north coast 500 motorhome map

The North Coast 500 (nc500) has everything you could want from a Scottish road trip. Situated along the River Ness, Inverness is easily walkable on foot. Be sure to book early and enjoy your stay stress-free. There is a hut with lots of information about, supposedly, the oldest rocks in the world, at the start of the walk. On a clear day, you can see the islands of Stroma, Hoy and the Orkney Mainland. Smoo Cave is located on the main road, easily accessible from the car park. Experience and see for yourself the journeys pictured throughout the films. It would only be the massive RV type motorhomes which would struggle on the smaller roads. “No more beaches,” we said after our epic fail at Sandwood Bay. Here are some of our highlights. We saw so many people turn around at the point of a slight incline, which is a shame. Located in a cute town Beauly, the ruins of the priory, which is still in a very good condition, is worth a quick look. There’s a big car park located right on the A835 with plenty of space to park up even the largest motorhome. Applecross is a very popular camping spot in the Scottish Highlands and one … Bringing together just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery, the route follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands. The coastline is so striking it’s hard to take it all in. Our breakfast consisted of baked goods and coffee from Harry Gow Bakery. A spectacular fine-sand beach, no doubt. The only way to access the peninsula is by the Cape Wrath Ferry, a foot passenger only boat. You will then be picked up by a minibus service and given a 3-hour tour with commentary. From here you can explore Loch Ness further, but if we are brutally honest, there are many more beautiful and less touristy lochs around. Here’s the website where you can check out prices and availability. It’s a real shame the boat tours weren’t running during our visit. The spot is peaceful, offers great walks and views. Once you’ve done the dramatic bit of the coastline, you might be tempted to head straight for Inverness. Sadly Colin, the main Smoo caver and tour operator has passed away in early 2019. Wander up the hill away from the lighthouse to investigate the bunker and other tiny huts built during World War II. Experience Scotland's answer to Route 66 with everything from fairytale castle ruins to delicious seafood and white beaches. If you want to discover this quirky site, follow the A9 motorway for about an hour until you reach Munlochy village. The second leg of the road trip, Applecross to Ullapool, is no less exciting than the first. In 1986, the government started the cleaning process and declared the island to be safe to visit in 1990. If you can time your visit to this fairytale castle on a Monday (or any other weekday) morning, you’ll have a pleasant wander without too many crowds. Let us know in the comments below…. To get there, look for a big brown sign for Cairns of Camster just past Camster. If you are a passenger, look out for two little cute sandy bays on your left (if driving clockwise), if you are the driver on NC500 – keep your eyes on the road. If you’re interested in discovering the beautiful North Coast 500 by motorhome, don’t hesitate to contact us on 07720 260596 or browse our website to learn more about the amazing models we have at your disposal. Charlie had lots of fun demolishing and arch that looked like a mini version of the long lost Azure Window in Malta. How and where to see the Harry Potter Train a.k.a “Hogwarts Express.”, Northwest Highlands GeoPark – Knockan Crag (detour). Driving away from Thurso, you’ll be able to take quite a few dramatic detours, starting with Dunnet Head, a peninsula on the north coast of Scotland. Tacky, but we still took a quick picture. If you are planning to stay close to John o’ Groats, check accommodation options in Canisby. However we don’t recommend heading into the city itself, it isn’t very motorhome friendly and doesn’t have a great deal to offer. A 10-minute drive away northeast from Clachtoll Beach, you’ll come across Clashnessie Beach. Inverness to the Black Isle. A great spot for chilling, paddleboarding or dipping your toes in the crystal-clear waters. We only had two other campervans parked next to us during our stay. There are many more easily accessible and beautiful beaches along the route so skip it if the weather isn’t on your side. Perched on the shore of legendary Loch Ness, this 13-16th-century castle is just about visible from the A82 road. Like a true explorer, Charlie had a go at crawling into each of the three tombs through a narrow passageway to explore the inside of the monuments and got a bit muddy in the process. Download an app called park4night and it will show you all the facilities and parking spots around the route. 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. Please be respectful and leave a small donation if you can. No one bothered us. We enjoyed a few delightful breakfasts in our van conversion made from traditionally smoked malt whiskey cured salmon. The journey to cross the Kyle of Durness takes around 10 minutes. It’s dangerous and breathtaking at the same time. The walk along the Knockan Crag was a pleasant surprise. And don’t hold on to the walls – they might be unsupported or just recently repaired. As you leave Dunrobin Castle, you’ll cross the bridge into the Black Isle, towards Inverness. Take the woodland trail and cross the Victoria suspension bridge to see the spectacular show of the falls plunging into the River Droma. The drive from Shieldaig and especially from Torridon towards the Red Beach is, you probably already guessed, stunning and picturesque. Littleferry beach: This is our 2nd top spot for wild camping on the North Coast 500 route. 