The North Coast 500, also known as NC500, is a popular scenic route that covers around 500 miles (805 kilometers) of breathtaking landscapes in the Highlands of Scotland. This iconic road trip takes you through rugged mountains, charming villages, historic castles, and stunning coastal vistas, making it a dream destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Planning a trip along the North Coast 500 requires careful consideration, including booking accommodations that enhance your experience. With a wide variety of options available, from luxury hotels to cozy B&Bs, there is something to suit every preference and budget.
In this article, we will explore the various accommodation options along the North Coast 500 and recommend some top places to stay. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious retreat or a budget-friendly stay, this guide will help you find the perfect accommodation for your journey.
From the start of the route in Inverness to the rugged beauty of John o’ Groats, and from the charming villages of Ullapool to the remote landscapes of Durness, the North Coast 500 is filled with unique experiences and hidden gems. By strategically choosing your accommodations, you can enhance your trip and make the most of your time exploring the stunning Scottish countryside.
Before diving into the various accommodation options, let’s first discuss some essential tips for planning your North Coast 500 trip. These tips will ensure a smooth and enjoyable adventure, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of this remarkable journey.
Essential tips for planning your North Coast 500 trip
Planning a trip along the North Coast 500 requires careful consideration and preparation. To make the most of your journey, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:
- Plan your route: Take the time to map out your itinerary, including the attractions and places you want to visit along the way. This will help you estimate the distance and duration of your trip, ensuring you have enough time to explore each destination.
- Consider the season: The North Coast 500 is beautiful year-round, but the weather can vary significantly. Summer months (May to September) are the most popular, with longer daylight hours and milder temperatures. However, these months can be busier, so consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn for a quieter experience.
- Book accommodations in advance: Due to the popularity of the NC500, it is advisable to book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. This will ensure you have a comfortable place to rest each night and prevent any last-minute scrambling for availability.
- Be prepared for remote areas: The North Coast 500 takes you through some remote areas of Scotland, where services may be limited. Make sure to stock up on supplies, fuel, and food when passing through major towns and villages to ensure you have everything you need during your journey.
- Pack appropriately: Scotland’s weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers and be prepared for all types of conditions. Even in the summer months, it’s advisable to bring a waterproof jacket and sturdy footwear for outdoor activities. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, and a detailed map or GPS system.
- Take your time: While the route can be completed in as little as a week, it’s best to allow more time to fully appreciate the stunning landscapes and attractions along the way. Take breaks, go for hikes, and immerse yourself in the local culture. The journey is as important as the destinations.
- Respect the environment: As you travel through the North Coast 500, it’s important to leave no trace and respect the pristine landscapes. Follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, dispose of waste responsibly, and be mindful of wildlife. Leave the areas you visit as you found them, preserving this natural beauty for future travelers.
By keeping these essential tips in mind, you can plan and enjoy a memorable trip along the North Coast 500. Now, let’s explore the different accommodation options available along the route, so you can find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate each day.
Accommodation options along the North Coast 500
When it comes to accommodation along the North Coast 500, there are plenty of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From luxury hotels to cozy B&Bs, campgrounds, and self-catering cottages, you can find the perfect choice to enhance your North Coast 500 experience. Let’s explore some of the most common accommodation options:
- Hotels and resorts: Along the North Coast 500, you will find a range of hotels and resorts, offering comfortable rooms, amenities, and often spectacular views. Whether you prefer a grand hotel in a city like Inverness or a boutique resort in a remote location, hotels provide a convenient and luxurious place to stay during your journey.
- Bed and Breakfast (B&B): B&Bs are a popular choice for travelers looking for a cozy and home-like atmosphere. Run by local hosts, B&Bs provide comfortable rooms with breakfast included. This is an excellent option for those who want a taste of Scottish hospitality and enjoy interacting with the locals.
- Guesthouses: Similar to B&Bs, guesthouses offer a more informal and personalized experience. They typically have a smaller number of rooms, allowing for a more intimate setting. Guesthouses often provide charming decor, friendly hosts, and a hearty Scottish breakfast to start your day.
- Self-catering cottages: For those who prefer more independence and privacy, self-catering cottages are an excellent choice. These cottages come fully equipped with a kitchen, allowing you to cook your meals and have flexibility in your schedule. They are also a great option for families or larger groups traveling together.
- Campgrounds and caravan parks: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or traveling on a budget, campgrounds and caravan parks can be a fantastic option. Set amidst stunning landscapes, these sites provide basic facilities such as toilets and showers, along with the freedom to pitch your tent or park your caravan.
Each accommodation type offers a unique experience along the North Coast 500, so consider your preferences and needs when choosing where to stay. Now, let’s dive into some recommended places to stay along the North Coast 500, highlighting their distinct charms and attractions.
Hotels and resorts
Along the North Coast 500, you’ll find a wide range of hotels and resorts, each offering its unique charm and amenities. These accommodations provide comfortable rooms, excellent service, and often breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Here are a few recommended hotels and resorts along the route:
Inverness: As the starting point of the North Coast 500, Inverness offers a variety of hotels and resorts to choose from. The city boasts luxury hotels, such as the Kingsmills Hotel, which offers spacious rooms, an on-site spa, and beautiful gardens. Alternatively, The Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel provides a boutique experience with stylish rooms and a riverside location.
