Brora is a small village on the east coast of Scotland, sitting between Dornoch and Wick. It is also a place that is overlooked on the NC500 road trip, however, with an award winning white sandy beach, we would say it’s definitely worth a stop off!

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Destination North Coast Map

Make sure you have all the resources you need to make the most of your trip to the North Coast of Scotland. Our Destination North Coast Map is the perfect addition to any traveller’s toolkit. With detailed information on all the best spots, along the NC500, this map is your ultimate guide to exploring the rugged beauty of Scotland’s north coast.

Read more about this map here.

Things to do in Brora - NC500 East Coast Stop

Brora is the perfect little stop off in between Dornoch and Wick and is a great place to base yourself for touring around Sutherland and Caithness. In this guide, we will discuss the following places 

  • SUP on Loch Brora
  • Stroll along Brora Beach
  • Marvel at the beauty of Dunrobin Castle
  • Enjoy a Walk to Big Burn Falls
  • Have Waffles at Cocoa Skye
  • Play a game of Golf at Brora Golf Course
  • Preparing for your trip to the NC500
brora sunrise

Where to Stay in Brora

LuxuryNorth Coast 500 Pods – Brora is a beautiful place to stay only 2.5 miles from the village of Brora. Each individual pod is fitted with it’s own kitchen, a comfortable double bed and a TV with Netflix. There is also a sauna onsite with a glass window overlooking the fields. An excellent place to stay in Brora.
Mid-rangeThe Royal Marine Hotel is situated near Brora Beach and is within close walking distance of the town centre. Each room has an en-suite bathroom and the hotel has 3 dining experiences for you to choose from, as well as a bar and a gym. Breakfast is included with the price of your stay. 
BudgetBurnside Cabin is located just over half a mile from Brora village. The cabin offers a garden and sea views.
nc500 pods outside

SUP on Loch Brora

Loch Brora is a beautiful setting that sits only 10 minutes outside of the village of Brora. Nestled under the mountains, Loch Brora is an idyllic spot to get out on a stand up paddle board or go for a swim. There is a small, free parking area at the side of the Loch as well as walking trails along the Loch side. Keep in mind that if it has been raining, the car park can become very boggy.

This is also a beautiful spot for wild camping on the NC500 however if you do so it is important to remember to wild camp responsibly. 

Loch Brora SUP

We would highly recommend getting yourself a Seashell dryrobe for keeping warm when you get out of the icy cold water! They even have pockets to store your keys! 

Check out the Seashell Dryrobes and Toweling Robes here.

girl standing in seashell swimming robe

Stroll along Brora Beach

Brora Beach is an award winning beach on the north east coast of Scotland. The white sandy beach is pristine and stretches along a number of miles in front of the Brora golf course. Brora beach is perfect for a morning or evening stroll, having a picnic or going into the sea for a wild swim.

Brora Beach can be accessed through Brora campsite or you can park in the golf car park to access the beach. Parking is free. Brora beach is dog friendly and there are bins to get rid of your waste when you leave the beach.

brora beach

Marvel at the Beauty of Dunrobin Castle

The beautiful Dunrobin Castle sits about 5 miles south of Brora and will cost you £14 to go inside the castle to have a look around. Dunrobin Castle is known as one of Scotland’s great northerly castles, dating all the back to the 13th century.

Resembling a beautiful French Chateau, with is conical spires and quaint architectural details, this castle has been kept in pristine condition throughout the years. It is one of Britains oldest continually inhabited houses and has been host to a wide range of roles over the years, from a First World War Naval Hospital to a boarding school for boys.

The castle is open for tours between 1st April and 31st October annually.

Read more about the castles of the North Coast 500 in our full guide. 

girl walking from dunrobin castle
dunrobin castle


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.

Enjoy a walk to Big Burn Falls

Big Burn walk is a great woodland walk in Golspie, just outside of Brora. You can either choose to complete the Big Burn Walk, which is 3km or if you just want to walk to the waterfall it is 1.5km. The walk is flat however the terrain underfoot is not paved.
Follow the river through the woods and over the zig zag bridges. The scenery surrounding the trails is beautiful and if you are feeling brave, you might even want to dip in at the lower end of the river for a dip on a warm day.
big burn falls

Indulge in Waffles at Cocoa Skye

Cocoa Skye is a highlight for many people who visit Brora, especially to indulge in their breakfast waffle menu. Cocoa Skye are open from 10-3 daily serving a variety of sweet and savoury waffles that are available in gluten free and vegan, and a lunch menu in the afternoon. The waffles are also available in a half portion.

Cocoa Skye also serve a variety of hot drinks including a luxury hot chocolate. Well worth a visit if you are visiting Brora.


Play a Game of Golf at Brora Golf Course

If you enjoy a game of golf then there is no better place for a game on the NC500. Brora Golf Course is an 18 hole champion links golf course and it sits overlooking the award winning Brora Beach. There is a restaurant and bar in the clubhouse and a shop onsite for all of your golfing needs.

brora golf course

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 recommend hiring through Spaceships Rentals.

Browse the full range of vehicles on offer at Spaceships 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.

Photography Equipment

Main Photography CameraSony A7v Mirrorless Camera and  Sony A7iii Mirrorless Camera

MicrophoneShure VP83 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

Main LensTamron 17-28mm f/2.8

Zoom LensTamron 70-180mm f/2.8

Camera TripodZOMEI Z669C Camera Tripod

Gorilla PodJOBY JB01507-BWW GorillaPod

Action CameraGoPro Hero 9 Black and Insta 360 One RS

Drone CameraDJI Mavic Pro 3

Camera BagWandrd PRVKE 41L and The Nest by Tropicfeel

Phone TripodManfrotto MKPIXICLAMP-BK, Mini Tripod with Universal Smartphone Clamp

Sturdy Phone Tripod & Selfie StickATUMTEK 61″ Selfie Stick Tripod, Sturdy Phone Tripod Stand with Wireless Remote

Hard DrivesLaCie Rugged Mini, 5TB, 2.5″, Portable External Hard Drive

SSDSanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB Portable NVMe SSD

Travel AdapterWorldwide Travel Adapter Universal Travel Plug with 4 USB Ports+Universal AC Socket


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.

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?

I 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, all of the best things to do in Brora, including castles, waterfalls, and beaches. 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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