Discovering the North Coast 500 (NC500) by campervan is an incredible adventure through some of Scotland’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. This scenic route spans 500 miles, showcasing the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the stunning coastline. Buckle up as we embark on a comprehensive guide to experiencing the NC500 in your campervan.
Planning Your Route:
1. Start Point and Direction
Determine your starting point (Inverness is a common choice) and decide whether to travel clockwise or counterclockwise along the route.
2. Travel Duration
Allow at least five to seven days to fully experience the NC500, although longer durations allow for more leisurely exploration.
3. Campervan Preparation
Ensure your campervan is road-worthy, well-stocked, and equipped for wild camping or stays at designated sites along the route.
Highlights Along the NC500:
1. Inverness to Applecross
Begin your journey in Inverness and head west towards Applecross. Be prepared for hairpin bends at the famous Bealach na Bà pass, offering breathtaking views.
2. Torridon and Gairloch
Explore Torridon’s mountainous landscapes and Gairloch’s stunning beaches, a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.
3. Ullapool and Assynt
Discover the charming village of Ullapool before venturing into Assynt, home to iconic landmarks like Suilven and the stunning Ardvreck Castle.
4. John O’Groats and Dunnet Head
Visit the northernmost point of mainland Britain at John O’Groats and Dunnet Head, soaking in panoramic views of the North Sea.
5. Caithness and Black Isle
Explore the historic county of Caithness with its castles and archaeological sites. Don’t miss the serene beauty of the Black Isle.
Camping and Accommodation:
- Campsites: Numerous campsites line the NC500 route, offering facilities and picturesque locations for overnight stays.
- Wild Camping: Embrace the freedom of wild camping in Scotland, but remember to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and leave no trace.
Tips for a Memorable Journey:
- Photography Stops: The NC500 boasts incredible vistas; plan stops for photography and take in the breathtaking scenery.
- Local Cuisine: Sample local delicacies like fresh seafood, traditional Scottish dishes, and indulge in distillery tours along the route.
- Weather Readiness: Be prepared for Scotland’s unpredictable weather; pack layers, waterproofs, and sturdy footwear for hiking.
The NC500 is a MUST VISIT in your campervan adventures!! Happy Camping!