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Scottish Highlands & NC500 Road Trip - 7 Days

6 nights / 5 Drives

Tour Region
Scottish Highlands

Driving Distance

April till Oct

Scotland Road Trip - NC500 Route, the Highlands & Whisky Country

It was back in 2014 that we first discovered the Scottish highlands when we made a group driving tour with a fleet of Range Rovers, and our breath was quite simply taken away with the beauty and serenity.  Since then we have been arranging self drive and group driving tours in this most spectaclar of countries, refining and enhancing the tours each year.  For 2020, we believe our itineray is better than ever, and welcome you to explore further. 

Our 2020 Scotland Road Trip & Grand Tour of the Scottish Highlands, takes you on a 5 day driving loop into the highlands, past lochs and castles, along the legendary North Coast 500 / NC500 Route.  The road trip then continues through the Whisky country around the beautiful River Spey, and is wrapped of with a drive along the scenic Old Military Road, which runs through the heart of the beautiful Cairngorms National Park.

This 6 night road trip of Scotland starts and ends in the historic city Edinburgh, and includes 5 full days of driving on the finest roads in this incredible country. Each day of our Scotland road trip brings with it unique landscapes and surprises, past castles of old, along Lochs full of mystery and sweeping valleys with old Military roads.  All the way, you will be greeted with the famous and friendly Scottish hospitality, and the hotels selected are handpicked for their charm as well as perfect locations.

The prices you see assume you travel in your own car. However we can offer a fleet of latest generation Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles to combine with the trip, including the latest Jaguar F Type V8 Dynamic in coupe and cabrio - please ask for details and pricing if you are interested

Click on the ITINERARY to view your day by day plan, and if you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch. 

Scotland Road Trip - Scottish Highlands, NC500 Route & Whisky Country

Day 1 - Arrival in Edinburgh

Head to the historic city of Edinburgh, spending a first evening at the boutique Dunstane Hotel.  The hotel is positioned just on the edge of the city, with easy access to the old town, great parking, as well as a great getaway position for the start of your scenic tour the following day.  Spend an afternoon / evening in Edinburgh to enjoy the city sights and culture.

Edinburgh City


Overnight: 4 Star Boutique Dunstane / Edinburgh

Day 2 - Into the Highlands and 007 Glencoe

The following morning activate the first drive in your Roadbook, and your Scotland Road Trip begins!!

The first tour takes you into the heart of the western Highlands, starting with a run along the scenic Sterling valley, and into the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.  Next, climb the beautiful Dukes Pass, before taking morning coffees and cakes on the quiet Loch of Venacher - an incredible tranquil setting, where you can enjoy the finest home made cakes.  From here, head around to Loch Lomand, following the shoreline then taking lunch overlooking the loch.  Lunch over, start your journey north to the spectacular Glencoe / Ben Nevis region, location for various shoot locations for the 007 Skyfall movie. 

007 Glencoe Views

Make a diversion up and along the deserted River Etive valley, to the exact shoot location from 007 Skyfall where Daniel Craig / Judy Dench were pictured standing beside Bonds vintage Aston Martin DB5.  Loop back along the valley and continue along to the Salt Water Loch Leven, where you will be based for your second evening, with views directly across the Loch.

Overnight:  4* Boutique Ardrhu House - Fort William 

Day 3 - Mountain Pass Bealach na Ba and onto the NC500 Route

Depart Loch Leven, and the next stage of your journey will take you first along to the Castle Eilean Donan, one of the finest and most well preserved museum castles in Scotland. After, pick up the NC500 Route west coast, making a run over the highest mountain pass in the UK, Bealach na Ba, down to the small coastal town of Applecross for lunch.  After lunch, continue along the NC500 Route on what is one of the most scenic (and certainly deserted) stretches of the route - think the land that time forgot!

