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Scotland & North Coast 500

Independent Tour

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Discover the very best of northern Scotland, including most of the North Coast 500 route. Starting in Perthshire you will be immediately captivated by wonderful roads winding through the incredible scenery of glittering lochs, dense forests, towering mountains and golden beaches, punctuated with castles, small steadings and villages. The route encompasses Perthshire, the Cairngorms, Aberdeenshire, the NC500 and much of the Highlands. Scotland’s west coast is absolutely enthralling with incredible vistas around every bend, across mountains, rolling hills, deep glens and moorland.

Stay in a variety of superb hotels, varying from renowned icons, and Victorian castles to stately manor houses and charming coastal retreats.

Highlights of Scotland

  • Stay at the iconic Gleneagles Hotel
  • Enjoy visits to a number of wonderful castles such as Cawdor, Dunrobin, Balmoral, Dunvegan, Blair and others
  • Drive the excellent roads over the Cairngorms via Braemar and Tomintoul
  • Experience the best of the stunning North Coast 500 route
  • Stay in sumptuous and charming hotels
  • Indulge in superb Scottish food at some excellent restaurants
  • Drive over one the UK’s highest roads, the famed Pass of the Cattle near Applecross
  • See harbour seals around the coast
  • Visit pretty towns and villages such as Dornoch and Plockton
  • Drive through Glencoe, Scotland’s most famous glen
  • Explore the Isle of Skye
  • Taste Scottish whiskies at a variety of distilleries, both major and boutique brands
Route map
Price: £180 for the tour book (incl UK P&P)
Duration: 9 nights
Mileage: 1200 miles


May be subject to change.

Day 1: 20 miles

The tour starts in Perthshire, to the north of Edinburgh. Start at Scone Palace to visit this wonderful palace, and location of the world-famous crowning place of the King of Scots.

Then make your way to the iconic Gleneagles Hotel. Enjoy a stroll around the grounds or use the spa before indulging in cocktails in one of the elegant bars and an excellent dinner in one of the restaurants.

Day 2: 142 miles

Leave Gleneagles and enjoy a gorgeous drive north to visit the Glenturret Distillery, home of The Famous Grouse or the Dewars Distillery. Continue north to visit Blair Castle or indulge in a spot of shopping at House of Bruar. It is then a wonderful drive into the Cairngorms National Park and over the highest public road in the United Kingdom past the ski area of Glenshee to Braemar. Continue into Aberdeenshire, and visit Balmoral, the Scottish home of the Royal Family. It is then a short drive to a fabulous gem of a hotel, with the most glorious gardens and gorgeous views over the hills.

Day 3: 144 miles

Drive back into the Cairngorms National Park, on the mountain road over the Lecht to Tomintoul and on to Speyside, renowned for its whiskies. Visit the 15th century Cawdor Castle and then Culloden Battlefield where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end.

The North Coast 500 route starts in Inverness. From here drive around the Beauly Firth and on to the pretty Victorian village of Strathpeffer. Continue to Dornoch, a lovely little town with a beautiful beach. Stay for two nights in a fabulous five-star hotel.

Day 4: 194 miles

After a luxury breakfast enjoy a long day of driving but wonderful scenery more than makes up for it. Drive up the coast, with a visit to the amazing Dunrobin Castle, to John O’Groats and Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of mainland Britain. It is then a beautiful drive along the north coast, past Thurso to Bettyhill, then inland, across the Highlands back to Dornoch.

Day 5: 162 miles

Another stunning route through awe-inspiring scenery. Drive to the Falls of Shin, renowned for the salmon leaping upstream. then continue through the Highlands on one of the most remote roads in the UK to Tongue. Follow the coastal road past the enormous Smoo Caves and down the north-west coast. Cross the Kylesku Bridge and drive to a charming small hotel for a two-night stay overlooking the beautiful Summer Isles.

Day 6: 64 miles

An optional day to drive a circular route to Lochinver. Or enjoy a day off and maybe take a boat trip to see seals and the Summer Isles, or perhaps walk along the wonderful beaches or a hike on the hills.

Day 7: 173 miles

A superb drive south with simply outstanding scenery and vistas.  Head south, past Ullapool to Inverewe, to the wonderful gardens. Continue to Loch Torridon and take the wonderful and narrow coastal road past Applecross and over the Bealach-na-ba, or Pass of the Cattle. This twisting, single-track mountain road is the third highest road in Scotland. Continue to Plockton to stay for the next two nights in a fabulous castle.

Day 8: 155 miles

Spend the day exploring Skye. Drive over the Quiraing and on to Dunvegan to see the superb castle and seat of the MacLeods. Perhaps enjoy lunch at the famed Three Chimneys restaurant. Head south to the Talisker Whisky distillery and then return Plockton.

Day 9: 150 miles

Drive south, past the exquisite Eilean Donan Castle, which is open to visitors. Continue to Invergarry and through Fort William. Continue to Glencoe with a fabulous drive up the glen and across Rannoch Moor. Drive around the shores of Loch Awe to a gorgeous hotel for the final night of the tour.

Day 10:

After a great Scottish breakfast depart for home at your leisure.


Stay in some of Scotland’s best hotels, renowned for a combination of comfort, food, scenery, hospitality and locations. The tour starts at the famous Gleneagles Hotel, followed by a night in a most gorgeous country house hotel in Aberdeenshire. There will then be three two-night stays in Dornoch, the north-west Highlands and Plockton, before finishing the tour on the shores of Loch Awe.


This Scenic Scotland Tour is open to classic, vintage and sports cars of any age. However, the most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, deserving of the vehicles we love, relish character hotels and enjoy the company of like-minded travellers.

Bespoke Fitted Luggage

Make packing for your next tour simple and easy. Classic Travelling Luggage offers bespoke fitted cases for a large range of classic and sports cars. A 5% discount is offered to Independent Tour participants.