As one of the UK’s most popular regions for summer road trips, the North Coast 500 has become a household name and bucket list activity any adventure-seeker. Winding along the dramatic coastline of the north-most highlands of Scotland, this road trip has a little bit of everything, from beautiful wildlife to fascinating history, and of course plenty of stunning views of the ancient Scottish landscape.

This North Coast 500 motorhome guide will help you to navigate the winding and slightly intimidating roads of northern Scotland, containing all of the information you need to know to plan a smooth and enjoyable motorhome road trip in Scotland. 

Don’t stress about your trip! Plan your road trip in detail with this in-depth and relatable NC500 travel guide, including all of the motorhome facilities, best campsites, and over 100 of the top attractions.

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The Complete North Coast 500 Motorhome Guide

All of the information contained is also relevant for all sizes of campervans, as well as tent-campers. The list below is a brief summary of the information in this article, so read on to find out more.

Table of Contents


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Choosing Your Motorhome for the NC500

One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked about the NC500 road trip is “What is the best type of van for the road trip?”. This is a very common concern for visitors to the northern end of the UK, due to the famously narrow and winding roads that can be found here. 

The size and style of your motorhome is, therefore, a very important factor to consider before deciding on which van is the one for you. 

view from the glen docherty view point

Renting a Motorhome for the NC500

For those wanderers that are undecided on whether the vanlife is for them, or for anyone just wanting to give it a go, renting a motorhome is a hugely popular choice. There are a lot of different options to choose from when it comes to rental companies, so we have listed below a few of the most popular.

– Spaceship Campervans

– Bunk Campers

– Highland Campervans

us and our motorhome with mountains in the backdrop

Best Size of Motorhome for the NC500

Like we said, the roads that you will find driving around the NC500, especially on the northwestern coast, can be very tricky to manoeuvre in larger vehicles. In order to make your trip as enjoyable as possible, it is important to make sure you are comfortable with the size of the van you wish to drive. For new drivers or those not as experienced with driving larger vehicles, a small, pop-top camper might be the best choice for you. More experienced drivers will be able to handle the narrow roads with a larger vehicle without too much of an issue. Our motorhome, Ellie, is an Elldis Autoquest 155 and is 7.2 metres long, and at no point in the trip did we ever feel that the van was too big for us to handle. There were, however, certain points of the route that were inaccessible to a vehicle this large, for example, the Bealach na Ba road towards Applecross.
bealach na ba

How Long Does it Take to Drive the NC500 in a Motorhome?

Another common question about the North Coast 500, however, is one without a real answer (unfortunately). The basic answer is “it can take however long you want it to”. There are people who race around the NC500 in one day, making the most of the beautiful scenery, winding roads and white-knuckle driving conditions in certain areas. There are also people who slow travel around the NC500 for months at a time, making the most of every beach and soaking up the history at every stop.
dramatic landscape of tall mountains

Tips for Driving a Motorhome on the NC500

Driving the North Coast 500 in a motorhome is a fantastic way to see the best sights on the NC500 road trip. In our opinion, it is the best, giving you the freedom to move around as you please and not be bound to a timescale whilst also having all your belongings with you everywhere you go, perfect for Scotland’s changing weather! 

Take Your Time

Keep in mind that motorhomes are large vehicles carrying a lot of weight. The NC500 has many single track roads where you will find yourself breaking often and pulling into passing places. You will also notice a number of cattle grids around the route as you share the road with wild animals. Look out for sheep, deer and even highland cows when you are driving in Scotland.

Dispose of Your Waste Responsibly

The best way to dispose of your black and grey water is at a named facility or a campsite. There are many great campsites on the NC500 that will allow you to pay a small fee, usually £5-£8, to dispose of your waste in their tanks and fill up with fresh water. If you are wild camping around the NC500, this is the best way to do it to make sure you are camping responsibly.

park up nearby loch maree

Pull in to Allow Overtaking if Necessary

We don’t always want to drive at the speed limit in a motorhome, whether that’s because of the size of the vehicle or because you are soaking up the scenery on route. If you see a number of cars behind you, pull in and let them overtake as the chances are, they will try to at some point anyway. Pulling in at the next opportunity makes this safer for everyone.

