By the time I got to Lairg it was raining pretty heavily and got gradually worse as the day went on. My 4 day, 570 mile, camping motorcycle tour of the famous NC500 route around the north coast of Scotland. We invite you and your family to explore the best campgrounds in the state, offering a premier camping experience with top quality RV sites, tent camping and cabin rentals. This is my attempt to help. Once you get to Scotland, though, it won’t matter – it’s always wet and cold. Nc500 motorcycle run. This North Coast 500 Itinerary includes the best nc500 campsites, hotels, wild camping, things to see & do and of course places to stay. Every now and then I like to head off for a few days solo ride. If you’re arranging motorhome hire in Scotland for the trip, they can probably supply these, but always check first. I then headed over to the fantastic Glenelg Inn for a pint and watched the sun setting over Skye. The North Coast 500 has a lot of single track roads – see our advice for how to drive on single tracks roads to help you prepare if you’re not familiar with these. Firstly, which season are you embarking in? So pack your wet weather gear. Shaun Post author. After lunch, it started to rain heavily and the fog came down. If you’re traveling via plane, you’ll almost certainly find it more affordable to head to Edinburgh or Glasgow, which have far more options when it comes to motorcycle hire. It is not well-marked enough to just ride up and follow signs. If you do have a day or two to spare, I suggest using one of the “Crossing the Country” routes listed in the back of Biker’s Britain, by Simon Weir. As with just about everything in motorcycling, the phrase, “If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time” applies. On one corner that had overhanging trees (leaves etc on the road) the back end stepped out. Wild Camping Along the North Coast 500. See more ideas about nc500, scotland road trip, north coast 500. When riding in Scotland make sure you have proper wet weather gear; you never know when it’ll turn for the worst. If time’s not on your side, you’ll be stuck enjoying the UK’s fine motorway system, which means choosing either the M6 or the A1M to make your way to the border. I borrowed some Aloe Vera from a couple of charitable girls as my face was bright red from wind & sun burn. Wild camping spots in Scotland appear to be plentyful and most we have found have amazing views. If you’d like to read more motorcycle adventures from ride the miles follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Check out this inspirational video made by our lovely customers Stephen & Lynsey Stewart on their Summer 2018 Camper Trip. I’ve driven & ridden through Glencoe countless times but this time was special as it’s rare that the weather is so good. It was howling a hoolie (blowing a gale) so getting the tent up solo was a challenge. The NC500 route officially starts/ends at Inverness Castle, where you’ll conveniently find free motorcycle parking on the road. I was pretty drenched by the time I got to the Youth Hostel. We did this run in April and then October this year.Both runs were brilliant, i did prefer the opposite way round as we live in the west coast and therefore cover a bit more than the title suggests. From there you can head off in either direction; it’s up to you which you choose first. Despite its being aimed at tourists, it’s a route I recommend and one I’m very seriously thinking of tackling again this summer. https://www.twoscotsabroad.com/north-coast-500-planning-tips You are in Scotland to see it, so actually take the time to do so. 1.8K likes. Equally, you could head up and do the whole thing in one (very, very long) day, packing sandwiches and only spending money on fuel. We’ve said it before, but research, research, research! It’s called Port a Bhaigh (port of the bay) and, as the name suggest, it’s right on the coast overlooking the sea. An alternative is camping. The route begins in Inverness, Capital City of the Highlands, and snakes along the rugged coastal edges of northern Scotland, taking in breath-taking castles, mesmerising mountain tops and glistening beaches. I mean, the odds are very high that if you spend more than four days in Scotland at least one of them will expose you to the most miserable weather conditions you’ve ever experienced (or, at least, the most miserable since the last time you visited Scotland). My buddy, Cam, and I rode the whole of the NC500 back in 2016, a year after the route was officially launched, and I’ve visited sections several times since – most recently in November of last year. Touring and camping close to Inverness and Loch Ness, dog and family friendly. Login Form. While I sat watching the storm out the window and drinking my beer, I started hatching a plan B…. Dinner was Super Noodles a la poulet in the JetBoil. I’d planned one night wild camping, two in campsites and one at a youth hostel so it was going to be a pretty cheap trip. While packing away the tent and making breakfast I had a chat with an RSPB warden from a nearby tent and a couple of ladies in a camper that had appeared next to my tent during the night. There are a couple of places you can rent motorcycles along the North Coast 500. AM Explore the capital of the Highlands. Wishing you a wonderful NC500 road trip! This detailed day-by-day 1 week North Coast 500 road trip itinerary covers all the basic details (mileage, general route) and sightseeing highlights along the approximately 500 mile route. Applecross Campsite. When I drove the NC500 in Baloo (our camper van), the shower hadn’t been fitted. ... For camping / caravaning, see our suggested NC500 camping itinerary for suggestions. The North Coast 500 is the most popular road trip in Scotland and we’ve put together a comprehensive 7 day North Coast 500 itinerary to help drivers navigate this driving route. The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s iconic coastal route that covers over 500 miles of the stunning North Highlands. North Coast 500 – Scotland Road Trip of a Lifetime. 