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 to suit you. 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 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.
Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Chez Roux Restaurant, Inverness
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
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
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
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
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
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.