7 Day Highlights

Enjoy some of the top highlights along the North Coast 500!

As you may have heard the North Coast 500 boasts some of the most staggeringly beautiful and diverse scenery in the world with jutting mountains, serene lochs, large sea caves, deep glens and Caribbean-style beaches and some of the oldest rocks on the planet! With this, The North Coast 500 offers  an array of opportunities and experiences to make the most of our varied landscapes.


Travel back in time as you discover scattered Iron Age brochs, cairns, standing stones, fairy tale castles and haunting ruins. Experience our wide range of outdoor activities in the most remote and beautiful parts of the NC500. From fishing, white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking to rock climbing and mountain biking. Uncover our wildlife, sea life and bird life along the NC500 – there are limitless opportunities. More information here.

With this in mind, the itinerary will provide an insight into the most popular places to visit, including a variety of the above experiences, there are endless opportunities around the route! Find out more in our what to see and do area of our website.


7 Day Highlights - Day 1

Inverness - Evanton (approx.17 miles)

AM Explore the capital

Spend the start of your NC500 adventure exploring the capital of the Highlands – Inverness!

The most northerly city in the UK is becoming increasingly popular among visitors. Located astride the River Ness, soak up the 360 views of the city and surrounding area at the official start and end of the NC500 at Inverness Castle’s viewpoint. From the tower – find about some intriguing myths and legends of the city + learn how St Columba met and banished our famous Loch Ness monster.

Saunter down to Ness Islands – enjoy the walk along the tree lined river to the group of small islands in the middle of the river connected by Victorian suspension bridges. Followed by a visit to Inverness Cathedral or the Victorian Market – explore the unique range of shops within the Victorian Market.

Lunch

Discover the city’s flourishing culinary scene – there are plenty restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from. Savour the tastes of the season with Contrast Brasserie within the Glenmoriston Hotel or head over to the Heathmount Hotel – the perfect place to relax outside on a sunny day or on their heated terrace.

PM Look for the Loch Ness monster!

You have no doubt heard of Loch Ness and the Loch Ness monster, also known as “Nessie”? But the real stars of the loch are its castles, monuments and spectacular scenery! “You will have to sail it to believe it” – hop on a boat with Jacobite Cruises.

Choose their 2 hour boat trip and cruise the canal and loch or satisfy your need for speed with their thrilling RIB speedboat – a 1 hour boat trip of the loch and sighting of Urquart castle. Alternatively, take your time with their 4 hour boat tour – packed with history, the tour includes a tour of the canal and loch, plus a stop off at Urqhuart Castle.

Evening Accommodation & Evening Meal

We have a few recommendations for you:

Continue on to Evanton – a picturesque village a mile off the main route of the North Coast 500. 

  • The Black Rock Caravan Park offers a superb selection of accommodation – from camping pods, glamping pods and bunkhouse accommodation..
  • Novar Arms Hotel -a family run hotel situated on the main street of Evanton (21 bedrooms, restaurant, lounge and spacious bar)

Continue along the east coast to:

The Old Manse B&B, Kildary – set in a large woodland, enjoy the tranquillity of their listed building dating back to the 1780s.

Kincraig Castle Hotel, Tomich -an award-winning 4-star country house hotel, the perfect retreat for tranquillity, divine comfort and phenomenal food.

Alternatively stay the night in Inverness or near Beauly. 

Inverness has a superb selection of accommodation – from family friendly B&Bs, luxury apartments, boutique hotels and bunkhouses..

