Inverness – The capital of the Scottish Highlands and the start and end of your NC500 adventure!
Inverness is a cultural hub – located astride the River Ness. Uncover the city’s fabulous Scottish cuisine, traditional live music and picturesque riverside walks
The capital of the Highlands offers many a things to see and do, not to mention the fantastic scenery and attractions like.
Inverness Castle can be found nestled on the edge and overlooks the flowing River Ness. The red, sand-stone Castle was built in 1836 however, history goes back to the 1500’s where the castle looked much different than it does today. Ancient history tells how Clan Munro and Clan Fraser took the castle in 1562 after supporting Mary Queen of Scots during the seige of Inverness. Apart from the viewing tower, the castle itself is not open to the public. The viewing tower offers 360 degree views of the Highland capital. You can still access the grounds where you can enjoy the fantastic views over Inverness before your head off on your NC500 journey.
The Loch Ness Monster: Fact or Fiction? You decide!
For at least 1,500 years a legend has been told that Loch Ness is home to a mysterious aquatic animal. Some say she is a myth, some say she is a long living plesiosaur, or even some form of sea serpent. Whether real or fake, the Loch Ness Monster, (affectionately nicknamed Nessie by the locals) is definitely one of Scotland’s most famous characters.
Loch Ness is by far and away the UK’s largest body of water, and at 7 billion cubic metres in volume, is big enough to hide the entire human race.. or even a monster or two.
According to legend, Nessie was first sighted in A.D. 565, when St. Columba repelled a water beast after it had killed a man swimming in the River Ness.
One of the first apparent Nessie images was taken in 1934, and is widely known as the Surgeon’s photograph. This photo however, was discovered to be a hoax. Since then, there have been dozens of apparent “Nessie” photos and films, but there has been no concrete evidence proving her existence. She has even shown up on Google Street View and Google Earth!
Fancy spotting Nessie? Take an explore down the shoreline to see if you can catch a glimpse of her. If you want to get serious about your hunt for the elusive beast, Jacobite Cruises offer a variety of length of experiences to satisfy the avid Nessie hunter departing from Inverness!
So whether Nessie is a real plesiosaur, or just a tall “tail” to amuse kids, (and sometimes big kids), it is really up to you to decide.
Handy Information about your adventure
- Inverness Airport offers flights across the UK & Ireland. There is also some EU flights available.
- Inverness Train Station has connections across Scotland & England.
- Inverness Bus Station offers connecting buses across Scotland.
- If you would like to hire a car, check out our interactive map or our online itineraries
NC500 Members in Inverness-Shire
Official NC500 Members
Inverness 4×4 RentalsAberdeen and Inverness 4x4 Self Drive, Inverness Airport, Dalcross, Inverness, IV2 7JB +44 (0)1224 877 899
Inverness 4×4 Rentals provide quality 4×4 self-drive hire with a personal friendly touch. With depots at Inverness Airport and Aberdeen we cover all of Scotland and can deliver and collect from your chosen location including all airports, train stations and hotels where we offer a meet and greet service. We have a great selection of […]
Highland Apartments by MansleyHighland Apartments by Mansley, Bridge Street, Inverness, IV1 1HD +44 (0)8003 047 160
Luxury Serviced Apartments Discover luxurious serviced apartments in the heart of Inverness city centre. Choose from our range of stunning one or two bedroom apartments. Relax and unwind in the comfort and space of a self-catering apartments, all to yourself – making it the most cost effective and convenient option. Take in sweeping views of […]
Caledonian Cottages3 Stable Cottages, Culduthel Road, IV2 4AN +44 (0)7960 528 067
3 Stable Cottages is a charming well presented self catering property, situated in a quiet courtyard within walking distance of the city centre restaurants, bars and theatre. The ground floor consists of a living room with dining area and well equipped kitchen. There is also a downstairs toilet. Upstairs is one double bedroom with TV/DVD […]
Moyness HouseMoyness House, 6 Bruce Gardens, Inverness, IV3 5EN +44 (0)7879 022 241
Moyness House is a fine Victorian villa (dating from 1880), which has been immaculately and sympathetically restored. Once the home of acclaimed early twentieth century Scottish writer, Neil M Gunn, Moyness House now offers first class guest house accommodation just a few minutes walk from Inverness city centre. Set in its own grounds (and with […]
Ornum HouseOrnum House, 6 Broallan, nr Beauly, IV4 7AH +44 (0)1463 783 798