Ullapool: This charming coastal town is known for its picturesque harbor and vibrant arts scene. To make the most of your stay, consider the luxurious Shieldaig Lodge Hotel, with its stunning lochside location and elegant rooms. For a more budget-friendly option, The Arch Inn offers comfortable rooms and a lively pub atmosphere.
Dornoch: Known for its historic cathedral and beautiful sandy beach, Dornoch offers a tranquil setting for visitors. The Royal Golf Hotel, located opposite the first tee of the Royal Dornoch Golf Club, provides elegant rooms and breathtaking views of the golf course and coastline. The Dornoch Castle Hotel, with its traditional charm and whisky bar, offers a unique Scottish experience.
Thurso: This coastal town is the gateway to the rugged beauty of the North Coast. The Pentland Hotel, located in the heart of Thurso, offers comfortable rooms and easy access to local attractions. Alternatively, the Station Hotel combines a historic setting with modern amenities, making it an ideal choice for travelers.
John o’ Groats: Known as the northernmost point on the British mainland, John o’ Groats offers breathtaking coastal views and opportunities for wildlife spotting. The Natural Retreats John O’Groats provides self-catering accommodation in stylish eco-lodges overlooking the sea. For a unique experience, the award-winning Seaview Hotel offers cozy rooms and a renowned seafood restaurant.
These are just a few examples of the hotels and resorts available along the North Coast 500. From luxury accommodations to boutique hotels, each destination offers its own charm and character. When planning your trip, consider your budget, preferences, and the location of the hotel to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
Bed and Breakfast (B&B)
For those seeking a cozy and welcoming atmosphere during their North Coast 500 journey, bed and breakfast accommodations, commonly known as B&Bs, are a popular choice. These establishments offer comfortable rooms, personalized hospitality, and a delicious breakfast to start your day. Here are some recommended B&Bs along the route:
Inverness: The city of Inverness is home to several charming B&Bs. The Heathmount Hotel, situated in a Victorian building, offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and a hearty breakfast. The Glen Mhor Hotel, located on the banks of the River Ness, provides cozy rooms and a warm, homely ambiance.
Ullapool: In this picturesque coastal town, The Ceilidh Place is a popular B&B option. It features individually decorated rooms, a lively bar and restaurant showcasing local cuisine, and a bookshop to browse at your leisure. The Argyll Hotel provides comfortable accommodations, friendly service, and breathtaking views of Loch Broom.
Dornoch: Dornoch offers tranquil B&Bs for a peaceful stay. The Eagle Hotel is a historic establishment that combines a pub atmosphere with comfortable rooms. The Stable Bothy is a unique B&B nestled in a traditional stone building, offering cozy rooms and country views.
Thurso: To experience genuine Scottish hospitality, The Holborn Hotel in Thurso is a fantastic choice. It features comfortable rooms, a cozy lounge with a fireplace, and a restaurant serving delicious meals. The Northern Sands Hotel offers charming accommodation with stunning sea views.
John o’ Groats: For a delightful B&B experience near John o’ Groats, The Hamnavoe is highly recommended. This family-run establishment offers comfortable rooms, warm hospitality, and a delicious breakfast. It’s the perfect base for exploring the nearby coastal landscapes.
These are just a few examples of the many excellent B&Bs you can find along the North Coast 500. Staying at a B&B allows you to connect with friendly hosts, get insider tips on local attractions, and experience the warmth of Scottish hospitality. Be sure to book your B&B accommodation in advance, as availability can be limited, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Guesthouses along the North Coast 500 offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere, often with a personal touch. These accommodations provide comfortable rooms, friendly hosts, and a range of amenities to make your stay enjoyable. Here are some recommended guesthouses along the route:
Inverness: Inverness has a selection of charming guesthouses to choose from. Crown Court Town House Hotel offers cozy rooms in a historic building, located just a short walk from Inverness Castle. The Quaich Guest House provides comfortable accommodations and a delicious breakfast, served in a charming dining room.
Ullapool: The Arch Inn Guest House in Ullapool offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms, with a lively pub on the ground floor for convenient dining and entertainment. The Argyll Hotel Guest House provides cozy accommodations with stunning views of Loch Broom, and its restaurant serves delicious meals made with locally-sourced ingredients.
Dornoch: The Dornoch Castle Hotel Guest House offers a unique experience, with rooms situated within the historic castle walls. Guests can enjoy the castle’s rich history and relax in comfortable, traditionally decorated rooms. Links House at Royal Dornoch Golf Club is another excellent option, providing elegant rooms and a tranquil setting overlooking the golf course.
Thurso: To enjoy a comfortable stay in Thurso, consider the Park Hotel Guest House, which offers cozy rooms and a convenient location near the town center. Alternatively, the Station Hotel Guest House provides a historic setting, comfortable accommodations, and a warm, friendly atmosphere.
