Unmissable experiences along the North Coast 500

With its epic highland scenery, foodie hotspots and chic and cosy boltholes, the North Coast 500 is a dream for road trippers. Dubbed 'Scotland's answer to America's Route 66', strap yourself in as you take in some of Scotland’s finest coastal scenery and these unmissable experiences.

1. Stay at The Inn at John O’Goats

A contender for the coolest-looking place to stay is The Inn at John O'Groats, a 19th-century hotel that's sporting a colourful Scandi-style makeover in mainland Britain's most northerly hamlet. You can choose between its sleek apartments or self-catering lodges.



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The Inn at John O’Goats, John O’Goats

2. Explore Smoo Cave

Smoo Cave is a mystical limestone sea cave, with a staggering 50ft entrance and impressive cascading waterfall which is especially mesmerising following wet weather.



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Smoo Cave, Lairg

3. Visit Dunrobin Castle

Gracing the northern coastline is Dunrobin Castle. The historic seat of the Sutherland clan, this French-inspired chateau enchants visitors with its fairy-tale spires and turrets and pulse-raising falconry displays.



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Dunrobin Castle, Golspie

4. Take tea at The Torridon

Experience Afternoon Tea at The Torridon in the luxurious library, complete with roaring log fire and spectacular views across the Loch Torridon



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The Torridon, Achnasheen

5. Drive along Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle)

A steep, serpentine single-lane track that affords stirring panoramas of some of Scotland's 790 offshore islands. You mustn’t be too distracted by the window views, though. On the pass' hairpin bends, you might encounter roaming sheep and shaggy highland cows, or the occasional cyclist and campervan.



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Bealach na Bà, Wester Ross
21 May 2019(last updated)