NC500 Campervan

The perfect North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days in Scotland

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The North Coast 500 is one of the most epic road trips in the world. If you’re looking for an adventure, this is it! In this blog post, we will share our personal North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days. This route covers some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland, so you won’t want to miss it! We’ll also give you tips on where to stay and personal tips that are useful to know before starting your trip to the North Coast 500.

For us, these 5 days were one of the most rememberable days we had. Are you ready to explore the rough north coast of Scotland? Start planning your trip with our help!

Tip: we made a map with all of the best places to go and things to do. This will be very helpful for you during your trip.

NC500, Scotland
North Coast 500, Scotland

North Coast 500 how many days?

Before we traveled to Scotland, we looked at many articles and saw different opinions about how many days you need for the North Coast 500. We did the North Coast 500 in 5 days and recommend that you do it in 5 days as well. In 5 days, you have enough time to relax and see different things. If you have less time, you will only be driving and always in a rush, which is not recommended.

Some people take more days to do the North Coast 500. If that is what you want to do, you can follow our itinerary and travel less intensively, or add a few sights to the route. We give tips per day on which activities you can add if you have more time.

North coast 500 motorhome or with car?

You can do the North Coast 500 either with a motorhome or a car. We did it with a motorhome and found this to be very convenient. But there is no best option it all depends on what you prefer.

In both cases, you will have enough time to explore Scotland’s beautiful North Coast. You can stop at any spot and explore the area or make your North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days even more special by adding some additional activities.

If you rent a motorhome, you don’t have to worry about finding accommodation every night. You just drive along and find a nice spot to camp in! This allows you to travel even more spontaneously.

If you rent a car you stay at local accommodation and get to know the culture a little bit better because you are more in content with the locals. Also staying in hotels or B&B is of course in terms of facilities better.

Our advice: rent a motorhome. It was our first time and we fell in love with it. The freedom you have while traveling is amazing. The benefit is that you can do your grocery shopping and prepare your own lunches and dinners, which saves a lot of money. But if a camping-like trip is not for you, then renting a car would be a better idea.

NC500 Campervan

North Coast 500 route directions

It is important to choose if you travel clockwise or counterclockwise. We recommended doing the North Coast 500 counterclockwise. This is because the west side is more impressive than the east side and therefore you the highlights build themselves. You go from ‘normal’ to gorgeous. If you do the route clockwise, the last 2 days will be disappointing, because you’ve already seen the best.

Some parts of the North Coast 500 can be tricky if you are not a good driver. In this case, it is better to do the North Coast 500 going counterclockwise. That way, you drive on the inside of the road.

North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days

Below we describe North Coast 500 itinerary for 5 days with each day detail information.

  • Day 1: Inverness – Wick | 2 hours and 30 minutes | 104 miles / 167 km
  • Day 2: Wick – Durness (or Tongue) | 3 hours and 30 minutes | 106 miles / 170 km
  • Day 3: Durness – Gairloch (or Ullapool) | 3 hours and 15 minutes | 123 miles / 198 km
  • Day 4: Gairloch – Torridon | 1 hour | 31 miles / 50 km
  • Day 5: Torridon – Isle of Skye (or Inverness) | 2 hours and 10 minutes | 78 miles / 158 km

The original North Coast 500 will take you from Torridon Hills to Inverness, we strongly advise that you proceed onward and explore the Isle of Skye.

The section on the west side of the North Coast 500 contains a lot of single roads so even though the distances might be less, it will still take longer to travel these sections.

Tip: if you don’t want to go hiking in Torridon, you can do the route in 4 days. Or, if you want more breaks, do it in 5 days.

Tip: the map below is useful to follow because it shows all highlights, accommodations, supermarkets and petrol stations. You can save the map in your Google account so that you can follow it on the spot. The red markers are the sights you don’t want to miss, the yellow markers are extra stops you can add. The purple accommodations are divided for travelers traveling by car or with a campervan. The blue line is the route you can follow per day.

