Explore Scotland's Answer to Route 66
Planning on holidaying at home this year? Why not take home on the road with you and hire a camper van. There's amazing scenery to discover and some of the best roads to drive - such as Scotland's very own Route 66.
Since rebranding as Scotland's Route 66, the North Coast 500 route has become increasingly popular. Most campers will start in Inverness and do a round trip from there, you can go clockwise or anti-clockwise it's really up to you. Most will take 5-7 days minimum to explore, but we suggest taking it slow and giving yourself time to enjoy the camping experience without always worrying about rushing to the next campsite.
What to do along the way
The top attraction in Inverness is the 19th Century Inverness Castle, which sits on the banks of the River Ness. The city is also popular with food lovers, and there are some great restaurants to choose from. If you explore south of the city, you can reach the top end of Loch Ness - and though we can't guarantee a Loch Ness Monster sighting, you should make a stop at Urquhart Castle for a great photo spot.
About hald an hour outside of Inverness, Rogie Falls are an excellent photo stop, but even better if you time it right it's one of your best chances to see wild salmon leaping up the falls.
Bealach na Bà
There are warning signs at the start of this famous road, it's a very steep, winding and single track. But if you're a confident driver, then the views are well worth the effort. If you're nervous though, don't worry you can find alternative routes.
Campsites vs wild camping
When planning your route you have a couple of options of where you park up for the night and sleep - you can book into a designated campsite or in certain areas you are permitted to wild camp.
Campsites obviously offer more amenities than wild camping, at a cost. You can simply rock up to a campsite without prebooking, but in busy seasons always consider prebooking a spot as no one like turning up for the night and seeing a dreaded 'full' sign. When camping in a motorhome, campsites will usually have the required waste disposal functions and will have powered pitches so you can plug-in for the night.
Wild camping gives you the opportunity to camp in more remote places, without any creature comforts! In Scotland, wild camping is permitted on most unenclosed land, though in busier spots you will need a camping permit. When wild camping (and in general) follow the principles of leave no trace - take your waste with you and always be respectful.
When it comes to beaches Scotland is painfully overlooked - okay maybe it's because of the weather. Sand Beach has a beautiful wide white sand (clue is in the name!) beach and sand dunes.
Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve
This mile-long gorge is 60m deep with a suspension bridge you can cross. Think Scotland's answer to Vancouver's Capilano Suspension Bridge.
There are a few ruined castles along this route, but Ardvreck might be our favourite. This 16th Century ruin sits on the banks of Loch Assynt, there's no need to stay too long here but it's worth a stop on the drive.
This is a large sea cave that's free to visit. The entrance is 50ft high and it makes it one of the largest entrance to a sea cave in Britain. It's thought the name originates from its use as a smugglers den.
Sandwood Bay on the north-west coast is a mesmerising mile of golden sands, pristine North Atlantic Ocean, rolling dunes, dramatic cliffs and the sweet scent of sandalwood. We love it so much it made our list of the 9 best beaches in Europe.
Dunnet Head & John O'Groats
John O'Groats is famously known for being the most northern point in Scotland, except it's not, that title actually goes to Dunnet Head. At Dunnet Head, you'll find a lighthouse and some sea cliffs - and it's worth a visit to say you've been! John O'Groats is much more popular with tourists and is either the start or endpoint of those travelling 'end to end' of mainland Britain.
Dunrobin Castle might have you wondering if you're still in Scotland - styled after a French chateâu this stately home makes an impressive sight. It has a whopping 189 rooms and formal gardens you can visit.
There's plenty more to discover on the road, so don't be afraid to stop often in between your camping spots.
Up Next: Get away for half term
Need some help booking all your holiday extras? Want to talk to someone about other options at the airport? We want to help you travel hassle-free! At the moment the best way to get help with a booking is online, by visiting our help and support page.
We're here to help.
Need some help booking all your holiday extras? Want to talk to someone about other options at the airport?
We want to help you travel hassle-free!
At the moment the best way to get help with a booking is online, by visiting our help and support page.