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NC500 (Kind of) Question


I'm working on an itinerary that will eventually take my family and I from Skye up to Ullapool, to Durness, then over to catch a ferry at Gills.

It seem a lot of what I've heard of traveling the NC500 advises drivers to drive it counter-clockwise, and with my planned route, which is clock-wise, I wondered if I might run into more on-coming traffic. Which I normally wouldn't give a thought to, except for those dreaded single-track roads ;)

Just a small thing, but I was curious to hear from those who have done it, live there, etc...

Thank you!

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Dave,

You'll no doubt get some feedback from someone who has done the entire route, but the last time I was on part of the NC500 (Lochcarron-Applecross-Sheildaig-Gairloch), most of the cars/motorcycles which were traveling in convoy were traveling clockwise.

I'd say that no matter which way you go, you're going to encounter NC500 traffic. From the times that I have made all or part of that circuit, clockwise has been the more scenic way. For one thing, you'll be on the left side of the road (on the two lane parts of the circuit), which opens up the sea views. Plus, if you suffer from vertigo, you won't be hanging out over the edge of the drop off as you tackle the Bealach-na-ba. :)

Now that NC500 drivers are hearing that it's better to travel counterclockwise, they're probably figuring that they'll travel clockwise to avoid the traffic. So just go the way you had originally planned, take your time, and enjoy the magnificent scenery.

And be sure to make accommodation arrangements ahead of time, as if you're traveling with family, there's not a whole lot of accommodation between Lochinver and Thurso.

Best wishes for your travels!

Mike (Auchterless)