If you are camping, don’t be afraid to go wild. For those with chunky wheels, there are good forest roads north of the river and you can re-join the A road near Garve (OS map required or the local mountian biking map). Take home tip would be ensure you train for at least a couple of days of high mileage back to back cycling, and tackle some big hills before the tour, else you’ll be in for a shock on day one. The train or bike bus is an alternative. The Kyle Line & North Coast 500 - 5 Days Highland Hotel, Strathpeffer 3 Star 08/03/20215319.00 . This has been a dummy run ahead of our world cycle so if you would like to hear more you can sign up to our blog, and/or check out our website here. In fact, feedback this year is that drivers thoughout the Highlands and Islands are almost universally courteous and patient. Day 1 Inverness -> Ullapool (200 miles) Day 2 Ullapool -> Brora (190 miles) Day 3 Brora -> Inverness (114 miles) Experience Scotland's beautiful North Coast in this 5 day epic adventure by bike. You could miss out on some fantastic and very quiet alternatives. South of Brora, look at the map for detours to avoid the A9 if you want, but certainly use the minor road between Alness and Dingwall (and the cycle tack for chunkier bikes between Alness and Evanton) then train or the network of minor roads back to Inverness. We met plenty of visitors who came just to travel just for a few days traveling up from the city and either started their trip on the east or west coast. Here are a few things we’d advise you to do if you’re doing a similar trip. None of us ride competitively, or for a club, but we can all cover 100 miles in a day and tackle some tasty hills. The A9 would be a real anti-climax and quiet unpleasant here – I certainly wouldn’t cycle it! Forum Rules Then the North Coast 500 is for you! Arguably, Loch Maree and Tongue are better anti-, but not enough to swing it. One tip for Ullapool – all the chip shops close at 9pm so make sure you get in early to avoid disappointment, this was particularly crushing after we found this out after an 117 miles day and couldn’t get the famous Ullapool fish supper! We’d suggest reading this in parallel with our other North Coast 500 content, which includes our guide to planning a North Coast 500 road trip, our seven day NC500 camping itinerary (you can switch out campsites for B&Bs! North Coast 500 itinerary day 2: Inverness to Torridon. I'm thinking of doing a chunk of the North Coast 500 in late April. The new North Coast 500 road trip is Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66. We started our day with a selfie in front of Inverness Castle, the official start and end point for the North Coast 500. Ensure your tents are waterproof (not a £10 Sports Direct job) and can handle wind. Ensure your tents are waterproof (not a £10 Sports Direct job) and can handle wind. It brings some much needed income and tourism to some of the more remote areas certainly and that in turn means better facilities but eventually it leads to a tipping point where you end up with gridlocked traffic and roads that while they’re fine for 3 cars an hour can’t cope with 8 camper vans meeting head on! On a light road bike, the whole Applecross circuit is just wonderful…when the weather is good and gives you the west coast light in the evening coming back to Sheildaig…. Popular with motorists and motor homers, we think the best way to experience the NC500 is by bicycle. Please adjust accordingly to your capabilities as this itinerary is aimed at the serious cyclist. Our breakfast consisted of baked goods and coffee from Harry Gow Bakery. A couple of pages from a road atlas will suffice to find your way beyond the minor network. Me and a friend rode it last september and did it in 5 days light touring using youth hostels. The newly established route winds its way around the most northerly area of Scotland. Komoot user Global Cycling Network recorded a road ride: North Coast 500 - Scotland Bikepacking Adventure with Mark Beaumont. Ride the best sections of the spectacular NC 500 touring route. the last two days were into a head wind all day – all day!!! Twenty-seven years later, the North Highland Initiative created a 500-mile route around Scotland’s most northerly coastal roads. The North Coast 500 is the most popular road trip in Scotland and we’ve put together a comprehensive 7 day North Coast 500 itinerary to help drivers navigate this driving route. Today you’ll drive through the rest of the North West Highlands Geopark so it … Other benefits of the car include having support if there is an accident/mechanical issue, having someone free to do a food/drinks run whilst the rest are cycling, and have someone free to scout a good camp/lunch spot so reducing the pressure on the cyclists. You won’t find any NC500 signs but navigation is very easy, especially once you get beyond the network of minor roads out east between Tain, Inverness and