Ornum House, near Beauly in the beautiful Scottish Highlands offers a relaxing holiday or the perfect base for touring the Highlands of Scotland. Consisting of the main Bed and Breakfast House – Ornum House – and our Self Catering accommodation – Roe Deer Cottage (pet friendly) and Ornum Cottage (sorry no pets) – we offer a choice of accommodation to suit […]
Highland DefendersInverness Airport, IV2 7JB +44 (0)7775 677 717
Hire the ultimate NC500 overland adventure! Highland Defenders hire Land Rover Defenders fitted with hardshell roof tents and equipped with all the camping kit you’ll need for your Scottish road trip. Packages available for 1-4 people with a huge range of add-ons and extras, including dog packs, child seats and transfer services. Roof tents pitch […]
Cluny BankCluny Bank, 69 St Leonards Road, Forres, IV36 1DW +44 (0)1309 674 304
Cluny Bank is a Victorian Mansion set in a quiet residential area of the beautiful town of Forres. We have 7 individually styled, en-suite bedrooms, free Wi-Fi and parking. Our cosy lounge-bar is stocked with a wide range of whiskies, beer, wine and spirits. Our small, intimate and relaxed, award winning restaurant, specialises in quality […]
1 Leachkin Brae (Galbraith)1 Leachkin, Inverness, IV3 8PN +44 (0)1463 224 343
For Sale (via Galbraith) A cottage in a peaceful residential setting. 2 Bedrooms & 2 Reception Rooms. An attractive, single storey cottage. Views over the city to the Moray Firth. Semi-rural setting on the edge of Inverness. Waymarked walks directly from the property. Within easy reach of the city centre. About 0.06 hectares (0.15 […]
Arnold Clark Car & Van RentalArnold Clark Car & Van Rental, 46 Harbour Road, Inverness IV1 1UF +44 (0)1463 723 720
Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental has branches throughout the UK, covering all major Scottish airports, and Manchester airport. We offer a range of competitively priced vehicles for hire, including 4x4s, automatics, 9-seaters and vans. We also have a range of additional services so you can make the most of your trip. Some of these […]
WildTrax 4×4Wildtrax, Loch Ness Road, Inverness IV3 8JN +44 (0)1463 575 575
WildTrax Self Drive Adventure Hire The Award Winning WildTrax offers the discerning traveller a unique and experience traversing the Highlands of Scotland in fully kitted out expedition standard Landrovers with roof top tents. Experience the Highlands like never before, venturing into uncharted lands amongst magnificent mountains, tumbling rivers, colourful rugged moor land, rich sea-lochs and […]
Rover RentalsRover Rentals, 16 Burn Brae Place, Westhill, Inverness, IV2 5TA +44 (0)7948 376 266
Motorhome hire: two fully equipped, 4-berth motorhomes especially set up to be dog-friendly. Both self-sufficient, so ideal for wild camping along the NC500 route. Competitive rates with no hidden charges. Find us on Facebook here.
Beauly Holiday ParkBeauly Holiday Park, Beauly, IV4 7AY +44 (0)1463 782 374
Newly refurbished, Beauly Holiday Park is the ideal place to start your adventure on to the North Coast 500. (Dog friendly – at no extra charge). The park offers a peaceful location set in beautiful surroundings yet close enough to Beauly and Inverness for a spot of sightseeing or shopping. Tourers, caravans, campervans, motorhomes and […]
Lynver Guest HouseLynver Guest House, 30 Southside Road, Inverness, IV2 3BG +44 (0)1463 242 906
Lynver Guest House offers bed and breakfast in an individually designed spacious detached villa situated in a quiet, central, residential area of Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands.
Beaufort CottagesBeaufort Castle. Beauly. Inverness. IV4 7BB +44 (0)1463 782 206
Discover your perfect getaway at Beaufort Estate
Highland CampervansHighland Campervans, Kerrowaird Farmhouse, Dalcross, Inverness, IV2 7JQ +44 (0)1667 493 976
Award winning motorhome hire company conveniently situated in Inverness at the start of the North Coast 500! We have a fleet of modern and luxurious motorhomes that are perfect for the route. We offer a professional, friendly and personal service with unlimited pre-hire help and advice to make sure you get the most out of […]
Abertaff HouseAbertaff House, 71 Church Street, Inverness IV1 1ES
Built in 1593, the oldest house in Inverness has witnessed the Covenanting times, Jacobite risings and two world wars – if only the walls could talk! Tucked away on Church Street, it’s a 2½ storey town house with a projecting turnpike stairway. It was owned briefly by the Fraser of Lovat family, whose clansmen fought […]
Ironworks122b Academy Street, Inverness, IV1 1LX +44 (0)8717 894 173
Based in Inverness, the Ironworks has been open since 2006. It holds around 150 shows a year and hosts a range of music genres – from nurturing up and coming local artists to more established acts – as well as sporting events, comedians and conferences. With a capacity of 1,000, the Ironworks is one of […]
Tartan TourersTartan Tourers, Victoria Road, Forres, IV36 3BN +44 (0)1309 675 782
Welcome to Tartan Tourers, quality motorhome rental in the North of Scotland made simple. Visit our website, or give us a call to start your adventure.
