Scotland's North Coast 500 Route Planner
Guide to planning accommodation, itineraries and routes
Are you interested in exploring Scotland's NC500? The route, known as Scotland's answer to Route 66 includes some of the best scenery in the world and takes you around the very top of Scotland. This route is a dream to any Scottish travel blogger and I loved every minute. Deserted white sandy beaches, winding country roads, mighty dominating mountains, picturesque bridges, distilleries, breweries, sparse jurassic-like landscapes, pretty villages, fantastic wildlife and plenty of surprises.
So what about the North Coast 500 accommodation? There really is something for everyone, no matter what your budget is, be it a campsite, a luxury 5 star hotel or something a little more quirky. A popular way to travel the route is by campervan or caravan, or it seems any kind of bizarre and unique transport. It's a pretty ideal Scottish road trip.
Below I've divided up each section of the route, which i did clockwise. I'll soon be adding a NC500 route planner, hints and tips, some NC500 itineraries and a blog about my favourite North Coast 500 accommodation.
- Inverness to Gairloch
- Gairloch to Lochinver
- Lochinver to Durness
- Durness to John O'Groats
- John O'Groats to Inverness
- North Coast 500 Accommodation
Inverness to Gairloch
Begin your roadtrip in the gateway to the Highlands, Inverness. Test your nerve on the hairpin bends of the Balach na ba, get splashed at Rogie Falls and see the first of many stunning beaches you'll encounter along the route.
Durness to John 0'Groats
Now you've reached the top of Scotland you can spot Orkney as you drive along the coastal route. Take your obligitory selfie at the signpost in John O'Groats but not before stopping at the most northerly point - Dunnet Head.
Gairloch to Lochinver
Jurassic landscapes around every corner of this section, take a break at the beautiful Inverewe Gardens and end with a famous Lochinver Pie with tatties and peas while watching the sunset over Lochinver Bay.
John O'Groats to Inverness
End the route with a relaxing drive back down the east coast where you'll pass lush green fields, the abandoned village of Badbea and the Royal Burgh of Wick with the shortest street in the world.
Lochinver to Durness
Wow, this section will blow your mind. The scenery and beaches are outstanding and just get better and better. Look out for Alcmelvich Beach and the rocky sparce landscape of the Assynt.
North Coast 500 Accommodation
Looking for North Coast 500 accommodation? Whether you want 5 star luxury or a cosy B+B the villages and towns along the route have plenty to offer. You can also camp beneath the stars or find something a little quirky.