Highlights of Scotland’s famous North Coast 500 driving route
April 8, 2016
Fancy braving the wilds of the Scottish highlands with the luxury of a cosy bed? The North Coast 500, Scotland’s answer to America’s route 66, encapsulates the country’s grandeur and mystic charm. This stunning 500 mile driving route takes you on a journey from Inverness and Scotland’s enchanting Highlands, the west and rugged north coast and promises to leave any traveller pounding on the pedals for more.
Whether you want to tour this stunning North Coast 500 on a budget with Bunk Campers in our “Roadie” camper or travel in the luxury of the “Aero Plus” we’ve listed highlights of this magical Scotland campervan tour.
Inverness, the Hub of the Highlands
Collect your camper from Bunk Campers depots in Edinburgh or Glasgow and head North to Inverness, the hub of the Highlands. The NC500, as it’s aptly known, begins here where the river meets the Moray Firth.
Visitors here have a plentiful offering of history in the city’s impressive 11th century sand stone castle and close by, Loch Ness is a must-see for any tourist and nature lover. Reportedly home to the famous “Loch Ness Monster”, it offers breath-taking scenery as well as the chance to snatch a view of the illusive local hero. From Inverness, Loch Ness is just a 25 minute drive in your camper and is home to a host of campsites and outdoor activities.
Road to Applecross
Leaving the bright lights behind you, Scotland’s second most photographed castle is on the horizon. Eilean Donan is perched on it’s own little island overlooking the Isle of Skye. Discover the fascincating history of the 13th centry castle before heading North towards Applecross.
Larger campers like the Vista Plus and Grande vehicles should take the winding coastal road to Applecross. Those in smaller vehicles, who are comfortable and experienced in driving will be rewarded with magnificent vistas from the Bealach na Ba Pass, an adventourous 5 mile, single track drive which includes steep gradients, narrow roads and sharp bends. Once through, journey to Lochcarron and visit the ruins of Strome Castle, to the north of Loch Torridon. The castle, built in the 1400s is believed to be a tower house and enjoys a rich history dating back 100s of years. From there take the A869 making sure to keep an eye out for the turn to Applecross.
A benefit of campervan hire in Scotland is the wide variety of campsites the country has to offer. All Bunk Campers customers enjoy up to 30% discount on The Camping and Caravanning Club campsites as part of the Privilege Scheme. If campsites are not your thing, Wild Camping is widely accepted throughout Scotland for those who follow the Leave No Trace guide.
Continue the journey towards Ullapool and on the way take the opportunity to indulge in Mother Nature’s finest flora at the Inverewe Botanical Gardens or walk along the pink beaches and rocky coves of Gruinard Bay.
Indulge some Traditional Scottish Food
Further North along the road and past the picturesque port of Ullapool, Try traditional Scottish Haggis or ‘Tatties’ – a minced beef and mashed potato dish. Alternatively park up your camper and enjoy a home cooked meal from the luxury of your campervan while enjoying the amazing scenery on offer. All of Bunk Campers campervans and motorhomes for hire come equipped with a kitchen kit and kettle, gas hobs for cooking and fridge to keep food fresh.
Tour and Adventure
Heading East from Durness allow a moment’s rest to enjoy the panoramic views of the North Minch. The picturesque campsites bordering the area are an adventurer’s dream; Smoo Cave, for example, gives walking enthusiasts the chance to view the 50ft high entrance and experience its magnificent cascading waterfall. Soak in the awe inspiring mountains of Ben Hope and take a dip along the beautiful white coastline. Take the opportunity to visit Dunrobin Castle, the largest in the Northern Highlands, with architecture dating back to the middle ages and further down the trail, whisky fans can enjoy any number of the historic distilleries from Pulteney to old Old Puleney, the most Northern distillery in Scotland.
Just a short ride back to Inverness, enjoy the views in Cromarty Firth and Black Isles from the comfort of your camper whilst spotting the lounging seals along the coastline before heading back to Bunk Campers depot to return your van.
Why Bunk Campers?
Bunk Campers have a large fleet of campervans for hire to suit all tastes and budgets at our Edinburgh and Glasgow depots. So if you are looking to enjoy the Freedom and Independence you get from your home on wheels take a drive along Scotland’s North Coast, perfect for your touring holiday.
How to book?
Enjoy your trip!