Finding accommodation for your NC500 road trip is easy, if you plan ahead. The route is popular 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 that will suit you perfectly. There are luxury hotels, basic hostels, top notch B+B’s, guest houses and campsites with beautiful views. It’s worth gathering your group together and sitting down with a pen and paper. Write down everybody’s top priorities. Does it need to be accessible? Pet friendly? Write down exactly what you want. Read reviews too to make sure people enjoy staying there. It’s fun finding accommodation, there is so much to choose from.
When I was planning my accommodation I was looking for something a little different, I prefer something quirky but no matter what your taste and budget is the best way to begin planning is with a map. If you are beginning at the start point in Inverness judge how long you want to be driving each day. If you have towns/villages/areas already in mind then use google maps to give you the time to each. If you think you’ll manage to drive that distance then you can go ahead and begin to look at accommodation. If you don’t have any preferences you can have a look at my suggestions here.
Then the fun begins
Do you fancy a bit of luxury? Do you want to wake up to the sound of the waves? Do you want somewhere in a village with a traditional Scottish pub so you can ceilidh the night away?
I booked most of my North Coast accommodation through Booking.com, their cancellation policy is useful when you are driving long distances and are not 100% sure you will make it to each stop. If you’d rather pay slightly less then booking directly with the accommodation providers is also possible, give them a ring for a chat and they will be happy to help. We are a friendly bunch us Scots you know.
It would be slightly unrealistic for me to list every single place to stay along the route, there are hundreds but what I will do is give you a rough guide to accommodation here so you can get a taste of what’s available.
The blue links at the end of each accommodation are affiliated links meaning if you fancy booking I get a small percentage of the price you pay at no extra cost to yourself.
Accommodation in Inverness
Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant
You can begin your epic NC500 road trip in style at this amazing 5 star hotel. In the heart of Inverness this modern boutique hotel has Egyptian cotton linen, velvet bathrobes and huge flat screen TV's as well as Chef Albert Roux's first Scottish Restaurant. There is even outdoor hot tubs. It's only a short distance to the official start of the NC500 at Inverness Castle.
Check rates and availability here Rocpool Reserve
Glen Mhor Hotel
Located just 5 minutes from the A9 this hotel is split into 4 charming Victorian townhouses right on the banks of the river. The bedrooms are spacious and tastefully decorated and some have a gorgeous view of the castle. Glen Mhor
Birchwood House B+B
This B+B gets rave reviews for everything from the full Scottish breakfast to the wifi. The rooms are large and modern with flat screen TV's, private bathrooms and big comfy beds. Birchwood
Inverness City Suites
Inverness City Suites have 8 apartments here, six right in the city centre, five two bedroom apartments and one one bedroom apartment. The rooms are spacious and airy and are 5 minutes from the castle. The other two apartments have two bedrooms and are at Hedgefield. They are a 15 walk away from the city centre. These apartments are first class and really good value for money. Being an apartment there is a full kitchen with washer/dryer which would come in handy at the end of your trip, dishwasher, cooker, microwave, free wifi and parking. Designer furniture and clean lines make these apartments really stand out. City Suites. You can get special promotional rates, £25 off per night, by booking direct here.
Inverness Glamping and Cottage
I love these wigwams and have stayed in many across Scotland. They are very budget friendly and are a quirky option for those looking for something different. I've never stayed in one quite as luxurious as these though. A double bed and bunkbeds with bedding and ensuite toilet and shower mean these little pods are pretty special. There is also a wee decking area outside with wooden seating and a table. Glamping
Accommodation in Wester Ross
Caledonian Hotel, Ullapool
More budget friendly this 3 start hotel right next to the beach in Ullapool has gorgeous comfortable rooms and rates highly in reviews. It has free wifi which, if you are heading clockwise, will come in very useful as you are about to head into an area which is decidedly lacking. There is also free parking and a restaurant on site.