North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days | day 1

Today you drive from Inverness to Wick. You will start with exploring the peninsula Black Isle, Dunrobin Castle and more.

Inverness

Inverness is the start location of the North Coast 500. A big benefit of Inverness is that is easily reachable by plane, train, or car from Edinburgh and Glasgow. We recommend skipping Inverness because it is not that excited to visit. You can better go directly to Black Isle.

If you follow our 3 week Scotland itinerary, we traveled from Loch Ness to Black Isle. We arrived in the afternoon and stayed at Fortrose Bay Campsite with our camper home. When traveling by car you can stay at Hillhaven Bed &Breakfast. The next morning you are ready to start this North Coast 500 itinerary of 5 days.

Black Isle

Black Isle is a peninsula in North Scotland. It’s known for its wildlife and rolling hills. You can easily spend here the whole day. We suggest you spend the morning exploring Black Isle and then journey to Dunrobin Castle after lunch.

At Black Isle, you can see dolphins, an old cathedral, and waterfalls. The order of visits all depends on when the best time is to see the dolphins.

The dolphins can be seen at Chanonry Point. You can walk from Fortrose Bay Campsite to this point or park the car at the parking lot. Ask locals what the best tides are to see the dolphins. At Fortrose Bay Campsite they have boards indicating what the best tide is to see the dolphins.

The oldest part of the present Fortrose Cathedral ruins dates back to 1300. Only a small portion of the building remains upstanding, but it contains some fine architectural details. You can park your car next to the building and explore it in 15 minutes.

The Fairy Glen Falls are the best waterfalls to visit. You can leave your car at the entrance of the trail. This trail is only 30 minutes, and you will pass two really pretty waterfalls.

Tip: before you arrive at Dunrobin Castle you can visit the village of Dornoch where you can see the old cathedral of Dornoch. If you do have not that much time you can skip it.

Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle is the largest castle in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. It was built around 1845 and features French-style turrets and a conical tower. The castle has been owned by the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland since 1211.

The castle is open from April to October and offers guided tours. During your visit, you can explore the different rooms, gardens, and the falconry center with its flying displays of birds of prey. The castle also has an onsite cafe where you can get coffee, cakes, and light refreshments. Tickets are £11.50 ($13.80) and can be bought at the entrance. You can park for free at the parking lot of Dunrobin Castle.

Dunrobin Castle is a must-see if you are traveling North Coast 500. The castle is located close to the North Sea, and you can see the breathtaking views of the North Sea from the castle grounds.

Tip: if you want to explore more, visit Golspie where they have a beautiful beach and a few cafes to order some food. It’s only 4 minutes away from Dunrobin Castle by car.

Dunrobin Castle, Scotland

Carn Liath

Carn Liath is the North Coast 500’s oldest attraction. It is an iron age broch situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by hills, and it has been there for over 2,000 years. Carn Liath is one of the better-preserved brochs along the North Coast 500, which makes it worth stopping at.

The site is 1 minute drive from Dunrobin Castle, and you can park the car on the left side of the road when coming from Dunrobin Castle. When parked you have to cross the street, and be careful of the traffic. It takes 20 minutes to explore Carn Liath. Next to Carn Liath you drive to Wick and have one last stop at Whaligoe steps.

Tip: if you have the time you can stop at Timespan Museum where they learn you everything about the history of the area.

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Whaligoe steps

After one hour drive you arrive at Whaligoe steps. This is one of North Coast 500’s most beautiful and hidden spots. It is a deep-water harbor, with over 300 steps carved into the cliff leading down to the sea. On the way, you will have amazing views of the North Sea.

The entrance to Whaligoe Steps is easy to find, it’s marked with a North Coast 500 sign. When you arrive, park the car at the parking lot and start your 20 minutes journey down to the harbor.

After the Whaligoe steps it is 10 minute’s drive to Wick where you going to stay (in the area).

