It is blatantly obvious that the nights are now drawing in and the weather is cooling "a little" , the Summer is over. But why should this stop you. With the prospect of seeing the spectacle that is the Northern Lights, experiencing a quieter trip, having a white Christmas , or celebrating Hogmanay in style , then winter could be your time to shine.
However embarking on the North Coast 500 adventure in winter is not for the faint of heart, but for those seeking a unique and breathtaking experience, it's an opportunity like no other. The rugged landscapes, serene seascapes, and the chance to witness Highland wildlife in their winter glory make it a photographer's dream.
However, a crucial aspect of this journey is finding campsites that brave the winter elements.
We've curated a list of exceptional NC500 winter campsites to make your winter adventure a memorable one.
Situated just a short drive from Inverness, Beauly Holiday Park welcomes intrepid travelers year-round. Nestled beside the tranquil River Beauly, this campsite offers a 6-acre nature reserve with winding paths and its very own bird hide. Recently refurbished facilities, including accessible amenities, ensure a comfortable stay. With options like a pay-as-you-go dishwasher and a charming bar (open seasonally), Beauly Holiday Park is a perfect starting point for your winter NC500 journey.
Open from March to November, and from 20th December to 8th January. They go the extra mile to make your stay a special one , with regular events and live music such as Mutiny on the Beauly.
This family-run gem offers a limited winter window, closing mid-November. Perched above a picturesque loch, it boasts purpose-built, heated facilities just a short stroll from a historic fishing village. Expect a relaxed atmosphere with an emphasis on tranquility after 10 pm. Prepare to spot sea eagles, otters, seals, and dolphins from this waterside haven.
Mellon Udrigle Campsite, Mellon Udrigle:
Further north, Mellon Udrigle Campsite grants front-row seats to a breathtaking white sands beach. While lacking electric hook-ups, the allure lies in the natural beauty of the surroundings. With no shower or toilet facilities, the real draw here is the stunning beach vista sheltered by sand dunes.
For a secluded escape, veer off the main NC500 route and discover Port a Bhaigh Campsite. The road winds along Lochs Lurgainn and Osgaig, promising awe-inspiring views. Set in the grounds of a multi-generational family croft, this site overlooks the Summer Isles. Laundry, showers, a shop, bar, and restaurant (with reduced winter hours) cater to your needs. Furry friends are welcome at no extra cost.
Sango Sands Oasis offers stunning cliff-top views of the North West coast. This prime location provides the opportunity to spot whales, seals, and even the Northern Lights during winter. Durness Village, Scotland's northernmost community, offers facilities and accommodation options.
A warm haven until December, this campsite reopens in March. The adjacent bar and restaurant are perfect for indulging in hearty roasts on Sundays. Enjoy hot breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon tea daily. A shop and off-license operate alongside the restaurant's hours.
With no booking required, Sinclair Bay Camper & Caravan Park invites you to experience the historic charm of Keiss. While lacking certain amenities, guests have access to water and electric hook-ups, and can utilize the nearby Village Inn's toilet facilities. Indulge in freshly caught seafood at the harbourside Village Inn.
Inver Caravan Park offers hard standings and year-round electric hookups. Facilities include a drying room for winter gear, while water and waste disposal are complimentary for overnight guests. Nearby Dunbeath boasts a heritage center and croft museum, providing a glimpse into Scotland's rich folk history.
Embarking on the NC500 in winter promises a unique adventure amidst awe-inspiring landscapes. As you explore the year-round campsites along the way, remember to plan for winter conditions.
Be prepared for early sunsets, potential closures, and the need for extra supplies.
With the right mindset and careful preparation, your winter NC500 journey will be an unforgettable experience. Happy travels!
Get in touch if you want to explore the possibilities of having a Wintery Advanture !!