UK Staycation Ideas – Scotlands ‘Route 66’ : The North Coast 500 in a camper

Ruige landschappen, groene heuvels en puntige rotsen. Voeg daaraantoe: vriendelijke maar onverstaanbare mensen en je stereotype beeld van Schotland is compleet. De North Coast 500, een route van 830 kilometer langs de ruwe kust in het noorden van Schotland belooft dit alles en meer. Deze prachtige route is al een belevenis zonder tussenstops. Een must voor de camperavonturier!

Route 66 in Scotland has been opened since 2015, to link the beautiful scenery of Northern Scotland. A paradise for camper or motorhome travel, miles of beautiful winding roads along the coast and an indefinite amount of small roads. Along the way, you’ll meet enchanting castles, white beaches and fairytale-like sceneries. Let’s go!

Kaart door Thincat, CC 4.0.

The start: Inverness

The North Coast 500 route starts at Inverness, the gateway to the Highlands. We start the route here, clockwise. You can also drive the other way around, but you won’t drive on the seaside of the road! The two hour trip from the eastcoast (Inverness) to the westcoast (Applecross) starts with riding north and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the inlands of Scotland. It’s a beautiful drive which you will definitely remember. If you go south, starting from Inverness, you might even catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster. You will have a bit of a busier drive, with tour buses driving from Inverness to Loch Ness every day. The choice is yours, mystic Loch Ness or beautiful drive through the inlands? 

Enjoy the beautiful west coast nature: Munro’s, Skye and awe-inspiring roads

When you’ve driven your camper through the inland to the coast, you drive towards Skye: one of the most beautiful islands perhaps in the world. Not officially part of the North Coast 500, but we didn’t dare to not mention it. It is perhaps better to dedicate a full vacation to this island, but still. Up to you. Make a detour or leave Skye for what it is, and continue to Beleach na Bá towards Applecross. Considered as one of the most beautiful and most famous parts of the road, this is a part of the route where you want to keep your camera at hand. Take your time (when the traffic allows you to) and let the view sink in. Farther north you will find the famous Munro’s, the name for mountains over 3000 feet. The name derives from Sir High Munro, who created Munro’s Tables to map out all these mountains. On the route you will find the following in this order: An Teallach, Stac Pollaidh, Suilven en Ben Hope.

North Coast: beaches, castles and surfing

On the North Coast you will find three beautiful beaches to enjoy the rough beachweather, or when you are lucky, the sunny summer. Gairloch beach is one of the first beaches you will find, a secluded spot with not too many visitors. In Alchemic Bay you will find Hermit’s Castle, one of the smallest castles of Europe. Behind the beautiful dunes of the north of Scotland is Balkaneil beach, a large, white beach. Perfect for hanging out before you travel further east with your motorhome or camper. Are you interested in a bit more action? In the most northern town of Scotland, Trumso, there’s surf all year round. With multiple world championships have been held here, this is a famous and well-known surf spot.  

Eastcoast

Surfboard back in the camper, we’re going to dive into the Scottish culture along the eastcoast. From Trumso, we drive to the most northern point of the Scotland, John o’Groats. You might find some people here who’ve travelled from Land’s End to John o’Groats across England and Scotland. After a walk along the coast, we’ll drive to Dunrobin Castle, the biggest castle in the Northern Highlands. You can do a self-guided tour through the castle here. After the castle, it is time to take good care of ourselves. One of Scotlands finest treasures is of course their Whisky. Park the motorhome and find one of the many distilleries, for example the  Balblair Distillery.  Prefer beer? Almost at the end of our trip close to Inverness is the Black Isle Brewery. A biolgical brewery with many different kinds of beer.      

Dunrobin Castle

From culture back to nature. We are trying to catch a glimpse of dolphins in Chanonry point! They are known to come very close to the mainland, since that is where they find their meals. Biggest chances are at high tide and in February you will find a booklet here with the times when you are most likely to catch a glimpse. This is our last stop on our way to Inverness, but we’ll return with a head full of great memories, a camera full of beautiful landscapes and a belly full of Scottish food and drinks.

Maar waar gaan we slapen? In Schotland kun je wildkamperen! Ideaal voor met een camper dus. Bekijk hieronder onze campers in Schotland.  

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