Lonely Planet (UK) - - Best Travel 2019 -

Get­ting There

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; easy­

Get­ting Around

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.

Fur­ther Read­ing

Plan more of your route with our guide to Scot­land’s High­lands & Is­lands (£13.99), the NC500 route web­site at north­, and visits­cot­

One of the west­ern­most stretches of the NC500 passes by a small beach at Gru­inard Bay

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