A Scottish Adventure!
Scotland’s North Coast 500 (NC500) is a legendary road trip that winds through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. From rugged coastlines to majestic mountains, the NC500 in a campervan promises a journey that transcends the ordinary. It is one of the most popular holiday destinations for VanGlorious customers, with 7 trips made last year!
As you embark on this iconic route, you’ll encounter charming villages, historic sites, and views that will leave you in awe.
Planning the NC500 in a Campervan is the fun part, and we suggest getting in touch with some of your chosen campsites as it can sometimes be busy. There are loads of websites that offer tips on the journey and also itineraries and suggestions on places to see. We love the Robbie Roams series of guides, and I would recommend them.
There are numerous different ways to enjoy this road trip, including which direction to start from! It could form part of an existing holiday, or your main destination. No matter which point you start from, here are our suggestions for the top places to visit on the way.
You could kick off your NC500 adventure in the vibrant city of Inverness. Known as the capital of the Highlands, Inverness boasts a rich history and stunning architecture. Before hitting the road, explore Inverness Castle and the picturesque River Ness. For a memorable stay, camp at the Inverness Camping and Caravanning Club Site. This well-equipped site offers a convenient location and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
Head out of Inverness and as you venture north, the charming village of Beauly is a must-visit. The Beauly Priory, with its tranquil surroundings, provides a glimpse into Scotland’s medieval history. For a cosy camping experience, consider the Beauly Firth View Caravan Park. Nestled along the Beauly Firth, this site offers a peaceful setting and modern facilities.
From Beuly, you can head across Scotland to Applecross, to start your trip up the West Coast.
Prepare yourself for a dramatic drive as you approach the Applecross Peninsula. The Bealach na Bà, a winding mountain pass, offers panoramic views of the Isle of Skye and the Inner Hebrides. In Applecross, dine at the iconic Applecross Inn and camp at the Applecross Campsite for a rustic, seaside experience.
Continue your journey to the picturesque village of Shieldaig, nestled on the shores of Loch Shieldaig. Take a boat tour to explore the stunning coastline and encounter marine wildlife. For camping, the Gairloch Holiday Park, a short drive away, provides stunning lochside pitches.
Gairloch is a gem on the NC500, offering sandy beaches and a relaxed atmosphere. Visit the Gairloch Heritage Museum to delve into the area’s history. For camping with a view, the Sands Caravan and Camping Park is an excellent choice, providing direct access to the beach.
Ullapool, a bustling port town, is a perfect stop for seafood enthusiasts. Stroll along the harbor, enjoy local delicacies, and explore the Ullapool Museum. The Broomfield Holiday Park offers a fantastic camping spot with modern amenities and proximity to the town center.
Heading north, Lochinver is renowned for its seafood and the stunning Quinag mountain. Take a boat trip to see the breathtaking Suilven mountain from Lochinver Harbour. The Clachtoll Beach Campsite is an idyllic spot by the sea, providing a tranquil setting for campers.
Prepare to be mesmerized by the Assynt region’s otherworldly landscapes, dominated by iconic peaks like Stac Pollaidh and Suilven. Assynt Leisure Centre Caravan Park offers a central location, allowing easy exploration of the surrounding natural wonders.
Durness, the most north-westerly village on the British mainland, beckons with its white sandy beaches and limestone caves. Smoo Cave, a natural wonder, is a must-see. The Sango Sands Oasis campsite offers stunning coastal views and modern facilities.
As you approach the end of your NC500 journey, visit John O’Groats, the northeastern tip of the Scottish mainland. Take the obligatory photo at the iconic signpost marking the end (or beginning) of your adventure. The John O’Groats Caravan and Camping Site provides a comfortable base for exploring this historic area.
From John O’Groats you can meander back down the East Coast of Scotland to Inverness.
The NC500 driving experience is unsurpassed. From single track roads, hairpin bends and stunning views, every day is an adventure in itself. No boring motorway mile munching here!
Just WOW! Doing the NC500 in a Campervan is a road trip like no other, offering a diverse tapestry of Scotland’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. From the vibrant city of Inverness to the remote landscapes of Assynt, each stop along the route unveils a new facet of this enchanting country. To fully immerse yourself in the experience, doing it in a campervan is the way to go, allowing you to wake up to the sounds of nature and the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you. As you plan your NC500 adventure, consider these campsites to enhance your journey and create lasting memories amidst Scotland’s untamed landscapes. Happy travels!