We note many of these in our detailed itinerary. It is wise to think ahead each day about where you’ll be for meals as some hotels or campsites may be a 30 minute to 1 hour drive from a restaurant. – For a longer coastal walk you might consider the Dunnet Bay coastal hike within the Dunnet Bay Nature Reserve which is a little over 10 miles. So let’s get started! Me and my boyfriend are doing this for our joint 50th birthdays next year (2020) and we cannot wait! – Summer Isles Hotel in Achiltibuie – I think they allow dogs in many of the rooms plus in the bar area (but not the restaurant) That is great that you have more time for your North Coast 500 trip and you could easily make all of the overnights from 1 night to 2 nights if you wanted. The highlights of the route for many people are the scenic views along the coast and the feeling of “being away” from it all for a while. We would like to hit the road on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, going North toward Inverness; North Coast 500 7-day Itinerary Arguably one of the best road trips in the world! Hi Jessica and Laurence, We are walking the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way ending our walk in Inverness at the Ardross Glencairn Guest house on May 24th. That is a good question. The route that circles around Scotland’s top north highlands has always been there, but never got a name, until not so long ago. The NC500 route offers visitors the opportunity to see rugged landscapes, frolic on sandy beaches, spot wildlife, visit museums and heritage sites, stay in castles, sip whisky, sample the local produce, and get to know the people who live there. I called the rental agency and added the request to my reservation this morning. Later continue on the North Coast 500 Route to find yourself on the famous stretch that also McLaren uses in their driving tours. Please check your e-mail to confirm your sign up. If it is more of a preference than a requirement for you, you can find the best rate online and book and then when picking up the car, request one with a spare tyre (and means to replace one) if at all possible. We have found some cottages that offer great views and am about to start booking them. Many of the scenic sites along the North Coast 500 don’t have any fences or safeguards and most beaches have no lifeguards, so always keep little ones in sight. The route has been planned to take in some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery following the coastal roads that encompass the northern most part of the country. We had the best time and found ourselves in awe of the stunning scenery - particularly on the west coast. However, we are a wee bit allergic (read scared) to reptiles (snakes, etc.). However, we also get these bursts of sunshine and warm weather than can occur any time of the year with probably May and September being two of the better months in our experience thus far. Since many campsites are seasonal, I’d be careful to check ahead if you are planning to go outside those months. But for the most part, the hiking trails and beaches are difficult in terms of accessibility. Winter can be a nice time for photography and solitude, although the weather can be bad and certain minor roads (e.g. Is everywhere mainly dog friendly? that should determine which part of the route might be best. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter. North Coast 500 is a spectacular 516-mile scenic route around the northern coast of Scotland, The route snakes around beautiful scenery and the many well known and historic features located in the Highlands of Scotland all incorporated into one very iconic pleasurable touring route around scotland. We like traveling NC500 in winter but it does snow up there and last winter we did have to stop for a day because of the road conditions. Thank you so much! A 2 seater car can be great (just pack light! Obviously, the best time to drive the North Coast 500 is the time you have available, and if you need to set out at a less than opportune time of the year, just be prepared and be flexible. So it will depend a little on your dates and it is hard to predict the numbers but summer is a very busy time. Be sure to reserve if interested. But even right along the route, few people get out of their cars to hike around lochs, hills, beaches, or fields so if you get out into nature you’ll probably find yourself relatively alone. It is recommended by the NC500 to not drive anything over 18 feet (about 5.5 meters) on these. We expect more will continue to pop up as the tourism increases in this area. I’d read about it first and see if it is a good fit. They are not too bad if you keep moving, but can drive you crazy when you stand still. If you are staying at a dog-friendly hotel or campsite, someone there can probably give you recs for the best places to eat or get a drink with your dog. I’d probably recommend 4 locations for 2-3 days each along the route to avoid having to keep driving the same part of the route too much. So just something to keep in mind , Hope that helps and wishing you a wonderful trip! I found your page very useful. -The stretch along B869 from Lochinver to Kylesku, which is on the western part of the route. Hi. Hi Rob & Ann, Fantastic meeting you as well! The only advice we would give is be careful on hotel choices - we had a couple that really were not. You can also use this function to save them as clickable PDF files as well if you’d rather not print them. These passes may save you money if you are planning to visit a lot of historical properties during your trip. Any recommendations? You can see more about all the suggested attractions and where they fit on the route by taking a look at our North Coast 500 itinerary. If you are looking for dog-friendly accommodation in a certain town or area and can’t find anything, feel free to ask and we’ll let you know if know of any. Best, Jessica. For camping, hiking, biking, and outdoor gear, we can recommend the following outdoors gear stores which are all located in Inverness: Go Outdoors, Blacks, Tiso, and Trespass. During our 12 day winter trip in February most days were mixed (rain/light snow/clouds/some sun) and it rained at least a little on almost every day of the trip. It is just another area of similar landscapes and beauty as the rest of the Highlands, but one many people are less familiar with and the new tourist route has really brought more people and business into that area. Sadly we only have a week in Scotland, starting in Edinburgh but would love to do a section of the NC 500 for 2-3 days. The North Coast 500 is Scotland's newest driving route. In terms of making reservations, very few attractions take reservations or pre-sell tickets, but I’d strongly recommend booking your lodging in advance and also any special dinners. In terms of food, I’d expect fresh, rustic, and homestyle meals that rely on the local produce at most eateries along the NC500. Of course there are also loads of sheep and the iconic Highland coos which you’ll spot in the fields. Please could you tell me if she is likely to have any problems getting a phone signal when she’s in the more rural areas? There’s also no right or wrong direction to drive it. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can check out our guide to the top things to do in Edinburgh, lesser known Edinburgh attractions, and Edinburgh photography guide for idea to put together an itinerary there. Absolutely stunning! Increased tourism in the Highlands has led to more traffic accidents and complaints. Just wondering what’s the laws about pulling up in a safe place and having a bbq? Later continue on the North Coast 500 Route to find yourself on the famous stretch that also McLaren uses in their driving tours. It is easy to avoid as you can take the slip road up to the A896 instead. Everyone will have a different set of general packing items they bring on any trip and things they enjoy having on a road trip. if you want to rent a campervan for the drive, we recommend using Motorhome Republic, They compare prices across the major rental firms in the UK to find the best price for you. You might also consider heading out on a boat to see the coastline from another angle. – Achmelvich Beach is a really pretty beach and fairly protected by the bay. Thank you so much for putting this brilliant NC 500 guide together. Loli. Inverness is the largest city in the Scottish Highlands, and it has an airport, train station and bus station, making it easy to get here using a variety of transportation options. Best, Jessica, hello, great right up already made my mind to do nc 500 next year june or september not sure yet, not been to scotland before so me and the wife are looking forward to it going to do it in a open top car 2 seater so will be a little cramped and looking to do it over 6 days best start planing now , Hi Phil, So great to hear that you and your wife are planning to do a North Coast 500 road trip this coming summer I would probably start planning early next year, especially in terms of flights (if needed) and lodging. Scottish beaches have limited or no facilities so be mindful and pull into! Itineraries and some of the North Coast 500 trip I would check out, not too bad if you a! To have ( e.g northern city of Inverness at Inverness Castle below and we can recommend... 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Love everything about this post about calling and getting online while traveling cover ( e.g., umbrella or poncho,. Can if done responsibly yourself with how to book ahead just having an idea of what there.

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