Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Please take a moment to read the Community guidelines and learn how to use the Community.

Love Scotland and want to share your stories – why not have a look at all the recent discussions and make a contribution or start a new discussion? Visiting Scotland and looking for some advice – why not ask a question or start a discussion or simply explore all the great content?

Join the conversation today and share your #scotspirit.

North Coast 500: Must-sees

laretourlaretour VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
Hi everyone,

So I thought this might be a good place to ask for advice! :) 

Myself and my partner are planning on doing the North Coast 500 this summer.

I'd really like to know where your favourite spots on the route where, places we shouldn't miss and restaurants we should definitely make a booking for! 

Look forward to hearing your suggestions!
LARETOUR.com 
Stories from Scotland.
instagram | twitter | facebook

Comments

  • ellisoconnorellisoconnor VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭
    Hello Laura!

    This is great to see that you have posted this as me and my friend are driving the whole coast of Scotland for 3 weeks in May and we will be doing the North Coast 500 as part of it!

    I'll be looking to see what people can recommend on this post!

    After I've finished the trip in May I'll send you some tips aswell as we are going to take it slow and see as much as we can! I'll also be posting lots on my instagram!

    One thing though: I would highly recommend visiting Achmelvich beach up in the North West, it's absolutely stunning there and one of my favourite places! 

    Speak to you soon!

    Ellis :) 




  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Laura - I did the east coast part of the route in January. You'll love it.  The entire coastline is stunning. Ruined castles, sea stacks, wide open plains. A total contrast to the west coast route which I've done part of so far. Stand out spots for me were Dunrobin Castle, Carn Liath Broch and the Hill O Many Stanes. History geek alert.  There's also a cracking hairpin bend in the road!!  I shared a blog post about my trip which you may find interesting. http://theweewhitedug.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/and-then-the-road-ran-out/
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • laretourlaretour VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    @ellisoconnor @Samantha_Grant Hi you two! Hope you're both well and thanks so much for your ideas on this! I'm looking forward to seeing what other people post too.

    We're definitely wanting to see both scenery and history (and get some nice grub, of course! :) ) so I'll check out your blog post and make some notes, Sam!

    And Ellis, looking forward to seeing your photos and where you visit :) Another beach on my provisional list is Sandwood Bay - a walk to get there but surely makes it all the more worth it!

    Speak soon!
    LARETOUR.com 
    Stories from Scotland.
    instagram | twitter | facebook
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    No problem @laretour ;I look forward to hearing all about your NC500 adventures and seeing your photos. We'll be doing another chunk of it early May so watch this space.
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • mustseescotlandmustseescotland VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    Hi @laretour @Samantha_Grant - great to chat to you here. We have driven this route (and parts of it) many times. The Berridale braes (those hairpin bends) between Helmsdale and Dunbeath on the A9 are amazing - but yes, keep any eye on the road, your speed  and not the amazing seascapes! Timespan at Helmsdale is a super wee museum and art centre with a nice cafe, but a place to try is the Whaligoe Steps Cafe on A99 near Ulbster - amazing food here! - and amazing steps to a tiny 18th century harbour. We have written about much of this route - focusing on its Viking heritage as a northern tour.
    The Scotland guide, written by Gilbert and Johanna Summers - lifetime Scottish tourism experts, so you get the best vacation.
    www.must-see-scotland.com



  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    That's the one.  We watch two articulated lorries tackle it at the same time, going in opposite directions it was a sight to see.  My husband was told to keep his eyes firmly on the road as we wound our way up hill.  Thanks for the other tips too, very much appreciated.  Nice chatting to you. @mustseescotland
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • SmidgeSmidge VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    We did the west coast part of it last year and my post on it has loads of recommendations. I put them onto a map in the post. I am actually writing a post just now about our camping spots!  I also loved Attadale Gardens in Wester Ross. 
    Kate - Scotland / outdoor blogger at Love From Scotland
    Climbs hills, takes pictures. Likes remotes places.
    Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


  • janehunterjanehunter VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    Hi Laura @laretour ;

    Looking forward to seeing your photos of this! You will love it. 

