The North Coast 500 is a scenic driving route that covers over 500 miles of Scotland's rugged coastline and stunning landscapes. The standard route typically starts and ends in Inverness, taking visitors on a circular journey around the northern tip of Scotland.
North Coast 500 Standard Route Map
Here is a general overview of the standard route of the North Coast 500:
Day 1: Inverness to Applecross - Visitors can take the A9 south before turning onto the A890 towards Strathcarron. From there, visitors can take the A896 towards Applecross, which is a winding coastal road that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Day 2: Applecross to Gairloch - Visitors can continue along the A896 to reach Shieldaig, and then take the A832 to reach Gairloch. This part of the journey offers stunning views of the coastline and the Torridon Mountains.
Day 3: Gairloch to Ullapool - Visitors can take the A832 north to reach Poolewe, and then take the A835 to reach Ullapool. This part of the journey takes visitors through rugged landscapes and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Day 4: Ullapool to John O'Groats - Visitors can take the A835 north to reach the town of Durness, before continuing along the A836 to reach John O'Groats. This part of the journey takes visitors through some of the most remote and stunning landscapes in Scotland.
Day 5: John O'Groats to Dornoch - Visitors can take the A9 south to reach the town of Dornoch. This part of the journey takes visitors through the rolling hills and stunning coastline of the north-east of Scotland.
Day 6: Dornoch to Inverness - Visitors can continue along the A9 south to reach Inverness, passing through the stunning countryside and quaint villages of the Scottish Highlands.
This is just a general overview of the standard route of the North Coast 500, and visitors can modify the route to suit their preferences and time constraints. There are also plenty of side trips and hidden gems along the route that visitors can explore.
North Coast 500 Route Map
The North Coast 500 (NC500) is a stunning 516-mile road trip around the northern coast of Scotland. The route takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery in Scotland, from rugged coastlines to majestic mountains and pristine beaches. Along the way, there are many sights to see and things to do, making it the ultimate Scottish road trip. Here's a guide to some of the highlights of the NC500 route:
Starting in Inverness, the route takes you through the stunning Black Isle, before heading up to the remote north coast of Scotland. Along the way, you'll pass through picturesque villages such as Ullapool, Lochinver, and Durness, each with their own unique charm and attractions.
One of the most popular attractions along the route is the stunningly beautiful beach at Achmelvich, which is located just a few miles north of Lochinver. The beach has crystal clear waters and white sand, making it a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. Another must-see attraction is the Smoo Cave near Durness, which is a large limestone cave with a waterfall and an underground stream.
Further along the route, you'll come across the rugged and wild landscape of the northwest Highlands, with towering mountains, deep glens, and pristine lochs. Be sure to stop at the famous Kylesku Bridge, a stunningly beautiful bridge that spans the Kylesku Loch and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
As you head towards the east coast of Scotland, you'll pass through the scenic towns of Thurso and Wick, which offer plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and exploring. One notable attraction in Thurso is the Caithness Horizons Museum, which tells the story of the region's history, from prehistoric times to the present day.
Finally, the NC500 route takes you back to Inverness, passing through the beautiful Black Isle and its many attractions. One of the highlights of the area is the Chanonry Point, which is a great place to spot dolphins and other marine wildlife.
Overall, the NC500 is a stunning road trip that offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland. With plenty of attractions and activities along the way, it's the perfect way to explore the northern coast of Scotland and all its wonders.