Day 1 accommodation B&B: we recommend staying at MacArthur House Bed & Breakfast. It offers comfortable rooms with all amenities included. The guests can enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast every morning. The Clachan B&B is another good option. In this B&B you can enjoy the big garden, comfortable rooms, and a nice breakfast.

When both accommodations are fully booked Harbour House Bed & Breakfast – Wick and Mackays Hotel good options.

Day 1 accommodation motorhome: you can stay in the Wick area by, for example, going to North Keiss B&B and Camper Site or driving a little further and stay at Windhaven site (this is where we stayed). Windhaven site was great because you have a beautiful view over the sea.

Whaligoe steps
Whaligoe steps, Scotland

North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days | day 2

Today, take a breathtaking journey from Wick to Durness. Marvel at the beauty of John O’Groats and catch glimpses of magnificent coastlines along the way. You have a long drive today, give yourself plenty of time to arrive safely by beginning your journey early in the morning.

Tip: if you like hiking and have the time we recommend staying in Tongue instead of Durness and do one of the trails to mountain Ben Loyal.

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe

From Wick, you drive in 12 minutes to Castle Sinclair Girnigoe. This is a must-see on North Coast 500 itinerary for 5 days. This ancient castle is located close to the North Sea and offers stunning views of the North Sea from its grounds. You can explore the different rooms, gardens, and the falconry center. You can park the car at Noss Head Car Park. From here it is 10 minute walk to Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.

Tip: when you have more time you can explore Wick like Wick Heritage Museum. This museum is located in a warren of former houses.

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe. Scotland

Duncansby Stacks at John O’Groats

Duncansby Stacks is one of the North Coast 500’s most beautiful spots. These North Sea-carved stacks are incredibly impressive and a great photo opportunity. Enjoy the stunning views with the North Sea in the background, as well as displays of the seabirds.

Park your car at Duncansby Head Lighthouse and walk in 20 minutes to Duncansby Stacks.

Tip: if you want to visit the Orkney Islands you have to take the ferry from the harbor of John O’Groats.

Duncansby Stacks at John O'Groats

Dunnet Head and Dunnet Beach

Dunnet Head is one of North Coast 500’s most popular tourist attractions. This is the northernmost point of mainland Britain and offers stunning views of the North Sea and the Orkney Islands. It’s also a great spot for wildlife watching, as you may spot dolphins, porpoises, and seals swimming in the waters.

At Dunnet Beach, you can explore miles of the gorgeous North Sea coastline. Spend time here beachcombing and looking for fossils in the sandstone cliffs. You may even spot dolphins or porpoises swimming offshore. On your North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days, Dunnet Head and Dunnet Beach should be high on your list of places to visit. With its incredible views, beautiful beaches, and abundant wildlife, it’s a must-see destination.

Tip: when you have more time you can visit Dunnet Bay Distillery. Here they produce whisky and gin from pure North Sea coast water. You can get a tour of the distillery, and taste some of their award-winning spirits.

Dunnet Head and Dunnet Beach
Dunnet Head and Dunnet Beach, Scotland

Castle Varrich

The last stop before heading to Durness is Castle Varrich. This castle is perched amongst the North Sea cliffs and boasts spectacular views of the North Sea. Inside, you can wander through its ancient rooms and admire its medieval architecture. The grounds are home to an array of birds and animals, so it’s great for wildlife.

After Castle Varrich it is 1 hour’s drive to Durness where you going to stay (in the area). If you arrive before sunset, we highly recommend first visiting Durness Balnakeil Beach. The next morning you can come back to see the beach again.

Today you are going to stay in the area Durness.

Day 2 accommodation B&B: we recommend staying at Durness Youth Hostel. The hostel is situated on a cliff edge overlooking Smoo Cave and is simply one of the few options to stay where you have a chance that there is a place. Wallaby’s is another option where you rent a three-Bedroom House for an affordable price.