  • The Black Isle Bar and Rooms,Inverness – the Highland capitals’ premier craft beer bar, wood fired pizzas and hostel accommodation. Split between two buildings they offer14 ensuit rooms and shared dormitory rooms.
  • Heathmount Hotel, Inverness- a unique boutique hotel in the heart of Inverness. Their popular contemporary Scottish restaurant is second to none.
  • Rocpool Reserve, Inverness – a luxury 5 star boutique hotel in Inverness – Exclusive, modern and elegant rooms, coupled with good honest hearty cooking.
  • Ardconnel Court Apartments, Inverness- luxury self-catering accommodation overlooking Inverness Castle.
  • Glenmoriston Hotel, Inverness- a four star city hotel on the banks of the River Ness in Inverness. Glenmorsiton comprises of 30 beautiful bedrooms, three luxury apartments and an award winning restaurant.

  • Achnagairn Estate, Kirkhill – Stay within Achnagairn’s estate at their mini manors and dine at their onsite restaurant – Perfect Manors. If you are a group – why not hire an entire lodge? Or if there are just a few of you or you are an individual – you can book rooms within each mini manor.
  • The Priory Hotel, Beauly – a favourite destination among visitors from across the world. Food is available all day offering a diverse choice of menus to suit all palates and pockets.
  • Mayfield Guesthouse, Beauly – a lovely, modern house which is incredibly calm and bright and full of charm and character.

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Sorry but full itineraries are only available to North Coast 500 members. We hope you've enjoyed a taste of what's in itineraries. Become a member to unlock itineraries. Members also get a 10% discount on all merchandise purchased online, receive FREE gifts (selected membership only), get access to exclusive goodies and much more.

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Sorry but full itineraries are only available to North Coast 500 members. We hope you've enjoyed a taste of what's in itineraries. Become a member to unlock itineraries. Members also get a 10% discount on all merchandise purchased online, receive FREE gifts (selected membership only), get access to exclusive goodies and much more.

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Sorry but full itineraries are only available to North Coast 500 members. We hope you've enjoyed a taste of what's in itineraries. Become a member to unlock itineraries. Members also get a 10% discount on all merchandise purchased online, receive FREE gifts (selected membership only), get access to exclusive goodies and much more.

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Vehicle Hire Suggestions

Hire a car:

Whether you need a compact car, an off-roader or something to keep the whole family comfortable, Arnold Clark, official partner of the NC500 offer an unrivalled range of vehicles to take on every terrain.

You can now experience luxury electric vehicles for both self-drive rental and chauffeur driven tours with Ecosse EV, official partner of the NC500.

Other car hire companies:

Focus Vehicle Rental, Highland Sports Car hire, Aberdeen/Inverness 4×4

Hire a bicycle:

Ticket to Ride

They provide transport for walkers, cyclists, bikes and all your gear between Inverness and Durness and all points in between.This is not a scheduled service but operates more like a cyclist taxi service.

Hire a motorbike:

North Coast 500 Moto Experience Inverness, Highland Motorcycle Hire,  Muir of Ord, Haggis Tours, Tore

Hire a campervan/motorhome:

Highland Coastal Campers, Highland Trail Motorhomes, Highland Campervans, North 500 Motorhomes, Rover Rentals

Road Safety & Advice

General Advice:

  • Make sure to check our road safety section of our website- particularly how to drive single track roads!
  • Watch out for wildlife and farm life who also like to roam these roads!
  • The legal drink-drive limit in Scotland is lower than anywhere else in the UK: 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. If you are the designated driver and visiting breweries and distilleries across the route, many of them will provide samples for your to enjoy back at your accommodation provider or on your return home.
  • Make sure dogs are kept on leads. Adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Code. Wear sensible clothing and footwear.

Itineraries Info

All our itineraries are based on suggestions alone. If you would like a more comprehensive option please head to our interactive map. Itineraries are based on main seasonality opening times March-September – remember to pre book meals/activities/tours.

Luxury chauffer driven tours/ Motorbike guided tours

Alternatively, take a luxury chauffer driven tour by the all-electric Tesla supercar. Ecosse EV, is the official partner of the NC500 – providing luxury electric vehicles for both self-drive rental and chauffeur driven tours.

Or hire a motorbike and a guided tour with Haggis Tours.

 

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