Top 10 Travel Tips for your North Coast 500 Adventure
North Coast 500 and Scotland’s biggest Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show spoke to travel experts, influencers and company owners to ask for their top tips for being responsible and having the best time possible when travelling the North Coast 500.
Read on and see what tips seasoned travellers have picked up on their way:
1. Jillyanne Glen, Show Manager of the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show has been at the helm of the exhibition for four years. Over her time she has worked with the best travel providers in the industry and has learned a lot. She offered this advice:
The NC500 has so many options for people in terms of routes, accommodation and activities – planning for a trip on this scale can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. No matter if you’re a first timer, or a seasoned pro, it’s always best to lean on the experts to make sure your trip is as suited to you as possible, and as fun as it can be! Visitors to our show should come armed with a host of questions for our exhibitors who are more than willing to offer help, advice and expert tips which will make your trip round the NC500 everything you hoped it would be and more.
I love the NC500 and it’s important to treat it with respect. Please remember that the ‘wild camping’ rules don’t apply to motorised vehicles, and you can’t just park up wherever you want to. If you don’t want to, or unable to book a campsite months in advance, there is a fantastic scheme run by the Scottish forestry service which allows vans to park up for a night in forest car parks.
3. @Gemsadventures95 – full time travel influencer Gemma has been travelling Scotland since she was a baby. Her top tip is:
Plan, plan and double check your plan! Check your route – not just for the sights you want to see but also if that route is suitable for your mode of transport and if there are services or sites you can stop on the way. You don’t want to get caught out stuck on a road that your vehicle doesn’t fit on and delay yourself, and everyone else trying to enjoy the stunning scenery of Scotland. Don’t just assume the obvious beauty spots are clearly identified either as you’re likely to miss some hidden gems if you do.
4. @TravelTwo_ – adventure loving couple, Laura and Tom are photographers by trade and hate sitting still. A few years ago, they had their first experience travelling in a Volkswagen campervan and always love returning to the NC500 by campervan. They commented:
There’s a notion that wild camping is a no rules-barred ticket to explore Scotland without any thought, but that’s really not the case. It really helps to do things like following local guidance (as each place can be different), have an idea of where you’ll be staying and ensure you leave no trace. Little things make a big difference to keeping areas as special as you find them.
5. Stylish @barefoot_caravans will be exhibiting at the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show for the first time this year. Owner of Barefoot Caravans and avid traveller, Cathy said:
Let’s tread carefully so everyone can enjoy the beauty that Scotland has to offer – it’s too good to miss! We must be mindful as a community of travellers to respect the locals and not just wild camp or park up wherever we choose. Doing this can hinder access and blight the views for everyone else, and can also be dangerous. There are some fabulous safe places to stay so let’s stick to those.
6. Owner of BC Motorhomes, John Frew is a true expert when it comes to motorhomes and travel vehicles and knows more than most how big some of them can be. He offered this advice:
If you’re not used to the roads, it can be a good idea to travel bright and early in the morning to avoid the crowds. This means you can take your time and are less likely to make a mistake, or hold up other people including locals.
7. Glawning Ltd, a glamourous campervan awning business run by husband and wife team, Sarah and James Martin, will be exhibiting at the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show for the first time this February. Keen campervanners, Sarah shared their top tip when travelling Scotland:
Quality is key. Every time we went caravanning we would have a host of equipment, but we often found that after one use, or after one day of particularly ‘Scottish’ weather things would be destroyed and we would have to dispose of our equipment which not only felt very wasteful but meant we were filling up the waste disposal areas on our route which are often small. This is how we started Glawning, and since creating the eco-friendly and strong campervan awning, we’ve never had to buy again!
8. Four Season Campers is a luxury campervan company which offers bespoke tours for people looking to travel Scotland. Having created a special package for people travelling with pets, they have shared their top tip for travelling the NC500 with dogs:
It’s great bringing your four-legged friends on your travels and the NC500 has the most amazing beaches and woodlands for you both to enjoy. The route is also lined with beautiful farm land and we recommend you always take care when parked up and walking your dogs to avoid frightening local livestock and sheep grazing along the roadside and on coastal machair. Be aware at all times and put them on a short lead if required to ensure they don’t hurt themselves or local farm animals.
9. @Highlands2Hammocks, Gemma and Campbell, are a young couple who have been living and adventuring in their motorhome full-time since 2021. Having travelled the world together, Scotland and the NC500 remains at the top of their favourite places to explore. They said:
The infrastructure of the Highlands is constantly evolving and expanding, providing plenty of facilities to dispose of waste and rubbish so make use of these and stick to the ideology of ‘take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints’.
Wildfires are an underappreciated danger during summer season and irreversible damage can be caused by ground fires so make sure to avoid any outdoor fires at all costs.
10. The North Coast 500 team have also shared their own top tip on how to travel responsibly when visiting this national treasure. They said:
When navigating the Highland’s scenic wonders on the North Coast 500, prioritise safety. Always drive within speed limits and be courteous by promptly pulling over to let emergency vehicles pass. Remember to avoid travelling in convoys, reduce congestion by maintaining a suitable distance between vehicles. Your mindful exploration contributes to the safety of all travellers. By adhering to these tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey along this beautiful route.
The Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show is back at the SEC, Glasgow 1-4th Feb. Visit to explore the many vehicles, equipment and accommodation options, as well as speak to the experts who are there to offer help and advice to visitors new and old.
To book tickets and for more information click here.
Check out our website for even more advice on how to travel with Motorhomes and Caravans responsibly: find out more.