Contin. Over the course of 7 days, we will cycle from Inverness over to the inimitable west coast of Scotland and back round to the east for some truly magical cycling. Walled Garden Cafe at Applecross isn’t to be missed to re-fule after the Bealach! Met a mate in Edinburgh last week. If you cycle it watch out for the level crossing at Garve and walk it as signed!! My attitude whenever going outdoors in Scotland, is to pack for wind, rain and cold – any weather better than this is a bonus. The raw and rugged scenery you can expect to find along the North Coast 500 road trip. We are hopefully having a back up van (one of the lads missus) so will be travelling light and meeting up each lunchtime get full bottles, waterproofs etc. But next week the 32-year-old will get on his bike to cycle the scenic 516-mile North Coast 500 loop. Also known as the C2C and Coast to Coast Cycle route. This was day 1 on the North Coast 500, an impressive 500 mile journey around the Scottish coastland and my first cycle touring adventure since childhood. Golspie to inverness – 60 miles ok butthe wind – the A9 gets busy. The Bealach na Ba over to Applecross and around the coast to Sheildaig is fabulous (my favourite ride). This 500 mile coastal route spans the north coast of the Highlands taking in the best bits of this glorious region. Experience the unique scenery of the west coast from rugged coastlines, white sandy beaches to dramatic mountain peaks. The North Coast 500 Only three years since its inception, the North Coast 500 has already become one of the worlds iconic road touring routes. The weather was pretty good North Coast 500 cycle tour, a unique experience. The Bealach Na Ba, Torridon, Laide, Assynt… They all work best in that direction. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). ? North Coast 500. LOL – I was just about to post a link to your blog . The 7 Day “Tourer” challenge is suitable for sportive riders who want to challenge themselves over a 7 day cycling touring adventure around the stunning North Coast 500 route. I go up and camp at Clachtoll in the van. Privacy Far better off doing a variation on the route and going up (or down) the middle through Altnaharra. Bikepacking Scotland\'s North Coast 500 In Three Days | Si\'s Ultra Endurance Challenge Applecross - Inverness There’s work to be done to create a cycling version of the. If you plan to speed around, you could do it with 3 full days … 140 miles from the Irish Sea (Whitehaven or Workington) to the North … One is to head to Bonar Bridge and then take the high road to Alness/Evanton and Dingwall. The North Coast 500 (NC500) was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative to highlight some of Scotland’s magnificence to the world. Choose from a range of point to point guided road cycling holidays like the Coast to Coast, Outer Hebrides and North Coast 500. This resulted in the first three days being very long, in some extremely hilly terrain. A full breakdown of our route and camping spots can be found here. And so the time to start preparing the kit had arrived. We’re getting quite a few enquiries at work about it. As there were four of us, and none wanted to be full time support driver, we split the driving each day meaning each of us got a rest from the bike. This version takes you from Wirksworth. Always one for a challenge, but unwilling to walk 500 miles, I set about trying to cycle the route non-stop, laying down a time-to-beat on Scotland’s FWIW we’ve had quite a few customers on the NC500 this year and none have reported any issues with traffic. We opted to complete the ride in eight days (many people do less with the record of 31 hours set by James McCallum) but looking back, I wish we would have given ourselves nine or even 10 days. The goal is to go from the south of England to the north of Scotland. Sample amazing local produce from incredible fresh seafood, organic meats and of course haggis, with the odd wee dram. Please share to let it be more widely known that this information is out there and readily available to anyone thinking about cycling the NC500 or anywhere in the North Highlands. The route can be covered either clockwise or anti clockwise (we prefer clockwise). The Route - North Coast 500. Fraser. The Victorian Spa town of Strathpeffer sits in the glorious Highland landscape surrounded by sweeping valleys, rushing waterfalls and sky-high mountains. Could potentially be supported by someone in a van, or could use some bikepacking bags and travel light – staying in B&Bs / hotels. There’s also no right or wrong direction to drive it. I’d love to do this route too. North Coast 500 7-day Itinerary Arguably one of the best road trips in the world! It’s certainly gaining in popularity this year. Route map for 'North Coast 500 - Day 4' - a 198.2km cycle route near Rhiconich, UK. Our on-the-road approach to cycle tours balances great guiding and insights, alongside super snacks and