The North Coast 500 - Honeymoon Edition 

The North Coast 500 is a long road trip around the Scottish Highlands, oft described as Scotland's answer to Route 66. Its end to end natural beauty and remote, wild location makes it the ideal backdrop for your campervan honeymoon!  
 
The west coast and east coast are very different, but equally fun to explore and drive around. Our advice is don't rush it - customers consistently tell us that they wish they'd had longer! There's so much to do that if you speed through, you won't be able to properly appreciate everything.  
 
This route planner will guide you through each leg of the journey, partnered with recommended stopovers and a list of things to see and do. All of our recommended campsites/hotels are dog friendly, so you're welcome to bring your dog along for the ride! 
 
 
 
 

NC500 1st Stop - Loch Lomond 

Dumbuck House Hotel 247 miles, 4hrs 7 mins. 

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.  
 
Considered the unofficial border between lowland and highland Scotland, Loch Lomond is ranked as the sixth greatest natural wonder in Britain. After the long drive, you'll love to go on a scenic walk or go wildlife spotting. Travel in colder months and you'll see skeins of geese migrating here.  
 
There's no shortage of watersports activities. Loch Lomond is one the best places in Scotland to go kayaking, canoeing or water skiing! Every August, the Loch hosts the Great Scottish Swim.  
 
If you enjoy cycling, try the West Loch Lomond cycle path. 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 
Dumbuck House Hotel 
Glasgow Road, 
Dumbarton, 
West Dunbartonshire, 
G82 1EG 
info@dumbuckhotel.com 
0044 1389 734336 
Description 
Dumbuck House Hotel was first built in 1798. Features include a sun terrace, sun deck, and garden, where you can appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. Downstairs you’ll discover The Rock Bar, boasting a pool table and lounge, and Dumbuck’s restaurant, The Scullery. It serves continental breakfast each morning, and seafood – their specialty – at other times of day. 
 
Nearby is Bowling Harbour Canal, which has a cosy cafe, and both a beach and woodland close by. If you're in the mood for a gentle walk, a trail runs three miles down the canal.  
 
You'll need to book tickets before visiting Dumbarton Castle, but it's well worth it to see the rich history surrounding the place. The castle was founded in the 5th century, and the rock it sits on formed 340 million years ago. 
 
Built in 1862, Overtoun Estate has a cosy tearoom, which serves hot & cold drinks and homemade cakes. In the summer guided walks and hikes are available. 
Amenities 
Free parking for guests 
Free wifi in public areas 
Restaurant & bar 

NC500 2nd Stop - Dornoch 

Dornoch Firth Caravan Park 225 miles, 4hr 4 min 

Dornoch is a town with a long, sometimes bizarre history. For example, the gorgeous cathedral, which dates all the way back to the thirteenth century, is also where Madonna christened her child. Additionally, Dornoch is where the last person was burned for witchcraft - visit the witch's stone for a better understanding of the history. 
 
As the town is in a sheltered position, you're more likely to get sunny weather, so head down to the sandy beach for a picnic or long walk.  
 
Dornoch is well known for its golf, but don't worry if golf isn't your thing. You're spoilt for choice, from walking up to Dornoch Point to canoeing down the Kyle of Sutherland.  
 
There's even a list of activites that include your dog, so the whole family can enjoy this leg of the trip! 

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 
Dornoch Firth Caravan Park is a family owned campsite with coastal views of Dornoch Firth. 
 
If you're looking for something to do, visit the resident colony of Bottlenose Dolphins in the historic town of Cromarty, led by a skipper with over twenty years' experience. Or relax at Aspen Spa, an award winning spa in Tain commited to 'work in harmony with nature', using only vegetarian and vegan products with environmentally friendly packaging.  
 
For 38 years, Glenmorangie Distillery have been the UK's best selling single malt. Founded in 1863, the distillery is fascinating to explore. Choose between the Original or Signet distillery tours, obviously refraining from any taste tests if you're the driver.  
 
