Do you want to have an epic Road trip to Scotland?
North Coast 500 is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful road trip destinations in the UK. This 500-mile track will leave you stunned by the beauty of Scotland’s North Highlands, its beaches, and impressive coastlines.
My 5-day campervan itinerary will guide you amongst the most awesome points of interest. It should take you at least five days, beginning at Inverness, continuing along the northwest coast, passing Wick, Sinclair’s Bay, Scrabster Harbour, and Loch Ness, before returning to Inverness.
You can customize this Scotland Road trip itinerary based on your available days and extend it to one week or more by taking it slowly or adding a few more amazing destinations on the way. Flexibility is the best part when traveling by motorhome, so enjoy it to the fullest!
Scotland Road trip: The best way to travel North Coast 500 route
While public transport often is an underrated way to travel, we would not recommend it in this case. Scotland’s wild corners will be much easier to reach by car or, even better: by campervan or motorhome.
This allows you to travel more flexibly and independently, and you are sure not to miss any highlights. For those who like to plan your trip as you go, a road trip in a motorhome could be the perfect solution. It surely is for me.
Have you come across a great spot with a spectacular view? Just prolong your stay for a night! That is particularly easy in Scotland, where you can camp on most unenclosed land. There are, however, many campsites available for those who prefer a hot shower in the morning.
Do you not have a vehicle? In that case, you can hire a campervan with Yescapa, the European leader of peer-to-peer camper sharing.
The concept is simple: Owners of leisure vehicles can rent their vehicles to other camping enthusiasts. This way, the vehicle owner can generate additional income in the unused time, and travel enthusiasts can rent their dream vehicle.
At Yescapa, you’ll find over 12,500 individual campervans, motorhomes, and caravans with a unique history and experienced owners that will share travel advice with you.
Both parties enjoy a comprehensive insurance cover due to tailor-made insurance solutions, including 24-hour breakdown cover. In addition, Yescapa’s nine-language team accompanies you in the event of damage claims and manages the process from A to Z.
Day 1: From Inverness to Wick sea
The starting point of your Scotland Road trip is Inverness, the capital of the Highlands and a great place to begin your road trip adventure.
Highlights in Inverness are the beautiful view of the River Ness, the Old High Church, and St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
Hop back into your campervan and drive to Dunrobin Castle with its beautiful gardens and impressive 189 rooms.
Your last stop before arriving at the small historic village Wick is Hill O’Many Stanes, a magical place with about 200 upright stones set out in rows.
Day 2: From Wick to Scrabster Harbour
From Wick, it is just a ten-minute drive to Sinclair Girnigoe Castle, where you can visit the ruins of Castle Girnigoe (built in the 15th century) and Castle Sinclair (a 17th-century castle). Afterward, I highly recommend you drive to Sinclair’s Bay, a beautiful white beach on Scotland’s east coast.
Ready to continue? Great, then back on the road and up to our next destination: Dunnet Head Nature Reserve, the most northerly mainland point of Britain with impressive views of wild sea cliffs.
A 30-minute drive away lies Scrabster Harbour, an essential port for the Scottish fishing industry and the perfect place for a well-deserved restaurant visit.
Day 3: From Scrabster Harbour to Inchnadamph
Take your breakfast at Strathy Bay, an 8,000 years old village about 30 minutes from Scabster Harbour. After a stroll alongside the beach, go to Durness and enjoy the spectacular view from Smoo Cave, the biggest coastal cave in the UK, with a view of a waterfall and a white beach surrounded by cliffs.
Another highlight of this epic road trip to Scotland is Eas a’Chual Aluinn, Britain’s highest waterfall, accessible via a 10 kilometers hike. Somewhat easier to access is Inchnadamph and the River Caves, Scotland’s largest cave system.
Day 4: From Inchnadamph to Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve
I suggest you begin day 4 of your Scotland Road trip with a visit to the small harbor city Ullapool, where you can sail down Loch Broom, climb Ullapool hill or take a stroll along the riverside. The next stop, only 20 minutes from there, is the 60m deep and 1.5 hm long Corrieshalloch Gorge.
Inverewe Garden is a calm place, ideal for a relaxed stroll through the 850 hectares of colorful plants, native and non-native trees, and ponds.
Your next destination requires some physical activity: Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve invites you to take a long hike through ancient pinewoods and mountainsides.
Your next destination requires some physical activity: Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve invites you to take a long hike through ancient pinewoods and mountainsides. If you are looking for some fun activities or experience days in Scotland, this destination will be on your favorite list.
Day 5: From Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve to Inverness
After your first day, stop at the village of Achnasheen, and pass by Glen Ord Distillery to bring home a souvenir of this road trip!
Next, you will pass by the famous Loch Ness and Urquart Castle, a ruin of a castle dating back to the 13th to 16th century, before finally heading back to Inverness.
I hope this itinerary of the North Coast 500 route could inspire you and helps you to prepare for your next Scotland road trip! If you’ve been to Scotland and want to add your favorite destination, leave me a comment below!
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