Inverness Coffee Roasting CompanyInverness Coffee Roasting Company, 15 Chapel Street, Inverness, IV1 1NA +44 (0)1463 242 555
All things coffee are a passion for us here at Inverness Coffee Roasting. From researching the countries and the coffee varieties, roasting the beans, choosing which of the many coffee ‘tools’ to offer to our customers, chatting in the shop and of course drinking freshly roasted coffee. We love what we do and guarantee you […]
E & L Motorhomes72 Mill Crescent, Buckie, AB56 ILD +44 (0)7762 461 898
E & L Motorhomes is situated in the North East of Scotland and is ideally located for touring Inverness, the Highlands and the North Coast 500, as well as the world famous Speyside Malt Whisky Trail. Remote and peaceful, you will see the most breathtaking scenery as you meander along country roads and through glens […]
Coast to Glen Motorhomes19 Loaneckheim, Kiltarlity, IV4 7JQ +44 (0)1463 741 639
“Welcome to Coast to Glen Motorhomes, the premium rental service for Motorhomes in the Scottish Highlands. We are a local family run business offering high quality 2018/2019 model British built motorhomes for hire at a pleasantly low cost, they come fully equipped to ensure you make the most of your experience. Our motorhomes carry absolutely […]
Castle View Guest HouseCastle View Guest House, 2a Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5NE +44 (0)1463 241 443
Castle View Guest House is located in a vibrant, cosmopolitan yet quiet location directly opposite the historic Inverness Castle on the banks of the River Ness. In an ideal central location the recently upgraded 19th Century Victorian Guest House is a perfect base for exploring the stunning Scottish Highland scenery, whisky trails and distilleries. Canoeing, […]
Aye StayAye Stay, 15 Bishops Road, Inverness, IV3 5SB +44 (0)7951 288 235
Aye Stay is quality bed and breakfast accommodation in the heart of Inverness, within walking distance of Inverness Castle and just a 10 minute walk to the city centre. An ideal location to explore Inverness and the North Highlands. The home offers 8 stunning en-suite bedrooms each with free high speed internet, Smart TV, complimentary […]
Kingmills HotelKingsmills Hotel, Culcabock Rd, Inverness, IV2 3LP +44 (0)1463 237 166
The award winning 4-star Kingsmills Hotel sits in the ideal location for both the opening and closing leg of your North Coast 500 experience. The ‘torque of the town’ due to its luxurious 147 rooms and exceptional service, you can be assured of a comfortable night’s sleep when you stay with us. You need to […]
North Coast 500 Golf
Scotland, the home of golf. Where better to experience some of the most scenic and inspiring golf courses in the UK… and probably the world! The North Coast 500 boasts around 20 great courses, for all abilities of player, where you can enjoy this wonderful game. Whether it’s an impromptu 9 holes or you are […]
Turner Car & Van RentalTurner Car & Van Rental Inverness, Unit 1, Lotland Street, Inverness IV1 1ST +44 (0)1463 716 058
Turner Car and Van Rental specialise in vehicle rental throughout the UK, with 7 strategically placed depots in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stockton and Manchester.