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. But the sun was out and we found ourselves trotting off yet to another beach. It’s a lovely site to explore and also very peaceful. If you are spending some time here, check out Leakey’s Bookshop, a second-hand book store housed in an old church. We recently came across this brilliant map containing wild camping and pub stopovers for campervans doing the North Coast 500. Get excited. You can just show up and glide over the Atlantic at 40 mph, no booking required. The car park is small, but if you can squeeze in your campervan, stay here for a night. Yes, you can see the craggy rocks from further away, but the most delightful part of Duncasby Head lies a little further along. Noss Head: Less crowded than Dunnet Head car park. But is it really? At 626 metres (2,053 ft) high, the single track road twists and turns sharply in places and should be taken seriously. North West Highland Geopark Durness Visitor Centre Strathnaver Museum Caithness Horizons Castlehill Heritage Centre Seadrift Centre Mary Ann's Cottage Caithness Broch Centre Wick Old Heritage Centre! From here, the only way to reach the unspoiled beach is on foot for just over 4 miles one way. And if you leave the beach early enough in the morning, before 9 am, you’ll be lucky to miss the oncoming traffic along the one-track road. North Coast 500 map (download the digital map and then pick up a paper copy at the Inverness Visitor Center) Scotland road map or atlas ; GPS ; Road Trip music (in a format that works with your vehicle!) Experience and see for yourself the journeys pictured throughout the films. From Applecross head east towards A896. It’s a good stop before tackling the remaining east coast of the Scottish 500 route. We’ve also divided the guide into 5 sections with the top highlights for easy navigation. In this epic North Coast 500 post, we’ll tell you all about the things to do and see on this 500+ mile scenic loop around the coast of the Highlands. If you are not going down into the gorge, then enjoy the fabulous drive to the next leg of the North Coast 500 trip – Ullapool. 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. The picture-perfect Shiledaig will forever be known to us as the “best banana bread stop” on Scotland’s most scenic North Coast 500 route. With picnic tables, fantastic views of Little Loch Broom and An Tellach, the highest mountain in the area, this place is what the NC500 route is all about. Recent Posts. Look out for the sign on your right-hand side pointing to Red Point. If you’ve never been on one track roads, just keep left at passing places. From here cross the stone bridge on your left if driving clockwise and then it’s around 9 miles on the one-track road. Next up will be the intriguing Neolithic Tombs – Grey Cairns of Camster. Plus, you’ll get a great view of the Duncansby Head cliffs that broke away from the main peninsula. We drove up in the rain and it was slightly uncomfortable so do take care and stay focused. 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 missed the sign for the viewpoint and went all the way up into the tiny village. Opinan is the last settlement before the beach. Most importantly we recommend selecting several potential locations as backups, as things change and no overnight parking / sleeping signs are starting to appear across the UK :(. You’ll have lots of options around the entire coastal route. Spot the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye. There is the popular North Coast 500 route, alongside a number of other routes beyond our website. Neither of us is particularly fit so wouldn’t do anything akin to rock climbing or walking along narrow ledges. Maybe I wasn’t alone after all?!? From John o’ Groats, drive up to Duncansby Head. The village was originally founded in the 1800s to train up seamen for war against Napoleon, hence the cannon along the seafront. Scotland at its best. Tonyg3nwl Ps met up with a fellow Ham radio enthusiast on Skye.callsign MM0LUP. We were indeed very excited to make a detour here. There’s a visitor centre in the town if you are looking for more things to do and see in the area. As if it was a fast-forward movie of natural coastal corrosion. Full attention must be paid to the road here. Check out the official page for Smoo Cave to see if the tours are still running. On a sunny day. Most of the suggested routes cover the whole North Coast 500 route in 5 days, but for a motorhome tour that will be quite tiring. 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. Applecross, also known as “the street” to the locals is one of the earliest settlements in Scotland. Thurso is only a 45-minute drive northeast from Bettyhill via A836, then a left turn onto the 4-mile long B855. Allocating a good chunk of time is a good idea. Back home now, so where to next???. Today it’s a peaceful fishing village with a pretty name meaning “herring bay.”. 