A Motorhome Traveller’s Guide to the NC500: Touring Scotland’s North Coast in 2024

The NC500 is one of the most famous road trip routes in the world. Offering breathtaking sights, beautiful countryside and much to do – it really is the best way to appreciate the magnificence of the Scottish North Coast.

For those with a motorhome or campervan – and a taste for adventure and exploration – the North Coast 500 is bucket-list-must. To help you on your journey, we’ve put together a guide for motorhome travellers, including the stand-out sights, great things to do and where to stay along the way.

Inverness-shire in a motorhome on the NC500


Starting off the tour in Inverness, the city and its surroundings has much to offer in the way of history and culture. Immerse yourself in the history of the Jacobites by visiting the Culloden Battlefield; stop by Abertarff House and Brodie Castle; or venture to Scotland’s very beginnings at the mysterious Clava Cairns – built over 5,000 years ago.

If you’re more of an adventurer than a historian, there’s plenty to do outdoors. The famous Loch Ness offers endless water sports such as canoeing, wild swimming and fishing. But you’d prefer to be on the water than in it, you can opt for a boat tour to take in the wondrous beauty of the loch – and perhaps get a glimpse of Miss Nessie herself.

The city of Inverness is also well-worth the visit. Explore the botanical gardens, marvel at the cathedral and scour the many shops of the side streets. It also has some great pubs and restaurants if you fancy the night off from cooking in your motorhome.

NC500: Places to stay in a motorhome in Inverness

Torvean Caravan Park

Situated on the banks of the Caledonian Canal, Torvean Caravan Park is a perfect place to pitch up to explore Inverness. It’s a peaceful and quiet site with 51 touring pitches available and all the amenities you need.

Beauly Holiday Park

Beauly Holiday Park is a nature lover’s dream. Next to a six-acre nature reserve and 700m of paths, this park’s idyllic woodland location offers complete serenity. They have 85 camping and touring pitches available, with many attractions, eateries and sights nearby. This is a great place to stay if you’re going between Inverness and The Black Isle area.

Bunchrew Caravan Park

Surrounded by 20 acres of sheltered parkland, Bunchrew Caravan Park is a natural haven, just 3 miles from Inverness. It’s the perfect hub for touring the highlands and has many things to do including cycling, climbing, water sports and more.

The Black Isle on your NC500 journey

The next stop on your NC500 motorhome journey from Inverness may be The Black Isle peninsula. Surrounded by the Cromarty Firth, Beauly Firth and Moray Firth, The Black Isle has its own microclimate, often boasting warmer weather than other parts of Scotland.

One of the key things that sets this area apart from the rest of Scotland is the high chances of seeing bottlenose dolphins in the wild. From Chanonry Point, between Fortrose and Rosemarkie, you can spot the dolphins swimming in the sea. They are particularly visible on a rising tide but can be seen almost any time of the day.

In addition to its natural wonders, the Black Isle has some great attractions to enjoy. The seaside villages of Fortrose and Cromarty make a charming visit, filled with quaint shops and cottages along the beachfront. The Singleton Distillery is a fun afternoon or evening for whisky-lovers, or say hello to the cows, alpacas and goats at Robertson’s Larder.

Places to stay in The Black Isle in a motorhome

Fortrose Bay Campsite

This campsite is located just outside the historic village of Fortrose. Complete with 50 touring pitches, Fortrose Bay has a spectacular view of Moray Firth and is one of the best places to see bottlenose dolphins.

Kessock Caravan Park

Kessock Caravan Park is a peaceful woodland park in the Black Isle peninsula. The park and its surroundings are thriving with wildlife, making it a great place for bird watching and being at one with nature. Dogs are also welcome.

Rosemarkie Camping and Caravanning Site

This site is situated on the half-moon bay of Moray Firth. With over 40 electric hook-up pitches, you can enjoy views of the highlands on one side, and the beautiful shore on the other.

Visiting Easter Ross along the NC500

The area of Easter Ross is one of deep history and natural beauty. Discover the ancient past of the Picts along The Pictish Trail, uncovering the mysterious carved stones and hillforts from the Dark Ages.

Easter Ross is also home to some fantastic wildlife. Dolphins, seals and whales can be spotted from the Tarbat Peninsula. There are many long beaches to explore, as well as the spectacular Nigg Bay RSPB Nature Reserve, home to many kinds of birds in the marsh and wetlands.

The sea creatures aren’t the only thing you can spot in the water. When travelling through Easter Ross, you must not miss your chance to see the Mermaid of the North from the village of Balintore.

Places to stay in a motorhome in Easter Ross

Dornoch Firth Caravan Park

Dornoch Firth Caravan Park is a peaceful spot in the highlands. Enjoy picturesque views of the Dornoch Firth, not far from the small town of Tain where you can find supermarkets, petrol stations, restaurants, cafes and other shops.

Balintore Bothy Drying Green Campsite

The Drying Green is right by the harbour and salmon bag net fishing station. It’s a simple site, close to the Pictish Trail and Mermaid of the North, with shops and amenities nearby.

Portmahomack Caravan Site

Set on the shores of Dornoch Firth, Portmahomack Caravan Site is a great spot for motorhome travellers. With 35 pitches available, it’s never too crowded and you can enjoy the sandy beaches in peace.

