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NC500 direction

We are going in May, 2020. We are comfortable driving on the other side. I’m looking for recommendation on if it should be done clockwise or counterclockwise? Thank you.

Posted by
5668 posts

I am trying to decide if it matters. I essentially did a good chunk before it was named. :) We went clockwise. We started in Inverness and headed west and then north and then east and south back to Inverness. I have heard it is crowded these days, so you are wise to this in May. I think June is also good. These reports do come from locals so their definitions of crows and mine--someone who lives in NYC and works near the 911 memorial--may not be the same. When I did the drive to John O'Groats a year ago last June, I didn't think it was crowded then. July and August may be a different story.

Posted by
941 posts

Hi, possee,

If you travel clockwise, you'll be heading in to the most beautiful part of your journey first. The drive from Thurso/Wick back to Inverness through the Flow Country will be anti-climactic going that way. If you travel counterclockwise, you'll be saving the most beautiful part of your journey for last.

Ideally, the best way to go would be to do both, and visit the places that you missed on the second go-round. But you'd need at least eight days.


Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
9 posts

I agree with driving it counter-clockwise; the scenery just keeps getting better. Be sure to factor in your travel times will get slower the farther west you go. Once you’re on the A87 at Auchtertyre to Inverness you’ll be back up to the national speed limit.

You don’t say how many days you have, but make time for the incredible beaches along the way and Bealach na Ba. If you have the time you won’t be far from Isle of Skye for a nice side trip.