By Gabbi Armstrong
Communications Project Manager for the North Coast 500
Published: 19th November 2018

Christmas on the North Coast 500

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year, and spending the festive season along the North Coast 500 is a truly special experience. While we can’t promise snow, you might just get lucky – you could have more chance of a white Christmas in the North Highlands than you would at home, depending on where you have travelled from.

Scotland in winter is magical; snow-capped mountains, crisp fresh air, frost-tinged countryside and country pubs and hotels with fires lit to welcome you. There is an overall cosiness to the North Highlands at this time of year. In the more rural areas, you’ll see deer roaming the roads – not quite reindeer, but close enough! On Boxing Day, you can discover a whole host of new walks to shake off the cobwebs from Christmas Day – visit our blog for plenty of ideas.

When booking your accommodation along the North Coast 500 over the festive season, make sure to check out our interactive map to check which businesses are open over the Christmas period. Take your loved one for a romantic getaway, or get the family together and stay in self-catered accommodation. From converted Bothies to charming, remote cottages, country lodges, castles and even tree houses; there really is something for everyone.

For a true festive treat, take the stress out of meal preparation and book a Christmas package with a hotel along the North Coast 500 route. We’ve rounded up a selection of our favourites here, to help narrow down your selection. If you are looking to book for this year though, best be quick!


Photos: Dornoch Castle Hotel, Kincraig Castle Hotel, Ackergill Tower Hotel, Shieldaig LodgeAckergill Tower

Book a Christmas package!

Christmas in a castle? Count us in! Ackergill Tower’s three-night Christmas package offers the perfect opportunity to escape reality for a few days and enjoy a touch of luxury. From winter walks through the castle grounds, to experiencing a traditional imperial dinner, this iconic Highland retreat boasts a wide variety of activities to enjoy. Opt to stay in the castle itself, or in a luxury Highland lodge – the choice is yours…Altnernatively, why not check out their New Year’s Package.

Shieldaig Lodge

Photo: Shieldaig Lodge

If you’re looking for a quintessential Highland festive experience, look no further than Shieldaig Lodge. This Christmas escape includes three nights in one of the hotel’s superb rooms. Arriving on Christmas Eve, guests will be greeted with a warming dram of whisky and spot of afternoon tea, followed by a delicious three-course dinner with a complimentary bottle of wine. On Christmas Day, wake up to a festive breakfast and enjoy champagne and canapes before a traditional Christmas Day lunch cooked by head chef Jerome Prodanu. Games will be available in the afternoon, followed by a buffet in the evening. The festivities will continue into Boxing Day, with a full Scottish breakfast provided, followed by an afternoon tea by the log fire, topped with a gourmet Boxing Day dinner in the evening.

Kincraig Castle

Kincraig Castle Hotel’s Christmas Retreat offers a comfortable mix of fine dining, luxurious surroundings and oodles of style. The hotel’s relaxed atmosphere makes it a true home away from home – kick back and relax in front of a roaring log fire, and explore the woodland walks surrounding the hotel.

Photo: Kincraig Castle Hotel

Dornoch Castle Hotel

At the Dornoch Castle Hotel, book in for dinner, bed and breakfast and enjoy a complimentary festive cocktail on arrival. Dating back to the 15th century, this historic, luxurious venue is located on the Dornoch Firth, along the east coast of the North Coast 500. For more information about their Twixmax Offer, visit their website.

Photo: Dornoch Castle Hotel

Natural Retreats

Add some winter sparkle to your Christmas break this year with Natural Retreats’ selection of festive extras. To make Christmas Day run a little more smoothly, Natural Retreats can put together a delicious Christmas dinner hamper and a traditional Christmas tree complete with fairy lights and decorations, ready for your arrival.


Photos: Natural Retreats, John o’Groats

Featured Itineraries

View All Itineraries

Enhance Your NC500 Experience

Experience More

NC500 Champions

Route Sponsor

Our Corporate Partners

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