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Scotland's North Coast 500

Every holiday to Scotland is special, but there’s something unique and magical about the iconic North Coast 500.

This stunning ‘bucket-list’ route is the ultimate Scottish road trip and covers just over 500 miles in a loop of the north of Scotland. You can travel clockwise or anti-clockwise and along the way encounter some of the country's most stunning scenery. Think rugged coastlines, secluded beaches, charming villages and historic landmarks, all complemented by the finest food from Scotland's natural larder and, of course, the chance to try some of the world's best drams.

Starting from Inverness, the 'Capital of the Highlands', the North Coast 500 route winds past the historic town of Dornoch, taking in the rugged and windswept East Coast. From John O'Groats, the northern most tip of the mainland, you head west along the remote north coast, before turning south by Durness. As you make your way down the picturesque west coast to Applecross, you'll pass many inviting sandy beaches before you head inland, back towards Inverness.

Sample Itinerary

Night 1: Starting in Inverness, staying a night at the 4-star Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, B&B in a Classic King Room

Spend the day exploring Inverness then head up the east coast to the historic town of Dornoch. The opportunities along the Moray Firth include whisky distillery tours, hiking, golfing and even dolphin spotting.

Drive from Inverness to Dornoch: approx. 45 miles

Night 2: Staying a night at the 4-star Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch, B&B in a Standard Double Sea View Room

Visit Loch Fleet, a national nature reserve for some incredible coastal walks and wildlife spotting. Afterwards, head up to John O’Groats, the most northerly village in mainland UK with opportunities to visit various archaeological sites on the way, including the Achavanich Standing Stones.

Drive from Dornoch to Thurso, via John O’Groats: approx. 81 miles

Night 3: Staying a night at the 4-star Forss House Hotel in Thurso, B&B in a Classic Room

Follow the remote north coast where mountains meet the sea, a scenic drive offering some stunning views of secluded beaches and majestic cliffs.

Drive from Thurso to Tongue: approx. 43 miles

Night 4: Staying a night at the 4-star Tongue Hotel in Tongue, B&B in a Standard Double Room

As you approach the west coast, stroll along some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches and visit the North West Highlands Geopark, featuring dramatic scenery and some of the oldest rocks in Europe.

Drive from Tongue to Ullapool: approx. 126 miles

Night 5: Staying a night at the 3-star Harbour House Bed & Breakfast in Ullapool, B&B in a Standard Double Room

Start your day by exploring the port town of Ullapool and try some of the best seafood in Scotland before you finish off in the small fishing village of Gairloch.

Drive from Ullapool to Gairloch: approx. 56 miles

Night 6: Staying a night at the 3-star Myrtle Bank Hotel in Gairloch, B&B in a Standard Double Room

As you make your way back to the finish line in Inverness discover Applecross, a remote peninsula and drive the Bealach Na Ba pass, famous for its spectacular scenery.

Drive from Gairloch to Inverness, via Applecross: approx. 127 miles

Example prices start from £699 per person in low season.


Get in touch: 0131 243 8098 | [email protected]