The North Coast 500 

Also known as the Scottish answer to Route 66. The North Coast 500 has quite rightly become regarded as the mother of all UK road trips. 
 
We are going to guide you around the entire North Coast 500 road trip in a Camper.  
 
We've included include recommended stopovers on the trip up North and return leg including camper pitches and things to do and must see features en route.  
 
Winter pitches or stop overs are being added so keep checking back for updates. 
 
All recommended campsites are dog friendly! 
 
How long you take to complete is your decision but there's so much to see don't rush it! The consistent feedback we get from customers who've done this trip is 'we wish we'd had longer.' 
 
Many reviews agree that the west coast is more beautiful than the East. Different certainly but better or worse I can't say.  
 
We've chosen to travel up the East coast to John O' Groats from Inverness in a counter clockwise direction. There's a couple of reasons for this.  
 
Firstly a nervous passenger will not be looking over a cliff edge for the entire trip and secondly if you are new to driving a Camper it will allow you to get comfortable before you hit the more spectacular but challenging roads on the West.  
 
 
 
 

NC500 1st Stop - Loch Lomond 

Loch Lomond, part of the The Trossachs National Park, is a truly mesmerising Loch surrounded by literally miles of footpaths, cycle paths and quaint little villages. Britain’s largest freshwater lake, it does not disappoint. It is only a short distance from Glasgow so if a sunny weekend is forecast don’t be surprised to find it a busy wee Loch. 
 
After breaking the back of the long drive up to Scotland there’s probably little else you’ll want to do than take advantage of the walks. Choose from a sedate walk or, weather permitting, attempt to summit Ben Lomond. 
 
There are water taxis if you fancy a view from the Loch or a trip to the other end of the Loch where there are a number of places for you to hire a bike . And take your pick from a wander around some of the picture perfect villages in the area with the National Park Visitor Centre located in Balmaha. 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 
Luss Campsite 
Old Luss Road 
Luss, Argyll & Bute,  
G83 8NT 
info@lusscampsite.co.uk 
01436 860 658 
https://www.lusscampsite.co.uk/ 
Description 
Luss Campsite is situated in the village of Luss, on the western shore of Loch Lomond 
 
Just 25 miles (45 minutes)f rom the centre of Glasgow, so be warned it can get very busy. 
 
Fort William is just over an hour away, and the A82 north provides easy access to driving routes such as the North Coast 500 
 
Helensburgh, Balloch and Arrochar are the nearest larger towns. 
Amenities 
Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up available 
Toilet & Shower Block including disabled access facilities 
Laundrette 
Shop at Reception 

NC500 2nd Stop - Glencoe 

Red Squirrel Campsite (optional stop) 

Loch Lomond to Red Squirrel Campsite, Glencoe 57 miles 1hrs 21mins OR or: 91 miles 2hrs 8 mins via Portnacroish, taking in the castle en route at Portnacroish is also a beautiful .place to stop 
There are literally days to be spent at the Red Squirrel Campsite taking advantage of all the local climbing, walking and water sports activities and just soaking up the spectacular scenery. Alternatively just soak up the tranquillity and light up a BBQ on the pebbled shores of the river.  
Recommended Campsite 
Red Squirrel Campsite Glencoe (Optional Stopover) 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 
Old Glencoe Road (421.63 km) 
Ph49 4HX Ballachulish 
01855 811256 
Description 
A spacious no frills campsite where stunning views and peace and quiet are order of the day. 
 
Less than a mile away is the Clachaig Inn , or in the other direction it's about 1.5 miles into Glencoe itself with pubs shops and Cafe's on the bank of Loch Leven  
For the Harry Potter Fans amongst you a little trip to Glenfinnan will delight, with the famous viaduct and other famous scenes filmed in the village, it’ll feel like you’ve been part of the film! 
 
For the hard core amongst you Ben Nevis, the UKs highest mountain, is within sight and if you are pressed for time the cable car provides a short cut to the peak or simply to some amazing viewing points. 
 
