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Swiftly to Inverness by air, then take to the North Coast 500: the UK’s most exhilarating defined driving route, amidst the finest Scottish scenery.
The ideal way to experience Scotland’s acclaimed North Coast 500, removing the need to traverse the UK’s length to reach its starting point. Fly in to Inverness, collect a rental car and before you know it you’ll be driving on some of the finest roads in Europe, with stops at welcoming accommodation along the way.
We’ll remove the complications of flight bookings and car rental reservation by arranging these for you – so all you need do is take your flight to Inverness and a short shuttle to collect your rental car. Soon, you’ll be driving along the shores of the Beauly Firth and onwards to the spectacular west coast, perhaps tackling the famous “Bealach na Bà” (“Pass of the cattle”) on the way to your first stop at picturesque Shieldaig.
Few hotels in Scotland boast a setting as picturesque as this family owned gem. By the shores of a shimmering loch, overlooking its island namesake, this is a longstanding favourite of ours. Unfussy bedrooms give way to a charming honesty bar and peaceful restaurant, while a lively public bar features more dining space upstairs, serving terrific pizza from the wood-fired oven and seafood caught on the doorstep.
While Scotland can lay rightful claim to some of the finest driving routes in Europe, few come close to those you’ll experience today. Pitching, twisting and undulating its way north, your route takes in some of the very finest scenery the UK has to offer.
Set just back from the colourful harbour in Ullapool, this unique hotel offers visitors a genuinely warm welcome, and is a particularly interesting place to rest awhile. Behind a traditional row of whitewashed fishermen’s cottages lies an assorted collection of coffee bar, book shop, arts venue, restaurant and hotel – plays, poetry readings, and local artists’ exhibitions are frequent events.
This area of Scotland is one of our favourites and you’d do well to take the time to discover some of the hidden villages, coves and harbours all along the way, finding isolated spots you’ll be convinced only you have seen, before arriving at your next base in Thurso.
Locally owned and conveniently located a short walk from the historic town centre, your guest house in Thurso is a welcoming property where guests are made to feel at home the moment they arrive.
Passing through John o’ Groats, as well as some of our favourite historical sites along the way, meander down Scotland’s north east coast on another of the country’s superb touring roads. Views out across the North Sea to your left, the undulating countryside to your right, you’re in for another unforgettable day on the road.
You may stay in a traditional hotel right in the centre of Dornoch, extended from the sixteenth century castle. Most rooms are in the modern garden wing, but ask us if you wish to upgrade to a room in the castle fortress itself. A wealth of amenities are on your doorstep, with Royal Dornoch golf course and the superb neighbouring beach just a short stroll away.
Alternatively, a little further on in the peaceful village of Cromarty, lies a charming and exceptionally well-appointed guest house. We’ll provide insights and information to help you uncover the local area in this often-overlooked corner of Scotland.
Please let us know when enquiring if you have a strong preference for Dornoch or Cromarty – otherwise we will respond dependent on availability in either location.
It’s a fairly short hop from Dornoch or Cromarty to Inverness. Perhaps take the long way around the Beauly Firth, with several interesting stops to make along the way. Then you can drop off your rental car and catch your homeward flight at Inverness airport.
Starting with flights from London to Inverness, then follow the North Coast 500 driving route in a clockwise direction, spending two nights in the picturesque village of Shieldaig, followed by one in Sutherland, two in the northern town of Thurso, and finishing off with two nights in Dornoch.
This can readily be tailormade to suit, and availability may entail some slight amendments to the specific overnight locations, still staying in our hand-picked selection of small hotels and guesthouses.
£1125 per person in March & November, £1295 per person in April & October, £1325 per person in May, June & September and £1375 per person in July & August.
Prices are based on two adults sharing double or twin en-suite room for seven nights on a bed and breakfast basis in our hand-picked selection of small hotels and guest houses, and include return flights to Inverness from London and eight days’ rental of a compact manual car. Automatic cars are also available for a small daily supplement.
The holiday can also be arranged with flights from Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Dublin & Belfast.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions and recommended routes from your specified starting point, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
You are requesting availability for
This holiday can be arranged from March to November.
Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.
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All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
Drive the North Coast 500, Scotland’s acclaimed 516-mile touring route around some of the country’s remotest parts, and chances are you’ll end u...
The whole week was spectacular…you gave us a fantastic flavour of the area along the route of the North Coast 500.Geoffrey & Bronwen, Kent
The view from Bealach na Ba on a perfectly sunny day was a highlight.Susan & Iain, Bedfordshire