2024, 12 Nights
The North Coast 500, Tranquil Isle of Mull and the Spectacular Island of Skye
The Scottish Highlands contain some of the most spectacular scenery within the British Isles and the “North Coast 500” has become a must drive route for many people. We have explored this area extensively and put together a route that takes in the best parts of the North Coast 500 and adds in the islands of Mull and Skye. The roads, often single track with passing places, dictate the pace of the tour and distances that can be covered each day. We have added in rest days so there is plenty of time to take in a distillery tour, a boat trip to one of the small Islands or a walk around the many castles and gardens along the way to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of these remote areas.
Day 1 Wednesday
Meet with everyone at our hotel on the outskirts of Glasgow where we will make introductions and hand out the roadbooks and radios and enjoy our first evening meal together. Dinner is included Tuesday night.
Day 2 Thursday
Total Distance 90 miles. Approximate driving time 2 hours 30 minutes
After a leisurely breakfast we leave Glasgow and head up the west side of Loch Lomond through the Trossachs National Park and then head west to Crianlarich and on to Oban. Here we have our first ferry crossing of the trip taking us to Craignuire on the Isle of Mull. Our hotel is only a few minutes drive from the ferry landing, a relaxing start to our touring holiday. Time to unpack before dinner, enjoy a drink at the bar or head down to the swimming pool and spa and start to plan what you would like to see on this Island. Dinner is included Wednesday night.
Day 3 and 4 Friday and Saturday
At only 30 miles long Mull is not a large Island. We have prepared optional drives that take in some of the beautiful scenery and attractions the Island has to offer. Tobermory at the north end of the Island is a picture postcard little harbour with colourful houses and a distillery. Continuing through the north of the Island the single track roads meander through forests and along the coast. Head through the south of the Island to Fionphort and the road is a delight as it wanders through the hills and glens around Ben More. Once at Fionphort take the ferry on foot to Iona and explore the ruins of the old abbey. Take a boat ride out to Staffa and Fingal’s cave that gave inspiration to Mendelssohn on his visit in 1829 to write his Hebrides overture. Take some time to explore Staffa, at this time of year the Puffins should also be visiting. These little birds nest on Staffa and have no fear of visitors. Sit on the top of the cliff and they will wander around at your feet, yes that really is a puffin nibbling at the soles of our shoes as we sat and watched. Take a tour of Duart castle, the home of Clan Maclean and used in the film “Entrapment” released in 1999. Dinner is not included for these two nights.
Day 5 Sunday
Total Distance 122 miles. Approximate driving time 3 hours.
Leaving Mull via the short ferry crossing from Fishnish to Lochaline we head to Mallaig on a mixture of single and dual track roads. Lots of time to stop and enjoy the scenery and some of the little art galleries and potteries along the way, as the road curls around Lochs Sunart, Moidart and Ailort. At Mallaig we take the ferry to Armadale on Skye and then a one hour drive north to our hotel for the next 3 nights. Dinner is included Saturday night.
Day 6 and 7 Monday and Tuesday
Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides Islands at 50 miles long. Once again we have prepared some optional drives to include some of the best Skye has to offer. The roads are a mixture of dual and single track, winding along the edge of the island and across country. Take a drive around the north of the island and enjoy the views from the ruins of Duntulm castle. Continue on to Stein for a relaxing lunch in the oldest pub on Skye and then drive to Neist Point and take a walk to the lighthouse with spectacular views across to North and South Uist. If you enjoy castles and gardens then Dunvegan castle, the home of Clan MacLeod, is worth a visit. If walking is something you like to do then a visit to the fairy pools is well worth the effort along with short walks to many of the other waterfalls on the island. Dinner is not included for these two nights.
Day 8 Wednesday
Total Distance 134 miles. Approximate driving time 4 hours 15 minutes.
Leaving Skye via the Skye bridge we head north and start taking in some of the North Coast 500 route. A significant part of todays journey is on single track roads with passing places. The first part of our journey takes us to Applecross via Bealach na Ba. A stunning pass but one that requires plenty of concentration with its narrow single track road and hairpin bends as it climbs and drops through the mountains and glens. Continuing around this spectacular coast we skirt Loch Torridon and Sheildaig and pass Loch Maree before arriving at our hotel near Gairloch. Dinner is included Tuesday night.
Day 9 Thursday
Total Distance 78 miles. Approximate driving time 2 hours 30 minutes.
Todays roads are mostly dual track so an easier day of driving allows us to stop and explore a little more. As we get to Poolewe it’s worth turning off to follow the road up to Firmore Beach, a lovely little sandy cove. Then continue a little further to the the Artic Convoy Memorial. Set at the tip of Loch Ewe this was the place used as the collection point for the convoys to Murmansk and Archangel during the second world war. The last convoy set out on the 30th December 1944. Altogether 19 convoys of 481 merchant ships and over 100 Navy escort vessels left Loch Ewe for Russia. For many of the men in these convoys the sight of land around the Loch was the last sight of land they had. Back on the North Coast 500 the route takes us through Aultbea where a small exhibition is dedicated to the Artic Convoys and the men on them who gave their lives. A little further we have the chance to stop and stretch our legs and take a walk on the suspension bridge crossing Corrieshalloch gorge. Ullapool is our destination for our next overnight stay. Dinner is included Wednesday night.
Day 10 Friday
Total Distance 112 miles. Approximate driving time 3 hours 45 minutes
We are back on a mixture of single track and dual track roads today as we continue up the west coast. Skirting Loch Assynt and on to Clanessie and Drumbeg. Across the Kylesku bridge, through some fabulous scenery and crossing numerous little stone bridges over rivers and streams. On to Scourie and north to Durness where we can spend some time exploring the Smoo cave. If you are a fan of the Beatles then a few minutes spent in the John Lennon memorial garden will no doubt bring memories flooding back. Tongue is our destination for the next two nights. Dinner is included for Thursday night.
Day 11 Saturday
Free day to relax or take a drive across the top of Scotland to John o’ Groats and visit the most northerly point of the UK at Dunnet head. Drive a little further and wander through the ruins of Castle Sinclair Giringoe, built sometime between 1476 and 1496, the home of Clan Sinclair has some fascinating but gruesome history. Dinner is not included Friday night.
Day 12 Sunday
Total Distance 195 Miles. Approximate driving time 4 hours 15 minutes
Our final day in the Highlands. Leaving Tongue on single track roads we begin our journey south. More stunning scenery before we join the A9 and head to Perth for our final night. Dinner is included Saturday night.
Day 13 Monday
Time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and say goodbye to new found friends with which we have shared some stunning drives through spectacular scenery and made memories to cherish forever.
£TBA per person based upon 2 people sharing a room.
Please ask for details if single occupancy is required.
What is Included
Dinner bed and breakfast in each of the hotels except where stated in the itinerary above.
Ferry crossing for standard car and two passengers.
What is not Included
Drinks, incidentals, bar costs, spa treatments, castle and garden entry fees, local tours, road tolls, fuel and any other miscellaneous costs.
A non refundable deposit of £TBA is required.
To Reserve a Place
Places are strictly limited to a maximum of 10 cars.
Call 01235 797200 or