John o’ Groats: When visiting John o’ Groats, The Hamnavoe Guest House is a popular choice. With comfortable rooms and warm hospitality, this guesthouse offers a cozy retreat near the northernmost point of the route.
Guesthouses along the North Coast 500 provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere, often with personalized touches that make your stay memorable. Be sure to check the amenities and services offered by each guesthouse to ensure they meet your preferences. With their warm hospitality and cozy accommodations, guesthouses provide an excellent option for a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
For those seeking independence and the freedom to cook their meals, self-catering cottages along the North Coast 500 are the perfect choice. These accommodations provide fully equipped kitchens, allowing you to prepare your own meals and enjoy a home-away-from-home experience. Here are some recommended self-catering cottages along the route:
Inverness: Inverness has a range of self-catering cottages available, such as the Riverside Lodge, which offers modern amenities and a riverside location. The Firthview House is another popular option, providing spacious accommodations with stunning views of the River Ness.
Ullapool: The Caledonian Cottage in Ullapool offers a cozy and well-equipped retreat, with its own garden and stunning views over Loch Broom. The Corran Cottage is a charming self-catering option with a traditional Scottish feel and easy access to the town’s amenities.
Dornoch: Dornoch offers self-catering cottages that blend modern comforts with a touch of Scottish charm. The Steading Holidays Cottages provide a selection of beautifully restored cottages, offering a peaceful stay in a rural setting. The Struie Hill Cottage offers panoramic views of the Dornoch Firth and is conveniently located near the town center.
Thurso: In Thurso, the Bellevue Cottage offers comfortable self-catering accommodation with all the necessary amenities. The house provides a spacious living area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a lovely garden to relax in after a day of exploring.
John o’ Groats: For a self-catering experience near John o’ Groats, The Byre is a rustic yet cozy cottage offering comfortable accommodations and lovely views of the surrounding countryside.
Self-catering cottages along the North Coast 500 provide a sense of autonomy and flexibility in your travels. They are an excellent choice for families, groups, or those looking for a longer stay. Before booking a self-catering cottage, consider the amenities, location, and size of the property to ensure it suits your needs.
Campgrounds and caravan parks
For outdoor enthusiasts and budget travelers, campgrounds and caravan parks provide an excellent option along the North Coast 500 route. These accommodations offer a chance to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the freedom of a mobile home or tent. Here are some recommended campgrounds and caravan parks along the route:
Inverness: The Culloden Moor Caravan Club Site is located near Inverness and provides well-maintained pitches for caravans and motorhomes. The Loch Ness Shores Camping and Caravanning Club Site, situated on the shores of Loch Ness, offers stunning views and access to various outdoor activities.
Ullapool: Ardmair Point Caravan and Camping Park is a popular choice near Ullapool. It offers pitches for tents, touring caravans, and motorhomes, along with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. The Broomfield Holiday Park is another option, providing spacious pitches and modern facilities.
Dornoch: Embo Beach Caravan Park is located just outside Dornoch and offers direct access to a beautiful sandy beach. The site provides pitches for motorhomes, caravans, and tents, as well as on-site facilities such as a shop, laundry, and playground.
Thurso: For those visiting Thurso, the Thurso Bay Caravan and Camping Park is a popular choice. This park offers pitches with electric hook-ups, along with access to beaches and nearby amenities.
John o’ Groats: The John o’ Groats Caravan and Camping Site is ideal for those wanting to visit the iconic John o’ Groats. This site offers a range of pitches for caravans, motorhomes, and tents, and is conveniently located near local attractions.
Campgrounds and caravan parks are a great option for travelers who enjoy the freedom of outdoor living and the camaraderie of fellow campers. Be sure to check the facilities and available services at each site, such as showers, toilets, and electrical hook-ups, to ensure they meet your needs. Additionally, it’s important to be respectful of the environment and follow any guidelines provided by the site to maintain the natural beauty of the North Coast 500.
Recommended places to stay along the North Coast 500
As you embark on your North Coast 500 journey, it’s important to choose the right places to stay to enhance your overall experience. Here are some highly recommended destinations along the route:
- Inverness: Start your adventure in the vibrant city of Inverness. With a wide range of accommodations to choose from, including luxurious hotels, cozy B&Bs, and self-catering apartments, you’ll find the perfect base to explore the city’s rich history and nearby attractions like the legendary Loch Ness.
- Ullapool: This picturesque town is known for its stunning coastal scenery and vibrant arts community. Stay in Ullapool to enjoy the charm of the harbor, explore nearby mountains and islands, and savor locally sourced seafood at its best. You’ll find comfortable accommodations ranging from quaint B&Bs to self-catering cottages.
- Dornoch: Nestled on the Dornoch Firth, Dornoch is a historic town with a beautiful sandy beach and a renowned golf course. Immerse yourself in Scottish history by visiting the 13th-century Dornoch Cathedral and exploring the charming streets. Accommodations in Dornoch include historic hotels, cozy B&Bs, and self-catering cottages.