    I must have travelled the East coast section of this 100 times, however always in one go as we have friends in Thurso! Crossing the Dornoch Firth is one of my favourite parts of this journey, and as others have mentioned the Berridale Braes can be an interesting undertaking! If you stop off before you get to Thurso, take a walk out to Dunnet Head - the most Northern tip of mainland Britain, amazing views down the cliffs and across to Orkney. 
    Thurso is a nice wee town, lots of places to eat and drink. The beach is beautiful and famous for surfing if you're into that! The Captain's Galley - Seafood Restaurant comes highly recommended by my friends up there, worth booking in advance, it's in the harbour at Scrabster. 

    Once you get to Loch Eriboll you are entering the North West Highlands Geopark, have a look through their website: here This place is amazing! The geopark have a new visitor in Unapool called The Rock Stop, just over the Kylesku bridge, which opened just after I visited last year. They serve food, coffee, cake etc and have exhibitions about the geology of the area. Also free wifi. I'm actually going up again next week, so will be able to give a better review of the cake then :smiley: 
    Between Elphin and Drumrunie you'll find Knockan Crag Natural Nature Reserve, which has an interactive exhibition, sculpture & poetry trail and some of the best views. 
    I could go on all day about the geopark, they have done a great job of making the geology accessible and interesting to all who visit. 

    We stayed in the Arch Inn, Ullapool. Nice clean rooms, reasonably priced and lovely bar meals. Right on the harbour road, we had a stunning view across Loch Broom from our window.

    The drive from Ullapool round the far West coast, Aultbea, Poolewe, Gairloch, is full of secluded little bays, don't miss the chance for a romantic moment overlooking the Isle of Ewe (say Isle of Ewe... :blush: )  
    Torridon, mind blowing landscape. The Strathcarron Hotel is a good stop for the night, delicious food (big portions!) and lots of local Ale, again reasonably priced.

    The NC500 route goes back East from this point, however we went South on our way back so we could go through Fort William and Glencoe. 

    Think a couple of weeks is needed to really make the most of it, but there will always be too much to see in one go... that's why we keep going back ;) 

    Thanks for starting this discussion thread Laura, I'll be going through everyones tips for our next trip!

    (Sorry - this is the longest post ever...)

    Scottish Textile Artist
    janehunterart.com
    Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
  • mustseescotlandmustseescotland VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    Accommodation Tip
    We always try to stay at West House B&B in Ullapool. Richard and Colleen are wonderful hosts. The B&B concept here is very relaxing as you get a mini-kitchen in your room and you make your own breakfast - so you chose when you get up! Very nice rooms and centrally located in Ullapool.
    The Scotland guide, written by Gilbert and Johanna Summers - lifetime Scottish tourism experts, so you get the best vacation.
    www.must-see-scotland.com



  • FunkyEllas_TravelFunkyEllas_Travel VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭
    We did the first part of the NC500 last week and I can highly recommend the Applecross Campsite, we stayed in a wigwam. It's really good value for money, free wifi during the day and superb views over to sky. The Bealach na ba is a must but as the others have said, keep your eyes on the road, take your time and enjoy the views from the top. It's an excellent drive though, an absolute must! As is the road back out of Applecross which takes you up around the coast towards Gairloch. Enjoy your trip! 

    Nicola Holland
    Scottish Travel writer/blogger.
    Ask me anything about Scotland including eating and drinking, travelling with the family, history, the cities and the countryside.
    You can follow me here
    Blog|Twitter|Facebook| Instagram
  • OutandaboutElaineOutandaboutElaine Member ✭✭✭
    Also worth checking this blog content.  Have a fabulous trip.

    https://www.visitscotland.com/blog/scotland/north-coast-500/
  • laretourlaretour VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    @janehunter @mustseescotland @FunkyEllas_Travel @VisitScotlandElaine so enjoying reading through your tips, everyone! Your suggestions are making me desperate for summer now and to get this trip all planned! And Nicola that photo is incredible. Ah, Scotland... <3 
    LARETOUR.com 
    Stories from Scotland.
    instagram | twitter | facebook
  • SmidgeSmidge VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭
    laretourFunkyEllas_Travel just north of Applecross is Sands Beach (which won beach of the year recently) you can walk from Applecross along the headland and back. It is spectacular! 



