Cyclists

Want the ultimate Scottish cycling challenge? Then the North Coast 500 is for you!

This itinerary has been calculated based on around 65 miles cycling per day, slightly more some days and considerably less on others. Please adjust accordingly to  your capabilities as this itinerary is aimed at the serious cyclist.

We have designed this itinerary to incorporate activities and attractions along the route – not as a non stop cycle route. Not all of our accommodation providers provide cycle facilities.

Cycle the entirety of the main route or take the suggested minor roads to avoid the heavy traffic on some of the main A roads.

Cyclists - Day 1

Inverness to Lochcarron (approx. 66 miles)

AM Today is just a warm up!

Kickstart your morning with a wholesome Highland breakfast at Velocity Cafe & Bicycle Workshop in Inverness, a haven for cyclists! Meet like-minded cyclists before you make your way along the North Coast 500!

Starting your NC500 adventure: Rather than take the main NC500 driving route – you may wish to take the head to Contin via the Sustrans National Cycle Route (more info here)

Otherwise this morning’s cycle you will follow the route through the villages of Beauly, Muir of Ord and Contin.

Coffee break?

You may wish to stop at the Coul House Hotel for a mid-morning coffee break before continuing on along the route or stock up on some nutritious snacks for lunch at a village store along route.

Stop by Glen Ord Distillery (Muir of Ord) for a tour of one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland or perhaps stretch your legs at the famous fish ladder of Rogie Falls, just over a mile North West of Contin- there are a series of waterfalls and forest trails.

The road from Contin to Garve can be particularly dangerous for cyclists – check out a suggested alternative route. 

PM A picnic in the hills

You will cover approximately 40 miles this afternoon, take a rest from the pedals and soak up the scenery in Achnasheen with a picnic.

From Achnasheen, you will follow the A890 – cycling alongside Loch Gowan on the left and the beautiful Ledgowan Forest on the right. As you near Lochcarron, the road becomes single track road…You will reside here for the night, in the stunning wee village of Lochcarron, amidst some of the finest scenery along the route.

Evening Where to stay and evening meal

For your evening meal:

Carron Restaurant – a family run restaurant near Strathcarron (slightly of the main route)

Rockvilla Restaurant – located in Lochcarron, enjoy an array on wonderful ingredients, creating the most innovative of dishes.

We have suggested a few options for your first night stay…

Fancy a B&B?

  • Home Farm B&B (book catering) – set in the stunning location of Attadale, stay in an old farmhouse slightly off the main route.
  • Rochvilla Highland Guesthouse – a beautifully furnished modern guesthouse, situated in the heart of Lochcarron.
  • Loch Dubh Bed and Breakfast offers superb luxury Bed & Breakfast. Their setting allows for a peaceful stay away from the traffic on the main street, coupled with stunning views. They also have a separate chalet in the grounds sleeping a maximum of five people!
  • Castle Cottage Bed & Breakfast – located in the pictureque village of Lochcarron – Lorna and Gary extend a warm welcome. Enjoy their fabulous waterfront location and quality accommodation.
  • The Sithean (pr. ‘she-hen’, in Gaelic ‘The fairy hill’) ,a modern home in the traditional crofting village, which offers a cosy night stay and secure bicycle storage. You will receive a warm Highland welcome from both B&Bs and you can even order packed lunches for your following day (on request).

Alternatively, Sanachan Bunkhouse is located at the foot of the Bealach na ba- the perfect pit stop for a group. Grab yourself a bunk and warm yourself by the fire…(Remember your sleeping bag!) Pick up some supplies when cycling through Lochcarron and cook up a feast at Sanachan Bunkhouse

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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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Bike Hire Suggestions

The North Highlands are a superb location for cycling and mountain biking, you can hire bikes and equipment with:

Everything you need for a comfortable tour around the North Coast 500!

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.

Road Safety & Advice

  • Check out are article on cycling the NC500 for more information on safe cycling on Highland Roads, bike advice and quieter roads to cycle.
  • Watch out for wildlife and farm life who also like to roam these roads!
  • Adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Code.

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.

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