- Thurso: Located on the northern coast of Scotland, Thurso is a gateway to breathtaking landscapes, including the wild beauty of the Castle of Mey and the stunning cliffs of Dunnet Head. Choose from guesthouses, hotels, or campgrounds to enjoy the rugged charm of Thurso and its surrounding areas.
- John o’ Groats: As the northernmost point on the British mainland, John o’ Groats is a must-visit destination during your North Coast 500 journey. Stay in a guesthouse or self-catering accommodation to witness spectacular coastal views, take a boat trip to the nearby islands, and explore the iconic signpost that marks the end (or beginning) of your NC500 adventure.
- Durness: Known for its remote and awe-inspiring natural landscapes, Durness offers rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and the dramatic Smoo Cave. Stay in a cozy B&B or explore camping options to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of this wilderness.
- Applecross: The winding Bealach na Ba road leads you to Applecross, a remote and tranquil village with stunning sea views. Choose from cozy B&Bs or self-catering cottages and indulge in fresh seafood, scenic hikes, and breathtaking sunsets.
- Gairloch: Situated on the shores of Loch Gairloch, this charming village is a hub for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife spotting. Book a stay in a guesthouse or a self-catering cottage to explore the beautiful beaches, enjoy boat trips, and take in the dramatic landscapes.
- Lochinver: Lochinver is a picturesque fishing village located on the shores of Loch Inver. Embrace the tranquility of the area by staying in a cozy B&B or enjoying self-catering accommodation. Explore the stunning Achmelvich Beach, hike the nearby Assynt mountains, and savor the acclaimed local seafood.
- Tongue: Tongue offers a peaceful retreat with its majestic landscapes and historic castle. Book a stay in a guesthouse, campsite, or self-catering cottage to experience the natural wonders of nearby Ben Hope and Ben Loyal, and witness the rugged beauty of the Kyle of Tongue.
These recommended places to stay along the North Coast 500 encompass a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you choose to stay in luxurious hotels, cozy B&Bs, self-catering cottages, or campgrounds, each destination offers its unique charm and an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
Inverness, known as the capital of the Highlands, is a vibrant city and an excellent starting point for your North Coast 500 adventure. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and a wide range of accommodations, Inverness is a top destination along the route.
When staying in Inverness, you’ll find an array of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels offering exquisite amenities to charming B&Bs and self-catering apartments, there is something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a luxury experience, consider staying at the Kingsmills Hotel. Situated in a beautiful estate, this hotel offers spacious rooms, a spa, and picturesque gardens, providing a tranquil escape in the heart of the city. Another luxurious option is the Glenmoriston Townhouse Hotel, which features stylish rooms, a riverside location, and fine dining options.
For travelers seeking a more budget-friendly option, there are numerous B&Bs in Inverness that provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. The Heathmount Hotel is a popular choice, offering cozy rooms and a delicious breakfast to start your day. The Glen Mhor Hotel is another charming B&B located on the banks of the River Ness, providing stunning views and a warm ambiance.
If you prefer the flexibility of self-catering accommodations, Inverness has plenty to offer. Many apartments and cottages have fully equipped kitchens, allowing you to prepare your own meals and feel at home. The Riverside Lodge is a highly recommended self-catering option, providing modern amenities and a serene riverside location.
During your stay in Inverness, take the time to explore the city’s attractions such as Inverness Castle and St. Andrews Cathedral. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the banks of the River Ness and visit the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery to learn about the history and culture of the Highlands.
From Inverness, you can also embark on day trips to nearby landmarks, including the famous Loch Ness. Take a cruise on the loch, visit Urquhart Castle, and keep an eye out for the legendary Loch Ness Monster. You can also explore the Culloden Battlefield, where the historic Battle of Culloden took place.
Inverness offers a vibrant mix of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal place to start your North Coast 500 journey. Whether you choose a luxurious hotel, a cozy B&B, or a self-catering apartment, you’re sure to find accommodation that enhances your experience in this captivating city.
Ullapool, a picturesque coastal village situated on the shores of Loch Broom, is a charming destination along the North Coast 500. Known for its stunning scenery and vibrant arts scene, Ullapool offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors.
When it comes to accommodation in Ullapool, you have a variety of options to choose from. Whether you prefer luxury hotels, cozy B&Bs, or self-catering cottages, there is something to suit every traveler’s taste and budget.
For those seeking a touch of luxury, the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel is a highly recommended choice. Located a short distance from Ullapool, this luxurious hotel offers elegant rooms, refined dining options, and breathtaking views of Loch Gairloch. It’s the perfect place to indulge in relaxation and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, The Arch Inn offers comfortable accommodations in the heart of Ullapool. This popular inn provides cozy rooms and a lively pub atmosphere, where you can enjoy a drink and traditional Scottish cuisine. The Argyll Hotel also offers affordable and comfortable rooms, along with beautiful views of Loch Broom.
For those who prefer the freedom of self-catering accommodations, Ullapool offers a range of options. The Ceilidh Place provides self-catering rooms and cottages, allowing you to create your own meals while immersing yourself in the vibrant arts and music scene of Ullapool. Another option is the Ullapool Holiday Homes, which offers a selection of fully equipped self-catering cottages located in and around Ullapool.
