The North Coast 500 (NC500) is so much more than just a road trip. It is 516 miles of picture-perfect villages, natural wildlife, and awe-inspiring landscapes. There are also plenty of fun activities you can do all the way around the route. This guide takes you through everything there is to do and see on the SOUTH of the NC500.
To be perfectly honest, the South of the NC500 is the least exciting for both scenery and activities. When planning your NC500 trip dont budget too much of your time for the south leg. It does however still have its strengths and is worth a visit.
Creating an itinerary for the NC500 is strongly recommended so you don’t miss any of the best bits! To help with planning your trip, we have split up the NC500 into manageable chunks: North, East, South and West, and showcased the highlights from each!
The attractions have been listed in geographical order (if you are doing the NC500 anti-clockwise).
Bealach Na Ba
This infamous mountain pass is known mostly for the way it zig-zags down the side of the mountain with hairpin bends. The Bealach na Ba actually has the largest ascent/descent of any road in the UK!
It looks like something that would be on top-gear – and in fact, it has been featured on the show. The road really is quite the spectacle! We would definitely recommend driving it if you’re able.
Due to the road’s steep and winding nature, it is not recommended for new drivers or large vehicles. Our van managed fine on a dry, sunny day. However, a vehicle larger would likely struggle.
The Rogie Falls are a beautiful series of cascading waterfalls. They may not be massive but they are still very impressive. The best thing about these falls is the shaky suspension bridge which spans the river. It is the perfect viewing platform. If you’re lucky you’ll see some fish jumping up sections of the waterfall.
From the car park there is a pretty steep path to get to the waterfall. The walk is not long however it is a little treacherous so a decent shoe is a requirement here.
Black Waterfalls, Garve
This is a lovely little spot to stop off at for a little while to break up your journey. Garve has a couple of nice, easy-going walks where you can admire the falls. Again, these waterfalls are not the most show-stopping but they are nice nonetheless. This stop also has a free public toilet which is a nice little bonus on a road trip.
The NC500 Begins and ends in the heart of Inverness – the Castle to be exact. As the last stop on our NC500 journey is was a much needed stop! Finish off your trip with a bang by making the most of the ‘Cultural Capital of the Highlands’. Grab a tasty meal in the city centre – there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Finish off your journey with a treat by going inside Inverness castle. Visit the viewpoint for uninterrupted panoramic views of the city. This excursion costs £6.
The south leg of the NC500 is not the most exciting leg of the journey but it is not without merit. The scenery is still gorgeous, just not quite as gorgeous as the rest of the trip. When planning an itinerary for the NC500, 2 days is more than enough for the south leg; 1 day is even enough.
Driving (or cycling) the NC500 will truly make you fall in love with the Scottish Highlands. Every day of our trip was filled with excitement and wonder.
More content about the NC500 coming soon!
If you have any questions regarding the South section of the NC500 or just the NC500 in general, don’t hesitate to comment down below and we will get back to you!