Check rates and availability here Caledonian Hotel
Achmelvich Beach SYHA Hostel
Hostels are always a cheap option but what the SYHA (Scottish Youth Hostel Association) are fantastic is doing is making sure they are in amazing locations and this one is literally on the doorstep of one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. I find hostels are a great way to meet others and hear their stories. Cooking a meal in a communal kitchen (which I've always found spotless and well looked after) and enjoying a drink with your fellow travellers means you can hear their recommendations and tips for the rest of your North coast 500 experience.
Check rates and availability here Achmelvich Beach
At the other end of the scale get the celebrity treatment at the Torridon. Individually designed rooms, Molton Brown toiletteries, flurry bathrobes and a pillow menu give you a luxurious stay. You can have a full Scottish breakfast in the morning and go for a walk or cycle in the 58 acres of private parkland. Torridon
Gairloch Sands Youth Hostel
Literally a 1 minute walk from the banks of Loch Gairloch you couldnt find a better location and you have outstanding views of the mountains of Skye. Gairoch is a lovely village and it's where I spend two nights at the beginning of my NC500 trip. I stayed at the nearby Sands caravan park which you can read about here. This hostel was once a hunting lodge and dates back to 1880. There are shared dormitories and private bedrooms for those who would rather a bit of privacy but if you dont mind sharing (it's always fun to get to know strangers) thta's where the value really comes in. If you stay in a single sex dorm you can stay the night for as little as £24! There is a shared communal area and kitchen so you can make your own meals. Youth Hostel
Mo-Dhachaidh B+B, Poolewe
Gaelic for "my home" this family run B+B is charming and cosy. There is free wifi and satellite in all the rooms as well as tea and coffee facilities and a private nathroom. The gardens are beautiful and there are wonderful views of the Torridon Mountains. Mo-Dhachaidh
Accommodation in Sutherland
Transvaal House, Durness
On the outskirts of Durness this holiday home is simple, comfortable and great value for money. It's perfect for groups or large families and is also pet friendly. There is a fully equipped kitchen to prepare meals and a TV, board games and a selection of books. Stunning sea views and easy access to the beach makes this pretty ideal in an area which is remote and sparce.
In the most northerly port on the west coast this family home lets out two bedroooms, a double and a twin which share a bathroom with shower. This is such a lovely option as the host are friendly and helpful. There are gorgeous views of the countryside and Kinochbervie itself is steeped in culture and history. This small crofting village is close to the stunning Sandwood Bay and Cape Wrath
The Poor House, Tongue
For something a little different why not stay in a century old tin longhouse? Staying here really is a digital detox as there is no mobile phone signal or tv signal. There is free wifi though and a huge selection of books and dvd's. It's the perfect chance to escape and literally switch off. You can stay in a shared room in a single bed for only £20 or rent the whole hostel for only £85
Elliot Houses, Balnakeil
A stunning A-listed Highland lodge which sleeps 17 and is situated right on the door step of a beautiful white sandy beach. the floors heated and there is dots of tweed in the furnishing. This property has been recently renovated sypathetically and is now luxurious and warm. There is also a small bothy which sleeps two. Its compact but gorgeous.
Caisteal Laith Chalets, Lochinver
These three chalets sit on the north side of Lochinver Loch and offer outstanding views of the loch and mountains of Canisp, Suilven, Cul Mhor and Stac Pollaidh. One lodge is perfect for couples with one bedroom and king sized bed. The other two would suit families witht wo bedrooms. Each have an ensuite bathroom and fully fitted kitchen. There is wifi, tv, leather sofas and dining table. They also have their own private south or west facing balcony so you can relax and take in that wonderful Highland air.
Accommodation in Caithness
Dunnet B+B Escapes
This large B+B has fantastic views and the beach is close by. It overlooks Dunnet Head is set in there acres of lush green land. You get a drink on arrival and freshly baked bread daily. There is even a lovely selection of home baking.