the freedom to explore at your own pace. Full Official North Coast 500 Route - 503.7 mi, +30443 ft. Bike ride in Inverness, Scotland Of course, you’re then not really doing the NC500(a bit like those folk doing the WHW but skipping out the bit north of Rowardennan). If you plan to speed around, you could do it with 3 full days and night, but we’d recommend more time. Including the Nigg ferry will help (just don’t ask what the locals are called). But the North Coast 500 is designed for touring, sightseeing, and taking things slowly. Good to see! This slightly alternative North Coast 500 was made in collaboration with the people behind the official driving route, to make an official NC500 Cycle Route. Thanks chaps. CycleFans bicycling social marketplace. Same for the one south of Achnasheen at Balnacra – if you do cycle, weave to cross the rails at as close to 90deg as possible. One of the most invaluable bits of kit is midge protection… Midges can be unbearable if you are unprepared. Will have a look at the variations Colin, cheers. Hugely impressive feat, fair play to them! Just ensure you clean up after yourself and leave no trace. Keep an eye on the NC500 website – there may be more for cyclist posted soon….I’m hoping to work with Kenneth on this. This detailed day-by-day 1 week North Coast 500 road trip itinerary covers all the basic details (mileage, general route) and sightseeing highlights along the approximately 500 mile route. For most folk it’s beyond a weeks cycling so many want to chop it into two bit or just do the most scenic “central” bit north of Kyle to Tongue. Torridon-Inchnadamph Hotel via Gairloch and Dundonell – 108m, 7700ft That part was noticeably busier than the early section of the ride and had a couple of 3-car convoys, usually all one type of car. I have 5-7 days to spare. The route is also known as the NC500 and was launched in 2015, linking many features in the north Highlands of Scotland in one touring route.. We decided to, and it was probably the best decision we made on the trip. Said it was fab. In 2019, this new 800-mile mainly off-road and carfree cycle route between England and the north coast of Scotland was created. Clockwise or anticlockwise? ), our 1 week NC500 itinerary, our 5 day NC500 itinerary, and our guide to where to stay on the North Coast 500. North Coast 500. In 2019, this new 800-mile mainly off-road and carfree cycle route between England and the north coast of Scotland was created. If you have the budget and want to explore the route at an even more sedate pace, relax as an NC500 2020 summer staycation holiday, or just have more time exploring the glorious wilderness of the Scottish Highlands, then you'll love two weeks. And as others have mentioned, the A9 / A99 road on the east coast is absolutely dreadful to ride on. In summary, probably the best time to do the route would be April – July ish. I’m getting ahead of myself – that’s day 5, a cold wet Thurso day, on my journey cycling the north coast 500. You’ll also need a lot of blankets, a heater, and an emergency kit in case of being snowed in. Carefully plan your route. day 2. Jimmy Mac did it in June, smashing the record, and raising a bunch of cash for charity. 98% of the route is off-road. Any thoughts welcome. You’re missing the Wee Mad Road of Inverpolly. Bikepacking Scotland's North Coast 500 In Three Days | Si's Ultra Endurance Challenge Published on April 28th 2019. Keep checking the forecasts and be prepared for four seasons in a day. The cattle grid at the bottom is very smooth…’nuf said!! The brilliant route around Scotland's north coast by touring bike over 10 days in July 2019. Link Removal We used the cycling itinerary from the North Coast 500 website as a guide to plan our route. We reckon that it’s better to pass the bottom of Stac Polly on the way to Lochinver and we have a couple of better options for the East once you get around Dornoch. The History, Heritage and Archaeology and the Luxury itinerary are available to view fully, however to unlock the full NC500 itineraries, you […] Inverness to applecross The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s answer to route 66 and one of the most beautiful coastal touring routes in the world (well, we think so, anyway! And remember its 520 odd miles, not 500! If you have any questions please get in touch. Day 16. This resulted in the first three days being very long, in some extremely hilly terrain. Jog to Golspie – 70 miles -OK but the wind! Also practice drafting, as working together can considerably improve your efficiency on the bike. To ‘enjoy’ the ride & the surroundings to full potential you need longer than 3 days though 5 of us did it clockwise last year. There is a 519 mile road route, running in a circular loop from Inverness in the east, cross country to the west, up the coast, across the northern highlands and back down the east coast from John O’Groats. The roads are almost totally traffic free but roll very slowly due to the surface. So I’m further enthused! Thanks devs, we’re going 20-21 May next year, and so hopefully before it gets too mobbed. If you can afford it, there are plenty guest houses on the route but ensure you book in advance. I’ve a sneaking desire to join him but I doubt my fitness levels. If you’re doing the opposite, and cruising dow… I have never cycled it and wouldn’t want to. