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Road trip N500 and Edinburgh

Hello  All,
I'm visiting Scotland two times this year, in May and in September.
In May I'll be visiting only Edinburgh and I would like to have some suggestions of what to visit ( i'm travelling with my 70th year old mum so it can't be nothing too much athletic :wink: ) and where to eat. I know about all the touristic spots, so i'm more interested in things that only locals would know.
In September I'm planning to do a round trip alone around Scotland and the NC500 sounds perfect. I'm counting on your help for some questions I have in order to decide if I do it or no.
- I'm a good driver but I've never drove " on the wrong side of the road" :smiley: So, do you think that for a first timer it would be a hard journey? Does it have too much traffic? 
- Should I rent a car in Edinburgh or it's easy to rent a car in Inverness?
- Do you think it's safe for a woman travelling alone?
- Should I book accommodation or it's easy to find along the road? I'm still not sure where I'm gonna stop.
- What do you recommend to visit and do along the road and also where to stay ( I'm planning for 5 days on the road) 
Any other suggestions would be gladly appreciated, I'm in love with Scotland so all the places I might visit will be amazing.
Thank you 


  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @Rafa, First of all Scotland is one of the safest countries to be alone in. The driving on the wrong side is always a little tricky to start with but you will soon get used to it. Just keep telling yourself "Left, Left" when approaching roundabouts :smile: . Edinburgh is lovely but the Royal Mile may be quite a steep hill for an elderly lady. I would recommend Stockbridge area, close to the Botanic Gardens etc. This is a lovely area with lots of small independent shops, restaurants & cafes. There is a hotel there called The Raeburn which is amazing, I stayed here a couple of weeks ago and it was like nothing I had seen before, stunning.
    As far as accommodation is concerned it is always easier when something is booked because you can choose your own places to stay in advance. If you leave it last minute then you may not have a choice ie. 3 or 4 star accommodation or price. There are also a lot of B&Bs / Guest Houses that no longer accept people walking in off the street. They too enjoy the luxury of piece of mind, knowing who will walk through their door.
    Regarding what to see & do, this is difficult to say without knowing what kind of things you enjoy seeing & doing. The list is endless. If you would be so kind as to tell us what is a must, or what you like doing etc then we can maybe help out a little better.
    Hope this helps a little.
    Best regards
  • RafaRafa Member
    Hi @fishypro
    Thank you so much for your help.
    My mom is 70 but she moves without issues, normal walking won't be an issue, I just can't hike or go to the mountains or even Arthur's Seat (that's what I meant with nothing too athletic )
    In September I'm thinking about historical places along the way of NC500, like castles, houses, churches. I love nature and I love architecture and history and I also love sports ( I'm definitely going to Murrayfield in May because I'm a huge fan of the Scotland Rugby team). I just want some suggestions of places you don't find on the main road but I'll set for all the touristic spots as well.
    I'll start booking my staying for September as soon as i book my flight to be sure.
    My plan at the moment is to fly to Edinburgh and spend the night, travel by train to inverness next morning, visit Inverness and rent a car and leave for the NC500 the next morning. Spend 5 or 6 driving along the Coast and return to Inverness, I need to spend on weekend in Glasgow and them coming back to Edinburgh to my return flight. Im staying for 10 days, so do you think it's feasable? 
    Thank you so much once again
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