If your land and driving legs are spent there are amazing views to be taken in from the aspect of a kayak on Loch Leven – just be sure to take a waterproof phone case with you. 
 
Amenities 
Dog Friendly 
Ramps up to toilet and showers but not full disabled facilities 
Toilet and Shower Block 
River swimming available but not advised when river is high! 
Food, shops, bars and pubs in surrounding area but none on site 

NC500 3rd stop - Inverness 

Torvean Caravan Park, Inverness 81 miles 2hrs 

The last major town you’ll be seeing for a while on the NC500, Inverness is picturesque and has access to beaches that will take your breath away! Stock up on shopping to keep you going as you pass around the northern tip, but leave scope for spending some money in the local villages too. 
 
Recommended Campsite  
 
 
 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 
Torvean Caravan Park Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, 
IV3 8JL 
+44 1463 220582 
Description 
 
 
Perfectly located with many leisure and outdoor facilities available on the doorstep as well as the spectacular scenery of Loch Ness and the Highlands. 
A short stroll away from restaurants and pubs as well as some great shopping! 
 
The park itself overlooks Torvean Golf Course and is just a short walk from the Caledonian Canal where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or a cruise along Loch Ness. 
 
Plenty for the culture folks to soak up here with The Museum and Art Gallery to visit.  
The Castle to explore both inside and out 
 
But if the weather is remotely promising, or not if you are a photographer, then the beaches around Inverness would have you believe you were overseas.  
 
 
Amenities 
Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and WiFi available 
Toilet and Shower Block 
Unisex disabled facilities  
Dish Wash and Laundrette 

NC500 4th stop - Dornoch 

Dornoch Firth Caravan Park  38 miles 46 mins Via A9 or: 1hr 29 mins via B9163 (optional stopover) 

A fairly leisurely drive, worth planning some sight seeing stops along the way including some of the beaches that we keep recommending. Good probability of spotting some seals in this part of the world too. 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Dornoch Firth Caravan Park 
Meikle Ferry South 
Tain 
Ross-shire 
IV19 1JX 
will@dornochfirth.co.uk 
01862 892292 

Description 

Recommended Campsite 
 
If you’ve got this far into Scotland without tasting any whisky and you fancy an expert guide to sampling a few there’s no more civilised a place to try them than Dornoch Castle Hotel.  
 
Make it an afternoon affair, but if you want to hit the road early and remember that there is zero tolerance to drink driving in Scotland of which we thoroughly approve. 
 
If an hangover is something you’d rather avoid then there’s plenty more on offer at the  

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and Free WiFi available 
Toilet & Shower Block 
Dedicated disabled facilities 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 5th stop - John O'Groats 

John O’Groats (Ferry View Camp Site) 84 miles 2hrs A9 & A99 Following the coast 

Day 5 - Dornoch – John O’Groats 84 miles 2hrs 
This doesn’t need to be done in one blast, there’s Dunrobin Castle to visit along the way with beautiful grounds to wander around.  
 
But we completely understand the urge to get to the tip at this stage! 
 
You may wish to stop over for an extra night here if planning on catching a ferry to Orkney 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Ferry View 
Gauze Cottage 
Gills Bay 
Canisbay 
Caithness 
KW1 4YB 
07799 147146 
07717 497396 

Description 

Recommended campsite 
Use the map on the campsite webpage to find the campsite as the postcode is likely to take you to an island off the coast! 
 
If you get really lucky you’ll see the Northern Lights worth making sure you are parked up so that you can spot them through the roof or windows! And sign up to the alerts so that you know if there’s an increased possibility of seeing them. 
 
Stunning coastal walks abound and of course an obligatory photo at the John O’Groats sign! With beaches and cliffs in all directions, there are too many to list, but be sure to spend some time wandering in this area. 
 
