Scotland is best known for its natural scenic beauty as well as landscapes which are graced with magnificent castles. As per the estimation, there are approximately 4000 castles and all of these still look amazing. Therefore a decision to make a road trip to Scotland to view its entire splendor becomes one of necessity.
There are many options for Scotland road trips for you, as tourism companies are many to render you the service. The other option is always there to do it as per your convenience. When that decision to carry on your own is made, the thrill goes up by leap and bounds. With Scotland to be covered to the maximum extent possible, you have to choose the ideal Scotland road trip for the classic road trip lover that is known as the Scotland road trip route 66.
Many people believe that North Coast 500 is the best one. Since it cuts across 500 miles +of Scottish Highlands. It is a trip that would span between 5-7 days, and the driving time every day would not be less than 13 and a half hours as we tour Scotland by car. If ever you desire to see jaw-dropping sights, now is the chance. It is best to describe every day you are on a road trip to make the best decision.
What follows In the North Coast 500 Scotland Road Trip for the Ultimate Experience!
Itinerary of Scotland Road Trip Includes Amazing Things
1. DAY ONE:
- Kick off with Inverness your Scotland Road Trip
- Hill o’Many Stanes and the ancient ritual on a Scottish road trip.
2. DAY TWO:
- Twin Castles of Sinclair to be visited on a Scottish road trip.
- The trip to the Northerly Point of Scotland by car.
3. DAY THREE
- The Beauty of Strathy Bay and Artifacts of Strathnaver Museum Amaze us on the Scottish road trip.
- The Might of The Mackay Clan and Hospitality at The Store Cafe On Scotland driving tour routes:
4. DAY FOUR
- The Majestic Eas a’ Chual Aluinn You Can’t-Miss On A Scotland Road Trip
- The Hospitality At Torridon Resort in Scotland driving tour routes.
5. DAY FIVE
- The aroma at Achnasheen and dangers at Nessieland are excitement on the Scotland Road Trip
- A whiskey Tour to Sip and Savor is part of our Scotland road trip ideas.
Kick-off your Scotland Road Trip with Inverness!
We kick-off the trip from Inverness, a city that lies on Scotland’s northeast, as we have our Scotland road trip itinerary firm in place. We travel for approximately thirty minutes to reach Alness and enjoy the multi-cuisine meal. With stomachs full, it’s time to drive to Dunrobin Castle. It is our first castle, by the way. A good noon stroll is warranted as you are in the castle now.
Hill o’Many Stanes and the ancient ritual
Our drive resumes, and after an hour, we reach Hill o’Many Stanes as per our Scotland road trip map. There are 200 stones, each a meter high. They lie buried there, and a view from above would show you it assumes the shape of a fan. The set up of stones is now more than 4000 years old and for an ancient religious ritual. Driving for the day is over, and you can settle into the town of Wick for the night, but nothing stops you from visiting that place. Wick earns its name from the Wick Sea, which has a beautiful Coastline.
Twin Castles of Sinclair to be visited on a Scottish road trip.
We start Day two with a drive to Sinclair Girnigoe Castle’s ruins as was decided on our Scotland road trip planner. Sinclair built the twin castles for nearly six centuries between 1496 and 1606. Historically it is known for its strategic positioning. A drawbridge was constructed later to connect both castles.
The trip to the Northerly Point of Scotland by Car.
Next, we arrive at the RSPB Scotland Dunnet Head Nature Reserve, as we continue to tour Scotland by car, and this has to be the highlight of the day. It is located in Caithness, which is a peninsula and a rugged one at that. It is also the tip of the Northerly point as far as mainland Britain is concerned. Uninhabited by humans, the landscape is natural and undisturbed.
The sea cliffs are overpowering in their stature. The grasslands near the coastline are a sight to see. You can catch sight of many bird species that include kittiwakes, razorbills, and Puffins that fly over the coast. Donations are welcome, but entry is free. If you are in luck, you can indulge in surfing, provided the weather stays friendly in Dunnet and Dunnet Bay. Do not miss visiting the Lighthouse, which is beautifully constructed.
The Beauty of Strathy Bay and Artifacts of Strathnaver Museum Amaze us on the Scottish road trip.
A good walk along Strathy Bay before you hit the road once again. Strathy Bay has its own set of admirers, and you would know the reason as you walk along the beautiful coastline, with the sunrise just behind you. You may have to log in your details into a visitor’s book once you reach the bay. There are toilet facilities in the vicinity, which is an attempt to keep the beach clean. Reach the spot called ‘White Hill ‘and enjoy the view from this point.