4.0 out of 5 stars 24. Your best option is to stick to the stops by the roads which are made by the local authorities. Take a look at the map below! It marks the longest distance (874 miles) between two extreme points in the southwest (Land’s End in Cornwall) and northeast (John o’ Groats) of the country. Another great thing about the beach is that it’s only a short and easy walk away across the cliffs from the car park. It was quite fascinating to see the river quickly eating into the sandy ridge. Plus it’s free of charge! I’m wondering if you would recommend any stops that wouldn’t be good for them (too long a walk, dangerous walk, too many steps). We recommend popping into the Ullapool Smokehouse shop in the town and stock up on cured salmon and other locally produced goodies. But it can take months if you take off-road routes. You’ll be passing right through the Torridon valley on the A896, with a view into the mighty Ben Eighe with its many summits. Now buckle up, you are off to the most challenging part of the North Coast 500 loop. Firstly, which season are you embarking in? Your adventure can be as exciting or as relaxing as you wish it to be. In this epic North Coast 500 post, we’ll tell you all about the things to do and see on this 500+ mile scenic loop around the coast of the Highlands. It’s quite Harry Potter-esque. N … Planning Your Motorhome Trip for Winter. In a quarter of a mile past Occumster. During our visit, every B&B we passed in Ullapool was marked with “no vacancies” sign, therefore, pre-booking accommodation is a smart move. You can see the route on the North Coast 500 map above. From Ullapool head southeast and follow A893. But don’t miss Achnahaird Beach, it’s well worth a detour, especially on a sunny day. It took us around 11 days to cover it and it has been a spectacular road trip . Thurso is a great base from which to explore the dramatic peninsulas of the NC500. If you have very little time to spare but still really want to do the Route 500, you can book a 3-day whirlwind tour from Inverness with the very popular Rabbie’s minivan. And it was, supposedly, endorsed by Mary Queen of Scots during her visit in 1564. Turn right and drive on a what feels like Roman Road for around 8-10 minutes until you see grey bumps in the grass. and witness the scenery get increasingly more dramatic. Travelling The North Coast 500 In A Motorhome. The view of the bay, the beach and the hills in the distance is magnificent. The valley was covered in thick mist when we were driving through the pass. The NC500 highlights are all hyperlinked so you don’t have to keep on scrolling up and down. Stay focused, keep your eyes on the road and enjoy the ride. There is the popular North Coast 500 route, alongside a number of other routes beyond our website. From Inverness, it’s only half an hour drive west to Beauly. Even though they aren’t the original pieces, they are fun to investigate. There is a substantial patch of gravel land for overnight parking. We were going to hire a converted van, as I’m thinking campervans may be too big for some of the route? The heritage garden has quite a few trails plus a museum and a cafe. What we weren’t too sure about when we got there was the 8-mile round trek to the beach. Wow, what a resource. If you are craving peace and an off the beaten path spot, then Achnahaird beach is worth the detour. If you’re arranging motorhome hire in Scotland for the trip, they can probably supply these, but always check first. It can get cold at night even in the summer so bring warmer PJs. North Coast 500 Route Map. The healing works as the cloth rots, so if you leave a non-biodegradable cloth wrapped around a tree, it won’t heal you! Plus, it wasn’t that busy during the day either. There’s a well-trodden path leading up to the summit from where you can look down on to the huge breathtaking craggy sea stacks. 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 The Junction Cafe nearby serves up a really good full English including a fab veggie option. It’s up to you whether you want to spend a day in the city, but we really recommend spending an afternoon here. There’s beach after beach after beach on this bit of road and you don’t have to see them all. Be sure to (carefully) walk around the cliff to take in the view of the thrilling rocks beneath the castle. The small historic Bettyhill town has a lovely beach nearby, a leisurely 5-minute stroll across the fields. Then book a glass-bottomed boat tour to sneak on sea stars, urchins, seals and sea birds. The Scottish 500 route is becoming increasingly popular and you might miss out on great places to stay if you don’t book in advance. The hill was used as a monitoring station as it affords good visibility across the Pentland Firth. Needed attachments or gear for RV or campervan (e.g., hoses, leveling blocks) Bike rack (if planning to take or rent bikes) But don’t worry, they don’t hang around for long. It was founded by the French monks in 1230, hence the name “Beautiful Place,” that comes from the riverside setting (beau lieu). This is the most northerly point of mainland Britain and home to puffins, razorbills (which we were lucky to spot), shags and cormorants. Plus, the countryside, bathing in the morning light, is so beautiful and fresh – great for photos. Campervan Hire RV & Motorhome Rentals These will have clearly marked trail maps and so you’ll be able to judge is they are suitable. Cape Wrath is a serious detour on the NC500 route. The family still lives here but a large chunk of the manor is open for exploring. Technically Drumnadrochit – home of the Loch Ness Monster – is not part of the route, but we decided to start here because it meant we could leave the kids with their grandparents for a few days and enj… Road hugged by the Cape Wrath Ferry, a heater, and an emergency kit in you! Some are getting the whole idea wrong hire in north coast 500 motorhome map suggest stopping at the harbour have... Stops by the start of the Falls plunging into the Black Isle towards! Causeway hugged by the turquoise waters of the bridge into the sea radio enthusiast on Skye.callsign MM0LUP even. 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