0 reviews #14 Best Value of 14 Camping in Delaware. So, the sky really is the limit. Camping on the golf course will lead to campers being asked to relocate. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. I then popped down to a special place called Manuelas Wee Bakery - it’s like a little Hansel & Gretel village in the Highlands. I took the road up through Rannoch Moor & Glencoe (M9, A84, A85, A82). It has been dubbed Scotland’s answer to the renowned ‘Route 66’ and doesn’t disappoint. But its all "essential" for us! In June 2019 I took a 4 day blast up to and around the fabled NC500 route on my trusty Triumph Tiger 800. If you want to give wild camping a bash then Glenelg is a good place to start. Look out for The Secret Tea Garden / Assynt Aromas on the loop. The plan was to ride the top & east side of the NC500 then south to the youth hostel at Braemar, stay the night then head to Edinburgh in the morning. I had a well needed pint and fresh, locally caught seafood for dinner. There are only a few parts of Scotland that I’ve not explored yet and the Achiltibuie peninsula was one of them. It has been dubbed Scotland’s answer to the renowned ‘Route 66’ and doesn’t disappoint. Camps Site vs Wild Camping on the NC500. Daviot Luxury Pods Daviot, Inverness, Highlands Modern glamping pods with en-suites and furnishings set 6 miles from Inverness and near the NC500. The NC500 is not a single highway designed to move commerce between previously disparate communities; it is an arbitrary collection of previously existing roads (some dating back to Roman times) linked to encourage tourists. Stop often. Kylesku bridge, Ardvreck Castle, Durbeg loop, The Secret Tea Garden, Durness, Torridon & … For our final evening of camping along the North Coast 500, we actually went a little bit off the route, as we were trying to escape light pollution from nearby cities. The roads are open & winding, the scenery spectacular & the amount of awesome places to stop off at are pretty much endless! If you zip around trying to make progress you run the risk of being caught off guard, either by someone pulling out of a scenic stop or attempting to make one without warning. NC500 Moto Experience, Muir Of Ord, Highland, United Kingdom. It is located 45 minutes west of Tongue. I got out of my biking gear, left it to dry, had a long hot shower and headed to the newly refurbished Fife Arms Hotel. It’s always nice to chat to people, especially when travelling solo. Loop of northern Scotland offers breathtaking scenery and great riding. It was still only 4ish so I decided to ride the last 100 miles home through Glenshee. This is one of my favourite roads; a great combo of “spirited riding“ and amazing scenery. Just reading your VERY, VERY excellent and comprehensive info on the NC500, including your 7 day camping itinerary. For example, Saltire Motorcycles in Edinburgh (again, not an endorsement). Scotland is a shockingly expensive place to visit when compared with, say, anywhere sunny. We’d not long watched the latest Mission Impossible film, Fallout and there‘s a line in the film: “Fate whispers to the warrior? To ensure you’re following the official NC500 route however, (and not google’s fastest route), you’ll want the Official NC500 map. I selfishly get to go where I want, stop where I want, ride how I like etc. I went back to the hostel and spent around an hour chatting to a hill walker in the drying room. The sort of heavy rain that somehow finds its way through the gaps around the visor and onto your face. View, print and download the touring motorcycle route 'North Coast 500 route' from Dromos (514 mi). Probably only a few cm but it felt like half a meter! There looked to be a lull in the storm but the forecast was serious rain by lunchtime. The payoff is that you’ll be hit with views so incredible you’ll start swearing in disbelief. The NC500 route officially starts/ends at Inverness Castle, where you’ll conveniently find free motorcycle parking on the road. If you’re looking for a longer trip or tips for camping along the route, we have a 7 day North Coast 500 camping itinerary I’ve put together some of my favourite photography spots on the NC500 , as well as some of our highlights of the NC500 , to help make sure you see everything you want to see. The NC500 route starts and ends at Inverness, then you spend your time traveling around the coast of northern Scotland taking in locations such as John o Groats, the furthest point in the UK! It’s not on the official NC500 route but going “off-piste“ is where the hidden gems are. I like travelling through remote, quiet places and this road definitely ticks those boxes. From there you can head off in either direction; it’s up to you which you choose first. You’ll also meet some great people. Starting and ending in Inverness, this 500-mile circular drive takes you along stunning coastlines and countless lochs.You’ll navigate through winding mountain passes and awe-inspiring landscapes. See more ideas about north coast 500, nc500, north