North Coast 500

We say
Are you craving huge skies and the open road right now? Drive along this spectacular route that zigs and zags around Scotland's Highland coastline, stopping for slap-up seafood lunches, whisky tastings and bracing walks on remote beaches. It's a bucket-list trip amidst some of the UK's most breathtaking backdrops.

Recommended tour operator: McKinlay Kidd

McKinlay Kidd says

Scotland’s North Coast 500 is one of the world’s most dramatic coastal road trips, where you’ll encounter fairytale castles, wild beaches, whisky distilleries and ethereal ruins. You could polish it off in three days but our expert team has created a brilliant eight-night itinerary that takes in many of the highlights along the way.

  • Classic road trip
  • Charming places to stay
  • Rent a classic car

This epic Highland journey typically starts in Inverness, though we can adjust it if you want to set off from further south. You’ll stay at a series of charming small hotels and guest houses, enjoying the warmest local hospitality. It’s best done between March and October (we particularly like the autumn colours) and you can extend the trip with a short hop over to the fascinating island of Orkney.

We specialise in tailor-made self-drive and train touring holidays – both independent and guided – in Scotland, and have personally sampled everything we recommend so you can get the very most from your holiday.

Among our most popular trips is this luxury six-night break that allows you to fall asleep in London and wake up in the tranquility of the Scottish Highlands, and includes private tours, time on the Isle of Skye and exceptional accommodation throughout.

The Seafood Trail sets out from Glasgow and takes in gourmet seafood feasts, seafood cookery demonstrations and the chance to join local fishermen as they haul in their creels. From Loch Linnhe to secluded Wester Ross, it’s a foodie’s dream.

If you are interested in sampling Scotland’s most beloved export, our whisky holidays will take you beyond the more famous distilleries and into the heart of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands to uncover real hidden gems. These trips can be self-guided, or we can arrange a bespoke escorted journey of discovery.

For a relaxing way to go Scottish island-hopping, leave the car at home and embark on a discovery of Scotland’s most fascinating islands, including tours with local guides and a unique private boat trip.

Our four-night Mull Wildlife Experience gives you the chance to see Minke Whales, otters, seals, porpoises and amazing sea birds on and around the island of Mull.

You can rent one of our collection of classic cars – choose from the ever-popular Jaguar E-Type or the Austin Healey, Mini-Cooper or Aston Martin DB9, for example, and head for the open road. We’ll make sure there’s a fabulous hotel waiting for you each evening.

Find out more about our holiday ideas in Scotland as well as Wales,  Ireland and England.

* See the McKinlay Kidd review.