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Day one – Inverness to Dornoch (44 miles)
Your Tesla Model S (other models may be available, subject to availability) will be waiting for you in Inverness, fully charged and ready to go. This holiday follows the North Coast 500 anti-clockwise, but clockwise is perfectly feasible, too. Make your way around the Beauly Firth and join the A9 as it hugs the East coast, crossing the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths to your first base just outside the pretty Highland town of Dornoch. We’ll provide lots of ideas and recommendations for places to stop along the way, formed from our years of experience in seeking out Scotland’s hidden corners.
Your hotel near Dornoch
In a peaceful rural location just a mile from the centre of Dornoch, your first base is a recently created small hotel, formed from characterful and historic E-shaped barns on the Duke of Sutherland’s estate. Your hosts are lifelong hospitality professionals with a gift for making guests feel immediately welcome as you step through the front door in to the spacious guest lounge. High ceilings and double-height cathedral windows, with large sofas and inviting armchairs arranged around the wood-burning stove make this a relaxing spot to enjoy a glass of wine or tumbler of your favourite malt. Just eight well-appointed bedrooms mean there’s no danger of overcrowding, and the icing on the cake is the in-house bistro, where the award-winning chef serves a menu of imaginatively presented Scottish classics, majoring on the very finest local, seasonal produce.
The hotel features electric vehicle charging points on its grounds.
Day Two – North on the East Coast, through John o’ Groats to Thurso (96 miles)
Take your time over a lavish Scottish breakfast this morning, before hitting the road and heading north. Following the A9 as it pitches and twists along the coast, perhaps stopping at breath-taking Dunrobin Castle, you’ll pass through evocatively named villages like Achrimsdale, Kintradwell and the atmospheric port of Helmsdale before joining the A99 to Wick, perhaps a good place to stop for lunch and to stretch the legs. From Wick, it’s a short hop to John o’ Groats, where you’ll want to record your visit, and maybe take a detour to Dunnet Head, the UK’s northernmost point, before making your way across the north coast to your next stop in Thurso.
Your Accommodation in Thurso
Tucked away down a quiet street, yet just a few minutes’ walk from the beach and the centre of town, your accommodation in Thurso is a locally owned guest house where visitors are made to feel at home immediately upon arrival. Simply appointed large en-suite bedrooms are free of fuss, while ‘as you like it’ breakfast is served in the comfortable dining room. Your host is an enthusiastic ambassador for Thurso and Caithness, full of great advice on how to get the best from your time here.
The magical islands of Orkney are just 90 minutes away by ferry; should you fancy a night or two there we can easily arrange.
Day three – Across the Spectacular North Coast to Tongue (43 miles)
Your day on the road today could be as swift as you like, or you could do as we love to do and take detours down some of the north coast’s mysterious side-roads as you go, through isolated hamlets and often terminating at hidden coves, deserted beaches and ancient harbours. You’ll have 200+ miles of charge, giving you plenty of scope to explore this most evocative area of Scotland.
Your hotel in Tongue
Your family owned hotel is a cosy and long-established inn, with inviting bar and good restaurant serving a tempting menu of local and seasonal produce. Much refurbished over the past couple of years, the owners have made great strides in improving the public areas and guest accommodation, and the spacious bedrooms are an appealing blend of modern and traditional touches.
An electric vehicle charging point is available a few short yards from the hotel.
Day Four – South through Sutherland to Wester Ross (96 miles)
A longer day on the road today, and you’re in for an enormous treat as the route follows quite superb driving roads amidst some of the UK’s most dramatic mountain and coastal scenery. Again, we love to take ourselves off the main route, discovering concealed villages and havens, as well as the drama and awe-inspiring beauty of the northwest coast, before descending to the classic Sutherland fishing village of Ullapool.
Your Hotel in Ullapool
Just a block back from beautiful Loch Broom, your accommodation in Ullapool is one of the most appealing places to stay in the northwest. Long-established by its family owners, the property is bunkhouse, café, gallery, music venue and bookshop all rolled in to a hugely appealing whole. En-suite rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished, and feature a selection of books on, for example, politics, art, theatre and history for guests’ enjoyment, available to buy at the end of your stay from the surprising in-house bookshop. Dining here is hearty and wholesome, either in the rustic café or more formal restaurant, and the village features one or two good alternatives. There are charging points within a short walk.
Day Five – South to the Shores of Loch Torridon
Depart Ullapool this morning and take the meandering coastal route to Torridon. South of Ullapool you’ll find the vertigo-inducing Corrieshalloch Gorge, before the road twists westward past Little Loch Broom and on to Aultbea and fascinating Poolewe overlooking Loch Ewe, from which the Russian Arctic Convoy departed during World War Two. Visits to the eerie lookout positions high above the loch, and the terrific museum commemorating the convoy are a must. Later, the route descends to Gairloch and the shores of Loch Maree – perhaps the prettiest of all lochs – shortly arriving at the shores of Loch Torridon for two nights.
Your hotel by Loch Torridon
Set in extensive mature grounds on the edge of a majestic sea loch, your hotel in Torridon boasts one of the finest and most peaceful locations in Scotland. Attentive staff see that your every need is met, and you’re sure to love the hugely comfortable bedrooms, beautifully presented public areas and acclaimed restaurant. Adjacent to the hotel, the Inn offers a more laid-back atmosphere for dinner and drinks.
The hotel features two electric vehicle charging points.
Day Six – Discovering Torridon
Perhaps a day to leave the car and take advantage of the world-class activities available in this fabulous location. The hotel features award-winning guides offering sea kayaking, guided walking, gorge scrambling, canoeing and much more. Pre-booking is advised and we are happy to facilitate on your behalf.
On the other hand, who could blame you for opting to take the car out on some of the country’s most dramatic driving routes? Nearby you’ll find one or two stupendous mountain passes, as well as often-deserted roads though more of Scotland’s most arresting scenery.
Day seven – Dramatic Bealach na Ba and completing the North Coast 500 (113 miles)
Your final day on the road takes you around the legendary Applecross peninsula, traversing the famous Bealach Na Ba pass, one of the UK’s most challenging and thrilling roads, while Applecross itself is a fine place to stop, with terrific views and a well-established inn serving good food. Once off the pass, the run to Inverness is picturesque, along Loch Carron, by Lochs Dughaill, Scaven and Gowan, before rounding the Beauly Firth and making your way to Inverness Castle, the North Coast 500’s official “start/finish” line.
Spend two nights each in three locations along Scotland’s north coast – Wick, Tongue and Torridon.
£1645 per person in March, April and October, £1685 per person for May, June and September and £1700 per person in July and August.
Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin en-suite room for six nights on a bed and breakfast basis in our hand-picked selection of hotels and guest houses, and seven days’ rental of a Tesla Model S, with delivery to Inverness.
Please note that the insurance company impose a maximum age for the hire of the Tesla of 75 years of age. We can offer alternative, regular cars for the same itinerary if relevant.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes and charging points, plus 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.
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...
This holiday can be arranged from March to October.
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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