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Scotland Road Trip & NC500 Tour - 7 Days

Scotland Road Trip & NC500  Tour - 7 Days

Duration
6 nights / 5 Drives

Tour Region
Scottish Highlands

Driving Distance
1000km

Availability
April till Oct

Scotland Road Trip

NC500, Highlands & Whisky Country

It was back in 2014 that we first discovered the Scottish Highlands on 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 road trip tours in Scotland, refining and enhancing the tours each year.  For 2020, we believe our itinerary is better than ever, and welcome you to explore further. 

Our 2020 Scotland Road Trip, start and end in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and takes you on a 5-day scenic 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 along the beautiful River Spey, and is finished with a drive along the scenic Old Military Road, runs through the heart of the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, and back to Edinburgh.

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 famous and friendly Scottish hospitality, and the boutique hotels along the way are handpicked for their charm, quality of service, as well as perfect scenic locations.

NOTE: This holiday can now be held for 250EUR - see our start your engines plan for details

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Edinburgh

Head to the historic city of Edinburgh, spending the first evening at the award-winning boutique Dunstane Hotel.

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives - Dunstane House Edinburgh

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.  Take a short 8min taxi ride downtown, and spend an afternoon/evening in Edinburgh to enjoy the city sights and culture.

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives - 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 day of your Scotland road trip 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 incredibly tranquil setting, where you can enjoy the finest homemade cakes.  From here, head around to Loch Lomond, 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. 

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives -  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.  Loopback 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.

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives - Ardrhu House - Fort William

Overnight:  4* Boutique Ardrhu House - Fort William 

Day 3 - Bealach na Ba and onto the NC500 Route

Depart Loch Leven, and the next stage of your Scotland road trip, which takes you first along the coast to the Castle Eilean Donan, one of the finest and most well-preserved museum castles in Scotland - stop for some pictures and of course to cross the bridge to the castle/museum itself. Next, you will pick up the first part of the famed NC500 Route, west coast stretch, making a run over the highest mountain pass in the UK, Bealach na Ba, down to the small coastal town of Applecross for lunch.

Scotland Road Trip in Aston Martin

After lunch, continue along the NC500 coastal route on what is one of the most scenic (and certainly deserted) stretches of the road - think the land that time forgot!

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives -  Eilean Donan Castle

Continue along 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

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives - Shieldaig Lodge Hotel

Overnight:  4 Star Boutique Shieldaig Lodge Hotel

Day 4 - North Coast 500 - The Northern Loop

For drive 3 of your Scotland road trip, you will continue north along the NC500, to the most northern extremes of mainland Scotland, and without doubt the most scenic stretch of the NC500.   From the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel, you will hug the coastline through the small fishing villages of Poolewe and Drumchork, before arriving at the village of Ullapool where you can park up for morning coffees overlooking the sea.  The next stop is the Kylesku Bridge, for the most iconic photoshoot with your car (one of the most famous photo stop for the likes of Evo and Top Gear car magazines) and not to be missed.

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives - Kylesku Bridge Scotland

From the Kylesku Bridge, continue north onto the most northerly stretch of the NC500, as you make your way literally across the top of mainland Scotland, past saltwater 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.

Scotland Road Trip - Aston Martin in the Highlands

The day's drive then finishes close by to the bay at Crosskirk, with an evening at the delightful Forss House Hotel.  That evening enjoy a local seafood dinner at the hotel's 2 Rosset restaurant. 

Forss House Hotel - Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives

Overnight:  4 Star Boutique Forss House

Day 5 - East Coast NC500 & Whisky Country

Your next drive on your Scotland road trip continues along the northern stretch of 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.  Next, 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.

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives - Duncasby Stacks

Whilst not as wild and unkempt 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 beautiful coastal castles en route to Inverness - the official start/endpoint 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!

Scotland Road Trip - Aston Martin Style

As you approach Speyside, there is the chance to stop up at the Macallan distillery, not just for a possible tasting, but also to visit the amazing visitor center that was recently completed - a tasting appointment can be arranged on request. 

Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives - 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 hotel's award-winning bar-side restaurant.

The Craigellachie - Scotland Road Trip with Ultimate Drives

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

Day 6 - The Whisky Trail and Old Military Road 

The final drive of your Scotland road trip 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.

Scotland Road Trip - dont look back Aston Martin

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 historic city of Edinburgh, before continuing your onward plans.

To ask us a question about our 'Scotland Road Trip & NC500 Tour - 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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price per
person from
€1580

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