Plan Ahead for Campsites

In Summer, campsites on the NC500 are extremely busy and will need to be booked far in advance. It is also worth noting, with the number of vans on the road, wild camping spots can also be few and far between come evening time as everyone is parked up. Have some back up camp spots that you can go to if you’re first one isn’t a success.

hints of aurora above our van at loch maree

Facilities for Motorhomes Along the Route

Over the years, the North Coast 500 route has become more and more accommodating to motorhomes and campervans. The last few years has seen a huge increase in the number of facilities aimed at motorhomes all across route, such as waste disposal points, water access points, and even free overnight stays.

Listed below are all of the motorhome facility points that you can find across the route

Water Points

  • Inverness Old Ticket Office
  • Tore Service Station
  • Dochgarroch Lock
  • Morrisons Invergordon
  • Balintore Harbour
  • Asda Garage Tain
  • Falls of Shin
  • Helmsdale Harbour
  • Lairg Filling Station
  • Lybster Harbour
  • Bridgend Filling Station
  • Blairmore Public Toilets
  • Kinlochbervie Harbour
  • Scourie Filling Station
  • Lochinver Leisure Centre
  • Gairloch Harbour
  • Torridon Public Toilets
  • Shieldaig Public Toilets

Chemical Disposal Points

  • Beauly Holiday Park
  • Falls of Shin Visitor Centre
  • Kinlochbervie Harbour
  • Lochinver Leisure Centre
  • Gairloch Harbour
balnakeil motorhome park up

Best Motorhome Parkups on NC500

The most incredible thing about Scotland might just be the freedom that we can all enjoy to explore where we want. This is all because of a little bit of law called the Land Reform Act, which provides statutory public access to land across the country, opening up so many possibilities for exploration in the wilderness of the north. 

This act does not include motor vehicles and refers more to travel and exploration by foot, including camping with a tent in remote areas. However, due to the incredible size and remoteness of the highlands of Scotland, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to motorhome wild camping spots.

In order to ensure we will be able to continue to enjoy these liberties for years to come, it is important that we follow the guidelines for wild camping set in place when it comes to enjoying the wild. 

These guidelines are as below.

  • Only camp where it is acceptable
  • Do not disturb the surrounding area and respect the locals. Remember you are their guest, act as such.
  • When you leave the area make sure you leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories! This is the biggest crime you can do when wild camping and is the main reason it is becoming illegal.
  • Bury your waste (including the toilet paper, or carry a bag to dispose of it in). Don’t leave your business lying around.
  • Do not overstay your welcome. Arriving after dark and leaving before light will ensure that people can continue to use these areas without complaints.
tarbat ness lighthouse

Motorhome Parkups on the Black Isle

  • Munlochy Bay Viewpoint
  • Munlochy Clootie Well
  • Jemimaville Car Park

Motorhome Parkups in Easter Ross

  • Fyrish Monument car park
  • Crawl park, Alness
  • Alness Yacht Club
  • Balintore car park
  • Tarbat Ness Lighthouse
  • Black Water Falls car park
  • Rogie Falls car park

Motorhome Parkups in Southeast Sutherland

  • Falls of Shin
  • Ferry Road car park, Golspie
  • River Brora car park
  • Helmsdale Harbour

Motorhome Parkups in Caithness

  • Dunbeath Harbour
  • Lybster Harbour
  • Wick Harbour
  • Castle Sinclair and Girnigoe
  • Reiss Sands Golf Course
  • Keiss Town Centre
  • John O’Groats Visitor Centre car park

