The North Coast 500
3 day tour

  • Torridon from Inverness
  • Balnakeil Beach
  • Dunrobin Castle
  • Torridon Man in Kilt
  • Loch Maree Torridon
  • Stac Pollaidh

Scotland's 'Route 66' is a rollercoaster road of ruined castles, pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, and charming villages.

Tour Highlights

Beaches
Castles
Lochs
Mountains
Walks

Torridon Hills - These are arguably the most dramatic and spectacular mountains in Scotland.

Shieldaig - One of Scotland's most outrageously picturesque villages.

Applecross* - A remote village that was only accessible by boat until the early 20th century. Stop here and visit a pub that serves delicious seafood.

John o'Groats - Look out to the North Sea at the island of Britain's most northerly point.

Corrieshalloch Gorge - Take a walk through a beautiful forest and discover a gushing waterfall

Dunrobin Castle - Gaze upon this beautiful castle that boasts 189 rooms in 'Scottish Gothic' style architecture.

 

Your journey

 

You clamber through scattered boulders and spot a beach so white it makes you reach for your sunglasses. You ramble along cliffs and find a village so small you try to pack it in your suitcase. And you travel along tumbling roads and see castles so ancient you rub your eyes in disbelief.

This is the North Coast 500. And over every horizon, you find something surprising.

On this tour, your driver-guide takes you to the best spots to sample the sumptuous seafood, admire amazing landscapes, and learn the legendary tales.

So, take this famous route of twists and turns and explore one of the most beautifully wild parts of Scotland.

 

Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 07:30 (tour departs at 07:45) - Inverness Pick Up, Bus stop next to Inverness Cathedral, Ardross Street, Inverness, IV3 5NS
Finishes (approx.)
19:00 - Inverness Drop Off, Bus stop next to Inverness Cathedral, Ardross Street, Inverness, IV3 5NS
Luggage
You're restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items. You can find details about luggage storage options here.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Access to distillery production areas may not be possible
  • Some distilleries offer tutored tastings instead of tours
  • Distilleries may be substituted
  • Attraction tickets may need to be purchased in advance. More information is provided in your booking confirmation e-mail
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Explore Scotland's very own 'Route 66', the North Coast 500
  • Enjoy your evening in the port town of Ullapool

Set off from Inverness and begin your journey on Scotland’s ‘Route 66’. It’s an epic drive with loads to squeeze in. Just make sure you have plenty of space on your camera.

Heading for Ullapool, we spend the first day weaving through the North Coast 500’s winding roads. Your driver-guide will take you to towering mountains, banks of shimmering lochs, and the shores of beautiful beaches. We reach the scenic port town of Ullapool in the late afternoon.

*From November to March, Applecross may be inaccessible due to bad weather and daylight timings.

Day 2

  • Get to know Thurso, mainland Britain's most northerly town
  • Journey along the NC500, discovering treasures along the way

Today, the scenery gets progressively more beautiful, rocky, and mountainous. As you travel north, your driver-guide will take you to some of the most stunning sights in Scotland.

Your itinerary depends on the weather and your guide’s expert tips, but you may have a chance to venture into the deep Smoo Cave, wander the ruins of Ardvreck Castle, and gaze at gorgeous white beaches. You stop for lunch in a Highland village and spend the evening in Thurso, the most northerly town on the British mainland.

Day 3

  • Explore the ruins of Cirnigeo Castle
  • Enjoy coastal views on your drive today

Today you get plenty of time off the coach to explore cosy fishing villages, epic cliffs, and ancient Neolithic sights.

Your driver takes you to the northernmost point of mainland Great Britain where you might spot the Orkney Isles on the horizon.

Perched on the windswept cliff, Girnigeo Castle is your next stop. The location of this ruin is as dramatic as its history. Walk along this wild coast and listen to the chilling tales before you continue on the epic North Coast 500 route.

Travelling southwards, you enjoy the green valleys and sea views on the way to Dunrobin Castle. You have time to take a photo of the stately home before you drive along the coast and through land once inhabited by the Picts and Vikings.

Finally, we arrive in Inverness in the early evening.

Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay one night in Ullapool* and one night in Thurso.

*Please be aware that Ullapool is busy. You may need to be flexible with rooms we're able to reserve for you here. If you'd prefer to find your own accommodation for this location, please choose the 'book your own accommodation' option when you book your tour.

How can I book accommodation?

Accommodation is not included in the price of your tour. To book accommodation, there are two options: either Rabbie’s Tours can book it for you, or you can book your own. For information on how to do this, please see the ‘Accommodation’ tab on FAQ page HERE.

Alternatively, please email us your questions at tours@rabbies.com or call us on +44(0)131 226 3133.

Information you can find on the FAQ page, under the ‘Accommodation’ tab: types of accommodation, room types, the booking process, getting to and from your accommodation, and cancellation terms.

How much will the accommodation cost?

We book accommodation with third-party providers on your behalf and each property sets their own rates. Rates vary considerably depending on the accommodation standard, facilities, location, and local demand. We therefore can’t tell you exactly how much your accommodation will cost until your request has been allocated to a specific property.

As a guide, you can expect to pay the following prices, per person per night:

 

Approximate prices, per person per night

Overnight Location

 

Sole Occupancy

Multiple Occupancy

 

(1 person per room)

(2+ people per room)

B&B Standard

£80 - £120

£60 - £80

UK & Northern Ireland

€80 - €120

€60 - €80

Ireland

B&B En-suite

£100 - £145

£55 - £95

UK & Northern Ireland

€100 - €145

€55 - €100

Ireland

Hotel

£110 - £190

£75 - £150

UK & Northern Ireland

€130 - €235

€75 - €150

Ireland

NOTE: Prices quoted are for guidance only and may be higher on some occasions, especially for last-minute bookings and when demand is high (E.g. peak season, weekends, holidays, special events etc)

Breakfast will be included unless otherwise noted. The type of breakfast provided will vary from place to place so you may receive either a full cooked breakfast, a continental style breakfast (E.g., toast, fruit, cereal), or a packed breakfast bag or tray (E.g., porridge pot, fruit, granola bar).

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies. 100% charges are applicable, and you will not be entitled to a refund or alternative.

What are your cancellation policies?

Your cancellation terms depend on which tour you've booked.

For one-day tours: You'll receive a full refund if you cancel 24 hours or more before the tour departure

For tours of between two and nine days: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 15 or more days before the tour departure

For tours of 10 or more days: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 21 or more days before the tour departure

For all European packaged tours: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 42 days before the tour departure.

If you cancel inside these notice periods, full charges will apply and no refunds will be issued.

To cancel your booking, email tours@rabbies.com as soon as possible. The effective date of cancellation will be the date we receive written confirmation from you.

Click here to view terms and conditions

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. Your driver-guide will keep you up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .


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