The rugged, wild North Coast 500 is one of the most photographable routes in the UK. If you like to fill up your instagram feed with nature, wildlife and landscapes then this is the roadtrip for you!
There are so many stops where you can get that perfect instagram shot but we had to just pick just a few.
1. Fairy Glen
Above Uig in the Isle of Skye is the stunning Fairy Glen. The road winds through round-topped grassy hills and ponds which gives it a mystical feel.
There’s a long history of Fairy legends and stories in Skye which related to Dunvegan Castle and their ‘Fairy Flag’. However, according to the locals, there’s no such magical folklore surrounding the Fairy Glen and it was names as such due to the otherworldly landscape.
It’s unique look is thought to have been formed by a series of landslips and then smoothed by glaciers in the following ice age. However it was formed its a real ‘wow’ spot and worth a detour to go see.
WIth the popularity around the North Coast 500 ever increasing, it can be busy in the summer months so plan to go out of season or head out at day break to get this magical place to yourself for a while.
2. Dunrobin Castle
This castle could be straight out of a fairytale Disney movie. The most northerly of Scotlands great houses, it is also Britains oldest inhabited house dating back to the early 1300s.
Resembling a French chateau, it’s architecture is influenced by Sir Charles Barry who designed the Houses of Parliament. The castle overlooks Moray Firth, just north of the villages of Dornoch and Golspie.
For a really incredible snap, make sure your there for one of the Falconry experiences and try to snap an airborne golden eagle with the fairytale castle in the back ground.
3. Duncansby Stacks
The great Duncasby Stacks tower at 60m high and are some of the best in Britain.
Its not just the stunning views that make this a picture perfect spot but for the wildlife photographer there’s some great birds to be seen including the kittiwake, guillemots, razorbills, puffins and skuas.
The stacks are a short walk from the car park at Duncansby Head and the lighthouse, just outside of John O’Groats. If you want to get closer there’s a track that gets you closer.
4. Bealach na Ba Road
Not for the faint hearted or nervous and novice driver, the Bealach na Ba is one of the UK’s longest and toughest stretch of road. Located in the Applecross peninsula, this curvy mountain road is a single-track and one of the most scenic drives in the road.
Rising up to 626m above sea level, speeds above 30 mph are rarely allowed and large vehicles are not recommended. With it’s very tight hairpin bends and a gradient of almost 20% it demands 100% of your attention.
However, the views from the top looking down with the loch in the background is breathtaking and well worth the difficult drive.
5. Smoo Cave
The stunning Smoo Cave is carved into Sutherlands limestone cliffs and named form the Old Norse smug, meaning hiding place. It has provided a place of shelter for dwellers for thousands of years.
At 50ft it has one of the largest sea cave entrances in Britain. Inside the cave there’s a walkway and bridge for visitors to explore the cascading 25 metre waterfall that plunges into an 8 metre plunge pool. You can explore the cave by foot, there’s a circular walk from the nearby car park or if you want if you want to enjoy the innermost view of the cave and learn about it along the way then guided geological tours are available which starts with a boat ride into the cavern.
If you have any great shots from your time on the NC500 we would love to see them. Tag us @highlandoverland in your instagram shots and follow us for more.