The Great Scottish North Coast 500 will take you on a thrilling adventure along Scotland’s spectacular North coast, through steep mountains and along beautiful beaches you’ll see the best scenery that Scotland has to offer. If you are thinking of doing the North Coast 500 road trip then you need to read this first! Here are 8 essential things you should know before taking on Scotland’s famous 500 mile route:
1. Single Track Roads
Be aware that most of the driving will be on single track roads, but fear not, there are plenty of ‘passing places’ where you can pull in to let other drivers past, it’s not as daunting as it seems.
2. You can wild camp almost anywhere
When looking for a place to settle for the night, you don’t always have to rely on campsites. If you see a beautiful secluded spot you can most likely camp there as long as there is not a ‘no parking over-night’ sign and it is not somebody’s land. There is something extra special about wild camping, it’s an experience you won’t forget. And to top it off, you can have a fire!
3. Fuel is a lot more expensive in rural areas
Fuel up while you can in the larger towns and cities such as Inverness and Thurso because A) it will be cheaper and B) you might not come across another fuel station for a while, better safe than sorry!
4. Be prepared for unpredictable Scottish weather
In Scotland we often have four seasons in one day, so bring plenty of clothes with you for all types of weather. Layering is key and definitely bring a good waterproof jacket with you for when the heavens open (they will).
5. You can pick up official NC500 maps from tourist info stops.
These are very handy as they contain loads of info about each stop along the way, like where you can get fuel, which places have campsites, shops, restaurants and more . They can be picked up everywhere along the route for free so don’t worry about having to buy a roadmap or using your mobile data for maps.
6. Beware of the midges!!!
If you are from Scotland or have visited before you will know about the dreaded Scottish midge. Feared by all, defeated by none, these tiny flying pests will drive you insane with their bites if you don’t take action. Use an insect repellant with a high percentage of deet like this one to deter them. Other things that can help include lighting a fire, staying away from damp grass or just going indoors when it all gets too much.
7. There is more to do and see on the North West coast
The North West coast is a lot more picturesque and rural. There are mountains aplenty to gaze at (and climb of course) and lochs and quaint little villages to stop in, but not so much of this on the North East coast, so I would suggest taking your time up the NW coast to make the most of it.
8. You probably won’t have signal for most of the trip
But hey, who needs Facebook when you have views like this..
9. You will see some of the most breathtaking views the UK has to offer
Be prepared to be stunned by white sand beaches, towering Munro’s and Lochs as reflective as mirrors, Scotland is magnificent.
If you want more info on the North Coast 500 click here.
And if you want to see what we got up to on our North Coast 500 trip check out our Youtube channel here.
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