Motorhome Parkups in Northwest Sutherland

  • Strathy Bay viewpoint
  • Loch Craggie viewpoint
  • Tongue causeway
  • Ceannabeine Beach car park
  • Balnakeil overnight stopover
  • Sandwood Bay car park
  • Kinlochbervie Harbour
  • Assynt viewpoint
  • Kylesku Bridge car park
  • Lochinver town centre
  • Knockan Crag Nature Reserve
  • Ullapool town centre

Motorhome Parkups in Wester Ross

  • Little Loch Broom car parks 
  • Gruinard Bay car park
  • Gairloch view point
  • Loch Badan Sgalaig car park
  • Victoria Falls car park
  • Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve
  • Glen Docherty view point
  • Beinn Alligin car park
  • Applecross Bay

North Coast 500 Motorhome Itineraries 

Although it is the most exciting part of the trip preparation, planning your route can also be the most difficult. With so many amazing, beautiful, and fascinating spots to visit on the NC500, trying to squeeze it all into just a couple of weeks can seem like an impossible task. 

Having spent over three months on the north coast route, we have managed to refine all of the sights and activities down into the main ones that we think you simply cannot miss. 

Plan your trip in detail with our in-depth 7-day North Coast 500 itinerary.

Five Day North Coast 500 Motorhome Itinerary

With only 5 days to drive the entire 516-mile route of the NC500, the main focus is going to be on the picturesque western coast of the route. Start the day off early in Inverness, heading directly north through the Black Isle, Easter Ross, and into the wilderness of Southeast Sutherland. 

Day One – Start off the day with a hot chocolate to remember at Cocoa Mountain in Dornoch, enjoyed with a relaxing walk along the beautiful stretch of golden sand that is Dornoch Beach. From here, head north to the fairytale fortress of Dunrobin Castle and enjoy either a guided tour of the inside of the castle or a simple stroll through the gardens below. 

After exploring this castle, it is time to head into the northern region of Caithness, stopping off for a quick climb down the stunning Whaligoe Steps to the isolated harbour at the bottom. Continue north onto the ancient ruins of Castle Sinclair and Girnigoe to enjoy a wander through one of Scotland’s most impressive castle ruins.

To finish off the first day on the route, what better place is there than the most northeasterly point of the British mainland, John O’Groats. Here is the best place to spend the night, either on the campsite, or in one of the local hotels, enjoying the stunning view of the islands and open ocean to the north as the sun paints the sky a golden colour to the west. 

The remains of a boat winch at the Whaligoe Harbour

Day Two – Heading over the hills to the east of the Duncansby Lighthouse, kick off the second day with an incredible view of the Duncansby Stacks (best enjoyed at sunrise). From here it is time to turn west along the northern coast, through the northern town of Thurso, and out towards Strathy Point Lighthouse. Pull into the Strathy Beach parking lot for a quick glance at the stunning beach that lies below, sheltered by the surrounding cliffs, before you continue on to the lighthouse itself.

The next stop lies far to the west, back into the northwestern reach of the region of Sutherland. As you wind your way along the narrow road towards the town of Tongue, keep your eyes peeled to the coastline below on your right for the secluded and secretive Coldbackie Beach. Take your time as you head down the hill onto the beach and enjoy the isolation that the high sand dunes provide from the road that winds around the cliff edge high above.

Cross over the Kyle of Tongue Causeway and continue west soaking up the stunning views of the mountains and lochs that are dotted along the route until you reach the town of Durness. Check into the campsite overlooking Sango Sands beach, or into a hotel in the local village and relax after another busy day on the route.

coldbackie beach drone

Day Three – Turning south, it is time to move onto the most impressive section of the NC500 route. The first stop on the western coast lies far to the south at the small harbour of Tarbet, where you can catch a rib across to the beautiful refuge of Handa Island. Exploring this island will take a couple of hours and the last boat to reach the island leaves just after lunch, so make sure to leave early.