When Durness is fully booked what happens often is you have to stay in Tongue. In that case, The Tongue Hotel is a really good alternative. After a long day of driving and sightseeing, you deserve the luxury that this hotel offers. When The Tongue Hotel is fully booked you can stay at Northern Lights which is great for families.

Day 2 accommodation motorhome: We stayed at Sango Sands Oasis. Here you pay £22 for a place and £7 extra for electricity. You can also stay overnight for free in the area by driving towards Balnakeil Beach and then parking along the road.

North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days | day 3

In the morning you will explore Durness and its beautiful beaches. Then you will travel to Ullapool, making sure to stop at some great places along the way. The road today is good with all the views, but since there are a lot of single tracks, it’s not going to be fast. So, start the day as early as possible.

Tip: to make today the most comfortable and stress-free as possible, you can skip the detours to Oldshoremore Beach or Achmelvich Bay. If you choose to visit these two places, your driving time will increase from 3 hours and 15 minutes to 5 hours. Choose wisely if you want to do this.

Balnakeil Beach

This beach is definitely worth a visit either in the morning, or evening but preferably both. During the morning, there are usually not many people here, giving you plenty of space to relax and take in the scenery. The beach is very wide and stretches for miles. If you come in the evening before sunset, you can watch as the sun slowly goes under the horizon – a magnificent sight. You can also park your car very close to the beach and walk in 30 minutes all the way to Faraid Head – another beautiful spot with views of the North Sea.

Balnakeil Beach, Scotland
Balnakeil Beach, NC500

Smoo Cave

After Balnakeil Beach you can visit the Smoo Cave. The Smoo Cave is a large, dramatic sea cave filled with a mysterious atmosphere. Its impressive size has captivated visitors since prehistoric times. There are two entrances to the main chamber – one through an underground waterfall and the other via a dry entrance at the top of the cliff. You can park the car at the top of the cliff and walk down the stairs to the entrance.

A tour allows you to take a boat ride and explore the chambers of the cave. With a tour guide and some good lighting, the journey through Smoo Cave will be a memorable experience.

The Smoo Cave cost £10 ($12) to visit and is open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. During high season it is open from 10:00 am to 17:00. Check the site of Smoo Cave for all the information you need.

Tip: when you have visited Smoo Cave you can walk beside the beach all the way to the cliffs to enjoy the view.

Smoo Cave, Scotland
Smoo Cave, Cliffs, Scotland

Durness Beach

This beach is great for those who are traveling with their dogs, as it allows them to be off the leash and explore freely. With its white sand and breathtaking views of the North Sea, it’s a perfect spot for a relaxing evening or early morning stroll. The beach is also conveniently close to all the accommodations in Durness, making it easy to visit. The only downside is that this beach is busier than other beaches on the North Coast 500. However, if you still get here early enough, you will have plenty of space to enjoy its beauty!

Oldshoremore Beach

After Durness you drive to Oldshoremore Beach in 45 minutes. This beach is a hidden gem and well worth the extra 30 minutes’ drive. It’s crystal-clear waters, white sand, and natural beauty make it one of the North Coast 500 highlights. The beach also offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, paddle-boarding or sunbathing. Plus, its remote location means that it rarely gets crowded so you can truly appreciate its charm.

Given its beauty and the fact that it is not visited by many tourists, Oldshoremore Beach makes for an excellent North Coast 500 stop. Make sure to add it to your itinerary!

Tip: if you like visiting remote beaches you can also visit Sandwood Bay Beach.

Assynt Viewpoint

The drive from Oldshoremore Beach to Assynt Viewpoint is awesome where you pass different viewpoint that are worth stopping. The best one in our opinion is Assynt Viewpoint. Make sure that you have marked it on your map because it is downhill you can easily pass it without knowing. The beauty of Assynt Viewpoint is that it gives you a bird’s eye view of Loch a’ Chàirn Bhàin and the Kylesku Bridge. From here you can take in the natural beauty of Scotland’s North Coast 500 and get some amazing pictures. This is definitely a great spot for nature lovers!

