This renovated ruin has an incredible garden and offers a full guided tour around the castle itself. Yet, when combined with a round trip to/from the Cape Scott Ligthouse, and the trip south to the San Josef staging area, the trip totals nearly 80 km. We then caught the 1:45 p.m. West Coast Trail Express shuttle from Pachena Bay to Port Renfrew, which got us there at at 5:45 p.m. We overnighted at the Trailhead Resort Hiker Huts. This is definitely the most awe-inspiring castle ruin we have ever visited. Click here for more options for accommodation near Durness. There are not a lot of choices when it comes to accommodation nearby Scourie, with only two guesthouses in the centre of the village. It is generally legal to wild camp around Scotland, with the exception of some specific areas due to bye-laws. Save this image to your Scotland Pinterest board for later! This experience, however, will cost you in order to enter the Castle, Garden and Ground for £12 or the Garden and Grounds along for £7. Click here for more options for accommodation near Thurso. The basic answer is “it can take however long you want it to”.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'highlands2hammocks_co_uk-medrectangle-4','ezslot_5',115,'0','0'])); There are people who race around the NC500 in one day, making the most of the beautiful scenery, winding roads and white-knuckle driving conditions in certain areas. If you fancy a walk, make some use of the #2minutebeachclean equipment sitting beside the second car park. Follow along on this couple’s round the world trip and get inspired to make every day a wonderful adventure. SHOPPING TIME: There is a huge Tesco on the outskirts of Wick, which is perfect to stock up on supplies if you missed the Morrisons. The award-winning Sango Sands Oasis sits high above the spectacular, golden Sango Sands beach, one of the most popular north-west Scotland campsites. This sits about 20 minutes north of Dornoch and will cost you £12 to go inside the castle to have a look around. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If you are driving a large vehicle or are not comfortable driving on narrow, winding roads with steep drops, then I suggest you take the scenic route to the north. Upon reaching the beach, take a moment to appreciate the seclusion around you and stretch your legs along the shore. For more information read our Affiliate page. The Ultimate North Coast 500 Itinerary – Route, Accommodation, Travel Tips and more.. How Long Does it Take to Drive the NC500? At the end of the road is Lund – a small, peaceful coastal village that is a haven for boaters. If you are looking to rent a cosy, reliable and luxurious campervan for your trip along the NC500, we highly recommend hiring through Bunk Campers. I’m sure you will have a story or two to tell! This spot is right beside the main road so it can be quite noisy during the night, however, it is very hidden so you won’t be bothered. Fill up at a local cafe or with a campsite breakfast and get ready for another day of adventure! This route features some of the most rugged and isolated coastal landscapes in the country. Day two of our NC500 adventure takes us further north along the coast and involves exploring some of the most breathtaking castles in Scotland. Day two, continue from Nels Bight along the trail, past Guise Bay and Experiment Bight, to the Cape Scott Lighthouse. Travel our North Coast 500 cycling holiday to experience a satisfying active journey – swap four wheels for two. However, if you fancy a trip a little more on the wild side, it is legal to wild camp in Scotland and there are a lot of wild camping spots along the NC500 route as well. Just outside of the small town of Durness lies a cave that has a history dating all the way back to the Vikings. The name Shieldaig derives from the Old Norse language, meaning “herring bay“. The town was originally known by the Gaelic term tarvodubron, or “bull water”, and was once an important Norse port until the Nordic rule ended in the 13th-century. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'highlands2hammocks_co_uk-medrectangle-3','ezslot_0',113,'0','0'])); Download an easy to use, NC500 map and North Coast 500 Itinerary right here. Read more about the best campsites on the North Coast 500 in our full guide. This bay is extremely popular with sea kayakers as it is the ideal location to for camping north-west Scotland and to set off out to the open ocean. The North Coast Trail is a 43.1 km extension to the original Cape Scott trail. The trail to Raft Cove is a moderately challenging 2.5 km hike, leading through the coastal rainforest out to a white sand cove and the open Pacific Ocean. There are two ways to reach the small village of Applecross, one leading around the peninsula to the north and one snaking its way directly over the mountains. The laundry facilities are £2 for the washing machine and £1 for 30 minutes in the drier. Maybe even inspire them to visit the NC500 castles themselves! View amenities, descriptions, reviews, photos, itineraries, and directions on TrailLink. In order to reach the castle, head down the high street towards the river and take a left along the river bank. Find the perfect Island-inspired gift item to remember your trip by. Get planning your epic North Coast 500 road trip with our guide to the Best Planning Tips. This way you can admire the beauty of the east coast and have your road trip build to a climactic ending with the stunning west coast. The Crystal Coast is also known as the Southern Outer Banks. Along the path you will journey back in time as signs of civilization still present from the Danish pioneers who settled the land 100 years ago reveal themselves. The Falls of Shin is a small collection of cascading steps of waterfalls, rising about 15m from bottom to top and stretched over about 300m of the river. The mission of the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) is to develop, maintain, protect and promote the North Country National Scenic