The North Coast 500 is a stunning highland road trip adventure around Scotland’s finest coastal roads. The start and end point are based in Inverness, where flights are available to Inverness airport
with a selection of airlines including easyJet and British airways. Collecting your hire car is easy and can be picked up directly from the airport, allowing you to begin your highland adventure at a pace that suits you. At Rhino we offer a range of cars to suit all budgets, so if you’re after a touch of luxury why not hire one of our premium range cars such as the Mercedes Benz C-Class. However if you’re looking to enjoy this scenic drive on more of a budget we also have a range of economy cars to suit.
Our 5-day mini guide: Highlights of the Highlands.
On leaving Inverness you will head west and pass a number of glorious villages including, Contin and Strathpeffer. Following on from Strathpeffer is an attraction not to be missed: The stunning Rogie Falls. You may wish to just stop and admire or for the more adventurous it is possible to try a number of river activities.
Once back in the car and a couple of hours later you’ll find yourself clenching at the steering wheel with a smile on your face as you tackle the tight hairpin switch backs that take you through the hill side on your way to Applecross. The Applecross Inn is a good place to refresh and spend the night ready for the next day’s journey.
Continuing along the North Coast 500, we are heading to Torridon, which is on the edge of the beautiful Loch Torridon. The loch is a great place to stop and take in the majestic scenery. Back in the driving seat and the next passing point is equally stunning, the harbour-side village of Gairloch. Continuing on the large west coast town of Ullapool is a good place to re-fuel the car and also a number of overnight accommodation options including, The Arch Inn.
Today’s drive will take you through more fantastic villages, the ruins of Ardvreck Castle and the town of Lochinver. The Lochinver Larder is a local restaurant renowned for its delicious pies. Once you’re refreshed and full it’s time to explore the remote side of the North West Coast. The single- track roads provide views of the awe- inspiring Handa Island. The evening’s stopping point is Durness where there is accommodation options to suit all budgets available.
On leaving Durness, you head east to some breath-taking scenery. It’s well worth stopping off at the spectacular Farr Beach. Continuing east along the coast you’ll head into Thurso, a good opportunity to re-fuel. You’ll then head past the home of the late Queen Mother, the Castle and Gardens of Mey, which is the most northerly castle on the British mainland. Continuing east and past John O’Groats, ‘the tip of Britain’ you’ll witness views out to Orkney. This would be a good place to stop for the night, consider the B&B Bank Guest House.
Today’s drive takes you southbound down the east coast of the North 500. The roads are full of twists and turns and the Berriedale Braes route drops at a gradient of 13% over 1.3km. The steep downward turns take you to the town of Golspie and further on to a lovely town by the name of Dornoch. The Dornoch Castle hotel offers a delectable lunch- time menu. After lunch and homeward bound, you’ll continue south through Easter Ross. There are numerous small villages just off route if you re looking to extend your journey. The final burst of the journey is found down the road to Inverness, the lively capital of the Highlands.
At Rhino Car Hire in association with North Coast 500, we are able to offer a unique discount of up to 10% for those planning their own road trip of the NC500. Follow the below link and navigate your way through the page to receive your unique discount and start your highland adventure!