The North Coast 500

Inverness is the start and finish of what is becoming one of the fastest growing attractions of Scotland: The North Coast 500. This epic driving route is a 500-mile round trip around the very north of the country and is widely considered to be the Scottish answer to the famous Route 66 across America.

You can sign up to be members of the “NC500 Club” with 3 different levels of annual membership, each giving varying levels of goodies and discounts at some of the major attractions and accommodations along the route. Prices start at £15 for the basic Traveller membership, £45 the more advanced Explorer membership but for a mere £300 you could opt for the very top level Gold Package, giving you a whole range of “exclusive gifts and benefits”

Or you can just pick up a map at the local Tourist Information Centre and do it for free like we did.

As the route is circular, you can elect to motor off in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction – the end result will be the same. Wisdom has it that anti-clockwise is the favoured method of travel as the east coast doesn’t hold quite as many jaw-dropping, eye-popping views and rectum-clenching descents as the west coast. Or indeed, any. So anti-clockwise it was to be, and as time was getting on, the Great Adventure began as we drove the 22 miles to the first stop for the night at Dingwall.

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