highlands. Additionally, you’ll find that everyone else is stopping often, too. I’m a single 75 year old seasoned camping traveller (with car, not RV) and a (notionally) 6-man tent. Again, it’s not officially on the NC500 route but if you’re coming up this way and like wild, remote places then take the time to explore. There are exceptions, of course – especially in particularly popular areas. Things get better as you push west of Thurso, however, and by the time you’re making your way down the western coast it seems just about every decent-sized town has at least one place worth popping into. I had some unexpectedly healthy green food and a small glass of Pinot Noir. If people are camping, in a campervan or have a caravan, we urge people to support local businesses on the NC500. A storm is coming. Often touted as the Scottish equivalent to the USA's Route 66, it's a 500 mile loop, that takes you around the coastline of the Scottish highlands, taking in some of the country's best scenery and a good dose of demanding gradients. Its amazing how much stuff we take camping on the bikes. Today’s lunch stop was the Bridge Cottage Cafe at Poolewe. The tourist board likes to refer to it as Scotland’s Route 66, but such a description only serves to show the tourist board’s ignorance of Route 66. At the tip, just north of Cove, is the Arctic Convoy Memorial and remnants of a WW2 camp and battlements. After all that, the storm never came. North Coast 500 is a spectacular 516-mile scenic route around the northern coast of Scotland, The route snakes around beautiful scenery and the many well known and historic features located in the Highlands of Scotland all incorporated into one very iconic pleasurable touring route around scotland. I’ve ridden in the rain plenty of times, and it doesn’t bother me but riding big miles in these conditions is tiring and, to be frank, not the most fun. Take me back. There are a handful of companies in Inverness from which you can rent a bike if you’re inclined to travel up via train (Caledonian Sleeper, yo!). And the warrior whispers back? April 10, 2019 at 2:36 pm . It seems you are visiting the site as a guest. Problem is, I’m poor. In situations like these I like to keep myself alert by having little chats in my helmet, maybe even a little singing. The official NC500 website has a suggested eight-day motorcycle itinerary (Eight days to ride 500 miles???) You will find it difficult to come across standard Holiday Inn Express-type accommodation for anything less than £150 a night. #13 Best Value of 14 Camping in Delaware. But for those of you unfamiliar with the famed NC500 route, or simply looking for a more exact description, we are here to help! While lying awake at 5am with the tent being battered by the wind & rain I looked at the weather radar and decided to try and beat the worst of the storm by heading directly south. Route at a Glance The North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland’s magnificence to the world. It is the perfect trip for motorhomes, cycling, hikers, road trippers and much more. Reply. If you are looking for stunning landscapes, fascinating history, endless horizons, ancient castles, golden beaches and crystal-clear water, all wrapped up in a 500-mile road trip, then the NC500 is for you. As the name suggests, it’s a bakery but they do takeaway pizza and gin. My Dad and I chose the twin room for our motorcycle trip. I had the beach completely to myself, apart from 100’s of midges. The NC500 route starts and ends at Inverness, then you spend your time traveling around the coast of northern Scotland taking in locations such as John o Groats, the furthest point in the UK! Inverness to the Black Isle. It is important to plan ahead! (www.motorcyclescotland.com). For a look at even more distilleries along the route, check out this NC500 Itinerary. Cliquez ici pour découvrir nos motos et scooters 2021 et ce qui les rend uniques. General NC500 Tips 27. It pissed with rain the entire time and we got eaten alive by midges. Jan 13, 2018 - minimising equipment for motorcycle camping . My personal suggestion is to ride counter-clockwise, hitting Scotland’s bleaker, more industrial east coast first – thereby saving the dramatic beauty of the west coast for later in the trip. It used to be a hidden gem but it now has a Google pin! Our motorhome is very self sufficient and that’s the way we like it. You should only be doing that, though, if you are coming from another country. Never-ending back roads, wide meandering country tracks and beautiful bends through some of Scotland's finest coastal scenery are just a few things you can expect along the North Coast 500.Strap yourself in for the road trip of a lifetime. There’s a fantastic campsite at Altandhu just north of Achiltibuie village. I then headed up through Fort William then west at Invergarry on the A87 towards Skye. The Beaches are White and the Water is Turquoise . What with all the other clutter I take, the thought of making/breaking camp EACH NIGHT is a bit daunting. Even the dog hated it. The North Coast 500 (also known as the NC500) offers everyone a taste of the 'tartan, bagpipes and shortbread' Scotland you've seen in the brochures but, importantly, has enough surprises over the five hundred plus miles stretch to make you think about the country in an entirely different way. The stay was relaxing, welcoming, and much needed after our long northbound two day trip on motorbikes, before starting our two-day circular NC500 route. The nc500 is an iconic UK road trip which takes in 500 miles of Scotland’s stunning & mostly untouched coastline. Take a look at our guide to wild camping in your motorhome for more information. Yet hotel rooms in the summer are priced at a premium. If you’re from the UK, you have certainly heard of the North Coast 500 by now. You can’t beat lunch outside in the sun with a mountain view. A cheeky 760 miles over 4 days riding in weather ranging from fantastic sunshine to seriously stormy. There are plenty of camp sites to choose from. and the Durbeg loop. In other words, how long you spend riding the NC500, where you stay, and what you do will all be affected by how deep you’re willing to dig into your pockets. Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. The rules state you can’t camp near your vehicle which becomes problematic for those doing the NC500 with a car. As I say, the route is not a single highway but a collection of A roads, B roads and occasional lane, so you will need a map. There are designated campsites to be found here and there, but unlike in England and Wales so-called “wild” camping is legal in Scotland. The North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland’s magnificence to the world. If you’re a UK resident, get your lazy ass on your own bike and invest the time riding to the start point. What We Can Afford: Keeway Superlight 125, Triumph Shares More Trident Images and I’m Underwhelmed, If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time, The European Adventures of Shuffles, Jon, and Me, Riding the Blue Ridge Parkway On a BMW K 1600 B, Exploring the Indian Scout Sixty’s Irish Heritage. It’s not my sort of place, a little too “fancy“ for my tastes, but I wanted to see what it looked like since the refurb. Or you can do what I did: download a map to my Garmin, pick a point to stop over night(s), book some accommodation and press ‘start’! Visiting Prague early last month put the travel bug in me and I’ve been chomping at the bit to take the Street Bob on another road trip. Motorbike Camping Tour around Scotland's North Coast 500 Route.On a Suzuki V Strom 650. Not the NC500 exploration that I’d planned but a memorable day all the same. You’ll also need a lot of blankets, a heater, and an emergency kit in case of being snowed in. If you’re traveling along the eastern coast and spot a cafe or pub that looks nice, and you are even the least bit peckish, you should definitely stop because you won’t find another place for quite some time. During our time of traveling the NC500, Cam and I ran into a number of motorcyclists who were torn as to whether they had made the right decision in choosing to tackle the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise. Scotland's North Coast 500 route is gaining a bit of a reputation for itself. They often say, ‘four wheels will get you there but two will make the journey memorable’! The North Coast 500 beaches are impeccable. But where on this tiny, crowded archipelago can a motorcyclist find the sort of open roads that speak to the soul? Because there are so many variables to the NC500 this should not be seen as a comprehensive guide but simply encouragement for you to check it out. This took me on a road I’d never been on; the A835 to Lairg and it was fantastic. Take a look at the map below! See this NC500 camping itinerary for a suggested itinerary, camping advice, and list of campsites. Cabin/Campground. I headed north on the A890 to Strathcarron (a great little road) then west onto the A896 - now on the official NC500 route. If the flexibility of a campervan appeals, there are also a number of places to rent campervans or RVs in Inverness. I packed up the bike then rode along to the village hall for a shower - the facilities there are great. Show Prices . You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, but the general rule is that you’re allowed to camp anywhere that isn’t fenced off. I am the storm.” but it kept me amused and pushing on in such poor conditions. It has been dubbed Scotland's answer to the renowned 'Route 66' and doesn't disappoint. For example, NC500 Moto Experience (My mentioning the company is not an endorsement). May 25, 2016 - The North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland's magnificence to the world. Buckle your seat belts! NC500 & Our Route. One solution is to travel the route with a buddy with whom you get along well, sharing hotel rooms and thereby splitting costs. It was a new moon that evening, so we were hoping to get clear dark skies in … Or at least it moved north and missed Braemar. I’m annoyed that I didn’t take any photo’s; it’s a really nice, friendly place and the food was great. It’s also the gateway to the Summer Isles but I’ll come back with Lesley to explore them one day. Camping on the NC500 Bunhcrew Caravan Park, Inverness The NC500 officially starts (and finishes) in Inverness, and Bunchrew is just on the outskirts of the large sprawling city which makes it an ideal location for your first or last night. Right near the start of the North Coast 500 (NC500) route, this hotel had a good choice of twin, double and king size rooms. It took me at least an hour to get back onto the A837 as I stopped loads to take photo’s of the scenery in better light. View, print and download the touring motorcycle route 'North Coast 500 route' from Dromos (514 mi). With the forecast so good I bucked my own rule and left my over waterproofs (fluorescent jacket, trousers & gloves) at home. Here’s a Google Maps outline of the route, here’s a paper map, and here’s a downloadable file for your GPS.