Road Type Lakeside
NC500 / North Coast 500 Road, Scotland
The NC500 / North Coat 500 road in Scotland, is not actually a road as such you can find on the map - it's actually a well documented 500 mile scenic drive, which is actually made up of many roads which together form a loop of the north of Scotland, starting and ending in Inverness, at offically the Inverness Castle.
The route was created as a unique way to sell Scotland as a tourist destination and it certainly worked. As well as being and incredibly scenic touristic route, due to the combination of some fantastic driving roads, and a high degree of exposure by the UK motoring press (EVO, Car, Top Gear, Pistonheads to name a few) it has become a playground for keen drivers, making either individual road trips, or as part of group drivng tours..
Rather that just re-document the entire route, which you can find simply by searching NC500, we have picked out our favorite stretch of the NC500 along the west coast, that runs from Ullapool in the South, to Rhiconich in the north, via probably the most photographed section, the Kylesku Bridge. Heading off initially in a north westerly direction alongside the shore of Loch Assynt, the road here is open with long sweeping curves and some memorable straight sections. Short ascents and descents abound before taking a right at a T-junction, climbing away from the Loch, leaving the A837 and following the A894 up into the mountains.
From here the NC500 has some narrow sections although the road miraculously isn’t quite single track. What’s more, the surface actually improves over the initial stages of this drive, with the hairpin/switchback at Eas a' Chual Aluinn the only really challenging corner. From the head of Loch na Gainmhich sections of the road are regularly flanked by tall shrub banks on one side and breath-taking views on the other.
Take a break at the Rock Stop Café before checking out the famous Kylesku Bridge, north west of Unapool. Opened in 1984, it is famed for its elegant design and concrete structure and has an enviable reputation around the world. This is a wonderful area for exploring nature with hiking trails, wildlife excursions and boat trips. Admire the scenery and stretch your legs at the Assynt viewpoint. It feels like the last remaining point of civilisation as the road climbs steeply through moorland en route to Scourie, turning north easterly inland. From Laxford Bridge take the A838 towards Rhiconich, a welcoming place to rest up after crossing this wild yet beautiful land.
For the full route, spread across 3 suggested 1 day drives, head across to our app website where you can check out the route and maps in more detail. Ultimate Drives App: https://app.ultimatedrives.net
Drive this road on these Ultimate Drives
For more information on these roads, download our FREE App that includes:
- 70+ of the greatest driving roads across Europe
- Comprehensive ratings and user reviews
- Google Maps with suggested start / end points
- Information on sights, stops and accommodation nearby
- A Trip Planning tool to help create a road-trip
- A Drive Mode feature to record your drives