Assynt Viewpoint, Scotland

Kylesku Bridge Car Park

When you stopped at Assynt Viewpoint you drive down to cross the Kylesku Bridge where you can park your car at the Kylesku Bridge Car Park. Here you can enjoy the view but more importantly most of the time a food truck is standing here where you can buy coffee, snacks, and some food.

Achmelvich Bay

After you passed the village Newton you turn right to drive in 40 minutes to Achmelvich Bay. During this drive you pass several villages that are typical of the North Coast 500. Once you arrive at Achmelvich Bay you can enjoy its white sand, crystal clear waters and breathtaking views. The beach has a wonderful atmosphere that makes it perfect to relax after the long drive you had so far.

Ardvreck Castle and waterfall

Next to the road you find Ardvreck Castle. This castle is situated in the Northwest of Scotland and is the perfect place to explore. The location of the castle is beautiful because it is located next to Loch Assynt.

Besides the castle you can also visit a nearby waterfall, which makes it an amazing North Coast 500 route stop. The ruins of Ardvreck Castle are absolutely stunning and well worth visiting as they offer some excellent photo opportunities. From Ardvreck Castle you can walk to the historical sight Calda House.

Ardvreck Castle and waterfall
Ardvreck Castle, Scotland

Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve & Visitor Centre

The next North Coast 500 destination is Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve & Visitor Centre. This popular North Coast 500 stop offers you the chance to explore the beauty of Scotland’s Northwest coast and enjoy some breathtaking views. You can walk up into the mountains for a short walk over the mountain range. You will be able to enjoy the view of lakes and mountains that are surrounding you. There are also several North Coast 500 walks available in the area.

Today you are staying in Ullapool because here you find the most accommodation.

Day 3 accommodation: The Arch Inn is a good accommodation to stay. This inn is furnished with modern interiors and provides comfortable rooms for a good price. Caledonian Hotel ‘A Bespoke Hotel’ is another option where you can stay for your North Coast 500 trip. This hotel is located near the harbor and provides excellent views of Loch Broom as well as stunning interiors and comfortable rooms.

When both places are fully booked Harbour House is a good option. Harbour House is a family-run guesthouse with comfortable rooms.

Day 3 accommodation motorhome: when you travel with a motorhome, we recommend driving to Gairloch. We stayed at a viewpoint parking lot above Gairloch where 6 campers can be parked, from there you have a view over the whole bay.

North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days | day 4

First, you visit this morning Victoria Falls and go hiking in Torridon which is the best area for hiking in Scotland.

Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve (motorhome visit at the end of day 3)

When you are staying in Ullapool you first pass Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve before arriving at Victoria Falls. At Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve you can cross a bridge where you can see the spectacular gorge and its impressive waterfalls. When you travel with a motorhome, you can stop at the end of day 3.

Victoria Falls

When you are in Northwest Scotland, it is a must to visit Victoria Falls. Here you can park the car and walk for a few minutes to get to the plateau where you have an amazing view of the waterfalls. The sound of the waterfalls combined with its wonderful views will make your North Coast 500 journey even more special!

Victoria Falls, Scotland

Kinlochewe

In Kinlochewe you can grab a coffee at Whistle Stop Cafe and drive to Torridon. The drive from Kinlochewe to Torridon is one of the most impressive parts of the North Coast 500. Make sure to take the time to stop at all the viewpoints and parking lots along the way.

Torridon hike Beinn Eighe

Most people visit Torridon by enjoying the view but do not do any hikes here. We did the hike Beinn Eighe which was incredible. We can share a lot of information about this hike, so we capture it in one article to help you prepare: Beinn Eighe hike in Torridon.

The hike will take 5-6 hours. It is a great combination of activities because after all the driving, it is great to stretch your legs :).

Tip: before you pass Kinlochewe you can visit Beinn Eighe Visitor Centre to ask information about different hikes you can do in the area of Torridon.

