FREE Delivery on your first order shipped by Amazon. Nice read. We can help provide advice on routes, activities and campsites before you go. There’s also no right or wrong direction to drive it. You can catch a glimpse of the oval-shaped island from the car park along the road, it’s only 1 km offshore. Check the link to see what’s available right now. There is a substantial patch of gravel land for overnight parking. If you are doing NC500 in a campervan or motorhome, we did the full loop in our van conversion and have some good tips … Which was lucky as we needed to stock up on fresh fruit and veg. With no need … Scotland at its best. Yes, you can see the craggy rocks from further away, but the most delightful part of Duncasby Head lies a little further along. Wander up the hill away from the lighthouse to investigate the bunker and other tiny huts built during World War II. But don’t rush just yet to complete the Scottish 500 route. If you are craving peace and an off the beaten path spot, then Achnahaird beach is worth the detour. The castle is currently undergoing renovation, but part of it is open for an atmospheric wander in the courtyard just across the windy bridge. It’s the largest city in the Scottish highlands in case you need to stock up on essentials for the road. I would go the zip-line, that would be interesting activity to do. As you join the A837 road at Ledmore towards Inchnadamph, make a quick stop to explore the ruins of the 16th Century Ardverk Castle, once owned by the Macleods of Assynt Clan. The drive itself to the beach is a beautiful winding one track drive for about 12 miles from the turn-off. But we hung around until the weather improved (at around 9 pm) and got to see the legendary valley with our own eyes. Clashnessie Bay: There’s a tiny car park across the road from Clashnessie beach, suitable for overnight parking for around 4-6 motorhomes. From here you can explore Loch Ness further, but if we are brutally honest, there are many more beautiful and less touristy lochs around. They also have a sign in their garden (kind of hidden away behind the smoking bin) of the Route 500 which is a copy of the Route 66 in the US. With over 500 miles of dramatic driving roads, beautiful coastal scenery, turquoise blue seas and white sand beaches, the North Coast 500 (NC500) is one of Scotland’s best road trips. We highly recommend staying here before visiting Dunrobin Castle if you want to beat the tour buses and get there as soon as it opens. On A832 and shores of Loch Gairloch, sits Gairloch, a pretty harbour village with galleries, shops, a post office and inns. To the left of the steps, there’s a bump on your right-hand side. North Coast 500 by motorhome and campervan. Whether you are travelling in your own motorhome or campervan, or hiring one for your visit, it is important that you observe the following advice. But don’t worry, they don’t hang around for long. We would have loved to see what’s inside further down the cave. Download an app called park4night and it will show you all the facilities and parking spots around the route. Be sure to follow the path leading over the highest point of the peninsula for fantastic views over the Thirle Door and the Stacks of Duncansby. The walk along the river is actually one of the best things about this place. We recommend popping into the Ullapool Smokehouse shop in the town and stock up on cured salmon and other locally produced goodies. Your adventure can be as exciting or as relaxing as you wish it to be. On a sunny day. Another great thing about the beach is that it’s only a short and easy walk away across the cliffs from the car park. Follow the link to see what’s available in Gairloch today. It’s a lovely peaceful spot for the night. I’m doing the trip in July with my family (young children $ & 10) and friends. The healing works as the cloth rots, so if you leave a non-biodegradable cloth wrapped around a tree, it won’t heal you! You’ll see a plaque tribute for him as you explore the information boards outside the cave. Around 10-15 minutes south down the road from Wick, there’s a quick detour to Whaligoe Steps on your left just before Ulbster. Check the link to see what’s available right now. All of which we can aid you further with. The small historic Bettyhill town has a lovely beach nearby, a leisurely 5-minute stroll across the fields. It’s a wishing well where pilgrims would make offerings by leaving a piece of cloth to the water spirits. At Kinlochewe the road turns to the left onto A832 all the way to Shieldaig. The beach is at the end of the road, past the inn, gin distillery, and many small communities along the way. Pin for later! Why a motorhome is the best way to explore the NC500. In a quarter of a mile past Occumster. If you are planning to stay close to John o’ Groats, check accommodation options in Canisby. This more bike-friendly course takes in smaller roads on the West Coast, that motorhomes and caravans can't go on and away from the busy A9 on the East Coast, as well as including the beautiful Black Isle. Related searches. It’s broad and easily accessible with a small patch of land for parking. 