Check rates and availability here Dunnet B+B
Riverside Apartments, Wick
These serviced luxuryapartments in the heart of Wick have balconies overlooking Wick River, a fully equipped kitchen and a double and twin bedroom. If you are travelling clockwise around the NC500 this will be exactly what you need when you reach Wick, in the centre of town you are surrounded by shops, restaurants and cafes. Riverside
Northern Sands Hotel, Dunnet
Just a 6 minute walk from the beach in the heart of Dunnet this hotel is less than two miles form Dunnet Head, the most Northern point of mainland Scotland. Its also next to Dunnet Bay Distillery so you can treat yourself to a Scottish gin or vodka in the evening. Each room has a smart Tv, private bathroom with Scottish toiletries and free wifi and in the morning included in the price is a full Scottish breakfast. Northern Sands
Ackergill Tower Castle, Wick
How about staying in a real life Scottish Castle? This 15th century provides 5 star elegant and traditional accommodation and even has it's own private beach! Each room has free wifi and original features and there are also several cottages if you are in a larger group. All the rooms have fantastic views over Caithness, the croquet lawn or Sinclair.s Bay. Ackergill Tower Castle
Mackays Hotel, Wick
I couldn't mention accommodation in Caithness and miss out Mackays! It's on the shortest street in the world and offers first class service and dining. The rooms have free wifi and private bathrooms with tea, coffee and biscuits. The owner is a whisky ambassador so really knows his stuff when it comes to the whisky in the bar. The restaurant, No1 Bistro, serves up Scottish dishes using locally grown veg and fish from the boats at nearby Scrabser. Mackays
Accommodation in Easter Ross
The Prancing Pony Wild Glamping Pod, Bonar Bridge
For something a bit different and for those wanting to rough it a bit these quirky glamping pods have a sitting a dining area, free parking and something you don't see very often galloping - free wifi. You can also get your shopping delivered which is handy after a long day driving.
Check rates and availability here Prancing Pony
Kincraig Castle Hotel, Invergordon
One for the Outlander fans, or if you just fancy spending the night in a whopping great mansion. This beautiful country house hotel was home to generations of the Clan ManKenzie but is now a stunning retreat with a tree lined drive and award winning restaurant.
Check rates and availability here Kincraig
The Steading, Dornoch
Fancy a superking sized bed, tv and walk in shower? Fancy a free shuttle into twon so you can have a drink and not have to fork out for a taxi home? Fancy a five star experience with old fashioned hospitality? The Steading is modern, spacious and packed with little touches that make a stay here memorable.The Steading
Balranald Shepherd Huts, Brora
For something a little quirky for your North Coast 500 accommodation how about a stay in a shepherds hut? There is a double bed with a singlw above it in each of the huts as well as a kettle and toaster with crockery. There is a lovely log burner to keep you toasty and bedding is provided if you don't have any with you. Outside there is a seating area, gas BBQ and firepit and there is a bothy with kitchen facilites and bathroom with shower. Balranald Shephard huts
Delny Highland Lodges, Invergordon
These Scandanavian style lodges sleep 4-8 and all 21are tucked away in a forested area near Invergordon. They are pet friendly and cosy and ideal for a few nights stay at the end of your trip The "Old Dutch Barn" is the onsite restaurant and is popular for a meal and a drink in the evening Highland Lodges
For more recommendations read this by fellow blogger The Road Trip Guy - North Coast 500 itinerary
NC500 Hints and tips
As you can see there is a fair selection of places to stay. There are also campsites, wigwams, castles and wild camping available. Have a read through my NC500 blogs to see where I stayed. As well as booking.com and booking directly with the owners some other websites are worth a look too such as
* Visit Scotland
* Trip Advisor
* Cottages and Castles
* Huts and Cabins
* Wigwams Holidays
Book as far in advance as you can, they fill up fast
Find out what’s around the accommodation, if it’s in the middle of nowhere, stock up on any provisions before you get there
If it’s got wifi take advantage, do you need any postcodes or phone numbers before you start the next leg? Do you need to download maps? Wondering where to stop for lunch?
Have you done the North Coast 500? Have you stayed anywhere you loved? Let me know in the comments below.