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North Coast 500 - Scotland's NC500 Route View Full Screen Itinerary

3 NIGHTS 4 DAYS ON NORTH COAST 500: THE UK'S MOST SCENIC DRIVE WITH LUXURY ACCOMMODATION & UNIQUE SCOTTISH EXPERIENCES

Hailed as the Scottish answer to the American 'Route 66', this new iconic drive includes some of the UK's most divine driving roads. Step into your vehicle of choice and enjoy the sweeping bends, hair raising switchbacks and inviting undulated stretches of tarmac. Roads are draped right across the heather clad moorland. You will be buzzing past ancient granite mountains, snow-capped well into the late spring, along with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Make sure to stop for the majestic castles, providing iconic backdrops for photos. 

We can include as much or as little as you like, leaving it to be raw, fast paced and simple or alternatively we can pack out your NC500 with unique Scottish experiences and accommodation. Enjoy bagpipe lessons, your own mini Highland Games, luxury shopping experiences, off-road driving experiences with Land Rover Experience Scotland, banquets in private castle and much more. We can ensure your North Coast 500 journey is something you will always remember.  

For more information on extending your trip or to add additional nights in Edinburgh please speak to your Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions travel consultant. 

TTA 100% Financial Protection included and in Association with: 

     

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Iconic Forth Railway Bridge send-off with Scotland's best female bagpiper (closed car park)
  • Cross the Forth Road Bridge & see the new Queensferry Crossing
  • 'House of Bruar' pit-stop with champagne, nibbles & luxury shopping experience
  • Eilean Donan Castle visit and private guided tour
  • Plockton, Applecross, Torridon Mountains, Loch Maree, Smoo Caves, John O'Groats
  • Epic driving roads - the UK's finest stretches of tarmac
  • Opportunity to visit numerous Scottish Castles: Dunrobin Castle, Mey Castle & the ruins of Ardvreck Castle
  • Opportuntity to visit Dalmore Distillery & Glenmorangie Distillery
Day 1

Day 1: Le Grand Depart

This morning you will arrive early at Edinburgh International Airport where you will be met by a Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions representative. They will show you to your luxury vehicle just a short walk or drive away from the main airport terminal before making sure you are totally...

This morning you will arrive early at Edinburgh International Airport where you will be met by a Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions representative. They will show you to your luxury vehicle just a short walk or drive away from the main airport terminal before making sure you are totally happy with your vehicle. If you are collecting your own vehicle this will be a short drive away in a secure location by prior arrangement. 

Once you have collected your car, your rally point and official start to your road trip will be a few minutes drive away from the airport in what is arguably Scotland's most underrated wee gem. A small town on the banks of the River Forth called South Queensferry. This historic town sits under the three bridges over the Forth. You will be meeting at a closed car park under the iconic Forth Railway Bridge before one of Scotland's leading female bagpipers plays exclusively for you in this very special location. After a few well-known songs such as 'Highland Cathedral', 'Amazing Grace' and 'Scotland the Brave' you will depart north over the Forth Road bridge with the hairs on your neck still standing from such a stirring performance. 

For lunch today you will be stopping at the world famous House of Bruar, the home of country clothing and luxury items. Here you will be met by the team as VIPs, given a champagne reception with nibbles before enjoying a Scottish shopping experience like no other. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up a luxury momento or gift for a loved one. Lunch can be eaten in the excellent cafe or organic food hall before hitting the road north once more. 

After your much needed House of Bruar pit-stop you'll continue heading north on the famous A9 which calves right through the centre of the Scottish Highlands. The scenery on the left and right of this drive is spectacular, landscapes clearly formed by once powerful glaciers. Inverness is your next destination, from here you can head to your local hotel before checking-in and relaxing. Today has been an exciting day of exploration and discovery through Scotland. After a good sleep you should be ready to commence the official "North Coast 500" route tomorrow. 

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Day 2

Day 2: Inverness to the West Coast via Eilean Donan Castle

This morning you will wake up in your Highland hotel and enjoy a traditional cooked Scottish breakfast including Haggis and Lorne sausage.

After refueling yourself and the cars it is time to buckle-up and kick-on. You will find the road west across the country towards the famous Kyle of...

This morning you will wake up in your Highland hotel and enjoy a traditional cooked Scottish breakfast including Haggis and Lorne sausage.

