However I’ve never crossed (yes I’m from NL) with my 2 kids (2 and 4). For rental cars, you can see our recommendations above in the article. – If you are looking for an easy archaeological site to visit, Càrn Liath (an Iron Age broch) is a short walk from the parking area. If you have any questions as you make more plans for your NC500 road trip, just let us know. For hiking/walking – you have lots of options along most of the route really so you can find hiking opportunities located near probably any section of the route. Thank you for the very inspiring and comprehensive insights to NC500 route. We’ve put together this comprehensive North Coast 500 guide to help you plan the perfect North Coast 500 road trip in Scotland. Although most restaurants don’t allow dogs inside, several have outdoor areas that allow dogs and some bars allow well-behaved dogs. Once again, you’ve left me in awe! We would like to make the most of the NC500, and eventually spend 2~3 nights at your recommended Castle Hotels that might be in our way; For birdlovers, I’d highly recommend checking out the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) website for information, and I’d also consider contacting them before your trip or visiting one of their centers for local information to find the best spots depending on the kind of birds you are most interested in (e.g., birds of prey, seabirds, waders). Feel free to ask us any questions about the route as you start planning your trip! Thanks again for your reply and all the information you have shared. Laurence is actually putting together a NC500 B&B post which should be out on Finding the Universe in the next 2 months. For more reasons to drive the NC500 and themes read this article. Wild animals, particularly deer, may also be on the road and are much more likely to run out in front of you. However there is no right way to drive the route so head in the direction that makes the most sense for you! Of course, it is required that dog waste be picked up by dog owners and then properly disposed of. Check the ScotRail website for the route details and to buy tickets. Hotels range from simple budget options to luxury castles. Just let me know if you have any questions if you are planning a trip to Scotland. We definitely agree with encouraging people to stop and spend money at the local campgrounds, hotels, museums, restaurants, shops, visitor centers, etc. This will be on the left hand side of the article (for those on desktop) or at the very end of the article (for desktop and mobile users). I am guessing you are traveling from the UK, but if you are traveling from outside the UK you will need to make sure you check the laws and guidelines (papers, vaccinations, quarantine) for bringing a dog into the UK as it differs depending on the country of origin. My motorhome is 7 metres long by 2.3 meteres wide (inc mirrors) It is under 3.5 tonnes so I do not regard as large. Thank you so much! North Coast 500 route maps are made easily available online plan your route around Scotland's Route66 NC500 with google maps & plan your route around the Coasts of the Northern Scottish Highlands as you drive through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, visit famous location made popular by movies like Braveheart filmed in Glen Nevis by Fort William We are doing the trip, starting the 4th October for 10 nights and haven’t planned any stops yet along the way. We would land in Edinburgh on Friday, September 6th, 2019, and stay 4 days, exploring the city and surroundings; 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. The North Coast itinerary is now followed by drivers, cyclists, locals and visitors ticking over the 500 miles (516 to be exact) of ‘Scotland’s Route 66’. Scotland is the home of golf and attracts golfers from around the world who want to play some of Scotland’s best known courses. One option is of course Airbnb, where you can book rooms, apartments, and houses. Most Scotland-based tour companies should be able to arrange a guided NC500 private tour to suit your needs although you will pay a lot more than you would if you did a group tour or a self-drive trip. So I think you should hopefully OK for a September North Coast 500 road trip. As you say, there are plenty of other places to occupy our attention. Then you can plan accordingly if you know that you are going to have to fill up along the trip. Thanks for all the work that has gone into this brilliant guide to the NC500. Before your trip, you can take a look at the official North Coast 500 map online to get a good idea of the route to help you plan. For instance, even cars rented in Ireland can sometimes not be brought by ferry over to Scotland. I’d recommend getting the smallest size vehicle you need and to be sure your rental is fully insured. Jessica. Drove on some amazing roads and stood in awe at some amazing scenery - good weather helped. Bliss!! I am planning a 6 day trip starting from Glasgow and ending at Inverness with my wife and 2 teen kids stopping at Fort Augustus, Dunnet, Scourie and Dingwall. If you have never driven in Scotland before, you’ll want to review some of the driving laws and road safety tips before your North Coast 500 road trip. However you can of course start and end your drive wherever you please. A fantastic 500 mile road trip through the stunning scenery of Scotland’s North West Highlands and … Let us know if you have a specific question about any of them. What can you recommend me? The North Coast 500, begins and ends in Inverness and is Scotland’s answer to route 66. So it will depend a little on your dates and it is hard to predict the numbers but summer is a very busy time. The rain in Scotland can be frustrating but if you come prepared, it doesn’t have to restrict you. Then the second day keep heading north along the NC500 to Achiltibuie and Lochinver, and then return in the evening to Ullapool. In terms of driving, the thing that shocked me most was the amount of roadkill we saw! Can I drive the North Coast 500 with an electric or hybrid car? Keep up the good work. If you are starting in Edinburgh or London, Spaceship Rentals is another place to check for campervans and motorhomes. It is expected that Scotland will allow most tourism places to reopen starting July 15th (including restaurants, hotels, campsites, pubs, museums, etc.) Hi Paul, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and wishing you a wonderful trip along the NC500! Nothard and Gitti. The speed limits are often low and single-track roads mean a lot of slowing down and stopping. My Dad (82), has never been out of the states and has left me in charge of this trip (no pressure) It will truly be memorable for the both of us. I also wanted to say that there are several people who are part of our Facebook group who are planning to drive the North Coast 500 at the end of summer or in September. It has been dubbed Scotland's answer to the renowned 'Route 66' and doesn't disappoint. -If you are thinking about taking on something that feels a bit challenging, we can recommend a local guide, Tim Hamlet of Hamlet Mountaineering as a guide. So happy to hear you found our North Coast 500 so informative and helpful. The best way to protect against the midges is an insect spray (we recommend a couple above, can be purchase once in Scotland if not available where you live). Decided to finally do this due to current COVID situation. You don’t leave anything out, addressing almost every issue that may cross your reader’s mind. The North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative, which is a non-profit organization that was established by Prince Charles in 2005 in an effort to develop economic growth across the North Highlands. It is expected to be very busy once things reopen and since some hotel/restaurants/attractions are not planning to open up this season, so it may further crowd people into certain areas and attractions. This is particularly true if you are planning to drive a rental car, caravan, or motorhome. 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. I need to find couchsurfers for all rout in a most big cities. Some places 25% gradient, lot of blind spots and terrible road quality. The NC500 is a popular route for car clubs so you are likely to see some groups of very expensive and vintage cars out on the road. See our prior article for more information on, If you are someone who hates planning ahead and wants to be able to stop and spend as much time in a place as you wish, I’d consider doing a, Most towns have a small grocery store (not usually open late in the evenings so stop during the day) where you can pick up picnic supplies, snacks, and food to cook your own meals. Any help would be great, thanks! Also happy that you were lucky with the weather (it is currently pouring down rain outside as I write this) as good weather is wonderful but far from guaranteed in the UK! For Americans who aren’t used to either, we can say that it really isn’t so bad. Thank you so much for putting this brilliant NC 500 guide together. For petrol stations, we recommend picking up the official North Coast 500 map (you should be able to get it at the Inverness Visitor Centre or others centres along the route) as it includes an updated list of fuel stations along and near the route. 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