 
 
 
 
Amenities 
Dedicated amenities for those with disabilities 
Fully serviced motorhome pitches 
Toilet and Shower Block 
Outdoor children's play area 

NC500 3rd stop - Caithness 

Windhaven Caravan Park 80.5 miles, 1hr 52 min 

Caithness is as far north as you can get in mainland Britain without driving into the sea, but it's well worth the long journey.  
 
There's rare wildlife and historic landmarks abound! Spot porpoises, dolphins, seals, puffins, and even whales from the coast.  
 
Just because you're in such a remote place doesn't mean there's not tons to see and do. Go sea kayaking around caves or walk on the beach. If you're a keen photographer, you'll never run out of photo oppotunities in Caithness. 
 
 
 
 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 
Windhaven Caravan Park 
Brough 
Caithness 
Highlands 
KW14 8YE 
windhaven.booking@hotmail.com 
Clare (B&B only) – 07894 294803 
Phil (campsite only) – 07590 428183 
Landline - 01847 851927 
Description 
Rated 4.7 out of 5, Windhaven Caravan Park is a family run campsite in the beautiful village of Brough, overlooking Brough Bay where you can go seal spotting!  
 
You'll need luck on your side, but if you're travelling between September and mid-April, the skies will be dark enough to see the Northern Lights. Upon request, we can arrange to have a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for your arrival, so you can drink it under the stars.  
 
If you’re craving even more adventure during your stay, there are sea kayaks and mountain bikes available for hire. Follow the link for a more extensive list of activities local to Windhaven. 
 
 
Amenities 
Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and WiFi available 
Toilet and Shower Block 
Unisex disabled facilities  
Dish wash and laundrette 

NC500 4th stop - Melvich 

North Coast Touring Park 26.9 miles, 43 min 

Melvich is home to the Forsinand Flows, a short but truly unique walk along a blanket bog.  
 
From April to August, keen wildlife spotters can visit Puffin Cove on Drumhollistan. Birdwatching information can be found here and here. 
 
Historic sites in Melvich include the forts Loch A' Blealaich and An Tornaidh Bhuidhe (be careful going up the narrow ridge to see that one!) 
 
Sutherland has some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe, so make sure you bring your camera! And stay an extra night if you get a ferry over the the Orkney Islands, so you have time to rest and see everything.  

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

North Coast Touring Park 
The Halladale Inn, 
Melvich, 
Sutherland, 
KW14 7YJ 
info@thehalladaleinn.co.uk 
+44 1641 531282 

Description 

The North Coast Touring Park resides in Melvich, neighbouring the Halladale Inn (a cafe and bistro.)  
Activities in the immediate local area include watersports, fishing, cycling and walking around the beautiful beaches and sea caves in Melvich.  
 
Dunrobin Castle is well worth a visit. The castle itself has a rich history, but don't forget to see the walled castle gardens - it has a falconry!  
 
Along with the walks on the west coast, you can explore the beautiful, wild scenery of Melvich Bay with these walking routes.  

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Electric hook up and Free WiFi available 
Toilet & Shower Block 
Fresh water 
Dish washing and laundry 

NC500 5th stop - Lairg 

Kylesku Hotel 89.3 miles, 2hrs 44 min 

Lairg used to be known as 'The Crossroads of the North'. It's unusual in that it's a Highland town that isn't coastal. The largest sheep sale day in Europe is held here every August, and every July there's a gala with fishing, live music, even a pet show! 
 
If you're looking for scenic walks, look no further than the Falls of Shin. It offers woodland, pond and riverside trails, all of them beautiful in their own right. Three miles away is Rosehall, which has great cycling paths and a walking trail. You can spot sika deer in the woods if you're lucky! 
 
The town has a possible impact crater in Lairg Gravity Low. It's about 40 metres in diameter. The crater is fascinating to read about if you have any interest in astronomy.  
 
 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Kylesku Hotel 
Kylesku 
Sutherland 
IV27 4HW 
+44 (0) 1971 502231 

Description 

Kylesku Hotel has an award winning restaurant specialising in seafood, meat and local produce - not to mention the waterside dining. There's probably more activites here than at any other stage of the trip so lets get to listing them, shall we?  
 