Tip: at the Beinn Eighe car park (Torridon) you can see deer’s because they are used to people. Please do not feed them!

After the hike we recommend staying in Torridon (or area). To ensure your stay, it’s imperative to book accommodation in advance as there are limited options available.

Day 4 accommodation: you are most likely to stay at Torridon Youth Hostel, as they have a lot of rooms. If you’re looking for a cost-effective stay, this is the perfect place to be! When the hostel is fully booked, you can try to stay at Torridon Estate. Here you can stay in one of the nine cottages located on the estate. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. Not only are the views breath-taking, but the facilities and services provided by this estate make it a unique North Coast 500 experience.

Day 4 accommodation motorhome: we stayed the 4th night for free near Attadale in a parking lot along the road because we were not going to do the Appelcrose Road. If you want to do the Appelcrose Road you have to stay close to Shieldaig.

Tip: curious about the most beautiful day hikes in Europe? Click here for an overview of breathtaking hikes you shouldn’t miss during one of your trips!

Torridon hike Beinn Eighe, NC500

North Coast 500 itinerary 5 days | day 5

This is the last day of the North Coast 500 and you will visit some great things. You can do the famous Appelcrose route and continue your journey.

Appelcrose Road

Appelcrose Road is an amazing North Coast 500 route and a must-do on your itinerary. This road offers some of the most stunning views of Northwest Scotland, but it can also be quite dangerous if you are not careful. If you are traveling by car or small motorhome, you can do this route without any problem. However, if you are traveling with a large motorhome, it is best to skip this route as the narrow roads and sharp bends can be dangerous.

We did not do this route because we were not confident enough. Now that we look back, it was possible, but hey more reason to come back right? We spoke with other travelers who had taken this road, and they were all enthusiastic about the views you have along the way.

After passing the village Lochcarron you have to choose to continue your journey to the Isle of Skye or to go back to Inverness. We recommend traveling to the Isle of Skye because this is the best area of Scotland to visit in our opinion.

Eilean Donan

On your way to the Isle of Skye, make sure to pause at Eilean Donan. Alternatively, you can also visit this majestic destination when you’re departing the isle in a few days.

Eilean Donan is a small island castle located in the Northwest of Scotland. This castle has been standing since the 13th century and it was once home to an extended family of Macraes. The beauty and history that this castle exudes are not something you want to miss out on when visiting Northwest Scotland. The views from the castle are beautiful and it is a great opportunity to take pictures of the Scottish countryside.

Eilean Donan

Isle of Skye

Arrive in Isle of Skye and enjoy. We stayed here for 3 days and visited many places. The Isle of Skye is a place with beautiful views, interesting stories, mysterious folklore and ancient castles. Read our article about Isle of Skye to prepare yourself.

We recommended staying in Portree which is the capital of the island Isle of Skye. Portree is extremely populair (whole Isle of Skye) so book at least 6-12 months in advance. Big benefit of Portree is that you are close to the best attractions so you can easily explore this beautiful region during your stay. If you are not staying in the Isle of Skye, but in Inverness, you can also see which accommodation we recommend here

Day 5 accommodation Isle of Skye: we recommend staying at The Skye Inn. This inn offers luxurious rooms as well as excellent facilities and services. The Rosedale Hotel & Restaurant is a fantastic choice with glowing reviews and offers stunning views of the nearby harbor.

Day 5 accommodation Inverness: when you are looking for a place to stay in Inverness Heathmount Hotel is a good place to stay. This hotel offers comfortable, modern rooms and excellent facilities. Heathmount Hotel is conveniently located in Inverness city centre.

Day 5 accommodation motorhome Isle of Skye: if you need electricity you can stay at Skye Camping and Caravanning Club Site. If you want to stay for free, we recommend reading our article about Isle of Skye for all the detailed information.

Day 5 accommodation motorhome Inverness: Beauly Holiday Park is a good option.

Tips for driving this North Coast 500 itinerary of 5 days

In addition to the itinerary, we have included some helpful tips that will make your North Coast 500 journey even more enjoyable.

North Coast 500 accommodation

The North Coast 500 is one of the most remote areas in Scotland. The road trip has become more popular in recent years, but there are not many places to stay. This means that it can be difficult to find a place to stay if you wait until the last minute to book. It is important to book your accommodation at least 6 months in advance, and sometimes a year in advance if you travel during the high season (months June – Augustus).

We traveled with a motorhome and in that case, reservations are not needed only when you need electricity, travel in high season or want to stay in campingspots.

Tip: when traveling with a motorhome you can use the app park4night to find campingspots and free wildspots to stay. We used the app for our whole trip because it is so easy to use.

Renting car or motorhome

If you travel to Scotland by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.

Traveling to Scotland with a motorhome is the perfect way to experience this beautiful country! With IndieCampers you get an excellent motorhome with high quality and prices that are budget friendly. We really liked it, everything went as planned – even better than expected due to their exceptional service.

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Travel insurance

World Nomads travel insurance policies offer coverage for more than 150 activities. Get a quote, make a claim, or buy or extend your policy while on the road.

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Tips related to driving itself

When driving in Scotland, especially on the NC500, you will come to single-lane roads. On these single-lane roads, there are places for passing marked with signs. It works like this: if you are driving on the left and the passing place is on your left, you pull over into that spot and let others pass. If the passing place is on your right, you have priority.

The North Coast 500 is an extremely remote area and there are not many gas stations along the way. We advise you to fill up your tank when you have 50%. It is not needed to stop at every station but with North Coast 500 filling stations often being few and far between, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel for your journey!

Make sure you always have some cash with you to pay for food, snacks, and parking tickets. Most of the time you can pay with a card at the parking machine, but not always.

Eating when doing the North Coast 500

When traveling in a motorhome eating is not difficult because you do your grocery shopping in Inverness and pass supermarkets at bigger place like Wick, Thurso and Ullapool. At these places we recommend stopping at the supermarket to buy new products.

When traveling with a car, it can be more difficult to find places to eat. Breakfast is usually included at the accommodation. For lunch, you can stop in different villages. But for dinner, it can be challenging because the local restaurants close early in the afternoon. Sometimes you can have dinner at your accommodation, but not always. So, it is important to check ahead of time what the opening hours are for the restaurants.

Tip: you can always stop at a supermarket and buy some food here like a salad or bread.

Responsible travel at the North Coast 500

When traveling to the North Coast 500, it is important to be a responsible traveler. This means that you should respect nature and not leave any trash behind. You can do this by taking all your garbage with you and disposing of it in appropriate bins or recycling centers.

It is also important to make sure that you have access to proper toilets. Not all campsites and villages have public toilets, so you should make sure to plan ahead when it comes to bathroom breaks. If you are traveling by motorhome, there is a toilet in the campervan, so you don’t have to worry about this.

When it comes to campfires, they are not allowed outside of designated areas. You should make sure to check if the area is suitable for campfires. Finally, it is important to be respectful to the local wildlife and not harass them or chase them away.

Do you want to see more of Scotland?

We hope you will enjoy the North Coast 500 for 5 days! Of course, there are many other amazing places to see in Scotland, in addition to the ones mentioned in the road trip. A popular destination to visit from the North Coast 500 is Isle of Skye (or if you’re doing the route clockwise, Loch Ness and Cairngorm National Park). Check out our articles about the specific places via the link.

Other useful articles to read about Scotland are:

What do you think of the NC500? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer: the prices mentioned in this article may differ from the current situation. We regularly update our articles. Would you like to help us to provide to best possible insights to help other travelers leave a comment with the latest information. Thanks!

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Hello, we are Cynthia & Alexander, the team behind Travel Your Memories! Traveling is our passion. When it comes to exploration, we love sharing our tips and adventures to inspire you. Welcome to Travel Your Memories, where we share our love for travel with you! Read our story.

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