North Coast 500
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!
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience North Coast 500 and nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • beth068
    Exeter, United Kingdom28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best road trip in the world
    Best trip I’ve ever been on. Have lived in lots of different countries and have visited many iconic areas. This beats them all hands done. I wouldn’t bother with places like the Great Ocean Road in Australia which is disappointing - the North Coast 500 in the North of Scotland is sooooo much more interesting and varied. Fabulous dramatic scenery. We did have good weather which really helped and the gorse bushes were stunning in mid May and not too much traffic. It you can time your trip so that the weather looks good then you’re in for a real treat. Not to be missed!!
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 19, 2023
  • Jason S
    Melbourne, Australia1,712 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing scenery everywhere
    Wonderful rod trip with stunning scenery almost along the whole route. Do your research so you can plan what to see and do each day. Make sure you stop any many lookouts and isolated areas to ensure the unique countryside.
    Visited January 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 22, 2023
  • Janice M
    Clacton-on-Sea, United Kingdom76 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Every one should do this at least once
    Wow around every corner. We did it in an all electric car and it was easy. Just remember to download charging app ChargePlaceScotland. Durness beach amazing as was Applecross Beach. Durnoch best village. Take time to stop and enjoy the views it’s not a race
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 23, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles782 reviews
Excellent
656
Very good
65
Average
22
Poor
16
Terrible
23

Anne E
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
West coast stunning we were lucky with weather too. Great family adventure. Will definitely be doing it again
Written November 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

joppie230261
Glenrothes, UK39 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Having worked in the Highlands and Islands on and off for the last three decades visiting as a tourist never occurred to me.However a friend of my wife told us we should visit Achmelvich in Sutherland. I wasn't keen on taking my EV (Kona 64Kw) but my wife persuaded me. From home to Achmelvich is just over 220 miles and I thought we would do part of the '500' as my wife has never been north of Inverness. So it was up and down in a day which took over 14 hours to complete. The scenery as others testify is quite stunning, but not so much when it's pouring rain horizontally in October. But this is Scotland and that is how it is. I was quite surprised how little cafe's etc were open. Evanton where we stopped to re-charge the cafe/restuarant looked like it had been closed for years. The nearby petrol station had a small Spar so we got a hot coffee while we waited for the car to charge to 80%. Then we looped round on part of the 500 then headed to Lochinver where again we stopped to recharge. Again very little cafe wise was open In fact only one that we could see. Then we headed to Achmelvich which was quite stunning with the contrast between white sandy beach and the rocks. After lots of photos we decided it was time to head back to Fife stopping in Kingussie to charge yet again.

This brings me to the point of stating I had an EV. Although I had actually no problem charging on the '500' I found the costs exorbitant. Evanton was 82p per KW and Lochinver was 75p with a 45 minute time limit, no return in 30 minutes. This was for 50KW EVSE which actually supplied power at 36kw which may have been a function of the car due to the battery being over 30% but still very expensive. I totally understand the time limit but the cost was eye-watering. It is four times the cost of charging in Fife and more than double charging in Dundee, Angus or Perthshire. I can understand why no-one was charging except me as for most these costs can only be absorbed by tourists and business people.

I think CPS (Chargeplace Scotland) should have a word with Highland council or whoever owns the EVSE's.

One thing I will point out is when on the '500' there are small single track roads that lead off to elsewhere. These roads aren't particularly well maintained and the edges are crumbling Be wary of going into passing places to let other vehicles pass as sometimes there are huge holes filled with water that can easily burst a tyre. It's happened to me a few times with cars, vans and small lorries. My car like most nowadays doesn't come with a spare tyre and mobile phone coverage at best can be quite patchy (at best). So beware.

I suspect that the '500' is marketed for late spring to the end of summer and that's when most people will travel. Autumn and winter not so much although I have been in the Highlands working during the winter and spotted Motorhomes so there are a few hardy souls.

So next time I'm taking my diesel van. I'll only have to fill up once and I can carry a spare tyre or two with ease.

