- What To Do
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Serene and tranquil, extraordinary and exhilarating. The Scottish Highlands has got it all, and with the North Coast 500, you can devour it all in one scenic and incredible trip. The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s, and arguably Europe’s, answer to Route 66. The route is a circuitous scenic 516-mile trip around the breath-taking coast and through must-visit destinations.
While you can start your trip from any starting point you like, Inverness Castle is typically considered the beginning and the end, building up the expectation of the sights you will see on your journey and as a majestic final destination to celebrate your tour of the long, winding roads.
What Will You See?
The rugged Highlands and the endless coast and picturesque beaches are a reason in itself to go and marvel at the natural beauty. There is ample wildlife spotting, from dolphins, seals, puffins, deer and birdlife, notably some incredible birds of prey.
The route is scattered with stunning castles and mysterious ruins to wander around and let your imagination run wild. Not only this, you will receive the finest Scottish hospitality, with attractive and welcoming places to stay and some of the best eateries where you can sample culinary marvels and local seafood. Your journey will also take you to some excellent distilleries for whisky or gin so that you can sample truly everything that Scotland has to other.
Bringing your camera is a must as you will discover picturesque scenes and sights that you will never have imagined.
How Should I Travel?
While travelling by car is the most common method, motorcycles, bikes and campervans are popular too. Whether you want the luxury of a convertible sports car or even want to complete it on foot, the choice is yours. What’s important to know is that a good level of driving experience is necessary as the roads have very narrow sections, hairpin corners and the surprise of the unexpected on the roads, whether that is adverse weather or a herd of sheep.
Top Ten Reasons To Go
If you’re not convinced already, here are our ten best reasons to make this trip, we know you won’t regret it.
1. Landscapes like no other – from mountains, glens, lochs and coasts you’ll just want to stop and stare.
2. Excellent restaurants – all that view-marvelling is hungry work.
3. Step back in time – the history is everywhere to be seen, from ancient ruins to battlegrounds.
4. Get on the water – from boat trips to sea-kayaking, don’t just limit yourself to the driving route.
5. Museums and attractions – find out more about the fascinating land.
6. Hike the Munros – The perfect opportunity for Munro-bagging.
7. Visit and stay in castles – Time to feel like royalty.
8. Wildlife – seals, dolphins and the Highland cows
9. The best road trip fun you’ll have – pack snacks and some tunes.
10. Distilleries and breweries – there’s more to taste than the Scottish fresh air.