During your stay in Ullapool, take the time to explore the village and its surrounding natural wonders. Stroll along the picturesque harbor, where you can watch fishing boats and enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants. Ullapool Museum provides insights into the village’s history and heritage, while the Ullapool Hill walk offers stunning panoramic views of Loch Broom and the Summer Isles.
Ullapool is also a gateway to the North West Highlands Geopark, a designated UNESCO site known for its outstanding geological heritage. Consider taking a boat trip to the Summer Isles, a group of small islands renowned for their wildlife and natural beauty.
With its scenic beauty, vibrant arts scene, and warm Highland hospitality, Ullapool is a delightful place to stay along the North Coast 500. Whether you choose a luxury hotel, a cozy B&B, or a self-catering cottage, your time in Ullapool is sure to be filled with unforgettable experiences and stunning landscapes.
Dornoch, a historic town located on the east coast of the Scottish Highlands, is a charming and picturesque destination along the North Coast 500. Known for its sandy beach, world-class golf courses, and quaint streets, Dornoch offers a peaceful and idyllic escape for visitors.
When it comes to accommodations in Dornoch, you’ll find a selection of charming and comfortable options that complement the town’s character and beauty. From historic hotels to cozy B&Bs and self-catering cottages, there’s something to suit every traveler’s taste and preference.
If you’re seeking a truly unique and historic experience, consider staying at the Dornoch Castle Hotel. This 15th-century castle turned hotel offers comfortable rooms with a touch of Scottish charm. The hotel features a whisky bar where you can sample a variety of Scotch whiskies and a restaurant serving delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients.
For those looking for a more modern and luxurious stay, Links House at Royal Dornoch Golf Club provides an exceptional experience. Located near the renowned Royal Dornoch Golf Club, this elegant hotel offers luxurious rooms, exquisite dining options, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Visitors seeking a cozy and personalized experience can choose from various B&Bs in Dornoch. The Eagle Hotel is a historic establishment that offers comfortable rooms, friendly service, and a charming dining area. The Stable Bothy is a unique B&B nestled in a traditional stone building, providing cozy rooms and lovely country views.
For travelers who prefer the freedom of self-catering accommodations, Dornoch has several options to consider. The Steading Holidays Cottages, located in a tranquil rural setting, offer beautifully restored cottages with all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay. The Struie Hill Cottage is another self-catering option, offering panoramic views of the Dornoch Firth and a convenient location near the town center.
During your stay in Dornoch, immerse yourself in the town’s rich history and natural beauty. Explore the 13th-century Dornoch Cathedral, browse the local shops and galleries, or relax on the beautiful sandy beach. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Royal Dornoch Golf Club, one of the world’s top-ranked golf courses.
Dornoch is also a great base for further exploration of the Scottish Highlands. Venture out to nearby places such as Dunrobin Castle, a fairytale-like castle with stunning gardens, or take a scenic drive along the North Coast 500’s eastern section to enjoy the spectacular coastal landscapes.
With its history, natural beauty, and warm Highland hospitality, Dornoch is a delightful place to stay along the North Coast 500 route. Whether you choose a historic hotel, a cozy B&B, or a self-catering cottage, you’ll find yourself captivated by the charm and tranquility of this Scottish gem.
Located on the northern coast of Scotland, Thurso is a vibrant town that offers stunning landscapes, rich history, and a warm Highland welcome. As a stop along the North Coast 500, Thurso provides an ideal base for exploring the breathtaking natural beauty of the region and immersing oneself in its fascinating history.
When it comes to accommodations, Thurso offers a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets. From comfortable guesthouses to hotels and campgrounds, you’ll find something that meets your needs.
The Pentland Hotel, located in the heart of Thurso, offers comfortable and modern rooms along with a cozy restaurant and bar. Its central location allows easy access to the town’s amenities and attractions, making it a convenient choice for travelers.
Another notable option is the Station Hotel, which combines a historic setting with modern amenities. This charming hotel offers comfortable rooms, a cozy lounge with a fireplace, and a restaurant serving delicious meals made with local ingredients.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you may consider the Park Hotel Guest House. Situated near the town center, it offers comfortable rooms, friendly service, and a convenient location for exploring Thurso and its surrounding areas.
For outdoor enthusiasts and budget travelers, Thurso also offers campgrounds and caravan parks. The Thurso Bay Caravan and Camping Park is a popular choice, providing pitches for caravans, motorhomes, and tents. With its proximity to beaches and nearby amenities, it is an ideal spot to enjoy the outdoors.
During your stay in Thurso, be sure to explore the town’s attractions. Visit the ruins of Thurso Castle, which dates back to the 12th century, and take a walk along Thurso Bay to enjoy stunning coastal views. Don’t miss a visit to nearby Dunnet Head, the northernmost point of mainland Britain, with its striking cliffs and panoramic vistas.
