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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold Award

North Coast 500 Fly-drive

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.


At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Nov. Early/late in the season helps you avoid the busiest times.

Why not...

…extend your holiday and hop across to Orkney for a few nights?

Prices From

£945

No of Nights

7

Speak to Us

Office Hours 9am-5.30pm UK Time (Mon-Fri)

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Details

Day one – arrive at Inverness and get on the road to Wester Ross 

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, tackling the famous “Bealach na Bà” (“Pass of the cattle”) on the way to your first stop at picturesque Shieldaig.

Your hotel in Wester Ross

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.

Day three – a spectacular day heading north to Sutherland 

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, the reward a stop at a fine Highland hotel.

Your hotel in Sutherland

Having recently changed hands and given a much-needed spruce up, your hotel in Sutherland is another family owned find to which we always relish returning. Overlooking beautiful Badcall Bay, this former minister’s home has been subject to careful upgrades, including a large glass sunroom, where, on chillier evenings, a dram can be enjoyed by the wood-burning stove. The Scandinavian-inspired menu on offer is another tempting addition.

Day four – around the north west corner and along the north coast 

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.

Your guest house in Thurso

Locally owned and conveniently located, your guest house in Thurso is a welcoming and unpretentious property where guests are made to feel at home the moment they arrive. Perfectly placed for exploration of the many breath-taking features of Caithness, and just a short walk from the centre of the relatively bustling historic town centre, this is a great spot at which to base yourself for a couple of days.

Day six – wend your way southwards to Royal Dornoch

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.

Your accommodation in Dornoch

Another family owned and inviting place to stay awaits, near the centre of this most charming of Highland towns. Just three beautifully presented rooms mean you’re never crowded, and you’ll surely wish to take advantage of the private dinner served by the award-winning chef of the house. Moreover, Royal Dornoch golf course and the superb neighbouring beach are just a short stroll away.

Day eight – completing the North Coast 500 and taking your homeward flight

It’s a fairly short hop from Dornoch to Inverness, 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.


Location

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.


Pricing

£945 per person for March & November, £985 per person for April & October, £1025 per person for May, June & September, £1035 for 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 Heathrow 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 London Gatwick, 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.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

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.

Check availability for North Coast 500 Fly-drive

This holiday can be arranged from March to November.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.

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