Of the beach and all the areas which encompass it. The name Strathy has its origin from the Strathy River, which reaches 12 miles inland. At this place, you can enjoy your meal as well as also stay in the lodge. Spotting marine life is easy from here, and the Flora adds beauty. You can donate money willingly for the beach’s upkeep, which has won awards in the past.
Once the walk is done, it is time to hit the road, and this time we leave for Strathnaver Museum. This museum has a huge collection of artifacts that displays the domestic and working lives of the people of Strathnaver Province.
This collection is enlarged by getting generous items of donations; Strathnaver Museum discovers archaeological artifacts and research projects, hence adds the facts to the past.
The museum has a collection of all the artifacts which relate to the population of Strathnaver Province. The fact is that the province had expanded beyond the Strathy River. The artifacts bear evidence of the heritage in the past. Archaeological digs keep happening but are aided by generous donations only.
A tour inside the museum is highly warranted. There is a main room with the roof truss serving as the hull for the Thorvaldsen, a ship that met its end in 1858. The other artifacts in the main room are Thorvaldsen’s figurehead, the Chealamay beaker, which contains honey. From this point, we walk down to the Implementation room, which has two graves and ancient stones dating back to 750 AD.
The Might of the Mackay Clan and Hospitality at The Store Café On Scotland driving tour routes:
Now we can climb a few stairs and reach the Clan Mackay Centre where you can learn the life history of the Mackay clan. They were a very powerful and mighty clan of Scottish origin many centuries back. The vast three dimensional is displayed on the wall here, and it’s the clan’s motto. You can finish the third day of the Scotland road tour with a visit to the grounds that served as a graveyard between 800 and 850 AD. We bid goodbye to the museum and the community living here over the past 8000 years.
After Historical nostalgia, we can drive to The Store Café, which lies just ahead. The place is famous for its restaurant and dining in the most relaxed manner. We have a view of the Black Isle, and the restaurant serves excellent cuisines throughout the day. There are seats and tables for the customers both inside and outside. The highlight is the shop in the café which sells produce and gift cards made by the local farms. Once refreshed, we head towards Durness, which is Northern, and we should remember we are in the farthest Northerly point. Durness Village is a county, which maintains the traditional way of lining in line with Scotland. It is also called a Parish and sparsely populated. We call off day three here and rest for the night.
The Majestic Eas a’ Chual Aluinn You Can’t-Miss On A Scotland Road Trip.
Day 4 is a guaranteed adventure day on our Scotland road trip 500. We need to drive for a continuous five hours till we reach the Eas a’ Chual Aluinn. Translated from the Gaelic language, it means ‘waterfall of the beautiful tresses’. It is also the highest waterfall found in the entire Britain. The waterfalls from 200 meters and its peak can beat the Niagara waterfalls three times over. There are various options for visiting the Niagara waterfall. So, you can go either by boat or trek. One should remember the steep hike that lies ahead, and it’s best to hire a boat, and for once, we discarded the original idea of climbing by a motor car as it could prove fatal.
With the boating option in place, you can make your way to the Kylesku Hotel, and you can get into a boat that leaves every alternate hour and needs to have at least four passengers to start sailing. The ride would cost you 25 Pounds, and it cruises smoothly in the Loch Glencoul waters. You would spot gray seals in good numbers and also the bird circling the skies for its prey. The Landscape is indeed breathtaking, and on the way to the main waterfall, there are a few small waterfalls but excellent anyway.
Once we crossed into Loch Beag, the first glimpse of the Eas a’ Chual Aluinn Waterfall starts appearing and does not look magnificent? You would be surprised with yet another waterfall opposite the Eas, and in comparison, it looked powerless. With the green landscape, the wildlife, and the fantastic waterfall, this is a trip worth it.
The Hospitality At Torridon Resort and a Natural reserve filled with tranquility
The Torridon is a resort and set up across 58 acres of land. The resort caters to all your needs, including allowing you excellent relaxation. They would pamper you with their hospitality, but there are other options to engage in here. You can hike marveling at its idyllic surroundings or build a fire and relax sitting near it.
The bedrooms look like royal suites and the food is multi-cuisine. There is even a press center! Next, we drive on to the Beinn Eighe NNR, which is a natural reserve. You can trek here for long hours, and there would be magnificent views from specific points.
