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
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.
Holme Rose (Galbraith)Holme Rose Croy, Inverness, IV2 5PW +44 (0)1463 224 343
For Sale (via Galbraith) An A-listed Georgian Country House with 3 main reception rooms, 8 principal bedrooms, 4 bathrooms. and including two 1st floor flats (4 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms respectively). Three estate cottages (Gate Lodge and two detached dwellings). Two further cottages requiring complete refurbishment. Formal gardens including sweeping lawns and a C-listed 1.8 […]
Chiene+TaitChiene+Tait, Fairways House, Fairways Business Park, Inverness, IV2 6AA +44 (0)1463 227 490
Chiene+Tait is an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisors. With a heritage of over 130 years working with clients, we consider our firm to be innovative and adaptable to client needs. Our independence has helped us to make sure we deliver a quality driven, cost effective service. Our clients are at the heart […]
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 […]
Ardtower Caravan ParkArdtower Caravan Park, Ardtower Road, Culloden Road, Westhill, Inverness, IV2 6RG +44 (0)1463 790 555
Ardtower Caravan & Camping Park nestles into the Crest of the hillside mid-distance from Inverness City centre and the world famous Culloden Battle field with lots to see and do, only 4 miles from Inverness City Centre. All of our pitches have fantastic views over the Inverness and look over the Moray Firth. A fantastic […]
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 […]
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 […]
Ardmeanach HouseArdmeanach House, 43 Fairfield Road, Inverness, IV3 5QP +44 (0)7710 820 472
Ardmeanach was built in the mid 19th Century by a local shipping agent and was later owned by the Bishops of Inverness who lived here for several years. The fireplace in one of the public rooms was taken from the Bishops Palace, beside the now Eden Court theatre, when the Church sold the Palace. The […]
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.
Highlands Luxury Car RentalDunromin, Cannich, Beauly, IV4 7LS +44 (0)1456 415 340
Highlands luxury car rental offers you a choice of a luxury V8 Vogue super charged Range Rover; V6 HSE Sport Range Rover and Mercedes CLK convertable to drive the North Coast 500 as well as exploring the rest of the Highlands of Scotland. We will collect you from Inverness Airport on 3+ day hires. Cars […]
Inverness Youth HostelInverness Youth Hostel, Victoria Drive, Inverness, IV2 3QB +44 (0)1463 231 771
In a quiet neighbourhood, a short walk from Inverness city centre, the hostel is perfectly positioned for exploring the ‘Capital of the Highlands’ on a budget. The four star VisitScotland accredited hostel provides a wide range of accommodation in both dorms and private en-suite rooms, some with glorious views towards the Moray Firth. The recently […]
Daviot Luxury PodsDaviot Luxury Pods, Upper Faillie, Daviot, Inverness IV2 6WG +44 (0)7747 633 137
Welcome to Daviot Luxury Pods. We are nestled in the quiet peaceful stunning countryside of Daviot with the most amazing views, yet only 6 miles from Inverness city centre. Daviot Luxury Pods are built to a very high standard, designed and built by ourselves. Very spacious, double shower, underfloor heating. Kitchenette with two ringed hob. […]
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.
James Braid Highland Golf TrailJames Braid Highland Golf Trail, Muir Of Ord Golf Club, Great North Road, Muir of Ord, IV6 7SX +44 (0)1463 870 825
The James Braid Highland Golf Trail has been initiated to enhance the experience of golfers wishing to visit a wonderfully picturesque part of Scotland whilst benefiting from the enjoyment and challenge of playing over our Braid designed golf courses.