Leachkin Lodge (Galbraith)Leachkin, Inverness, IV3 8PN +44 (0)1463 224 343
For Sale (via Galbraith) VIRTUAL VIEWING AVAILABLE A family home on the edge of the city 2 Reception rooms & 5 Bedrooms Spacious family accommodation Self-contained 2 bedroom holiday let Spectacular south-facing views Way-marked walks direct from the house SITUATION Leachkin Lodge is in a semi-rural setting on the western fringes of Inverness. The property […]
Ness Walk12 Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5SQ +44 (0)1463 237 166
Nestled on the leafy banks of the River Ness lies the 5-Star Ness Walk. Surrounded by a dramatic canopy of Laurel, Cedar and Wellingtonia trees, this luxury hotel allows you to experience an intimate atmosphere in the heart of the vibrant Inverness city centre. Initially a 19th century house, this restored Grade B listed building […]
RSPB Scotland Loch Ruthven Nature ReserveRSPB Loch Ruthven, B851, Croachy, Inverness IV2 6UA +44 (0)1463 715 000
This remote and tranquil loch is located at the start of the NC500 and it is pretty as a picture with its surrounding birch woodlands and heather-clad hills. Designated as a Special Protected Area (SPA), RAMSAR and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Loch Ruthven is a fantastic place to take a break and […]
3 Geddes Village (Galbraith)Nairn, Highland, IV12 5SB +44 (0)1463 224 343
For Sale (via Galbraith) A charming, semi-detached traditional cottage in an unspoilt setting. 2 Bedrooms & 1 Reception room. Sensitively renovated and retaining original features. Easily managed grounds. In the catchment for Cawdor Primary. Within easy reach of Inverness Airport. Second home or holiday let potential. About 0.06 hectares (0.16 acres) in all. SITUATION No […]
Brodie CastleBrodie Castle, Forres, IV36 2TE +44 (0)1309 641 371
Acres of gentle Moray countryside surround the rose-coloured Brodie Castle, ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years, although their family seat has been here since the 12th century. See how changing times altered the castle’s shape and purpose. The impenetrable 16th-century guard chamber is flanked on one side by a cosy 17th-century […]
Mitchell’s Motocycles LtdMitchell's Motocycles Ltd, Delmore, Inverness, IV3 8RG +44 (0)1463 233 478
Situated on the opening leg of the NC500, we are a long established motorcycle dealer. We have a lightweight Yamaha franchise, and sell a large selection of used bikes, fully fitted workshop, MOT bay, parts department and extensive clothing department. A warm Highland welcome awaits.
ACE Adventures & HideawaysAuchnagairn, Forres, IV36 2QL +44 (0)1309 611 729
ACE Adventures & Hideaways are located near to the beginning and end of the NC500, an ideal way to start or finish your amazing Scottish adventure! Complimentary ACE Membership offers 10% discount on any accommodation and activities at ACE and automatically enters you into the draw for a two night adventure break for four […]
Castle Gallery InvernessCastle Gallery, 43 Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU +44 (0)1463 729 512
An inspirational contemporary art gallery, considered to be one of Scotland’s finest, showcasing changing exhibitions of paintings, handmade prints, designer jewellery and original crafts by artists from Scotland and throughout Britain. This gallery is renowned for the quality of its unique, artist-made gifts and friendly staff. A worldwide ‘pack and send’ service is available.
Blervie HouseBlervie House, Rafford, Forres, Moray IV36 2RU +44 (0)1309 674 629
Blervie House – your home from home in the Scottish Highlands. Blervie is a historic Scotland listed Country House set in a delightful rural setting that has recently undergone a significant renovation resulting in a comfortable house that combines the best of Stately Home elegance with twenty first century modern conveniences. Blervie is a very […]
Oakvilla Guest HouseOakvilla Guest House, 48 Harrowden Road, Inverness, IV3 5QN +44 (0)1463 236 778
Welcome to “Oakvilla Guest House”, your home in the Highlands. An adventure is about making memories so let us be the start (or end) of your journey, so that we can welcome you back and hear about all of your North Coast 500 experiences. To accommodate your needs at Oakvilla, we have newly renovated King […]
The Malt RoomThe Malt Room, 34 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EH +44 (0)1463 221 888
The Malt Room is a family-owned specialist whisky bar in the heart of Inverness. We are proud to offer a truly diverse selection of world-renowned and locally produced whiskies, spirits and craft beers. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to guide you through our extensive selection- whether you are new to the whisky world […]
Inverness CathedralInverness Cathedral, Ardross Street, Inverness, IV3 5NR +44 (0)1463 225 553
The most northerly Cathedral with a Bishop in the Scottish Episcopal and Anglican Church. Built between 1866 and 1869, consecrated in 1874. Designed by Alexander Ross- Architect. Located on the banks of the River Ness.
Camping Pod HeavenCamping Pod Heaven, Abriachan, Inverness, IV3 8LB +44 (0)7415 438 428
Camping Pod Heaven is situated high above the western shores of Loch Ness, located in the village of Abriachan, just 12 miles from Inverness. We offer camping accommodation with a unique twist. Forget the tent and the mattresses, just bring everything else you need for camping. In return, we offer you peace, tranquility and the […]
Braevellie Apartments2 Crown Circus, Inverness, IV2 3NQ +44 (0)1349 410 120
Only a 2-minute walk from the centre of Inverness and with free onsite parking, Braevellie is the perfect base from which to start and end your NC500 adventure. Unusual for city centre accommodation, both apartments also have their own private garden with lockable sheds – perfect for storing bikes, fishing rods, walking gear or any […]