You can stop at Inchnadamph and climb up the trail, which leads to the Traligil Glen, and you would be impressed with the Mountain View. The caves of Traligil are easily accessible.
We proceed to Torridon, which is 95 miles away with the waterfall behind us, and would take us more than two hours to reach.
The aroma at Achnasheen and dangers at Nessieland are exciting on the Scotland Road Trip.
It’s Day 5 now, and our road trip to Scotland has come to an end. There are a few spots to be covered on our way back to Inverness. We visit Achnasheen, a tiny village located at the junction where two roads meet near the River Bran. Even though the village is small, the food they serve is trendy throughout the region. There are more than ten food outlets we can choose to have food from. Soups, Scones, fish & chips, burgers hock- ham; you name it, they have it.
The trip back is filled with beautiful nature, and you can now take a detour to Loch Ness. The primary purpose of visiting Loch Ness is to track the monster that some people dismiss as a rumor. There are thousands of eyewitnesses who swear that they have noticed ‘ Nessie,’ but there is no scientific evidence despite these claims. Moreover, you can also enjoy the lake by waiting there endlessly. If you are in luck, you may spot her as she emerges from the waters and quickly disappears back into it. One full day can be spent here, as many do. It’s impressive to see posters everywhere that mention the words ‘ ‘ Nessieland.’
A whiskey Tour to Sip and Savor is part of the Education.
After the exciting but unsuccessful trip to Loc, we enter the land of a famous distillery known as the Glen Ord. You can pay 5 Pounds and get to taste the Whiskey, which is tutored. You would be taken through their history and get to watch their whiskey-making process too.
This is not all. For 10 Pounds, and the condition that you are a Singleton lover, you would take a guided tour of the distillery, and a taste of the Singleton is permitted.
You would reach Inverness by night and experience yet another marvelous dinner.
From Monsters to Whiskey and a small village which has the best food in the world. What else does one require?
How much time does it take to drive to the Scottish 500 by road?
The Scotland road trip 500 would take a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of seven days, and you would cover approximately 830 miles. The accommodation for a night’s stay would be all along the way, and reservation in advance is critical.
What is the travel distance from London to Scotland?
The distance between Edinburgh and London is 400 miles. The time taken to reach one capital city from the other would be seven hours and 30 minutes.
Which road trip is the best in Scotland?
The North Coast 500 is regarded as the best road trip in Scotland, and it would take a minimum of five days and a maximum of seven days.
How much time does it take to drive all around Scotland?
It would take not less than five to seven days to cover the entire route of Scotland. The best route to explore the length and breadth of Scotland is the NC-500. The time taken allows for relaxation, and traffic is moderate.
Other Important Points to be observed.
1. Ideal time to make a Scotland Road Trip:
The best time to go on a Road Trip, especially in the Northern highlands, is the Autumn and Winter seasons. The traffic is moderate, and it’s ideal for visiting Whiskey distilleries. White Winter rafting is yet another choice, and a tour to the Isle of Skye in mid – October during its peak season would be worth it.
2. Tips on Car Hire:
- Always hire a car from the main cities of Scotland. The top car rentals are all found there. Avis and Budget, among many, are the ones to choose from.
- You can pick up a car along with a GPS for tracking
- Instead of automatic care, you can also hire a manual car.
3. Tips for Driving in North Coast 500 Scotland Road Trip:
- There are many single-track roads as you head towards the Northern regions. You must know all the rules whenever you drive on single tracks.
- Never park your car in places where other vehicles tend to pass by you.
- If the car behind you is heading towards you faster, let way to avoid unnecessary issues
- In case you are not familiar with Manual car driving, take an automatic even though it’s costlier. Safety comes first.
- Always check Road signs and obey them without questions.
4. Tips on Accommodation:
- Always book your accommodation in advance. If it is peak season, make the booking weeks ahead.
- Youth Hostels are cheaper, and all facilities are available.
5. Restaurants and Supermarkets:
- Be well aware of the location of Restaurants.
- Always check on your inventory as they tend to get over fast. Not all places along the route have supermarkets, and you may not get what you desire.
Scotland is a vast country, and to visit all the attractions it holds is virtually impossible. The ideal way to cover the maximum number of places is the NS-500, which can be extended to a ten-day Scotland road trip if proper planning is in place. Since the Scotland highlands road trip itinerary is in our possession, one would tend to agree highlands coverage can be best done through the NC-500 Road trip Scotland only.