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General Discussion

North Coast 500

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by Rodgpeace » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:06 pm

I would appreciate any feedback members could give on touring on this 500 mile route around North Scotland.
How many miles to travel per day if one wants to allow time to see the key sights?
Does it matter if travelling clockwise or reverse?
Where to stay, ie B&Bs via airbnb etc?
Many thanks
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by mojo » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:23 pm

Some local press feedback here: ... c500-main/

I go to that area regularly (typically twice a year for several weeks at a time) and I now avoid the NC500 route wherever I can. IMO it really is a victim of its own success, and has grown beyond the capability of the local infrastructure to support it.

Outside of "peak season" it will still be lovely, but any time during May - September you are likely to find B&Bs and campsites booked for days or weeks in advance, the route will be overloaded with hired motorhomes with inexperienced and/or inconsiderate drivers, plus huge convoys of car clubs who won't allow faster following traffic to pass, and foreign drivers who stop in stupid places to take photos.

When there late last year I stopped for what should have been a tranquil evening just off the Applecross road, but there was no peace because of large groups of bikers who wanted to treat the single track road as a race track.
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by BJWilliams » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:20 pm

Did the NC500 in July last year. Went clockwise and would recommend that way round. We did an average of 90 miles per day (max 126 and min 43 miles). I would allow more time for the first, approx., first two thirds of the route.To be honest we could have taken longer, it seemed that every corner we went around there was a view that needed to be stopped at and taken in. The weather was a bit damp but did not spoil the trip. Scenery is magnificent. You will need to book the hotels early, we thought we had started booking early enough but it turned out to be a little difficult to find places on the route. For one stop we had to do a 34-mile round trip for the evening stop, but well worth it, the B&B that night was superb. In fact, all the other Hotels / B&B’s were on route and were excellent.
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by Rodgpeace » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:11 am

Planning to take this trip in May, which will be in my Volvo P1800.
I am aware that in the height of summer this route can be busy, and there might be considerable numbers of camper vans at times.
My P1800 is a great car to tour in. It is very manageable on tight roads, with steering and brakes well suited to the type of roads expected.
Had a trip to Sweden, Denmark and Norway a few years ago, 4,000 km without incident.
Also drove up to Skye and toured for several days on the isle. In my experience if you book ahead, and then plan to pass the overcrowded spots, most tours can still be enjoyed in the British Isles.
Perhaps I am an optimist.....
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by Blast » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:43 pm

Can Suggest you look at the more recently developed Borders 500. We did it with a group of Smart Roadsters about a month ago and loved it. Found roads I had never driven that were outstanding and epic scenery that begged to be lingered over.

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