North coast 500 is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle, it has been dubbed Scotland’s answer to the renowned ‘Route 66.
The route is also known as the NC500 it was launched in 2014, linking many features in the north Highlands of Scotland in one iconic touring route by the North Highland Initiative.
With just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery, the route path naturally follows the main roads across the coastal edges of the North Highlands taking in the villages and towns of places like, Ullapool, Durness, John O’Groats, Dornoch, Inverness,Thurso, and Wick.
During the busy season from easter to the end of september no matter what type of accommadation you are planning to stay in, make sure you plan well in advance, as accommodation gets booked up very early, it is not wise to just wing it! as you will be sleeping in the car, especially if travelling with the family.
The North Coast 500 is becoming one or the must do attractions in the Highlands, it encompasses some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, some of the roads can be a bit tricky to navigate, especially if you’ve not driven on them before, remember what side of the road to drive on. ( The Left )
The North Highlands route passes through many famouse attractions from the Queen Mother's Castle of Mey, John O Groats, Castletown Harbour, Dunnet Beach, mountain ranges, small crofting villages, white sand beaches, Strathnaver Museum at Bettyhill, Lochs, sea cliffs, Castles, Castle Varrich above the Kyle of Tongue, haunting ruins, forts, battle fields, Gardens, film sets, Picts stones, neolithic mounds, and burial sites, Rogie falls, Smoo cave, Long roads with breath taking scenery, wester Ross Coastal Trail, Inverewe Gardens, Corrieshalloch Gorge, the UNESCO site the North-West Highlands Geopark, Knockan Crag, Ardvreck Castle, Lochinver, Highland Stoneware, the Assynt Centre, Stoer Peninsula, and much much more, all Highland gems offering a wealth of unforgettable experiences Travelling on either on a motor bike, cycle, camper van or car.
The history of the Scottish Highlands stretches back thousands of years from standing stones, fine castles and lavish stately homes, striking architecture, derelict fortresses and world-famous feats of engineering.
Scotland is ancient, mysterious, and complex, From the Scottish Borders to Orkney and from Fife to the Isle of Skye, fierce battles,were won and lost, lasting unions were forged, and new discoveries and world-changing inventions were made.
Here you will find remnants they left behind, from the tribal Celts and ancient, face-painted Picts, Roman's, conquering red-headed Vikings, fallen monarchs, powerful warrior-royals, noble clansmen, great explorers, philosophers, inventors, all having left some signs of their culture art, music, manifesting into today's Scotland.
Dont forget about the food showcasing the best of Highland food and drink, sample lots of local treats or take home a treat or two! the area encompass fertile farmland, marginal crofting and game estates, deep-water fish ports and tiny inlets for creel fishermen and scallop divers, on the route you will find a diverse amount of produced from the region, and where to get hold of it, from farm shops, markets, cafes and restaurants.
Food products from the Highlands have to meet certain laid-down standards of quality, animal health and welfare, hygiene and total traceability.
Make the most of your North Coast 500 trip with an essential guide as not to miss anything along the way.
Sat navs do not always work in the Highlands of Scotland so always bring a goood travle paper map.
When in Scotland remember, we have all weather conditions at any time of the year,week day, or month, pack for all eventualities; from sunny days with a tee shirt on, to wet and cold weather in just a few hours, Walking boots to flip flops on the beach, thermal underwear to a swim suite. Have a great holiday.