Road trips began to become popular in the United States with the induction of the famed Route 66. The route gives the ability to cut the country right through the middle and see it all. Few routes have ever been able to live up to the experience of driving the road until now. Finally, it has a rival in the North Coast 500 road trip in Scotland. The route takes visitors on a winding excursion through some of the best sites to be found anywhere in the country. Dear readers, this is one road trip that truly should not be missed!

North Coast 500

Roads can take you anywhere you want to go and new ones are being built every day, but for a truly epic journey, one the best stops and sites make the cut. Along the 516 miles that make up the North Coast 500 there are many places to stop and take a rest, have a bite to eat, or find something fun for the whole family. The ultimate experience is to take the route all the way. That way you are sure to see the important ancient castles as well as the historic towns that make up Scotland. Here are a few things that should not be missed while traveling along this road trip in Scotland.

Road trip in Scotland
Welcome to the North Coast 500. Scotland’s answer to the Route 66.
The Shortest Street in the World

People are always trying to break records and always have been. Since the first Guinness Book of World Records was released in 1955 people have been clamoring to get into the book and one street in Scotland made it with ease. Ebenezer Place is found on the North Coast 500 and is credited as the shortest road in the world. Even if you feel no need to travel just to see this anomaly, you can venter to the street to No.1 Bistro to sample some unique as well as highly traditional Scottish food.

Road trip in Scotland
Six foot and nine inch is thelength of Ebenezer Place, Wick, the world’s shortest street.
Black Isles

A coastal drive through Scotland would not be complete without a pristine view of the ocean. The Black Isles sounds like it would be the perfect island retreat, but there is one small detail. The Black Isles is not an island but it is a peninsula and it is known for being a hot spot for marine life including dolphins. Having a picnic is the perfect way to relax when the time in the car becomes a bit too long.

Road trips in Scotland
The bottlenose dolphins are a common sight around the area.

A road trip is just not complete without finding some entertainment along the way. If music calls to you in all forms, you should not miss rural music festival known as Loopallu. The Festival is held on the last weekend in September each year. If you like talented entertainment and to sing all weekend, you should not miss the opportunity to go.

Where to Stay

Scotland is a very hospitable place to visit. There are places to camp all along the North Coast 500, but you should not just take up your temporary residence anywhere. The part of the charm of Scotland is the quaint bed and breakfasts that are found in every little village. So when you enter a new town, get out of the car for a while and see what is around. The locals will embrace the opportunity to converse with you and will give you very good advice on where the best places to stay are. You will find that many of these small hotels and bed and breakfasts take great pride their accommodations. They all have different themes and they can show you interesting information on activities in the area. For more information check out our blogpost about “Securing an overnight stay” here.

When to Travel

The area is known for some weather extremes. The best time to take a road trip in Scotland is often between May and September. This enables you to have warm weather to camp without the fear of storms coming out of nowhere.

A road trip in Scotland may not be the fastest way to see the country, but we are not in a hurry! People attempt to see all they can see within just a few days, but that truly does your experience a disservice. Take your time along the way and get to know Scotland for its beauty and hospitality. You will want to come back again and again and the greatest thing about any road trip is that no matter how many times you take it, there is always more to see and do the next time.

Road Trip in Scotland
When you encounter one of these giants. Keep calm and… turn around very slowly! 😉



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