Within a short distance you’ll also find the  
 
A day trip to the charming folk of Orkney if you are determined to get even further North is also an option! For history fans this is an unmissable option with skara brae and other historical monuments all part of a guided tour and a visit to 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and WiFi available 
Toilet and Shower Block (no disabled access) 
Communal BBQ area, very small on site shop 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 6th stop - Durness 

Durness (Sango Sands camp site)  89 miles 2hrs 30 mins 

Thurso is worth a stop to break the journey up a little and there is a lovely campervan parking area right on the coast with stunning views and walks. But really the rest of this journey is all about stops to take in different places and seize photo opportunities. 
 
We recommended Sango Sands campsite, a lovely campsite on the coast with a restaurant after quite a long day of driving. 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Sango Sands Campsite 
Sango Bay, 
Durness, 
Sutherland, 
IV27 4PZ 
N/A 

Description 

Recommended campsite 
 
The drive to Tongue should take you just over an hour but a little detour to Strathy Point Lighthouse which is recommended to the point where if you miss it you’ll be gutted! 
 
Just outside of Tongue, set beautifully on a hill and if you enjoy a hike is Castle Varrich , with stunning views from the top. 
 
You can then head over to the Kyle of Tongue. No matter the weather, this coastal strip is worth it. You may even spot some seals and otters, as well as the occasional eagles and ospreys. 
 
A further 54 minute drive brings you to Durness. Where you can explore the natural wonder of Smoo Cave, Britain’s largest limestone sea cave. Sandwood Bay Beach is well worth a look too! Which can be followed at Balnakeil craft village for a spot of shopping! 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and Free WiFi available 
Toilet & Shower Block 
Adjacent Oasis Bar and Restaurant 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 7th stop - Clachtoll Beach 

Clachtoll Beach Campsite, nr Lochinver 57 miles 1hr 30 mins 

This stretch is just all about the views and the scenery, and you won’t need to look hard to find traditional Highland crofts. It’s a foodies paradise with pit stops all along the way offering local seafood that really should not be missed. 
 
Reputably the most beautiful beach in the UK is Sandwood Bay but if you are either pushed for time or less mobile then Oldshoremore Beach is just as stunning but much easier to access.  
 
There is a circular walking route around Oldshoremore Beach but there are some steep cliff drops and some scrambles to navigate, not really suitable for children, some dogs and those that lack confidence under foot. 
 
When you get to Kylesku there is of, course the famous bridge that requires a photostop! Once upon a time this stretch of water was passable only by ferry! 
 
If after all that beach exploring and seafood eating you’ve got time, head inland from Kylesku to see Britains’ highest waterfall. It is a good 4hour walk with some stunning views but a lovely leg stretch too.  

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Clachtoll Beach Campsite 
134 Clachtoll, Lochinver 
Sutherland, IV27 4JD 
01571 855377 

Description 

Recommended campsite 
Clachtoll beach campsite You could skip this campsite and press on to Ullapool where you can spend a leisurely day on some fairly easy walks. It would give you the option of arriving late in Ullapool and pitching for two whole nights in one spot! On the other hand there’s a lot to be said for the sheer peace and beauty of the Clachtoll Beach campsite and you can still make a leisurely day of it tomorrow. 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up available 
Toilet and Shower Block including disabled access 
Shop next door and undercover BBQ area 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 8th stop - Ullapool 

Ullapool  37 miles 52 mins  

Even if all you do is park up at this campsite, with all it’s pitches looking out over the sea around a little peninsular, this will not be a day wasted! And with only a short walk from pitch to some excellent and authentic seafood we recommend The Seafood Shack in Ullapool 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Ardmair Point Holiday Park 
Ardmair 
Ullapool 
IV26 2TN 
park@ardmair.com 
01854 612054 

Description 

Recommended campsite 
Be sure, en route to Ullapool from Clachtoll to stop in at Ardvreck Castle and Calda House  
If you are determined to earn your seafood once you arrive in Ullapool then there are plenty of easy ambles along seafronts with beautiful independent and quirky shops and beaches or there are some big stacks and hills to climb to give you some fabulous views. Take your pick, your fancy might change by the time you arrive in Ullapool after the epic trip that you’ve done so far!  
 