After refueling yourself and the cars it is time to buckle-up and kick-on. You will find the road west across the country towards the famous Kyle of Lochalsh simply stunning. From the start today you will be on fantastic roads, twisting, snarling stretches of tarmac invite you to cut along through the dramatic scenery. Keep a look out for lay-bys to pull over in for excellent photographic opportunities. 

A two-hour morning drive will see you arrive at one of Scotland's most iconic castles, the magnificent Eilean Donan Castle. Sitting in a commanding position with a view of the distant mountains on the Isle of Skye you will be able to enjoy a full tour of the castle (if as part of a car club this can be a private tour lasting 1 hour with a tour guide). To find out more about these ancient and important castles is fascinating and we at Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions would encourage anyone in this area of Scotland to enjoy a tour of the castle, something that leaves you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the region you are passing through. 

From here you will head north again, following the road up to the stunning Torridon area. These mountains are absolutely stunning, almost Alpine in their majesty. Many guests choose to check-in here to The Torridon Hotel one of our favourites on the NC500 route, however a those making time can put the toe down and head up to the brilliant Inver Lodge Hotel - one of the most luxurious hotels on the NC500's west coast. Check-in here and enjoy a well-earned whisky by one of the roaring fireplaces. 

 

 

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Day 3

Day 3: The Queen Stage - West coast to East coast via the North

Today you will continue driving some of the UK's most beautiful and empty roads. Head north from your hotel keeping the sea on your left. For a mid-morning coffee pit-stop we recommend heading into Durness; a typical isolated northern Scottish town. Here, one of the UK's best chocolatiers awaits. 'Cocoa Mountain'...

Today you will continue driving some of the UK's most beautiful and empty roads. Head north from your hotel keeping the sea on your left. For a mid-morning coffee pit-stop we recommend heading into Durness; a typical isolated northern Scottish town. Here, one of the UK's best chocolatiers awaits. 'Cocoa Mountain' has a reputation for the best hot-chocolates you will find anywhere in the world! Refuel before you hit the road again for some exhilarating driving. 

At Durness you will also find the amazing Smoo Caves. If you have time we recommend you stop here taking the time to get out of the cars to stretch the legs, take some photos and marvel at this amazing natural feature. 

Once back in the cars it is a blast across the top of the country to John O'Groats for some photos in this isolated yet famous village. The very far north of the UK, Scotland's Land's End. Once at John O'Groats you have run out of road north, it signifies your time to turn south and head along the very different yet equally interesting East coast. Your drive south will take you today to Dornoch. A famous and ancient town (with one of Scotland's most beautiful and cheerished championship golf courses). Check-in to your luxurious boutique hotel and enjoy a final night of Highland hospitatlity, a wee dram by the fireplace and a well-earned dinner. 

Queen Stage: The stage of a multi-day road trip which is deemed the hardest, most demanding and most prestigious stage of the trip. 

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Day 4

Day 4: Final Leg - Dornoch to Edinburgh

This morning after your final Scottish breakfast, which you are becoming well accustomed to by now, you will hit the road and head south. Just over the river estuary you will find in the town of Tain, here is the Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky Distillery. Pop in to the...

This morning after your final Scottish breakfast, which you are becoming well accustomed to by now, you will hit the road and head south. Just over the river estuary you will find in the town of Tain, here is the Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky Distillery. Pop in to the visitors centre and pick up a bottle of one of the most famous exports in the world or even enjoy a full tour of the distillery. If you prefer, on your drive south you will also be passing Dalmore Single Malt Distillery, again, famous the world over and rated as one of the best Single Malts this makes a superb stop. 

Today you follow the road south over the bridge and into Inverness, picking up the A9 south again through the stunning Highland. You will be passing through the Cairngorm National Park and many of the higher mountains known locally as 'Munros' could still have snow-clad peaks.

Taking the M90 south from Perth, follow the road to Edinburgh once more over the impressive and famous Forth Road Bridge, look left to the beautiful Forth Railway Bridge and right to the new Queensferry Crossing, a remarkable new third bridge that has only just been completed. 

Delivering your vehicle back to Edinburgh Airport signifies the end of what has been a truly epic road trip. You have experienced much of Scotland's most dramatic scenery and completed what is fast becoming a must-do road trip. Scotland's NC500 (North Coast 500) has been dubbed the new Route 66 and should be on all drivers bucket-lists!