    Kate - Scotland / outdoor blogger at Love From Scotland
    Climbs hills, takes pictures. Likes remotes places.
    Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram


  • EwanEwan VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭
    Hi @laretour,

    Another vote for the Applecross peninsular and campsite, and the walk out to Sandwood Bay.  Try to wild camp there if you can to get the full experience  :)

    It's interesting that many of my must-see places are actually off the main route so I'd advice taking lots of detours to places like Torridon, Mellon Udrigle, Achiltibuie, lonely Strath Naver ...  My eyes are always drawn to the mountains in the north west as much as the coast  ;)

    I cycled along the north coast last year en route to JOG.  Here's the great view that greeted us as we rounded the corner at Bettyhill.




    Exploring Scotland's wild places by foot, bike and camper van

    WildaboutScotland blog | Twitter

  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @Ewan - Amazing view  <3
  • mustseescotlandmustseescotland VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    Oh and don't be put of camping at Sandwood bay by the ghosts! :s
    The Scotland guide, written by Gilbert and Johanna Summers - lifetime Scottish tourism experts, so you get the best vacation.
    www.must-see-scotland.com



  • travelswithakilttravelswithakilt VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭
    Agree with the above, some great suggestions. Cape Wrath is one of my all time favourite spots. Desolate but packed with tension, it involves a short boat trip and a rickety bus journey out to the end of the road lighthouse. Well good. All the beaches in the Durness area are just glorious too.
    Scotland travel blogger and writer with a wee bit of photography and video thrown in. Love nothing more than exploring my home country and have a particular leaning towards the outdoors, history and our national drink.

    You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr.
  • OutandaboutElaineOutandaboutElaine Member ✭✭✭
    Hello Laura!

    This is great to see that you have posted this as me and my friend are driving the whole coast of Scotland for 3 weeks in May and we will be doing the North Coast 500 as part of it!

    I'll be looking to see what people can recommend on this post!

    After I've finished the trip in May I'll send you some tips aswell as we are going to take it slow and see as much as we can! I'll also be posting lots on my instagram!

    One thing though: I would highly recommend visiting Achmelvich beach up in the North West, it's absolutely stunning there and one of my favourite places! 

    Speak to you soon!

    Ellis :) 




    Hi Ellis,

    Did you enjoy driving the North Coast 500? any tips? Where next? 


  • laretourlaretour VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭
    @Samantha_Grant ;those photos are giving me major travel envy! Amazing views.
    LARETOUR.com 
    Stories from Scotland.
    instagram | twitter | facebook
  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    You'll see these places soon then I'll be jealous of your photos :D @laretour
    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • EileanDonanEileanDonan Member ✭✭
    Sandwood Bay! A dull walk into it if I'm honest, but so worth the effort once you get there!
  • willmackenziewillmackenzie Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Hi everyone. I've thrown together a little video from our five day adventure around the North Coast 500 (we also spent a day visiting Orkney). Thought you might be interested but it doesn't seem I can post links yet permission-wise.. I'm posting in  the hopes I get permission soon to show off some photos any my video :)


    Edinburgh | Highlands of Scotland | Part-time explorer
    > My Instagram
  • VisitScotlandEstherVisitScotlandEsther Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @willmackenzie,

    I've boosted you to verified member so you should now be able to share your link and start threads of your own :)



  • Dornoch is an ideal stop off on the NC500. We are an hour North of Inverness on the East coast and are we known for the world famous Royal Dornoch Golf Club, our award winning sandy beach, historical centre including 13th century cathedral, castle and jail, fantastic food and independent shops. Take a look at our website www.visitdornoch.com

    I would also highly recommend Ullapool, Durness and the beaches north of Loch Inver such as Achmelvich and Clachtoll.

    Have a wonderful trip!
  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I saw this really cool video on the GoPro Facebook that features the Suilven mountain and Stac Pollaidh!  Have a look and see what you think!

    https://www.facebook.com/GoProUnitedKingdom/videos/2001892370067745/
Sign In or Register to comment.