 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and Free WiFi available 
Toilet & shower block including disabled access 
Shop & Coffee Shop 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 9th stop - Kinlochewe via Gairloch 

Kinlochewe Caravan Site  75 miles 1 hour 42 mins  

Spectacular views all the way, and lots of places that you’ll want to just keep stopping off at, and brewing up so you can sit back and take in those views.  
 
Once at Gairloch it’s worth heading that little bit farther to Big Sand which is a lovely little beach but with impressive views of the Mountains of Skye in the background. If you’ve not the time to head over to Skye on this trip then this is the next best thing to having visited! 
 
 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Kinlochewe Caravan Park 
Kinlochewe 
Achnasheen 
Highlands 
IV22 2PA 
 
01445 760239 

Description 

Recommended Campsite 
 
If you arrive in Kinlochewe with enough time and the weather is kind, then some exploring of the Benn Eighe Nature Reserve is also a treat. 
 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and WiFi 
Toilet and Shower Block including disabled access 
BBQs permitted 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 10th stop - Oban 

Roseview Camping and Caravan Park 165 miles 3hrs 38 minutes 

We’re starting now to try and break up the journey back to Cheshire and whilst this feels like a long driving section there is plenty of scenery and things to do on the way south.  
 
Drop in at the Kyle of Lochalsh with the Balmacara Estate nearby, to learn about and experience Highland crofting today, it’s this farming technique that makes Scotland and preserves it.  
Once at Fort William you’ll find plenty of places to stop for lunch if you’ve not yet eaten or you can just take in the southern shores of Loch Ness with an ice cream or a hot chocolate depending on the weather! 
 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Roseview Camping and Caravan Park 
Glenshellach Road 
Oban 
Argyll 
PA34 4QJ 
info@roseview.co.uk 
01631 562755 
01631 562309 

Description 

Recommended Campsite 
 
Follow the website instructions to get to the campsite as sat nav will take you down a road that is now closed! 
 
Once in Oban there’s plenty to do but you may just want to relax around the harbour front and wander around the picturesque village. 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and Free WiFi available 
Toilet & Shower Block including disabled access 
BBQ area and open undercover area 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 11th stop - New Galloway Forest 

Loch Ken Holiday Park  166 miles 3hrs 37 minutes 

Some of this journey, especially as you bypass Glasgow will start to feel like you are leaving the beauty of Scotland behind you but do try to get to New Galloway before lunch as the Forest has so much to offer, including feeding the Red Kites at 2pm each day.  
 
Lots of trails and paths to explore so you can end your day feeling like you are still immersed in nature and Scotlands' natural beauty. 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Loch Ken Holiday Park 
Parton 
Castle Douglas 
Dumfries & Galloway 
DG7 3NE 
office@lochkenholidaypark.co.uk 
01644 470282 

Description 

Recommended Campsite 
 
An evening drive down to one of the beautiful beaches of the Solway Firth is a fine end to your day, or head West to the beaches on the peninsula and see if you can spot the Isle of Mann. 
 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and Free WiFi available 
Toilet and Shower Blocks including disabled access. 
On site shop 
Dish wash and Laundry 

NC500 12th stop - Kendal 

Sizergh Caravan and Camping  105 miles 2 hours 

You can make this stretch entirely motorway or you can amble down through the Lakes via Keswick, stop off for one of the Lake Districts many walks or just amble around the villages in search of a cream tea. 
 
The camp site places you just 91 miles and 1.5hours drive away from our base in Cheshire so you should comfortably get back to us for midday after your stop in Kendal. 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Sizergh Caravan and Camping 
Low Sizergh Farm 
Kendal 
Cumbria 
LA8 8AE 
07436 232574 

Description 

Recommended Campsite 
 
A peaceful site on a working farm, a real gem of a campsite. The website above is the home website but it's easier to make an enquiry via Campsites.co.uk 
 
 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up  
Toilet and Shower Blocks 
Farm shop on site, cafe and pubs nearby 
Dish wash and Laundry 
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