History, Heritage, Archaeology

Let’s Time Travel!

Stunning, deserted beaches roll across a layered landscape, giving way to majestic mountains, as rugged cliffs and rolling pastures vie for your attention, in the land of long views and big skies. The North Coast 500, one of the world’s top coastal touring routes, is rightly renowned for its extraordinary scenery: but this area can also lay claim to having a  fascinating past, a history as rich and exciting as the landscape itself.

Our guide will help you explore some of these hidden histories and incredible archaeological wonders.

History, Heritage, Archaeology - Day 1

Inverness

AM Archaeological and historic sites to make around the area

Even before you begin your North Coast 500 journey at Inverness, there are a number of archaeological and historic sites to make around the area. In fact, you may wish to have an additional day to explore these areas!

Explore Scotland’s earliest beginnings and immerse yourself in the mysterious Clava Cairns, a 20-minute drive east of Inverness. This area is home to a number of Neolithic ‘cairns’, burial places for the dead, and were constructed over 5000 years ago. This area also features a series of standing stones, one of which, the ‘split stone’, may have been the inspiration for the Outlander television phenomenon!

Spend 45 mins – 1.5 hours here.

PM Culloden Battlefield

Now it’s time to head north and 4,500 years in the future to Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Experience, site of one of the most famous battles in British history, fought between the British Government and rebellious Jacobites, in 1746. The newly-built heritage centre between provides a detailed and interactive look at the factors which led to this battle, before you participate in the immersive ‘battle film’, which gives a glimpse into the horrors of the battlefield. Well worth a good few hours of exploring, and best of all, you can get a spot of lunch before you spend some time exploring the battlefield.

Alternatively, or if you have time, pop into Inverness Museum and Gallery, where you can learn about the history of the Highlands, from geological formation right through to more modern times. Try on the replica of the ‘Achavrail Armlet’, a two thousand year old piece of ‘bling’!

Evening Glendruidh House

Stay at Glendruidh House, beautiful and exclusive country accommodation just 2 miles south of Inverness. Relaxing environs and unusual architectural features can all be found here!

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Unlock our Full itineraries

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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Unlock our Full itineraries

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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Unlock our Full itineraries

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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Unlock our Full itineraries

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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We go that extra 500 miles to help...

Vehicle Hire Suggestions

Hire a car:

Arnold Clark

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.

Ecosse EV

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

  • 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.

Additional Itineraries

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Achnagairn ecosse EV Ackergill Singleton Clynelish Natural Retreats Dunnet Bay Distillers Cottages and Castles Galbraith Arnold Clark