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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold Award

Premier North Coast 500

Scotland’s fabulous defined coastal touring route is fast gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s finest.

This itinerary is designed to allow you to get the best possible experience from this superb driving route, while indulging in wonderfully relaxing four and five star hotels on long down-days – when, in summer, you can enjoy daylight until midnight. This is by far our favourite way to approach the North Coast 500, incorporating in some days off to give you plenty of time to allow the incredible surroundings to seep in to the soul. Your sumptuous accommodation throughout the week is some of the finest the north of Scotland has to offer, ensuring you are suitably pampered in the evenings in between challenging drives – such as the “Bealach na Bà” road to Applecross – during the day.

Take a look at our other North Coast 500 itineraries as well, including North Coast 500 by Tesla, and North Coast 500 and Orkney.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Apr - Oct

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Day One – Inverness to Torridon (120 miles)

This driving route could start in Inverness, or further south and we can tailor-make it to suit. Your first destination is in one of the most scenically beautiful and secluded locations in the whole of Scotland in the wild and rugged area of Wester Ross. Your route today includes Loch Ness and the famous Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle), with its series of exhilarating hairpin bends.

Your hotel in Torridon

Set in 58 acres of parkland at the end of a magnificent sea loch, your hotel in Torridon has one of the most spectacular and idyllic locations in the country. Impeccable service, luxury bedrooms, sumptuous interiors and a quite superb fine-dining restaurant combine to make your stay a fabulously comfortable one. You’ll also find the hotel’s Inn a more relaxed spot for evening dining and enjoying a wide range of ales.

Day Two – Taking in Torridon

You’ll want to take a little time to stroll the beautifully presented grounds, immersing yourself in the simply spectacular vistas in every direction. The hotel also features a superb outdoor activity centre, offering a range of pursuits such as kayaking, mountain biking, archery, clay pigeon-shooting and guided walks, so sharpen your appetite before perhaps repairing to the lounge, or for a dram or two of one of the 350 whiskies available at the hotel’s whisky bar.

Day Three – North to Sutherland (123 miles)

Your 120-mile route today takes in some of Scotland’s most awe-inspiring coastal touring routes, through ancient crofting settlements and charming villages, alongside shimmering lochs and in the shadow of intimidating and dramatic mountains. We’ll provide recommendations for our favourite sightseeing, historic and dining stops along the way.

Your hotel in Sutherland

Resting on a hillside overlooking Loch Inver, your hotel offers a tranquil retreat in one of the last great unspoiled wildernesses in Europe. While its exterior is somewhat unprepossessing, you’ll love the comfortable interiors, with its welcoming guest lounge centred round a roaring log fire, household name-run fine-dining restaurant and supremely comfortable rooms, each with the same breath-taking view.

Day Four – Around Sutherland

While we wouldn’t blame you for spending the day relaxing at your hotel, some of the area’s most beautiful features are within a stone’s throw; Achmelvich beach, for example, is one of our favourites, while just a little further afield you’ll find Stoer Point Lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer, each ripe for exploration on a rewarding day out. The village of Loch Inver features one or two alternative dining spots and we’ll make sure you have plenty of our carefully curated recommendations to help you along the way.

Day Five – Further North to Caithness (118 miles)

Another unforgettable day on the road awaits, with a 120-mile route taking in the drama and romance of Scotland’s far North-eastern corner and along the North coast towards your next stop by Thurso. On the way, you’ll uncover even more of the country’s dramatic coastline, taking in hidden villages amidst menacing rocky shores, gleaming lochs and changing scenery along every mile.

Your hotel in Caithness

Beautifully positioned within 20 acres of woodland, below a waterfall by a gently meandering river, this gem on the North coast is one we never tire of going that bit further to experience. With just 14 comfortably appointed rooms, an acclaimed restaurant serving a menu of the very finest local produce, and with some of the North coast’s best attractions on the doorstep, this is the perfect spot from which to discover this most fascinating corner of Scotland.

Day Six – Caithness calling

One of our favourite things to do in Caithness is to take a private guided wildlife tour with our handpicked local expert guide. You’ll be collected from your hotel and taken on a fun and informative, personalised full day out, taking in the myriad wildlife-spotting opportunities on offer in this wild corner of the country, where you could see red deer, seals, otters, puffins, teals, terns, divers, fulmars, razorbills and many more species.

Later, relax at your hotel with a dram or two before dinner in the cosy and inviting dining room.

Day Seven – Slowly South to Cadboll (129m)

Head away from your hotel and complete your journey along this North coast section at John O’Groats, where you’ll want to take the time to record your appearance at the UK’s northernmost village, before taking the road to Wick and south to your next hotel. There are some fabulously evocative stopping-off points here, like atmospheric Keiss Harbour and the amazing Whaligoe Steps, as well as more terrific driver’s roads, and we’ll make sure you have all the recommendations you need to get the most from your day.

Your hotel in Cadboll

Your accommodation in Cadboll is a fabulously presented house owned by a world-famous malt whisky distiller. The quality of accommodation on offer here is quite simply superb, and every detail is formed to ensure your complete comfort and relaxation. Sumptuous rooms and bathrooms combine with beautifully appointed drawing- and sitting-rooms, where a dram or two is to be enjoyed by a roaring fire. Dinner is served in the breath-taking dining room amidst superb art and artefacts, around a vast antique table, dripping with the finest-quality settings.

Day Eight – Completing the North Coast 500  (65 miles)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning, followed, perhaps, by a bracing stroll on the beach, before heading off for the final 65-mile leg of the North Coast 500 towards Inverness, and picking up your route home.



Your route follows the contours of the far north of Scotland, starting and finishing in Inverness, then in a clockwise direction.


£1425 per person for April & October, £1480 for May, June & September, and £1490 per person for departures in July & August.

Prices based on two people sharing a double/twin room in premium four and five star hotels for seven nights on a bed & breakfast basis, with one night including dinner, and a private guided tour of Caithness.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, 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 Premier North Coast 500

This holiday is available from April 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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