NORTH COAST 500
Inverness airport is the main access point for the North Coast 500. BA, easyJet, Flybe and Loganair operate routes there from airports including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Manchester (from £60; easyjet.com).
Hire wheels for your road trip from Arnold Clark (arnoldclarkrental. com). A four-seater economy car starts from around £170 for six days’ rental. There’s a £10 charge for a transfer from Inverness airport to the Arnold Clark branch in town.
When to Go
It’s most popular to drive the route between May and October, when the weather is milder. Outside these months, some restaurants, hotels and attractions may be closed, but if you’re looking for a more extreme adventure, winter can bring a sense of real isolation and impressively rugged, frost- coated landscapes.
Plan more of your route with our guide to Scotland’s Highlands & Islands (£13.99), the NC500 route website at northcoast500.com, and visitscotland.com.
One of the westernmost stretches of the NC500 passes by a small beach at Gruinard Bay