Eilean Donan Castle

Continue to follow the rugged coastline around to Loch Torridon, where you can stop for afternoon teas at the Torridon Hotel.  The final stretch on the NC500 Route for today takes you along the shoreline of Loch Maree, and onto your overnight stay at the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel

Overnight:  4 Star Boutique Shieldaig Lodge Hotel

Day 4 - North Coast 500 / NC500 Route - The Northern Loop

For drive 3, you will continue north along the NC500 Route, to the most northern extremes of mainland Scotland, and without doubt the most scenic stretch of the NC500 Route.   From the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel, hug the coastline through the small villages of Poolewe and Drumchork, before arriving at the  fishing village of Ulapool for morning coffees overlooking the port.  Next stops is the Kylesku Bridge, for the most iconic photospot with your car (one of the most famous photstops for the likes of Evo and Top Gear magazines) and not to be missed.

Kylesku Bridge Scotland

From the Kylesku Bridge, continue north onto the most northerly stretch of the NC500 Route, as you make your way literally across the top of mainland Scotland, past salt water lochs, deserted bays and golden sandy beaches.  This landscape is one that will really take your breath away, and there are plenty of planned scenic stopping points along the way.  The days drive then finishes close by to the bay at Crosskirk, with an evening at the delightful Forss House Hotel.  That evening enjoy an local seafood dinner at the hotels 2 Rosset restaurant. 

Overnight:  4 Star Boutique Forss House

Day 5 - The East Coast NC500 Route & Whisky Country

Your next drive continues along the NC500 route, with a run across to the most northerly town on the Scottish mainland, John o'Groats.  Stop up for coffees overlooking the port that serves boats to the Orkney islands.  Continue to follow the NC500 route with a loop around to the eastern coast of Scotland where you will park up, then make the short walk to view the incredible Duncansby Stacks.

 Duncasby Stacks

Whilst not as wild and unkepmt as the western coast, the east coast NC500 Route still offers fine views across the Atlantic.  As you head south, there is a chance to stop by at two beautful coastal castles en route to Inverness - the official start / end point of the NC500 Route.  After arriving on the outskirts of Inverness,  turn east and pick up one of our favorite drives of the tour, the path of the River Spey which winds  east towards the whiskey producing region of Speyside.  Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for wild deer, grouse and other wildlife of this remote region that can tend to jump out from nowhere!  As you approach Speyside, there is the chance to stop up at the Macallen distillery, not just for a possible tasting, but also to visit the amazing visitor center that was recently completed - a tasting appoitment can be arranged on request. 

Mcallen Distillery Outside

The drive then ends in the small village of Dufftown at the Boutique Craigellachie Hotel, specializing in the finest malts from the region - enjoy dinner that evening at the hotels award winning bar-side restaurant.

Overnight: 4 Star Boutique, The Craigellachie, specializing in the finest malts from the region.

Day 6 - The Whisky Trail and Old Military Road through Carnigorns National Park

Your final tour is broken into two main stages.  The first stage sees you continuing to follow the whisky trail, past some of the most prestigious whiskey producers in the land, stopping shortly at the Glenlivet distillery for a guided tour.  You then continue onto the stunning “old military road” which sweeps south through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, past ski resorts, across lower mountain passes, with a stop at the Balmoral Castle along the way.

Military Road Scotland

You then continue south through the park, along stunning valleys where the views are quite simply breathtaking.  The tour is completed with a run down into Edinburgh, with an option to stop by at the Black Watch Guard museum, before heading back into the city for a final evening.

Overnight: 4 Star Boutique, Dunstane / Edinburgh

Day 7: Departures

Spend a final day at leisure in the wonderful city of Edinburgh, before continuing your onward plans.

To ask us a question about our 'Scottish Highlands & NC500 Road Trip - 7 Days' justdrive holiday, please fill out this simple form below. One of our experienced staff members will be in touch within 24 hours.

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Package Includes

Prices assume 2 persons travelling per car

  • Fully planned driving itinerary
  • Quality Accommodation
  • Breakfasts & Parking
  • Day by Day eRoadbook
  • Google Maps GPS files for Nav
  • Pre drive briefing
  • On call WhatsApp support 

If travelling solo, take the price for 2 persons, and minus 30 EUR per night for room / breakfast adjustment

Package Includes

Prices assume 2 persons travelling per car

  • Fully planned driving itinerary
  • Quality Accommodation
  • Breakfasts & Parking
  • Day by Day eRoadbook
  • Google Maps GPS files for Nav
  • Pre drive briefing
  • On call WhatsApp support 

If travelling solo, take the price for 2 persons, and minus 30 EUR per night for room / breakfast adjustment