North Coast 500

North Coast 500, Inverness: Address, Phone Number, North Coast 500 Reviews: 4.5/5

North Coast 500
4.5
About
The North Coast 500 is Scotland's biggest road trip measuring over 500 miles. The route begins in Inverness and flows along the stunning coastal edges of the North Highlands in one round trip. Bringing together the best of the Highlands from glistening beaches, haunting castles, monumental munros and hundreds more scenic stop-offs, you will be spoilt for choice on this road trip!
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
733 reviews
Excellent
621
Very good
62
Average
18
Poor
13
Terrible
19

Dangary
Todmorden95 contributions
Ruined by the ‘tick box’ brigade
Sep 2021 • Couples
First of all, I have not travelled on the entire NC500. I have ‘only’ visited the west coast section from Gairloch to Durness, which I did over 2 weeks. And there lies the problem. The majority of people hire a motorhome for 7 days in Inverness, load up with food and booze at the Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and then blast around Scotland to ‘tick the box’. They spend nothing, see nothing, taste nothing, hear nothing, experience nothing of this wonderful and stunning country, contributing nothing to the local
economy, yet contributing much to the resentment. Yes, I’m a tourist, but at least I don’t ‘drive, arrive, set up, eat, drink, sleep, pack up, drive, arrive’ etc on repeat for 7 days. So you think you’ve experienced Scotland… pah!
Written October 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hols2014
Slough, UK139 contributions
Absolutely amazing scenery but not fit for purpose!
Sep 2021
Stunning and that is SO true. Great views and some lovely places to stay. The roads are challenging and just not relaxing to be trying to pass every few meters and a steep drop on the edge of a narrow road. Very few amenities enroute - perhaps tourists are not encouraged. The A roads from Ullapool to Drumbeg and then Durness are just single lane. From Durness to Thurso is notmuch better. The A9 east coast is a real road but has heavy bust traffic and no places to pass.
On balance yes fantastic scenery. As far as relaxing- no- passenger looking around every right hand corner for incoming traffic is just stressful. Not suited for the huge number of RVs and traffic.
Written October 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

wazza99
West Yorkshire, UK666 contributions
Over hyped tourist route
Sep 2021
Seems a rather over hyped "thing to do" little if any must see locations, yes the scenery is great but all you do is just drive through, the whole route isnt really geared up in infrastructure terms . ,Most tourist destinations, if you can call them that eg Cocoa Mountain and Lochinver pies etc seem to fleece tourists in terms of costs.

The beaches are about the best scenes along with the towering mountains, places like smoo cave, and the various falls are nothing special that can just as easily be seen in the dales or peaks.

Overall i nice road trip but nothing outstanding , like most i guess we did it as nothing else to do.
Written October 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Work2TravelUk
UK123 contributions
Breath taking views
Sep 2021
An exceptional road trip. We took our time, supported independent businesses along the way, did some amazing walks and enjoyed Highland hospitality. The West Coast is spectacular, not for inexperienced or nervous drivers though! So much to see and do - best recommendation I could make is to research and plan ahead. Facilities in some areas are limited, we planned ahead and went out of season but abuse by an inconsiderable few has left its mark. Some people do the route as fast as possible - they miss out on the experience and are dangerous road users.
Written October 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah G
Devon,UK155 contributions
Beautiful Travels
Sep 2021
We set off on this epic journey in our car and using a combination of Airbnb and B&B's as we were limited as everywhere was already booked in advance. Starting with a few days in Inverness and going clockwise around as most do anti clockwise. Starting on the pass to applecross is not for the faint hearted. Its a beautiful pass with stunning views, Plenty of passing points every 30 meters or so. Its the norm to pull in if you see an on coming vehicle unless they flash you on to pass them. The edges of the rd are dodgy, They are deep ridges so be careful when the wheels of your vehicle are near as you can do some damage to the under carriage. Camper vans are difficult to pass in places due to there size,. We experienced a lot of vehicles who were driving too fast around blind corners and couldn't stop in time at the passing point on their side so we ended up reversing a lot because of their complacency .

The views on the West coast are spectacular and the Drumbeg loop is not to be missed. Lots to see along the way so well worth doing,
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SPASymington
Symington66 contributions
Stunning
Dec 2020 • Couples
Brilliant. Recommended for anyone but would prefer it remain a secret!! Just one of the most stunning places in the world.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

itchyfeet2014
Glasgow, UK2,075 contributions
Stunning route but roads are overloaded
Sep 2021 • Couples
We really enjoyed this road trip which covered 500+ miles as we did a few detours to places we had always wanted to visit but were quite remote for us, even though we live in Scotland.
Many of the places we visited were breathtakingly beautiful, even though we are well used to great scenery here.
Our reservations were the difficulties in booking accommodation and the heavy vehicles. We traveled for 9 days in total and stayed mainly in hotels. Our route was done in a comfortable family car. Many of the roads were single track over large distances. So staying alert was essential. Clearly some drivers were not used to the etiquette required for passing places etc. It was mostly ok but there were still an awful lot of very large camper vans to negotiate.

We had many highlights. And a number of disappointments as places were closed due to covid. I feel sorry for the local people in the more remote areas with the insurgent traffic. However we are so grateful for the hospitality of the many
establishments that ensured we enjoyed our holiday. Thank you.

Our favourite places:
Inverness- great city
Beautiful Beauly
Strathpeffer and Rogie Falls
Plockton, just off the route
Attadale gardens
Strome castle
Inverewe gardens
Lochinver and the mobile cinema
Loch Maree
Clachtoll beach
Loch Assynt
Lairg
Castle of Mey
Duncansby Head
Dunrobin castle
Dornoch
The list could go on and on. Scotland is an amazing country.
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christina K
California8 contributions
Definitely make this trip
Sep 2021
It’s a beautiful ride through various landscapes. Beware there are not that many gas stations, only in the larger cities. Loved the ride, definitely worth it.
Written September 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

fi_mathews
Ottery St. Mary, UK18 contributions
Tragic
Sep 2021 • Couples
I was last here in 2012. I should not have returned. The combination of Covid lockdown effects and the dreaded “staycation” has had a hugely damaging effect on this once pristine and quiet place. Yes, I am a tourist, but I drive a sensible car, I stay a week in one place (as I used to do before) and shop at the local shops. I know how to use the roads and passing places. The roads were overwhelmed with motorhomes. There were few places open anymore that must have suffered so badly with the COVID effect but masses of people lured here by the NC500 hype and looking for “something to do”. I went to a once amazing pub in an isolated position and found the area crowded with people who were “ticking it off the list” but just getting in the way of the poor locals who were trying to live their lives. The pub had overexpanded to try and meet the demand and the food was just average. So sad. In my opinion it was a huge mistake to promote this route with no thought of the consequences to the people who live here and the natural habitat.
Written September 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jim D
6 contributions
Forget east coast go up the middle
Aug 2021
We were there last weekTuesday weather great Wednesday misty from the top to Lochinver. Started journey from Inverness and on a recommendation from relative in Melvich went up the centre rather the flat East Coast. I’ve done that before. Went up through Lairg and Altnaharra and headed for Melvich via Tongue. Fantastic scenery all the way loads of lochs and mountains. Your on single track from Lairg to Tongue. Many blind summits. But it’s a safer road than the West coast where the single track has more blind summits and corners. Mostly the drivers were courteous. Tip thou if you see a local trades van let them past and follow. They know the roads and are up higher. Went from Melvich to Ullapool made a few stops. Never did the Applecross bit. I’ll be back next year and go clockwise.
Written August 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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