Thurso is also an excellent base for exploring the North Coast’s rugged beauty. Take a ferry from nearby Scrabster to the Orkney Islands, where you can explore ancient sites such as Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on hikes along the nearby Ben Loyal or enjoy fishing on the River Thurso.
With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and friendly atmosphere, Thurso offers a memorable stay along the North Coast 500. Whether you choose a comfortable hotel, a cozy guesthouse, or a campground, you’ll discover the magic and rugged charm that this northern Scottish town has to offer.
John o’ Groats
John o’ Groats, located at the northeastern tip of Scotland, is a legendary and iconic destination along the North Coast 500 route. Famed for being the northernmost point of mainland Britain, John o’ Groats offers stunning coastal scenery, charming accommodations, and a sense of adventure for travelers.
When it comes to accommodations in John o’ Groats, you can choose from a variety of options that capture the unique charm of this remote area. Whether you prefer a guesthouse with a cozy ambience, a self-catering cottage with stunning views, or a campground near the coast, there’s something for every taste and budget.
The Natural Retreats John O’Groats is a highly recommended choice for a memorable stay. This self-catering accommodation offers stylish and contemporary eco-lodges with panoramic views of the sea or surrounding countryside. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the area while enjoying all the modern comforts provided.
For a unique and authentic experience, consider staying at the award-winning Seaview Hotel. This family-run guesthouse offers comfortable rooms with stunning coastal views. Indulge in the renowned seafood restaurant, which serves fresh local produce, while enjoying warm Highland hospitality.
No trip to John o’ Groats is complete without visiting the iconic signpost that marks the end (or the beginning) of the North Coast 500. Take a photo next to the signpost, which displays the distances to other significant destinations around the world.
While in the area, venture beyond John o’ Groats to explore the rugged beauty of the surrounding coastal landscapes. Take a boat trip to the nearby Orkney Islands, where you can discover ancient historical sites like Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar. Enjoy wildlife-watching opportunities, as the area is known for its seabird colonies and the chance to spot seals and dolphins.
For outdoor enthusiasts, go for a hike along the dramatic cliffs of Duncansby Head or take a leisurely stroll along the coast to witness the stunning scenery and seabirds soaring above the waves.
Whether you choose a self-catering lodge, a cozy guesthouse, or a camping spot, a stay in John o’ Groats offers the chance to experience the rugged beauty and magical atmosphere of Scotland’s northeastern tip. Enjoy the sense of adventure and serenity that this remote destination provides as you immerse yourself in the raw and captivating landscapes.
Durness, nestled in the remote beauty of the Scottish Highlands, is a captivating destination along the North Coast 500. Known for its untouched landscapes, pristine beaches, and dramatic cliffs, Durness offers a sense of tranquility and adventure for visitors.
When it comes to accommodations in Durness, you’ll find options that harmonize with the rugged charm of the area. From cozy B&Bs to self-catering cottages, there are choices to suit different preferences and budgets, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Durness.
Dornoch Castle Hotel is a unique and historic accommodation option in the heart of Durness. This converted castle offers comfortable rooms with a touch of Scottish charm, providing an unforgettable experience for guests. Enjoy the cozy ambiance, visit the on-site whisky bar, and savor delicious meals made from local ingredients in the hotel’s restaurant.
For those seeking a more independent stay, self-catering cottages in Durness offer the freedom to create your own meals and embrace your surroundings. These well-equipped cottages provide a cozy retreat after a day of exploring the nearby beaches, lakes, and rugged cliffs.
While in Durness, be sure to discover the natural wonders that make this area truly special. Smoo Cave, a large sea cave located on the coast, offers a mesmerizing experience with its cascading waterfall and intriguing geological formations.
Explore the stunning beaches of Durness, including Balnakeil Beach and Sango Bay, where you can stroll along soft sands and take in the breathtaking scenery. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the North Atlantic.
Durness is also home to Cape Wrath, the northwest tip of mainland Britain. Accessible via a scenic ferry crossing and a minibus ride, this remote and wild headland is a must-visit for those seeking unparalleled natural beauty and solitude.
Surrounded by the majestic mountains of the North West Highlands Geopark, Durness offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Hike along the cliffs of Cape Wrath or explore the nearby Munros for a challenging mountaineering experience.
As the day comes to a close, take in the spectacular sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. Capture the vibrant colors casting a warm glow over the landscape, and breathe in the serenity of this remote corner of Scotland.
With its untouched landscapes, stunning beaches, and rugged cliffs, Durness is a unique and captivating place to stay along the North Coast 500. Whether you choose a historic castle hotel or a cozy self-catering cottage, your time in Durness will be filled with natural wonders and a sense of unrivaled tranquility.
Located on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, Gairloch is a picturesque village that offers incredible natural beauty and a tranquil escape along the North Coast 500. With its stunning beaches, rugged mountains, and abundant wildlife, Gairloch is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Accommodations in Gairloch come in various forms, ranging from charming guesthouses to cozy B&Bs and self-catering cottages. Each option allows you to fully embrace the beauty of the area and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of Gairloch.