Crossing the iconic Kylesku Bridge and admiring the stunning backdrop of the region of Assynt, the journey continues southwards to the central hub of Ullapool. Stop off at the Knockan Crag Nature Reserve to learn about the fascinating geological phenomenon that this part of the world has on display, before driving to the town of Ullapool to spend the night.

kylesku bridge 1

If you are looking for a good bag for your time exploring the NC500, we can highly recommend the Wandrd Bag PRVKE 41L if you are carrying camera equipment on your adventure. If you are looking for a smaller backpack, The Nest by Tropicfeel is one of the most comfortable bags I have ever owned and perfect for day trips exploring the highlands.

Day Four – Begin the day nice and early with a stunning view of the town of Ullapool from the top of Ullapool Hill at sunrise before you make your way south along Loch Broom. Stop off at the unmissable Corrieshalloch Gorge to marvel at the tumbling cascade of the Falls of Measach and enjoy the view from the viewing platform at the end of the gorge.

As you make your way south, park up at the viewpoint overlooking Little Loch Broom, famous for its part in the movie “Shell”, with beautiful views of the loch to the east and the open ocean to the west. This region of Wester Ross mostly comprises of small and cute harbour towns, so make your way south and pay a visit to a few, Poolewe and Gairloch being the top recommendations.

The last two stops of the day sit on the southern coast of Loch Maree, where you can find the beautiful Victoria Falls and the fascinating Beinn Eighe NNR Centre. At the southern end of the loch lies the small town of Kinlochewe, a fantastic place to rest your head for the night.

victoria falls

Day Five – The fifth and final day of the road trip continues southwest through the Torridon Pass, stopping off at the cute town of Shieldaig, before moving onto the small town of Applecross. If you are a confident driver in a small car then you can reach this via the nailbiting Bealach na Ba pass. However, if you have a larger vehicle it can be reached via the picturesque and winding coastal road along the north of the Applecross Peninsula.

Either way, the final destination at Applecross is worth the journey, sitting at the edge of the mainland and looking across the sea to Skye. Pay a visit to the Applecross Inn for a hot meal and possibly some live entertainment, before either staying the night in Applecross or beginning the journey back to Inverness to round up your NC500 road trip.

milky way above our motorhome Ellie

Seven Day North Coast 500 Motorhome Itinerary

Spending an entire week on the northern route allows for a slower and more relaxed pace, with a couple of days spent in locations unique to this part of the world. This is the most popular length of time to explore the North Coast 500.

Day One – The first day of the trip can be spent exploring the city centre of Inverness, soaking up the culture you begin your journey north to Dornoch. Visit the Inverness Castle and the Museum and Art Gallery, and learn about the history of the region and the different cultures it has been host to over the centuries. 

Enjoy a walk along the River Ness to the secluded Ness Islands and take in the beautiful serenity of nature that can be found not far from the centre of this northern capital. If you want to learn more about the history of the city, tour buses give an excellent overview of Inverness and the surrounding area, a perfect way to get to know the history of Scotland before you begin your road trip.

Before you leave the city, be sure to spend some time exploring the high street and stocking up on souvenirs and essential supplies before you head northwards. 

Spend the night here in the city itself or further north in the small town of Dornoch. Either way, be sure to explore the local area and enjoy the bars and restaurants that the area has to offer.

Inverness castle

Day Two – Start off the day with a luxurious hot chocolate from the Cocoa Mountain Cafe in Dornoch and stretch your legs on the endless golden sands of Dornoch Beach.

Turning your attention west, head inland to witness the natural phenomenon of the leaping salmon at the Falls of Shin. Here you can see the spectacular migration of salmon making their way up the insane heights of the waterfalls, as they head inland to breed. 

Continuing north, the next stop is at the beautiful Dunrobin Castle, one of the most picturesque castles in Scotland. Towering over the splendid gardens that sit at the back of the castle, it is possible to either enjoy a guided tour of the interior or simply wander through the gardens and soak up the peace and tranquility there.

The famous Brora Sands sits another 25 minutes further north of Dunrobin Castle and is well worth a stop. The beautiful, white-sand beaches stretch along the coast for miles and the town is small and quaint. Cows wander around the shoreside golf course and offer the perfect photo opp if you like cute animals.