If you enjoy the outdoors, you'll love: kayaking at Ardmore, mountaineering, some horse riding for the equine enthusiasts, and even more kayaking - just in case you haven't got your fill yet.  
 
There's beaches to visit and boat tours to be had for those of you that like the ocean.  
 
And if you prefer more artistic things, there's a craft village, a lovely candle shop (with a tea garden) and an artists' gallery. Oh, and a craft market! 
 
Even though we've listed all these great activites, it doesn't mean you don't have to do them. Pick and choose what fits your schedule and interests! 
 
 

Amenities 

Award-winning seafood restaurant 
Private guest lounge 
Wi-fi 
Dog friendly 
Laundry facilities 

NC500 6th stop - Durness 

Gruinard Bay Campsite 73.4 miles 1hr 49 min 

Inhabited since prehistoric times, there's tons to see and do in the remote village of Durness. Smoo Cave, a few miles from the village, has one of the largest sea cave entrances in Britain at 50ft. It can be explored by boat or on foot.  
 
In the 19th century, a father and daughter founded the garden that would soon transform 49 acres of arid coastline into an exotic floral paradise. Inverewe Gardens is a stunning labour of love by skilled gardeners with a passion for plants. In warmer months, the vegetable garden is chock full of greens. Don’t forget to check out the museum, wildlife boat trips, and the underwater garden! 
 
Over sandy dunes and hills lies the gorgeous, secluded Red Point Beach. It’s a bit of a drive so we suggest bringing along a picnic to make a day trip of it! 

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Gruinard Bay Campsite 
Laide 
Wester Ross 
IV22 2ND 
staygruinardbay@hotmail.com 
01445 731556 
07972 614532 

Description 

Gruinard Bay Campsite resides on the west coast seafront, with stunning views.  
 
If you have your own boat, you can do a variety of watersports from the park itself. Aspiring anglers will be pleased to know that sea fishing trips go daily from the harbour, and you're guaranteed to catch something. 
 
Gairloch Harbour also offers glass-bottomed boat trips. If you like wildlife, the waters occasionally house dolphins, seals and otters. Keep your eye out and see if you can spot any! 
 
The ruins of Slaggan village are an interesting sight, and there's a sandy beach close by that you can swim in - be careful of the tides, though. 

Amenities 

Dog Friendly 
Free WiFi hot spot 
Toilet & Shower Block 
Laundry facilities 

NC500 7th stop - Dunkeld 

Dunkeld House Hotel 170 miles 3hr 23min 

This is your final stop before the long drive back to CamperHoliday. We've recommended a hotel so you can pack up your campervan the day before, prepared for a quick start the next morning.  
 
The River Tay, Scotland's longest river, is a wonderful spot for a gentle, riverside walk. If you're not too tired from the rest of your trip you can go canoeing or water rafting on these salmon-rich waters.  
 
Or you can wander around Dunkeld itself and learn all about its rich history. The town's history has been preserved and restored by the National Trust of Scotland, so there's plenty to see.  

Recommended camp site 

Site name and details 

Dunkeld House Hotel 
Dunkeld 
Perthshire 
PH8 0HX 
reservations@dunkeldhousehotel.co.uk 
01350 727771 

Description 

Dunkeld House Hotel is a four star country house that overlooks the River Tay, famed for its salmon fishing. The 98 cosy rooms are beautifully furnished, and there's also a variety of suites to choose from. You might choose to stay in the Fisherman's Cottage, which is dog friendly, or the Duchess Suite, with it's enormous bathtub! 
 
If you're interested in dining, the hotel also has a restaurant, a bar & lounge, and a place for afternoon tea - you won't be short of choice for food here. All their produce is locally sourced and prepared by chefs into delicious dishes. 
 
Dunkeld isn't short on activities, either. The tranquil spa and health club offer treatments including a hot stone massage, a seaweed body wrap, even maternity treatments. There's something for everyone here, so download the brochure and book your favourites!  
 
A more detailed list of activites is available on the hotel website.  

Amenities 

Dog friendly in certain areas 
Free internet 
Television with Freeview channels 
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