• Zoe

The Rough Guides top 10 things not to miss

Updated: Apr 11

We cannot take the credit for this one, but wanted to share what the "Rough Guide" suggests are the MUST SEE/DO if you intend to take a trip on the North Coast 500 (NC500)


In no particular order


Dunnet Head

We don't want to give too much away here, so not to spoil the fun, but we all assume that John O Groats is the most northern point. But it's not - it is actually Dunnet. With spectacular views overlooking the North Coast on a clear day, you would get to see Cape Wrath to Dunscansby Head. Well worth a stop off just for that.


Smoo Cave

Durness is most definitely on the "to-do list" and if so, you cannot miss out on paying this place a wee visit. The sea has created a hole in the cliffs, and you can access the main chamber from the car park via some steps - at no cost to you at all. On a good day of the weather is good, and you are feeling adventurous, you can also take a 20-minute dinghy ride further in. ( there is a small charge for this) but it's well worth it!!




Cromarty

If you like your architecture why not have a wander around this lovely town with its Georgian townhouses and quaint cottages. It gives you some time away from the road to reflect and just take it all in. Also, a lovely place to stop off for lunch and we would recommend Sutor Creek, especially if you are into your Stone baked pizza



Assynt

For those of you that love a walk, this is the place to do it. With an abundance of wildlife and spectacular views, this place will not disappoint anyone who wants to take in Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, Ben Mor. To get the most out of it , we would suggest investing in an OS Map Explorer 442.



The food

For all you foodies , you probably already know that Scottish fayre is absolutely amazing and along the NC500 you are literally going to be spoilt for choice, where you can sample venison, hand-dived scallops , langoustines, and the Pies the pies !!!




Castles

We all love a bit of history and the area is steeped in it. With places such as Dunrobin to explore which will transport you back in time to a different era



The Northern Lights

One of the Worlds most spectacular light show , and if you are lucky and time it perfectly you will get to see this for yourself . The winter months are when this phenomenan manifests itself . And although it may be colder and quieter if might be well worth it



Sandwood Bay

This is not for the faint hearted, its a bit of a walk , approximately 4 miles there and back ,, and there are no facilities. We have done it with our Labradors and the weather was amazing and there wasn't a soul about - we felt like we the only ones on the planet! Top tip check the weather and pack appropriatley . We know how it can change !!






The wildlife on the water

Take a trip out on a boat and get to see the dolphins, or if really lucky a pod of whales. Right across the North Coast, there are places you can do this, such as Gairloch



Distillery's

You cannot visit Scotland without partaking in a "wee dram" but dont forget that there is so much more, gin, vodka for example, and there is plenty of opportunities to do this, Dunnet Bay for example


So there you have it .... we have only scratched the surface, there is so much more to see and do. The key is to not get overwhelmed!


Please feel free to get in touch with your stories, and any suggestions you may have we would love to hear from you.


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