Our next stop is one of our highlights of the trip, the Whaligoe Steps. This staircase has been built into the vertical drop of the Whaligoe slate cliffs and provides a stunning view below. The Whaligoe Steps are a series of limestone steps leading down the 250ft cliffside to a sheltered harbour area below.

Just 15 minutes on from Whaligoe, the next stop is at Castle Wick. This castle ruin sits on an outcrop of land from the surrounding cliffs, with perilous drops on either side. The Castle of Old Wick is believed to date back to the 12th century. However, all that remains today is the towering ruins of the 4-storey tower.

Further on towards the end of the world you’ll find the rather impressive remains of Castle Sinclair and Girnigoe. This is definitely the most awe-inspiring castle ruin we have ever visited. If you are a Game of Thrones fan you do NOT want to miss this!

Finish off the day at the northern point of John O’Groats and relax in the one of the bars or restaurants with a stunning view of the ocean.

The famous John O'Groats signpost


Your trip to Scotland will be a lot more comfortable with a midge net and midge spray. These little biting bugs can be enough to ruin a trip if you don’t have the equipment to protect yourself from them. A repelling candle can also be helpful if you are sitting oustide.

Check out the prices of them here.

Day Three – Start the day off nice and early with a sunrise view over the incredible sea columns known as the Duncansby Stacks. Sitting 60m above the unforgiving swells of the North Sea, these sea stacks are a testiment to the unbelievable power of nature in this ancient part of the world.

From here, head back into John O’Groats for a quick photo with the iconic signpost before turning west along the northern coast. Not too far away sits the beautiful stretch of sand known as Dunnet Bay, a crescent moon-shaped beach that spans some 1000m along the north coast.

Next up, visit the nearby Castle of Mey and enjoy a tour of the splendid interior of the castle that dates back to the 16th-century and was a set of the hit Netflix show, The Crown.

Further along the coast, on the border between Caithness and Sutherland, the small cove known as Puffin Cove is a slightly tricky walk from the main road. However, the final destination is worth the effort. Puffin Cove is one of the more undiscovered sights on the NC500 that is definitely worth a visit.

Rounding off the third day on the route, the sliver of land home to the Strathy Point Lighthouse is a fantastic place to marvel at the sunset on the northern coast.

Facing directly west, watch as the sun sets into the ocean before heading for your bed for the night, another long day to look forward to tomorrow.

puffin cove from above

Day Four – If seeing another sunrise is on the cards, the nearby vantage point of Strathy Beach is the place to view it. Perched high above the beach itself, the car park delivers incredible views of the bay and the surrounding cliffs.

The road trip continues to head westward towards the northern coast, along winding roads and between towering giants. As you drive along the coastal road, the sea far below to the right, keep your eyes peeled for the isolated paradise of Coldbackie Beach, hidden from view by the guarding sand dunes around it. This beach is one of the most secluded and beautiful on the route, sitting only a few hundred metres from the main road and yet undiscovered by most. The near-vertical path leading down to it puts off most visitors, however, it is actually easier than you think to get down.

Continuing on through the town of Tongue, the next stop sits on the horizon to the south, overlooking the Kyle of Tongue. Castle Varich sits high atop a hill, proud and defiant against the dramatic backdrop of mountains. The trek to this ruin is short and easy, and the views from the castle of the bay below are simply incredible.

Back onto the road and across the causeway leading away from Tongue, the next stop sits in the town of Durness and is one of the most fascinating on the trip. The ancient Smoo Cave dates back to the time of the Vikings and has been the discovery point of many artifacts suggesting their residence in this cave. Tours run through the cave system and give an incredible insight into the history of this area.

