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North Coast 500

Has anyone done the 500? If so what part or all and what are the good and bad points of the trip?

Planning can never start early enough... I'm 2 years out.. lol

Posted by
2802 posts

There was a thread about this not long ago. See https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/scotland/north-coast-500

The main thing to keep in mind is that driving in Scotland is slower than you'd expect if you're used to North American roads. The secondary roads in the highlands go up & down hills with many blind hairpin turns. They are narrow and often bordered by rough stone walls. Signposts can be puzzling. Not to mention the likelihood of changeable weather. And, of course, you want to drive at a comfortable enough pace that you can actually enjoy the scenery since that's why you came all that way.

If you do your planning with those caveats in mind, you should have a fabulous trip!

Posted by
123 posts

BBC Travel Show has done a number of segments and shows about North Coast. See their website for clips about driving there. http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-scotland-41279510/north-coast-500-scotland-s-answer-to-route-66

I know someone who did this drive this past summer. Flew into Glascow, rented car, planned some places to stay overnight. She says it was slow going, could be crowded in spots isolated in others. Was a slight challenge finding lodging...sometimes having to go off circuit to find accommodations or food, gas/petrol.

Rabbies is starting 3 day tours in 2018. We used them this fall...love Rabbies. Is cheaper option if you don’t want to do the driving because you would rather enjoy the scenery!