So a few years back, Scotland decided to try and help visitors who weren’t quite sure the best way to go about exploring some of the more remote places and piece together a route round the coast. And it doesn’t disappoint.
Scotland is renowned for its, shall we say, changeable weather, but less well known for its incredible golden beaches, huge imposing skies and azure surf waters. We got the lot.
The official site and map are great – https://www.northcoast500.com/explore-the-route/ and ensure you never miss a thing, or, importantly, filling station. Make sure you give yourself time to go off the beaten track though – we reckoned if you can, take two weeks at least to really enjoy it to the max. Check the route in advance though – some of the roads can be pretty tight if you’re in a camper van or towing.
If you want a bit of adventure along the way, we
- Surfed near Thurso with these wonderful people – http://www.northcoastwatersports.comHsoIgftmtt6xVJgMXaE8
- Ziplined across a stunning beach with https://www.facebook.com/goldeneagleziplines/
- Sea-kayaked in Plockton with https://www.facebook.com/seakayakplockton/
- Hired a dog-friendly camper van from http://www.roverrentals.co.uk
You can “wild-camp” in almost all of Scotland – so if you can be self-sustainable, you can overnight on beaches, lochs and hillsides and wake up to the most incredible breakfast spots. But there are a multitude of great little campsites along the way, most of which don’t need pre-booked. We got lucky this year, as the famous Scottish “midges” by and large left us alone. You might not be so lucky – I’ll let you research them yourself 🙂
We over-nighted at Dornoch, Dunnet Bay, Sango Sands, Clachtoll, Scourie, Gairloch, Loch Carron and Drumnadrochit (technically not on the official route but lovely site)
There are little food gems scattered all along the way so try and avoid supermarkets and standard pub fare – ask the locals and fellow travellers for tips and you won’t be disappointed.
It’s a “pack a bit of everything in your suitcase” type of trip, but it won’t disappoint and you’ll grow to appreciate the romanticism and mystery of a damp misty day around the hills and lochs. But when that sun shines……
Note : these snaps are all taken on iPhone X with a variety of filters applied