Written October 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ashley w
Leicester, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
One of the best Uk road trips definitely worth it. To have the full experience I recommend atleast two weeks to fully appreciate what it has to offer and some hidden gems (did it his in September 2021)
Written September 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janice M
Clacton-on-Sea, UK76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Wow around every corner.
We did it in an all electric car and it was easy. Just remember to download charging app ChargePlaceScotland.
Durness beach amazing as was Applecross Beach. Durnoch best village.
Take time to stop and enjoy the views it’s not a race
Written August 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul R
1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
We are being ripped off for accommodation and food all the way around the NC500. £200- £300 per night with no breakfast is not value for money.
Generally staff were wonderful but mostly not Scottish.
Average one course lunch and a drink was £40 for two. Not value for money.
Most accommodation was clean if dated, some was old and dirty and these were among the most expensive; take note Ferry Boat Inn, Ullapool !
Some places also adding an automatic 10% service charge to the bill!
Would I do it again? Yes, but with fewer stops and maybe a spot of camping to keep costs under control.
Written August 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Walter F
Nairn, UK11 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Used to me nice with amazing scenery, to be honest all your actually going to see is the back end of a campervan travelling at 20mph. When you do get lucky enough to stop somewhere watch out for all the dumped human faeces dumped in car parks and lay-bys.
Written July 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jason S
Melbourne, Australia1,712 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Solo
Wonderful rod trip with stunning scenery almost along the whole route.

Do your research so you can plan what to see and do each day. Make sure you stop any many lookouts and isolated areas to ensure the unique countryside.
Written July 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stuart C
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Breath taking.. be prepared for a lot driving .. we ended up doing 750 miles in total .. be patient and polite when driving especially on the single track roads in the mountains.. book your campsites in advance to avoid disappointment.. over all it is an amazing trip would definitely reccomend
Written July 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AlisonWolverhampton
Wombourne, UK386 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
Plan ahead, don't miss anything, loads to see and do, stunning scenery. Step out of the car in a remote spot and just enjoy the silence. Amazing wildlife.
Written July 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paulfalconer01
Chesterfield, UK187 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
This is a must to do if your up for some driving and beautiful scenery. We started our journey in Dingwall at the Kyleachin bnb which deserves more than its 5 star tripadvisor review. As is the case with our meal out in the Culbokie inn, where the view from their car park are just perfect. This is a great place to start the NC500. The route we took was clock wise and generally the roads are in good condition but over 170miles of this is single track with some sharp bends and a few mountains to go over. Signs show alternate routes for motor homes but they ignore these and make it more difficult for others, as the roads with the passing places can be very tight and they put others at risk by having to squeeze by. First stop was Ullappool: not much here and few restaurants. A couple seem to have closed and we had no choice to pay for fish and chips, which was the most expensive I’ve ever had for a take away. There are a few bars, Tesco and petrol station. Next day we toured (lots of single track) up to Durness on our way to Bettyhill. Durness was nice but some of the on route tourist recommendations were all hyped. Cocoa mountain is ok, limited chocolate selection and average taste, although there is a beautiful beach nearby. The amok cave is worth a visit but don’t park in the postcode car park, as this is a paying park and just down the road it’s free. We used the bettyhill hotel and wow this place was awesome, a proper bar with bar meals or a restaurant meal. The staff were super attentive and professional. Our next day was only a short trip to Thurso where we stayed at the valley view house bnb. Again wow, the host was great and to top it off she has her own highland cows that my wife brushed and fed. As this was a short distance from our previous night we used the opportunity to explore around here. John O Groats was a tourist hot spot but the most northerly land point was dunnets point. We ventured to wick and the Old Pultney distillery (one of my favourite drams). In the Evening we dined at the red pepper restaurant in Thurso which is with a booking. Our next stop was outside of the NC500. In total. Book your accommodation early, expect large vehicles on single track roads, there’s plenty of petrol stations and supermarkets throughout the route, expect to see beautiful scenery and in polluted beaches with clear seas. On some occasions we ventured to a beach to find we were the only ones on it. The beaches are beautiful as are all the people we met. Have fun
Written July 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 705
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

North Coast 500 - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about North Coast 500




All Inverness HotelsInverness Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Inverness
All things to do in Inverness
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars