ambition, kills the king and spirals into madness. Filming took place across the UK and the Isle of Skye appears regularly.
The Village of Falkland in Fife, Scotland, was used several times as an Outlander filming location and it's easy to see why when you visit. The traditional stone cottages that line the streets were built in the 17th and 18th century and there are 28 listed buildings including the impressive renaissance Falkland Palace. The door frames of the cottages are small which is typical of the era, there are original marriage lints above several of the doors and some of the cottages even have thatched roofs. The winding cobbled lanes, colourful hanging baskets and quirky artistic touches make Falkland a popular day trip for locals.
Filming for season one began in October 2013 and Falkland was used as Inverness in 1946. The real Inverness was not suitable as the buildings and roads are now modern and not exactly the look they were going for!
Much of the filming concentrated on the main Square. Claire and Frank spent their second honeymoon in Mrs Baird's B+B after returning from the war. The Covenanter's Hotel was used as the B+B and the team didn't have to change much so you will instantly recognise the building. the black window frames were painted a mustard yellow and the white lost outside the front door were painted a matt black.
In the centre of the village you will find the Bruce fountain and you won't be the first to recreate the scene where Jamie's ghost looks up at Claire in the window. Again not much was changed except the horse statues on each corner which are usually red were changed to black using what looked like a black rubber covering.
Walking in Scotland at any time of the year can be spectacular if you find the right spot.
Autumn brings crunchy leaves underfoot and a palette of oranges and brown. Summer brings an array of colourful flowers and luscious greenery. Winter caps the surrounding mountains with a layer of white.
Each season changes the landscape dramatically and now spring has arrived the fields, forests, villages and hills are shaking off their winter coats and stepping into the sun with blinking eyes. Spring flowers such as daffodils, tulips and bluebells are tentatively emerging and grand houses and castles are opening their doors.
Perthshire is easily one of my favourite areas of Scotland simply because of its sheer beauty. There are over 2000 square miles of pretty villages, lush green fields, forests, waterfalls, rivers, castles and forts.
Having spent some time in the area over the last few weeks I’ve discovered some fantastic walks and hikes, and what better time of the year to get out and stretch those winter-weary legs. Ranging from a little stroll through a forest canopy of birch, oak and ash trees to a strenuous hike up a Munro for panoramic views of “Big Tree Country” Perthshire is perfect for venturing outdoors and exploring not only Scotland’s awe-inspiring countryside but also areas made famous throughout history by characters, both real and fictional, such as Robert Burns, Macbeth and Bonnie Prince Charlie.
“The fairest portion of the Northern Kingdom”
–Sir Walter Scott
Kinnoul Hill Woodland Park (3/4 - 2 1/2 miles
A picturesque walk though this park offers panoramic views over Scotland’s newest city of Perth, across to Ben Ledi in the west and the Carse of Gowrie in the east. A short loop (3/4 mile) takes you through an avenue of beech and pine and is a gentle relaxed walk. For those wanting to push themselves further a more strenuous 2 1/2 mile walk involves some steep slopes but is worth it for the views. In the park you can find a part of the coronation road, which the Scottish Kings used after being crowned at Scone Palace to travel to Falkland Palace in Fife
Some of Scotland's most important historic events have taken place in Perthshire, from the crowning of Scottish Kings to the Battles of Killiecrankie (1689) and Dupplin Moor (1332). The city of Perth itself was once the capital of Scotland and was the inspiration behind Sir Walter Scott's "The fair maid of Perth". Known as the gateway to the Highlands Perthshire is also home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in Britain. It's a fantastic region to explore and base yourself if you want to travel further afield. It's also a region I've spent a lot of time in, I love how green and lush it is in the summer and can't get enough of the colours in the autumn. If you are in Scotland and history fascinates you as much as it does me then here at 10 ways to discover some Scottish history in this stunning region.