There are a few beaches in this area that are beautiful to behold, from the dramatic cliffs over Ceannabeine Beach to the golden Sango Sands and Balnakeil Beach, these beaches are all a perfect place to relax and enjoy the view. If you are looking for a place to spend the night, the Sango Sands Oasis is an award-winning campsite overlooking the beach.

sango sands

Day Five – The next day the route turns southwards, leaving behind the north and introducing you to the rugged wilderness of the famous western coast. Explore the winding roads along the northern coast of Loch Inchard, towards the town of Kinlochbervie, and wander along the beautiful Oldshoremore Beach.

The next stop lies to the south on the very western coast of Sutherland at Tarbet harbour. Here you can catch a small boat across to the nature reserve of Handa Island, a crucial nesting spot for thousands of sea birds that make their way to Scotland each and every year. Explore the island for a couple of hours and make sure you don’t miss the boat back to the mainland.

Heading southwards, the award-winning Kylesku Bridge bends the road through the seemingly impenetrable horizon of towering peaks and deep lochs, eventually leading you to the beautiful banks of Loch Assynt. Here the road turns west towards one of Scotland’s most famous and beautiful beaches, Achmelvich Bay. The torquoise water and white sand here resemble that of the Caribbean, although the water temperature, unfortunately, doesn’t.

Doubling back towards Loch Assynt, the road passes by the ruins of Castle Ardvreck, which sits on a spit of land towards the middle of the loch, and winds its way southwards through the ancient and fascinating landscape where continents collide the Knockan Crag Nature Reserve.

Depending on how much daylight is left, the one-hour hike to the Allt nan Uamh (Bone Caves) is definitely an activity that cannot be missed. Visit the ancient caves where the bones of multiple ancient predators were discovered, such as polar bears and wolves.

Continue south through the nature reserve, passing the visitor centre where you can learn about the geology of this landscape, including a discovery that revolutionised the thinking of geologists across the world.

The final stop for the day is in the harbour town of Ullapool, the perfect place to end a busy day with warming pubs, delicious restaurants, and a beautiful view of Loch Broom.

View from inside the Bone Caves.

Day Six – Start the day off early with a quick walk up Ullapool Hill, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Loch Broom and the surrounding landscape. From here, look southwards towards the first stop of the day at the deep and powerful Corrieshalloch Gorge, located at the southern end of Loch Broom.

The endless cascade of the Falls of Measach carves a deep ravine into the land, falling 46m into the Corrieshalloch Gorge. The waterfall can be viewed either from the suspension bridge that leads over it or from the viewing platform at the end of the trail that looks back towards the bridge and waterfall.

From here, continue south along the A832, winding your way between the shoulders of the giants that lie dormant in this part of Scotland, and stop off to enjoy the views from some of the harbour towns that sit along the route, such as Poolewe and Gairloch.

Driving south along Loch Maree, the beautiful Victoria Falls sits just a short walk from the car park, easily accessible by a flat, dirt path. From here, continue along the banks of Loch Maree and stop off at the Beinn Eighe Visitor Centre to learn more about the fascinating and diverse wildlife and flora that can be found around the highlands of Scotland.

As the day comes to an end, make the most of the remaining daylight by visiting the viewpoint at Glen Docherty, which looks back down the A832 towards Kinlochewe and Loch Maree, and then double back towards the town. Either spend the night here or further along the route towards Torridon.

Day Seven – One the final day of the route, be sure to take your time as you make your way through the stunning scenery of Wester Ross, along the narrow and winding roads that navigate this region. Along the lower banks of Loch Torridon and past Loch Shieldaig, the road turns south towards Lochcarron and the final stretch of the road trip.

Your journey, however, is far from over, as this final day contains one of the most scenic and nailbiting drives yet. By taking either the direct route over the mountainous terrain of the Applecross Peninsula, known as the Bealach na Ba Pass or by touring the longer scenic route on the northern coast, Applecross is the final destination for this trip.

Make your way around this desolate and unforgiving part of the country and take extra care on the narrow, winding, and slightly eroded roads that lead the way. Keep an eye out for wildlife on the northern route, with sheep, highland cows, and even deer inhabiting the area.