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 […]
2 Ness Walk Apartments2 Ness Walk Apartments, 2 Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5NE +44 (0)7881 744 437
2 Ness Walk is perfectly located for the start and finish of the fabulous NC500. We are located directly opposite the NC500 starting point of Inverness Castle. Our super central refurbished apartments with 2 double bedrooms, modern kitchen and lovely large living room with have THE MOST spectacular view of Inverness Castle. The apartment is […]
Wild Pancakes88 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EP +44 (0)7454 478 231
The North Coast 500’s first pancake house! Our family owned pancake house offers authentically, nutritious and unbelievably delicious organic based pancakes! We offer savoury and sweet options (including gluten free, dairy free and vegan options) for a late breakfast, lunch or dinner – all our food is made from scratch and to order! Stop in […]
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 […]
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 […]
Clachnaharry Inn17-19 High Street, Clachnaharry, Inverness, IV3 8RB +44 (0)1463 239 806
A great ‘craic’ pub with emphasis on being friendly, there is always something going on! The ‘Clach’ is an institution within the local area and serves 4 cask ales alongside other draught beers, lagers and ciders, including Belhaven Best, Tennants, Strongbow, Stella Artois, West St. Mungo and Erdinger. Our public bar has a warming log […]
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 […]
Arrandale Cottage ApartmentArrandale Cottage Apartment, 39 Attadale Road, Inverness IV3 5QH +44 (0)7714 094 629
Located just a few minutes walk from Inverness City Centre and the picturesque River Ness, this quirky and quaint ground floor cottage apartment is perfect for self catering holidays in the Scottish Highlands. The Arrandale Apartment comprises: 2 bedrooms: 1 double & 1 twin (maximum occupancy 4 people). Shower room. Separate living room and kitchen/diner. Freeview […]
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Bike hire for The North Coast 500. We’re bike hire specialists and the quality of our bikes and accessories is unrivalled. Our bikes are new each year and maintained by a team of qualified bike mechanics to ensure your reliability and safety. We also operate cyclist transport service to take you to the best cycling […]
Beaufort CottagesBeaufort Castle. Beauly. Inverness. IV4 7BB +44 (0)1463 782 206
Discover your perfect getaway at Beaufort Estate
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 […]
Arnold Clark Car & Van RentalArnold Clark Car & Van Rental, Edgar Road, Elgin, IV30 6YQ +44 (0)1343 552 499
Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental has over 35 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 provide a wide range of additional services that you can add to your booking to make the […]
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 […]
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 […]
AdvanturesPurlie Lodge, Abriachan, Inverness, IV38LB +44 (0)7854 592 541
Why Choose Advantures?… Advantures is a campervan rental company, based in Inverness. We are a husband and wife team, using our experience as designer, architect and lifenon the road to hand build our bespoke campervans. Our 2 berth campervans Cooper and Sheila use a mix of reclaimed and sustainable materials to create a truly unique […]
Campbell’s of BeaulyCampbells of Beauly, Highland Tweed House, Beauly, IV4 7BU +44 (0)1463 782 239
Established in 1858, Campbell’s of Beauly is an iconic privately owned, family run country tailor and outfitters globally recognised for its commitment to quality. The shop has been operating in the same premises since 1858 stocking both men and ladieswear, and still maintains the same charming character which has been carried throughout the five generations. […]
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 […]
North Kessock HotelNorth Kessock Hotel, Main Street, North Kessock, Inverness, IV1 3XN +44 (0)1463 731 208
Waterside location serving some of the best food locally,perfect for some dolphin spotting and a great base for travelling north and south. Family run hotel and plenty of parking available.
Drumlochy Bed and BreakfastDrumlochy Bed and Breakfast, Drumsmittal, North Kessock, IV1 3ZF +44 (0)1463 731 427
Drumlochy B&B is situated in a quiet rural location, only 1 mile from the main A9 and North Kessock, and only 4 miles from the city of Inverness. This modern house located in the countryside is ideal if you like quiet country living, we have a dog, cats and horses. The bedroom is modern with […]
Focus Vehicle RentalFocus Vehicle Rental, 21a Seafield Road, Inverness, IV1 1SG +44 (0)1463 709 517
Car rental with a range of vehicles from a Fiat 500 to a Range Rover Vogue. Based in Inverness we offer collections at all major sites including Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. NC500 Member Discount Available: 10% Off Proof of Membership required (please show your Welcome Email or Gold Membership Club 500 ID Card).
Drumossie HotelDrumossie Hotel, Old Perth Road, Inverness, IV2 5BE +44 (0)1463 236 451
Set in 9 acres of parkland with spectacular views over the Moray Firth the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel is the perfect start of finish to your NC 500 adventure. In close reach of many of the main attractions in Inverness including iconic castles, Culloden and of course Loch Ness. We are just ten minutes from Inverness […]
Mayfield Guest HouseMayfield Guest House, 23 Tomich, Beauly, IV4 7AS +44 (0)1463 782 255
Just a 2 minute walk to Beauly Square, Mayfield Guest House is on the north side of the village surrounded by a large lawn, trees and shrubs. Our ensuite rooms are comfy, bright, warm, spacious and well equipped. Bicycles can be locked up in the garage. Breakfast consists of a selection of fruit, yoghurt, cereals, […]
Boath HouseBoath House, Auldearn, By Nairn, IV12 5TE +44 (0)1667 454 896
Boath House a beautifully restored Georgian mansion house hotel with spectacular gardens near Nairn. A luxury country house, widely renowned for its style, quality and fine cuisine. This 5 star Restaurant offers spectacular views out over their lawns down to the lake.
Faodail Bed and BreakfastFaodail Bed & Breakfast, 35 Dores Road Inverness IV2 4RW +44 (0)1463 235 485
A warm Highland welcome awaits you at Faodail, finished in 2016 to a high standard this spacious B & B is a 5 minute straight drive to Inverness Castle which makes it an ideal base for start and finish of the North Coast 500. We are situated in a quiet area of Inverness only 1.9 […]
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.
Rocpool ReserveRocpool Reserve and Chez Roux, 14 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AG +44 (0)1463 240 089
and Chez Roux Inverness’s only 5 star hotel Our discreet boutique hotel, bar and restaurant offers 5 star luxury in the heart of Inverness. Located in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, this beautifully renovated Georgian mansion house has stunning views over the River Ness and is only a few minutes walk from Inverness Castle […]