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). Login/cookie issues? A truly unique Scottish cycling experience, our 7 day North Coast 500 is incredible. That’s coming from some European riders too. The North Coast 500 website promises “fairy-tale castles, beaches, and ruins,” and deliver it does. Only had one camper van on the Bealach Na Ba and that was around 1030 in the morning on a sunny day. Not seen him in 5 years or so. Applecross to ullapool – 117 miles – long day Find out more about the North Coast 500 at www.NorthCoast500.com We drove from Aberdeen to Inverness, although it is possible to arrive by plane, bus or train. The North Coast 500 (Scotland’s answer to route 66) is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending in Inverness. Ride the best sections of The North Coast 500, on a 7-day road cycling tour through the untamed beauty of the Scottish Highlands. This blog will hopefully give any potential cyclists an insight into what to bring and how to prepare! The North Coast 500 takes you over 500 miles around the north coast of Scotland. The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s answer to route 66 and one of the most beautiful coastal touring routes in the world (well, we think so, anyway!). If you are looking for stunning landscapes, fascinating history, endless horizons, ancient castles, golden beaches and crystal-clear water, all wrapped up in a 500-mile road trip, then the NC500 is for you. Took 5 and a half days – on a salsa fargo with panniers -should have travelled much lighter. Mrs Felltop is in correspondence with them, and they seem to be receptive to ideas. That said, we did it in August and had a week of glorious sunshine without a breath of wind, so the only hard and fast rule is that there are no hard and fast rules! This more bike-friendly course takes in smaller roads on the West Coast, that motorhomes and caravans can't go on and away from the busy A9 on the East Coast, as well as including the beautiful Black Isle. The afternoon was spent… We left Inverness, driving over the Telford Street bridge to and made our first stop in Beauly. We were treated to a week of stunning sunshine and so thankfully brought the sunscreen, but it still gets cold at night so ensure you pack warm clothes even when the forecast is good. Bealach refuelling was at the Inn I’ll keep in mind the Walled Garden Café for next time. Yep found it quite tough- did it the last week of September. This was the brain child of Laura Moss, Syndicate director, round-the-world cyclist and all-round good influence. Applecross to ullapool Assuming the ferry re-opens, the official NC500 route will go this way anyway. The descent to Applecross has some great fast sections but some blind bends as well. I’ve noticed a real increase in the number touring / fast touring cyclists already this year (NW Highlands). Price. One of the most invaluable bits of kit is midge protection…, Our strategy was to break the back of the trip towards the start, thus giving us leeway in the latter stages. The Bealach Cafe – very nice indeed and the Whistlestop at Kinlochewe, seem to see lots of our ex-pupils working in these in the holidays! Oh they were – on some stretches of road round there you can’t be anything other than courteous and patient as there simply isn’t any space to get past! It is legal to, A full breakdown of our route and camping spots can be found, This has been a dummy run ahead of our world cycle so if you would like to hear more you can sign up to our blog, and/or check out our website, ranked as the UK’s hardest climb on a bike. In the first part of this blog I share why I decided to cycle alone for a week, covering 530 miles, on some of Scotland’s hilliest roads. Inchnadamph-Tongue via Kylesku and Durness – 100m, 9000ft The other is to head for Tain then Nigg for the ferry (which is due to be re-instated this summer). Popular with motorists and motor homers, we think the best way to experience the NC500 is by bicycle. Or I’d do it away from predictably busy times. Anyway, any feedback and tips appreciated. Fully supported with experienced ride guide and support car - come join us on our next NC500 Cycling Challenge. That’s coming from some European riders too. This midge forecast tool I’ve just discovered is great. This did cut down the total mileage which may not appeal to the hard core, but was a welcome break for us as we were on the limit at the end of most days… As we were trying to keep costs down, we camped every night. North