Trail as the premier hiking path across the northern tier of the United States through a trail-wide coalition of volunteers and partners. Most people start the North Coast Trail by taking a water taxi from Port Hardy to Shushartie Bay and hike the trail from east to west. The Castle of Old Wick is believed to date back to the 12th century, however, all that remains today is the towering ruins of the 4-storey tower. The walk around the island is absolutely breathtaking, made even better by the stunning views of mainland Scotland across the light blue water. The horizon is endless and the sights along this remote part of the world are incredible, so let’s get going! This was then the stronghold for Clan Macleod until 1672, when it was captured by Clan Mackenzie. The popular adventure, with four seasons in one day, heading west from Inverness to the top of Scotland’s mainland, John O’Groats, and back down the east coast (or in reverse). [Read More]. We luckily realised we had forgotten a sharp knife, so the Poundland was a huge relief! Your last day is an easy-ish walk through the forest. Day one involves a 16.8 km hike from the trailhead to Nels Bight. Eventually, you will reach the lochside waterfall known as Victoria Falls, a beautiful waterfall made from the burns and rivers tumbling down from the towering Beinn Eighe National Park. With years of experience working for backpackers around the globe, the service they provide is perfect for whatever type of trip you have planned. Given the remote location of the NC500 and the majority of the sights along the route, the best way to get around this road trip is by driving. From here, walk over the hill to your right and the incredible towers of rock will come into view. Read the signs as you walk along and you will see the incredible history behind this castle, and understand just how impressive it was in its day. For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here. During the winter months, you will most likely experience snow, however, temperatures usually sit around freezing, so it is not too cold. Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path Trail Information & Map . The result was like that of a card dealer pushing cards together, with some layers pushing on top of others, allowing older layers to overlap and sit on top of younger rock layers. It requires a flexible attitude and adventurous spirit and in return rewards guests with truly remarkable moments in stunning wilderness settings. 3 Day North Coast 500 Itinerary – Day Two. By following the road back towards the sea before continuing north, you will eventually reach Dornoch. From this campsite, it is possible to catch a nearby boat tour to see the beautiful Duncansby Stacks up close, or you can climb the Dunnet Head hill for a spectacular view of the bay. North Coast 500 Itinerary: 5 Days. Nissen Bight to Nels Bight, 6 km, 2.5 – 4 hours; Once you’ve set camp, you can explore the most western regions of the park. How Long SHOULD you spend on the NC500 is the better question to ask, and to that my answer is between 7-14 days. When you are wild camping in Scotland, the most important thing to remember is Leave No Trace. The perfect place to stop for a bite to eat, some food and even a place to rest your head. And while the exhibit itself is rather small, that makes it easy to fit into most itineraries! There is also a Poundland, Lidl and a Superdrug before the town itself as well. Be sure to share this article with your family and friends to let them know all about your big plans. The closest wild camping spot lies about 10-minutes north of Scourie, on the backs of Loch Laxford. The Bealach na Ba is one of the world’s most spectacular drives. Here you will be able to park for free, use the public toilets and get a bite to eat if you’re hungry. Bees to carry across to the East coast! Due to this there are no advance bookings. From Port Hardy, get out on the water to view wildlife such as whales, porpoises, stellar sea lions and marine birds. Perched on the edge of a cliff, with a drawbridge entrance and over 3 stories, this castle has an incredible vantage point and stunning views over the ocean. If you fancy a little walk with a stunning view to round it off, the climb up the Allt nan Uamh (Burn of the Caves) is perfect for you. This isolated stretch of land is quite a popular wild camping spot near Thurso and we found ourselves with the company of a few other motorhomes when we pitched up the tent. The beautiful, white-sand beaches stretch along the coast for miles and the town is small and quaint. The Scourie Guesthouse is your best option, comfortable, affordable and with exceptional reviews. The small town of Ullapool is the main harbour town for the Outer Hebrides, with boats leaving from here to the enchanting islands of Lewis and Harris. Whale watching day tour duration ranges from 2 – 5 hours. Turn right onto Old March Road and continue all the way along to the end (take it slow, it gets quite bumpy!). The main spectacle at this sight is the natural phenomenon of the leaping salmon, an annual display of the resilience and power of nature. I don’t think this is a good idea if you’re visiting outside of that season. It brags about having the “world’s best hot chocolate”, and trust us, it does not lie! This modern-looking bridge is famous for its sleek and beautiful design, which stands defiant against the breathtaking landscape of the North Coast 500. If you are brave enough to face the cold North Sea, then this is the best spot for a quick dip or even to do some harbour jumping. Now is the perfect opportunity to pick up any last-minute necessities before you head into the highlands. Trusty Vango tent north coast trail itinerary a clockwise tour around the entire Island taking only few! 3 day North Coast 500 road trip with our guide to Coldbackie beach and is a for! Of Port Hardy this `` North Coast 500 in our full guide most fascinating stops you can our! 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