|Track length:||819.5 km|
|Total ascent:||6925 m|
|Total descent:||6939 m|
|Difficulty Level:||2/5 - Easy|
The North Coast 500, a iconic touring route, 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle.
The route is also known as the NC500 was created in 2015 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland’s magnificence
It has been dubbed Scotland’s answer to the renowned ‘Route 66’, just over 500 miles the route naturally follows the main roads across the coastal edges of the Highlands taking in the villages and towns, this must be one of the best road trips in Britain through amazing scenery, windy roads some straight and long with the wind blowing across heather clad moors, sweeping corners around some of the highest mountains in Britain, isolated beaches with the sea swelling all around, Lochs, Wildlife & Nature, high craggy cliffs, thick forest, wide open farmland, stunning beauty with a darker mysterious secrets from a bloody and turbulent time, to the Scottish weather that can change at every turn along the way making this route, one of the few remaining wild places you can drive, for all types of riders.
Only drive the more challenging routes if you are a confident rider, if you are a nervous driver, these roads are not for you, the locals know the roads, especially the single lane roads, so they drive fast and confidently, and will expect you to pull into the passing places as they approach or pull over and let them pass if they are behind you, remember we are no on holiday.
There are many highlights en route Applecross with the scenery changing at every corner, the drive through Assynt are especially memorable, linking many features in the north Highlands of Scotland, look out for places such as Ullapool, Durness, John O’Groats, Dornoch, Inverness, wick, thurso Betty Hill,Torridon and Ullapool, History, Heritage and Archaeology, Rogie falls, Smoo cave, Stunning views and scenery, the scenery changing at every turn, beautiful beaches, Dunrobin Castle, Whaligoe Steps,Castle Sinclair,the Duncansby Stacks, Durness, Balnakiel beach, Cocoa Mountain chocolate shop,Torridon, Diabaig, Bealach na Ba,Sandwood Bay, Kylesku, Oldshoremore, this trip will not disappoint.
the Best time to travel if you’re on a tight budget, aim for April to May and September to October. There is less competition for accommodation so prices are more affordable. It's also easier to get parking, November when so much is shut. A lot of accommodation close their doors as do pubs and food outlets. So plan not only your night stays but also your food stops, we literally drove a whole day and nothing was open for food. Pack snacks and water in your car. Even places who advertised they were open...weren't.
The most expensive time to travel this route is June to August, if you’re looking to travel during this time, book accommodation about 6-12 months in advance, if not you might have to consider camping, especially, if the only properties available are £300+ per night or everything is 'sold out,
plan the best experience possible. With 500 miles of rugged Scottish coastline to navigate and explore, it pays to make sure you have the best itinerary.