Starting and finishing in Inverness, the North Coast 500 is a great way to discover the North of Scotland...
If you are preparing to relaunch the biggest TV show in the world and need to wow the audience, you have to show them something special...
Which is probably why the producers of BBC’s Top Gear decided to send one of their new presenters North to the Highlands to drive the amazing North Coast 500.
Inverness Start for "Scotland's Answer to Route 66"
Billed as ‘Scotland’s answer to Route 66’ this amazing 500+ mile road-route starts, and finishes, in Inverness making it a great choice of roadtrip for visitors to our area.
The official start/finish line for this amazing Highland journey is at Inverness Castle, from where you can enjoy views up the Great Glen towards Loch Ness or out towards the Beauly Firth, with the imposing silhouette of Ben Wyvis on the horizon.
Things to Do Around Inverness
Come early and take the time to enjoy all that the city and surrounds have to offer. Places of interest for visitors to Inverness include:
- Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
- Ship Space
- Inverness Botanic Gardens
- Culloden Battlefield and Visitors Centre
- Historic Fort George and the Highlanders Museum
...as well as great opportunities for shopping and dining in the heart of the Highlands.
The North Coast 500 route can be taken at a pace that suits you, but we would recommend you leave lots of time to see all of the amazing attractions along the way – many of which can be found around Inverness and Loch Ness.
Black Isle Visitor Attractions
Travelling the route anticlcockwise you will head north out of Inverness over the iconic Kessock Bridge (which features on the Bank of Scotland’s £100 note) and you will find yourself on the Black Isle where attractions include a wildlife park, microbrewery and the mysterious Clootie Well where Highland myth and superstition remains strong!
From here your journey will take you north through Easter Ross, Sutherland and Caithness then along the very top of Scotland before bringing you back down the beautiful West Coast homewards towards Inverness (the route is perfect for a final stop at the Glen Ord Distillery in Muir of Ord – a must see for whisky lovers!)
Got the bug for Scottish scenic driving? We would highly recommend that those coming to travel the North Coast 500 tack on a Loch Ness Loop, allowing them to explore all that our area has to offer.
Try a bit of Nessie spotting with Loch Ness by Jaocbite, Highland Free Spirits or Cruise Loch Ness or find out more about our mysterious monster and man’s search for proof at the information Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and fun Nessieland exhibits, situated on the A82, not far from Urquhart Castle.
Take in the Clansman Centre then enjoy lunch or light refreshment beside the flight of locks at Fort Augustus, from where you can see the swing bridge in action as sail boats take to the Loch from the Caledonian Canal. On the south side of the loch, roadtrippers will enjoy spectacular unspoiled scenery, with the Falls of Foyers making a popular stop off point – and the nearby Craigdarroch Inn offering refreshments and fine views!
Head on to Dores at the tip of the loch where a walk on the beach rounds the day off nicely offering stunning view up the loch and the perfect opportunity for picture taking to mark the moment!
Banner image: Lewis Mackenzie, with thanks.