A highly recommended accommodation option in Gairloch is the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel, located within a short distance from the village. Set in a picturesque location overlooking Loch Gairloch, the hotel offers elegant rooms, refined dining options, and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
For those seeking a more personalized experience, local guesthouses provide a warm welcome and comfortable accommodations. The Millcroft Hotel and Guesthouse is a popular choice, offering cozy rooms, a friendly atmosphere, and stunning views over Gairloch Bay. The Old Inn and Bunkhouse is another option, providing a mix of guestrooms and bunkhouse accommodations along with a welcoming pub and restaurant.
If you prefer the flexibility of self-catering accommodations, Gairloch has several options available. Many cottages offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lochs, giving you the opportunity to enjoy your own space and create your own meals. Lochbroom Lodge and Seaview Cottage are both recommended for a comfortable and relaxing self-catering experience in Gairloch.
While in Gairloch, immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the area. Explore the beautiful beaches, such as Gairloch Beach and Red Point Beach, where you can stroll along pristine sands and enjoy breathtaking views. Take a wildlife boat trip to spot seals, dolphins, and a wide variety of seabirds.
Embark on a trek along the nearby Torridon Mountains, or hike the trails in the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve to discover the dramatic landscapes and diverse flora and fauna of the Scottish Highlands.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Gairloch Heritage Museum, which offers insights into the local history and culture of the area. Learn about the maritime heritage and the geological significance of Gairloch through informative exhibits.
With its stunning natural landscapes, charming accommodations, and opportunities for outdoor adventures, Gairloch offers a delightful experience along the North Coast 500. Whether you choose a luxurious hotel, a cozy guesthouse, or a self-catering cottage, you’ll find yourself captivated by the beauty and tranquility of this coastal village.
Tucked away on the remote western coast of the Scottish Highlands, Applecross is a hidden gem along the North Coast 500. With its breathtaking scenery, rugged landscapes, and warm Highland hospitality, Applecross offers a truly unforgettable experience for travelers.
Accommodations in Applecross capture the tranquility and natural beauty of the area. From charming guesthouses and cozy B&Bs to self-catering cottages, there is an option to suit every preference and budget.
One of the highly recommended accommodations in Applecross is the Applecross Inn. Situated in a stunning location overlooking the Inner Sound, this charming inn offers comfortable rooms, a lively pub atmosphere, and delicious fresh seafood. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration.
If you’re looking for a more independent stay, self-catering cottages in Applecross provide a home-away-from-home experience. Enjoy the freedom of your own space, and wake up to breathtaking views of the mountains or the sea. The luxury cottages at Toscaig or Clachan Manse Cottages are excellent options for a comfortable and relaxing self-catering experience in Applecross.
During your visit to Applecross, take in the beauty of Bealach na Ba, one of Scotland’s most scenic mountain passes. The winding road offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and the opportunity to spot local wildlife along the way. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the coast and islands.
Explore the picturesque Applecross Estate, where you can take tranquil walks through woodland and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere surrounding the Applecross River. Head to the quaint Applecross village to discover its traditional whitewashed cottages, craft shops, and the iconic Applecross Walled Garden.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Applecross offers superb hiking opportunities, with trails catering to all levels of experience. Embark on a coastal walk along the Applecross Peninsula, or conquer the peaks of Beinn Bhan and Sgurr a’Chaorachain for more challenging adventures.
Indulge in delectable local cuisine by sampling the renowned Applecross seafood, which includes fresh langoustines, scallops, and lobster caught in the nearby waters. The Applecross Inn is a fantastic place to savor these culinary delights while enjoying panoramic views of the Sound.
With its unparalleled natural beauty, remote location, and warm Highland hospitality, Applecross is a captivating destination along the North Coast 500. Whether you choose a cozy inn, a charming B&B, or a self-catering cottage, your stay in Applecross will be filled with stunning landscapes and a sense of serenity.
Lochinver, located on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, is a picturesque village nestled between the stunning mountains and the shimmering Loch Inver. Known for its rugged landscapes, pristine beaches, and renowned seafood, Lochinver offers a serene and idyllic getaway along the North Coast 500.
Accommodations in Lochinver provide a comfortable base to explore the natural beauty of the area. From cozy B&Bs with warm Highland hospitality to self-catering cottages with breathtaking views, there are options to suit different preferences and budgets.
One recommended accommodation in Lochinver is the Inver Lodge Hotel, offering luxurious rooms and stunning views over Loch Inver. This elegant hotel provides a tranquil retreat and the opportunity to savor delicious meals in its acclaimed restaurant, featuring locally sourced ingredients.
For a more intimate experience, consider staying at one of the many delightful B&Bs in Lochinver. These establishments offer cozy rooms and a personal touch, ensuring a warm and welcoming atmosphere during your stay. The Glencanisp Lodge and Suilven View B&B are both popular choices, providing comfortable accommodations and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
If you prefer the flexibility of self-catering accommodations, Lochinver offers a range of options, including traditional Highland cottages with modern amenities. Enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace while immersing yourself in the beauty of the area. The Port Beag Chalets and Glenview Cottage are ideal choices for a comfortable self-catering experience in Lochinver.
