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North Coast 500 Map & Route – Epic Autumn Getaway

The North Coast 500, is a journey of discovery, check out this North Coast 500 Route & Map! Take a North Coast 500 road trip this Autumn for a perfect getaway!

According to Jeremy Clarkson the North Coast 500 “is the best drive in the world”. Use the North Coast 500 route and map to help you plan your road trip to remember!  If you like to set your own pace & agenda, then a road trip is a perfect break away! Forget touring across the continent this year, discover the majestic beauty of the Highlands of Scotland. Make sure you stay at the Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, the perfect place to begin or end your road trip this autumn!


The North Coast 500 offers a dramatic route of more than 500 miles, 516 miles of stunning coastal scenery. Not only is the NC500 one of the world’s best road trips, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. The drive is an experience however you will learn there are plenty of adventures to be enjoyed on the journey!

There is so much to discover with stunning autumn landscapes, distilleries, munro bagging perhaps Ben Hope, hiking and walking in Glen Affric, fishing and foodie and gastro delights the North Coast 500 has something for you!

North Coast Distilleries: Dunnet Bay Distillery in Caithness home of Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka, Glen Ord Distillery in Muir of Ord,home of the Singleton whisky, perhaps you enjoy Glenmorangie, the fab Glenmorangie visitor centre will re open on 31st August.

The North Coast 500 has hundreds more miles to explore, you don’t have to stick to the main route you can step off the beaten path to discover all the hidden gems and experiences the North Highlands have to offer.  Link to NC500 Advice for Visitors for the local communities you will be visiting.

Make the North Coast 500 Your Autumn Getaway

Come North this Autumn and experience the breath-taking beauty and stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands. It’s so much more than a viewpoint it’s a way of life! Sip a “wee dram”, delight in the delicious food straight from the sea, loch and field and “chat on” the locals.  Scotland is a little different expect a “good morning” as take your morning stroll and there is always someone with a “wee bit” of local advice or a story. You can experience all of these things when you drive the North Coast 500! The Spring is fresh and green, the Summer is lush however the Autumn is stunning, Autumn colour in the Highlands is world reknown, a must see!

Loch Affric, Glen Affric, Inverness, Highland, Scotland, UK

Guide to the North Coast 500 Route & Map

  • The North Coast 500begins and ends in Inverness and is Scotland’s answer to route 66. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have driven some of the world’s most iconic routes and according to Clarkson “NC500 is best drive in the world”.  It wasn’t just the scenery but the road itself, a road for driving, the twists and turns! This iconic route is one of the most beautiful coastal touring routes in the world.  At least that is what a Scot will tell you, totally unbiased!  The North Coast 500 brings together just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery. The route follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands. You can stop off and explore ancient castles Dunrobin Castle which resembles a fabulous french chateau, truly something to see in the Scottish highlands. Discover glistening sandy beaches at Sandwood Bay, a 4 mile walk from Blairmore – it is worth it! Don’t forget the breathtaking stacks at Duncansby Head. The North Coast 500 is just stop after stop of spell-binding scenery. You could also take a leaf out of the Grand Tour gents and try the Golspie Kart Track. The North Coast 500 has captured the imaginations of thousands of people! You really want to join this club!

More Epic Highland Road Trip Routes

Here are some alternative Epic Road Trips across the Scottish Highlands, come North and drive these gems!  These fabulous routes vary in length & offer a scenic alternative to main trunk roads and motorways. They’re easy to follow and well signposted. Make sure you look out for the distinctive brown and white signs. Do you like to be in charge, then a road trip is perfect for you as you set the itinerary! A road trip is all about you!

  • Moray Firth Routediscover this beautiful corner of the highlands. Enjoy this semi circle route from Inverness taking in the 3 firths of Beauly, Cromarty and Dornoch. Covering 80miles /128km.  You will experience Beauly Priory, Glen Ord Distillery has been producing highland whisky since 1838 make time to pop to these wee hidden gem it scores 4.5 out of 5 by fellow travelers, Black Isle Brewery, made from their own home grown organic barley, Royal Dornoch Golf Course, Dolphin and Whale spotting in the Moray Firth. Make time to experience a dolphin spotting tour with Dolphin Spirit. You can cruise through the waters of the Moray Firth home to many Dolphins or get a little closer with the thrilling RIB experience! If the water isn’t for you, then you can park at Chanonry Point and take in the fabulous views from the shore, time to spot a dolphin, skim stones and much your picnic! Soak up the wild beauty of this fabulous corner of Scotland meandering from Inverness to Loch Fleet via the sparkling waters of the Beauly, Cromarty and Dornoch Firth.


  • Highland Tourist Route is a special treat for lovers of Scottish history and takes in no less than 4 Castles, including Cawdor Castle. Cawdor Castle is still home to the Cawdor family. This historic beauty has a fascinating past including links to Macbeth  You won’t want to miss Culloden Battlefield, a truly emotive space. The scene of a key turning point in Scottish history. This fabulous drive also offers the opportunity to see one of Scotlands famous birds. You won’t want to miss the Osprey Center at Boat of Garten. The route travels through the rugged landscape of the Cairngorm National Park where you can see rare species or discover a new exhilarating sport.

Take An Epic Autumn Road Trip

Inverness is the perfect point to start and end your epic road trip! Stay with us at the Inverness Best Western Palace Hotel & Spa, ideally located on the River Ness, opposite Inverness Castle and only minutes from the fabulous Inverness shops. Book your Autumn Escape from only £44.95 per person per night based on 2 sharing a classic room, including breakfast and welcome mini red and white wine!  Remember #bookdirect for your best offers.  Just call our reservations team on 01463 22 32 43 or email us at Palace or book online and begin your next epic road trip adventure! As our guest you will enjoy free Wi-fi and the lovely leisure club and swimming pool.

Things may be a little different however we want you to know that you can Stay & Dine with Confidence at the Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa.


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