Discovering Caithness along the NC500


The most north-eastern point of the NC500, the county of Caithness is a beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands. Home to John O’Groats, the most northerly village in Britain, the area is known for its prehistoric heritage, showcasing many cairns, hillforts and standing stones, as well as impressive geological coastal features.

Journeying from Easter Ross, you’ll pass through various small villages and towns, including the royal burgh Wick, home to The Wick Society and Wick Heritage Museum and Pulteney Distillery.

If you’re with the family, a trip to Caithness Animal Farm Park will make a fun day out, or why not take to the water and explore the sea stacks and caves with Caithness Seacoast.

Where to stay in a motorhome in Caithness

Wick River Campsite

Wick River Campsite is the ideal spot to explore the town and beyond. Go surfing at Thurso East at the world-famous reef break, or join the ‘end-to-enders’ and visit the northerly extremes on the UK mainland at Dunnet Head or John O’Groats.

John O’Groats Campsite

If you fancy staying in the most northerly village, John O’Groats Campsite is the perfect stop. Situated by The Last House in Scotland, enjoy the gorgeous views of the Pentland Firth and watch the puffins on the seafront.

Little Croft Highlands

With just five pitches for motorhomes and caravans, Little Croft is a quaint, family-friendly spot offering a relaxing and peaceful stay, not far from Scarfskerry Harbour. This hidden gem is great for animal lovers, with pygmy goats, hens and other farmyard friends living on site.

Visiting Sutherland on the NC500


The dramatic landscapes of Sutherland are quite unlike any other. Where the mountains meet the sea’s edge, journeying through on your motorhome you will marvel at the beautiful beaches, looming cliffs and geological wonders of the coast.

As the largest part of the North Coast 500, Sutherland is filled with many things to see and do. Nature lovers may want to take a trip to Eas a’ Chual Aluinn, Britain’s tallest waterfall, or explore the depths of Smoo Cave. Those who love the sea can take to the dunes of Sandwood Bay and Oldshoremore Beach, or why not go kayaking or snorkelling to see the native dolphins, orcas and otters.

Those who prefer to keep their feet on land can escape to Dunrobin Castle, one of Britain’s oldest continually inhabited houses dating back to the 1300s.

Where to pitch your motorhome in Sutherland

The Halladale & North Coast Touring Park

The North Coast Touring Park welcomes caravans and motorhomes to the coastal village of Melvich. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at their fully licensed bistro, The Halladale, and take in the beautiful views of Melvich Beach.

Smoo Cave Pay & Display Car Park and Laundry

Just a short walk from the must-see Smoo Cave, this car park is a cheap and cheerful place to pitch up for the night. It’s not a campsite so does not come with electric hook up or amenities, but does have a laundry kiosk, toilets and hot food nearby.

Clachtoll Beach Campsite

Located on the Stoer peninsula, Clachtoll Beach Campsite is perfect for coastal explorers. Make your way down to the sandy shore and marvel at the wondrous Split Rock, or take a dip in the waters and discover an array of aquatic wildlife.

Travelling to Wester Ross via motorhome

Wester Ross is perhaps the wildest part of the NC500. Its rugged landscape and misty mountains are an awe-inspiring sight, with many small villages and settlements dotted along the journey.

Coming from the north, you’ll pass Ullapool first, home to Leckmelm Arboretum and Ullapool Museum, and not far from the Knockan Crag Nature Reserve.

On your way through, you can stop by the village of Poolewe and visit the famous Inverewe Gardens. Explore the sub-tropical gardens and look out for Scotland’s Wildlife Big Five: red squirrels, red deer, otters, seals and golden eagles.

Wester Ross has six big lochs: Loch Carron, Loch Torridon, Loch Maree, Loch Gairloch, Loch Ewe and Loch Broom. They offer spectacular views, as well as many opportunities for water sports, fishing and boat tours, so are well worth the visit.

Staying in Wester Ross along the NC500

Reraig Caravan and Camping

With Eilean Donan Castle just around the corner, Reraig Caravan and Camping is the perfect spot for exploring the gems of the West Coast. Complete with hardstand and grass pitches, you can park up your caravan and venture across the shores of Lochalsh, go to the Skye Bridge or spend the day in the village of Plockton.

Gruinard Bay Caravan Park

Gruinard Bay is situated right on the seafront, boasting breathtaking views of the West Coast. Enjoy a stroll through the nearby village of Laide, or book a sea-cruise from Garloch harbour to see the seals and dolphins.

Port a Bhaigh Campsite

Port a Bhaigh is a scenic, family-run campsite overlooking the Summer Isles on the peninsula of Coigach. Open all year round, this site is just 45 minutes from Ullapool, with sandy beaches and access to fishing boats for a day on the water.

Ready for your NC500 adventure?

So, there you have it: our motorhome traveller’s guide to exploring the North Coast 500. Many of our customers have taken the trip (some several times!) and they all consider it a must-do for all motorhome and campervan enthusiasts.

If you’re looking to upgrade your motorhome, or perhaps buy your first one, we can help you. At  Erwin Hymer Centre Travelworld, we have a great selection of new and used luxury motorhomes for you to browse, and our team is on hand to advise you on the best vehicle for you and your travels.

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