For more information on extending your trip or to add additional nights in Edinburgh please speak to your Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions travel consultant.  

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Inver Lodge Hotel

AN 'NC500' GEM - LUXURY ON THE NORTH COAST 500  Set amid one of the last great unspoiled wildernesses in Europe, Inver...

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The Torridon

HIGHLAND LUXURY WITH A JAW-DROPPING BACKDROP  Set in 58 acres of parkland at the end of a magnificent sea loch, The...

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Coul House Hotel

NC500 - LUXURY ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF INVERNESS This beautiful 1820's MacKenzie mansion was purchased by the current owners, the Macphersons,...

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Dornoch Castle Hotel

NC500 - ANCIENT EAST COAST LUXURY AWAITS  Dornoch Castle Hotel has a total of 22 en-suite bedrooms situated within both the...

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Hire a Land Rover of your choice:

With Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions your NC500 route can be tailored to fit your own requirements.

In a Land Rover the act of journeying itself is as much a part of your adventure as the places you visit. 

We are able to provide you with the choice of your very own Land Rover. Choose from a luxury Range Rover, Discovery, Discovery Sport or even a rugged Defender. Speak to your travel consultant today and discuss which of these luxurious vehicles would suit you most on your adventure around Scotland. Read our article from the Sandgrouse Traveller here: Luxury Scotland with a Land Rover.

Land Rover Holiday Scotland

Land Rover Experience Scotland with Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions:

We can also include within your trip a Land Rover Experience Scotland adventure. We have a great relationship with the team at the centre and can arrange either a half day off-road course or full day experience on a near-by Highland estate.

Set in the heart of Perthshire, with stunning Highland scenery the Land Rover Experience Scotland centre on the shore of Butterstone Loch offers visitors the chance to fully understand the capability of these incredibly machines. Enjoy expert guiding and tuition from trained Land Rover instructors in one of the centres vehicles. 

If you are planning on doing the North Coast 500 in your own sports car, let us know and we will make sure to keep you on the right roads. 

Land Rover Experience Centre Scotland

Range Rover at Land Rover Experience Scotland

 

Hire a Land Rover in Scotland
Hire a Land Rover in Scotland

What is included:

VIP Meet & Greet service at Edinburgh International Airport by Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions, pre-arranged closed car park under iconic Forth Railway Bridge for 'Grand Depart', Scottish piper (Scotland's best Female Piper) performing at private 'Grand Depart' under iconic Forth Railway Bridge, the House of Bruar 'VIP Welcome and Shopping Experience' en-route via A9, three nights luxury accommodation at Coul House Hotel, Iver Lodge Hotel & Dornoch Castle Hotel including full Scottish breakfasts, pre-scheduled private Eilean Donan Castle tour (to be paid on arrival). 100% Financial protection with the Travel Trust Association. 

   

(Your piper Louise has piped for The Pope - she will be piping you at your Grand Depart under the iconic Forth Railway Bridge, a very special experience indeed). 

Not included: 

Your chosen hire car (please specify which Land Rover vehicle you would prefer), fuel, dinners and lunches, personal expenditure and shopping, tipping, experiences en-route (i.e. whisky tours, castle tours, guided sightseeing). 

Scottish Bagpipers Private Performance

North Coast 500 Luxury Driving

 

Intinerary Highlights:

To recap, you will be experiencing some of the absolute best Scotland has to offer. Below are only a few of the highlights on this iconic, specially adapted North Coast 500 road trip. 

1. Iconic Forth Railway Bridge send-off with Scotland's best female bagpiper (closed car park)

2. Cross the Forth Road Bridge twice & see the new Queensferry Crossing

3. 'House of Bruar' pit-stop with champagne, nibbles & luxury shopping experience

4. Eilean Donan Castle visit and private guided tour

5. Plockton, Applecross, Torridon Mountains, Loch Maree, Smoo Caves, John O'Groats

6. Epic driving roads - the UK's finest stretches of tarmac

7. Opportunity to visit numerous iconic castles including, Dunrobin Castle, Queen Elizabeth Mey Castle, Ardvreck Castle ruins

8. Opportuntity to visit Dalmore Distillery & Glenmorangie Distillery

9. Luxury accommodation throughout including full Scottish breakfasts

 

Drive a sports car on the North Coast 500

NC500 scenery

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