6, then a left turn onto the 4-mile long B855. There is a small car park at the top of the stairs and a sign leading you to the 330 steps descending into a harbour. Thinking of taking a North Coast 500 road trip? If you have time, check out Badachro Inn and the small gin distillery under the same name. From Inverness, it’s only half an hour drive west to Beauly. It’s a tidal almost-white sand beach located in Coigach peninsula. Read about our incredible experience on the recently launched North Coast 500 route : PART 1 - WEST COAST WANDERING Move over Route 66! Located between Coast and Mungasdale in Guinard Bay, it holds a grim past dating back to WWII when the British were testing Anthrax, a dangerous infectious chemical for use in the war. DRUMNADROCHIT - APPLECROSS Our journey begins at Drumnadrochit on the banks of Loch Ness, about 15 miles south west of Inverness, the capital of the Highlands and the official starting and finishing point for the North Coast 500. Inverness to the Black Isle. Quick 15-minute drive northwest from Gairloch is the perfect stop to unwind from all these one-track roads on the North Coast 500 route. It was quite fascinating to see the river quickly eating into the sandy ridge. A hidden gem for sure and worth the detour if you are after a good wild camping spot on NC500. Sort By . Achnahaird beach: This is our top wild camp spot. It houses the famous Applecross Inn and Smokehouse. The garden is beautiful and probably in full bloom in May, but couldn’t even begin to compare to some of the stately homes in England. Once you’ve done the dramatic bit of the coastline, you might be tempted to head straight for Inverness. We drove up in the rain and it was slightly uncomfortable so do take care and stay focused. The walk along the Knockan Crag was a pleasant surprise. How long did it take you to cover this route? The viewing platform here is perfect for an overnight stop if you are doing the North Coast 500 route in a campervan/motorhome. Scotland’s incredible road trip takes in 500 miles around the north coast of Scotland taking in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world – there’s no wonder they call it Scotland’s Route 66. Not cheap, but really good. You’ll have to either do it from the car or simply enjoy the ride. If you’re looking for a great holiday rather than a mad dash, it’s worth taking two weeks to do the full circuit if you can – there’s so much to see and do! Be sure to (carefully) walk around the cliff to take in the view of the thrilling rocks beneath the castle. You will then be picked up by a minibus service and given a 3-hour tour with commentary. If you are spending some time here, check out Leakey’s Bookshop, a second-hand book store housed in an old church. We missed the sign for the viewpoint and went all the way up into the tiny village. From Ullapool head southeast and follow A893. Sadly Colin, the main Smoo caver and tour operator has passed away in early 2019. Once a big herring fishing village, these days Lybster is a sleepy harbour village. Be sure to book early and enjoy your stay stress-free. Touring the North Coast 500 in a motorhome or campervan is becoming increasingly popular as it allows you the freedom to enjoy all the North of Scotland has to offer at your own pace. Here we learned about how continents collided millions of years ago and we had a great circular walk atop the ancient crag. Your best option is to stick to the stops by the roads which are made by the local authorities. The start of the North Coast 500 motorhome route: Inverness The NC500 route starts at Inverness, the gateway to the Highlands. We were in a 20' Motorhome and intentionally took 3 weeks' to complete and enjoy the route. Let us know in the comments below…. Smoo Cave is located on the main road, easily accessible from the car park. The latter looked extremely busy during our visit. Download an easy to use, NC500 map and North Coast 500 Itinerary right here. There’s a big car park located right on the A835 with plenty of space to park up even the largest motorhome. Take a look at the map below! This lovely botanical garden is a true manifestation of the founder’s vision to plant and grow as many exotic plants as possible. The boards explain in detail the controversy of the 19th century when two Scottish geologists, Ben Peach and John Horne, discovered that there was something wrong with the sequence of the rocks here. Experience and see for yourself the journeys pictured throughout the films. If you’ve never been on one track roads, just keep left at passing places. Tonyg3nwl Ps met up with a fellow Ham radio enthusiast on Skye.callsign MM0LUP. What we weren’t too sure about when we got there was the 8-mile round trek to the beach. There is a hut with lots of information about, supposedly, the oldest rocks in the world, at the start of the walk. On the official website for the North Coast 500 the route is describe as follows: It took us around 11 days to cover it and it has been a spectacular road trip . From here cross the stone bridge on your left if driving clockwise and then it’s around 9 miles on the one-track road. But The Junction Cafe nearby serves up a really good full English including a fab veggie option. For our final evening of camping along the North Coast 500, we actually went a little bit off the route, as we were trying to escape light pollution from nearby cities. We recommend the longer route and taking a few detours along the way, such as Torridon glen. Hi, I loved reading this. Look to your left to discover a lovely waterfall rushing down the impressive rocks. From John o’ Groats, drive up to Duncansby Head. The discovery that the older rocks moved on top of the younger rocks due to tectonic action had a significant impact on the science of geology. We were going to hire a converted van, as I’m thinking campervans may be too big for some of the route? Plus, it wasn’t that busy during the day either. 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