When in Lochinver, take the time to explore the magnificent surroundings. Enjoy a walk along Achmelvich Beach, with its turquoise waters and golden sands, or hike to the summit of Suilven, an iconic mountain that boasts breathtaking vistas of the Assynt region.
Indulge in Lochinver’s renowned seafood by sampling the locally caught langoustines, lobster, and scallops. Experience the flavors of the Highlands by dining at one of the village’s quality restaurants or enjoying a seafood picnic by the lochside.
While in Lochinver, a visit to the Highland Stoneware Pottery is a must. Explore the workshop and gallery, where you can purchase unique handcrafted pottery as a memento of your visit.
Lochinver is also a gateway to the incredible landscapes of the Assynt region. Take in the beauty of the Quinag mountain range, marvel at the dramatic cliffs of Stoer Head, or visit the enchanting ruins of Ardvreck Castle nestled on the shores of Loch Assynt.
With its breathtaking landscapes, delectable seafood, and tranquil ambiance, Lochinver offers a truly memorable experience along the North Coast 500. Whether you choose a luxury hotel, a cozy B&B, or a self-catering cottage, your stay in Lochinver will be filled with natural wonders and a sense of unparalleled tranquility.
Tongue, a charming village located on the northern coast of Scotland, is a hidden gem along the North Coast 500 route. Surrounded by stunning landscapes and steeped in history, Tongue offers a peaceful retreat and a gateway to the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
Accommodations in Tongue capture the unique charm of the area, providing a comfortable and welcoming base for exploring the surrounding natural wonders. From cozy guesthouses to campgrounds, there are options to suit different preferences and budgets.
The Tongue Hotel is a highly recommended option for a memorable stay in the village. With its warm Highland hospitality, spacious rooms, and picturesque location, this historic hotel offers a perfect blend of traditional charm and modern comforts. Enjoy a delicious meal in the hotel’s restaurant, showcasing locally sourced produce.
For a more intimate experience, the Tongue Mains House B&B offers comfortable accommodations with a personal touch. Located on a working farm, this B&B allows guests to experience the tranquility and beauty of the Scottish countryside.
For those who prefer a more adventurous stay, there are also campgrounds available in and around Tongue. Camping gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the stunning landscapes of the northern Highlands.
While in Tongue, explore the local sights and attractions. Visit the historic Tongue Castle, a 17th-century ruin set against the backdrop of Ben Loyal, and witness the beauty of the nearby Kyle of Tongue with its stunning views of Loch Loyal. Take a leisurely stroll along the white sands of nearby Torrisdale Bay and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this remote stretch of coastline.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunity to hike in the surrounding hills and mountains. Conquer the nearby Ben Loyal or embark on the challenging Sandwood Bay hike, which leads to a remote and pristine beach known for its natural beauty.
Tongue is also an excellent base for exploring nearby areas such as Kinlochbervie, Durness, and the stunning Smoo Cave. These destinations offer captivating landscapes and unique experiences, making for memorable day trips.
With its rugged beauty, enchanting history, and warm Highland hospitality, Tongue provides a serene and unforgettable experience along the North Coast 500. Whether you choose to stay in a cozy hotel, a charming B&B, or a campground, your time in Tongue will be filled with breathtaking landscapes and a sense of tranquility.
The North Coast 500 is a spectacular route that takes travelers on a memorable journey through the majestic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. Along this iconic road trip, there are a multitude of accommodations to choose from, offering a variety of experiences to enhance your North Coast 500 adventure.
From luxurious hotels and charming B&Bs to self-catering cottages and picturesque campgrounds, there is an accommodation option to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. Whether you prefer the convenience of a hotel, the personal touch of a guesthouse, the freedom of a self-catering retreat, or the immersion in nature at a campground, the North Coast 500 has it all.
Inverness, the starting point of the journey, offers a range of accommodations, including luxury hotels and cozy B&Bs. Ullapool captivates visitors with its vibrant arts scene and provides a choice of charming accommodations. Dornoch enchants with its historic charm and offers a mix of historic hotels, B&Bs, and self-catering cottages.
Other destinations along the North Coast 500, such as Thurso, John o’ Groats, Durness, Gairloch, Applecross, Lochinver, Tongue, and various points in between, also provide an array of accommodations that capture the character and beauty of their respective locations.
No matter where you choose to stay along the North Coast 500, you will be immersed in the breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, and warm Highland hospitality that make this journey so special. Take the time to plan your accommodations in advance, ensuring that you find the perfect place to rest, rejuvenate, and make memories along the route.
As you travel through the Scottish Highlands, remember to respect the environment, follow local guidelines, and leave no trace. This will help preserve the natural beauty of the North Coast 500 for future travelers to enjoy.
Whether you dive into the rich history of Inverness, immerse yourself in the vibrant arts of Ullapool, or bask in the remote beauty of Applecross and beyond, the North Coast 500 offers an unforgettable adventure. So, pack your bags, choose your accommodations wisely, and embark on a journey of a lifetime along this breathtaking route through the heart of the Scottish Highlands.