Once you reach the town of Applecross, spend some time exploring the main street and the small shops that can be found along here, or head out to the Applecross Walled Garden for a coffee and cake.

Finish the trip off with a night to remember in the cosy and welcoming Applecross Inn, with delicious food, refreshing drinks, and live entertainment.

Bealach na Ba Pass

Before You Leave on the North Coast 500

Before you head off on your trip around the NC500, there are certain things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth trip. These include how to get around the route, including being aware of single track roads, etc., what to pack for Scotland, where to stay along the route and what travel insurance to book.

Read more planning tips for the North Coast 500 in our full guide.

How Do I Get Around the NC500?

Given the remote location of the NC500 and the majority of the sights along the route, the best way to get around this road trip is by driving. There are of course other methods that are still popular, such as cycling and hiking, however, if you have a short amount of time on the route, neither of these are very suitable.

As for public transport, the use around the NC500 is understandably difficult due to how remote each location is, however, with the increasing problem of congestion along the route, this is a good option to research if you have time. If it is something that interests you, you can read a public-formed itinerary of how to get around the NC500 by public transport over here.

If you are looking to rent a cosy, reliable, and luxurious campervan for your trip along the NC500, we highly recommend hiring through Spaceship Rentals. 

Browse the full range of vehicles on offer at Spaceship Rentals over here.

Passing Place by the Bealach na Ba Pass.

What Should I Pack for the NC500?

When it comes to packing for a trip along the NC500 there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your 7-day NC500 road trip you will probably experience at least a drizzle of rain. Due to this, the number one item on any Scotland packing list is a good waterproof jacket.

As for the rest of the year, the temperature in Scotland and the central heartlands is reasonably mild for most of the year. During the winter months, you will most likely experience snow, however, temperatures usually sit around freezing, so it is not too cold. For your reference, the average temperatures in Scotland are listed below during each season.

Spring (March, April, May) – 5-10 degrees C

Summer (June, July, August) – 15 degrees C

Autumn (September, October, November) – 5-10 degrees C

Winter (December, January, February) – 0-5 degrees C

As you can see, the weather never really gets above the teens, with anything over 25 degrees C considered a heatwave. The best way to pack for your trip to the highlands is with layers that can be added and removed as you need them. You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the colder months and will most likely need sunscreen to protect you on the long days in the open.

It is also important to stay hydrated, especially if you are out exploring in the marvellous landscape of Scotland. We use Water to Go water bottles to fill up with water from running streams when we are hiking.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around Scotland, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

Where Should I Stay on the NC500?

The remoteness in the highlands of Scotland will leave you with little choice of accommodation in each location along the NC500, however, there are still enough options to choose from to ensure a comfortable trip. These are mostly in the shape of B&Bs, Airbnbs, converted cottages and other quirky accommodations.

Depending on how adventurous you are, there may be more accommodation choices than just the above, often with an even better view. Caravan and camping sites are abundant along the NC500, drawing camping enthusiasts from all over the world. For some of the most spectacular bedside scenery along the North Coast 500, we recommend packing a tent and getting in touch with nature for the week.

As we travelled along the North Coast 500, camped in our trusty Vango tent on a mixture of campsites and wild sites. Wild camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of the highlands, however, it must be done respectfully. Read our full guide to Wild Camping if you wish to give it a go so you know everything you need to for a comfortable and sustainable trip.

camping in scotland

What is the Best Travel Insurance?

We know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it your complete North Coast 500 motorhome guide. If you have visited the NC500 recently, let us know what you thought of the sights listed above, or if you have any suggestions let us know in the comments below.

As always, sharing is caring so make sure to share this photo guide with your family and friends and inspire them to head off on their own North Coast 500 adventure. If you are planning the trip for yourself, make sure you have a look at the rest of our Scotland content for more inspiration to our beautiful home country.

When you set off on your own adventure, be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and we will share them with the rest of our community. In the meantime, why not follow us over there to see what we are currently up to and keep up with us on our Instagram Stories.

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