Sitting on the banks of the River Tay sits "Scotland's most romantic Cathedral". The site has been holy ground since 730 AD and the cathedral you see today was built over a period of 250 years from 1260 until 1501 resulting in a beautiful mish mash of architectural styles. Dedicated to Saint Colomba, it's said his remains were kept here after leaving Iona, until the reformation. The Cathedral was burnt down in 1689, along with much of Dunkeld itself, during the Battle of Dunkeld, when the government forces supporting William of Orange were attacked by the Jacobite Highlanders who were jubilant after their win at Killiecrankie. There are many famous burials here including "The Wolf of Bedenoch" Alexander Stewart who's tomb can still be seen, Richard de Inverkeithing, chamberlain to King Alexander II of Scotland, and Charles Edward Stuart, grandson of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Not only is this romantic ruin stunning but it's location on the riverbank in the pretty village of Dunkeld makes it a must see. Entrance is free too which is always a bonus.
Angus, in the east of Scotland, with the country's first UNESCO City of design, Dundee, at it's foot and Aberdeenshire to its north is best known, food wise, for its hugely popular Arbroath Smokie and its world reknown Aberdeen Angus. When I was invited to spend the weekend sampling exactly what food and drink the region had to offer I jumped at the chance.
It's not a region I have spent a lot of time in. I've previously explored the coast, swam in the open air pool in Stonehaven and visited the beaches of Broughty Ferry, Montrose and Carnoustie but I had yet to venture inland. What I found when I did was rolling hills, glens and the cutest little villages I've seen for a long time.
We were based at Glenesk Hotel in the Georgian town of Edzell. The Victorian period hotel is a credit to the owners, with knowledgable and helpful staff who did everything possible to make sure we had a fantastic stay. The hotel was also the perfect start to our foodie weekend, thanks to a truly astounding collection of whisky. Over 1000 bottles lined the walls of the traditional whisky room. A bottle from every Distillery in Scotland, and plenty more. Over 200 gins, 70 rums and 70 vodkas complete the collection.
I love finding hidden gems in Scotland and am often asked about where to find them in areas that tourists are visiting. Tourists visit Scotland with an itinerary which often includes the Isle of Skye, the Highlands, Edinburgh and Inverness and I love to encourage them to explore Scotland away from the usual tourist trail. Places that are rarely talked about, rarely photographed, places that are off the beaten track and away from the usual "must sees". I thought I'd ask some of my favourite Scottish travel bloggers about their best hidden gems. These are the blogs I read to inspire my travels and these ladies really know their stuff.
The Highlands of Scotland is an area I will never tire of exploring. Visiting the Highlands always makes me happy. Sometimes you just want to escape your daily life and get away from it all and travelling to the Highlands certainly does that for me. When I unexpectedly found three days free to explore the area I was over the moon.
With my planned trip up Ben Nevis put on hold for a few months I now had three empty days, as I had already booked the Invercoe Highland Holidays Campsite. As much as I say I want to relax it's impossible for me to visit a new area and not want to squeeze in as much as possible, so I got out my map and built myself a pretty exciting itinerary.
I could make this one really quick,
Follow the path and soak up the views.
Walks in Scotland don't come much better than the Fife Coastal Path and this section from Lower Largo to St Monans is my favourite part so far. 9.5 miles of stunning beaches, cute villages and panoramic vistas. It should take between 3-4 hours but you will want to stop off and explore so many times you could easily make a full day of it. You can read about the other sections that I've completed in the Fife Coastal Path section of the blog.
I finally got to an Outlander Gathering! And what a weekend!
Women (and a few brave and crazy men) from every corner of the globe descended on the Highland town of Aviemore for which is essentially a great big party for Outlander fans. The Outlandish UK admins who planned this year's event need a huge pat on the back because I can't even imagine how much organisation it would take to pull off such a brilliant Outlander Gathering. There were so many different elements and each was flawlessly executed. Every element was thought about, every potential problem was solved before it even happened and every attendee was looked after and made to feel welcome, including me, who knew a grand total of about three people there.