Coast 500. I’m a little bit wary of these advertised driving routes though. What set up would you choose for 500 miles around the Scottish Coastline? For anyone that’s done it, does this sound like an ok itinerary? Before you set off it is worth reading up on the rules of the road in Scotland – Visit Scotland have a great video guide to how to drive in Scotland . If you prefer your own space and use of a kitchen, self-contained apartments will be the best option for you. This route has been recently branded the “, In August 2016 four of us tackled the NC500 as a rehearsal for our, My attitude whenever going outdoors in Scotland, is to pack for wind, rain and cold – any weather better than this is a bonus. Many of the roads are single track and are home to highland coos, sheep, geese and all manner of other travellers. These itineraries are based on the minimum amount of time we recommend to allocate for your journey. Keen to have a pop at this in 2017 – https://www.northcoast500.com/interactive-map.aspx – anyone done it? The minimum number of days we’d recommend to drive the North Coast 500 is 5 days, but 7 to 10 days would be ideal. Bringing together just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery, the route follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands. Day 5. The North Coast 500 website has tips on what to do should you encounter animals on the route, though locals have said tourists are stopping to take pictures. ]. ... North Coast 500 - 5 Days. I live on the west coast on the NC500 route and do a lot of cycling on these roads. This route has become such a magnet for car clubs and boy racers that I wouldn’t like to bike it now. Fingers crossed weather holds fir next 2-3 weeks! Thanks folks, much appreciated. Home page. The road back from Shieldaig to the bottom of the Bealach was very good too(and a nice café). Full breakdown of route below. Day 3. ullapool to tongue Welcome to Peak Tour’s very own version of the North Coast 500, our stunning new cycling tour of the Highlands of Scotland. I think he’s mad, I’ve never been into road biking. I’d like to stop for a couple of pints each night tho! Goes without saying ensure your bike is properly serviced, and at least someone in your groups knows basic bike maintenance. ). Surely you’ll be moving so fast the midge won’t keep up with you? Helmsdale-Inverness via Glenmorangie Distillery and Dingwall, 73m, 3000ft. A mighty 500 miles in just 3 days all around the coast of Scotland, with Mark Beaumont, the Round The World by bike World Record Holder? Little sports cars like MX-5s. I should also add that while the East Coast section has its merits, returning via Alltnaharra is by far the better option. This version takes you from Wirksworth. North Coast 500: NC500 Cycle, Inverness - Inverness 7 Days. Personally, I wouldn’t take the A9 trunk road back from Thurso/Wick to Inverness – I would cut cross country from Loch Hope, Tongue, Bettyhill or Melvich to join the A9 at Helmsdale or Lothbeg – some lovely quiet singletrack unclassified and B roads over the wild open flow country – not to be done into a strong southerly! Posted in: Touring. I did a section of it in mid-September, had a route from Ullapool > Drumrunie > Inverkirkcraig > Lochinver and then picked up the NC500 where it goes round to Clashnessie and Drumbeg. Similarly there’s a route from The Mound, past Loch Buidhe to Bonar Bridge then climbing over the Struie to Alness that is much preferable to NCN7 from Tain (and don’t even think about the A9). Mrs Felltop is in correspondence with them, and they seem to be receptive to ideas. The route starts in the northern city of Inverness, then weaves along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards the bustling towns of Torridon and Ullapool. North Coast 500 Length 500 miles / 805 km Location Inverness – Inverness. F. I’m riding with a couple of the women who did the 36 tomorrow, looking forward to hearing about it. Never-ending back roads, wide meandering country tracks and beautiful bends through some of Scotland's finest coastal scenery are just a few things you can expect along the North Coast 500.Strap yourself in for the road trip of a lifetime. Two main changes spring to mind; the NC500 misses out the “wee mad road of Inverpolly” and it uses the A9 down the East Coast. Tongue-Helmsdale via Thurso and John o’Groats, 114m, 7000ft My brother recently drove it, camping each night. By avoiding the formal campsites for a few nights you’ll be able to find some beautiful remote spots off the beaten track that you wouldn’t otherwise find. Twenty-seven years later, the North Highland Initiative created a 500-mile route around Scotland’s most northerly coastal roads. Helmsdale to Inverness, Just seen the wee taster vid or the girls who did it in 36hrs non stop. Perhaps even pick up some supplies for s’mores and set up a campfire! 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