What to do
The Scottish Highlands is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And a tour of the North Coast 500 is the perfect way to enjoy it.
Take your time to enjoy the finest experiences that Scotland has to offer. From ancient castles and rugged scenery to diverse wildlife and Highlands whisky.
North Coast 500 (NC500)
The NC500 highway is one of the best ways to see the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. At over 500 miles long, you’ll experience the rugged scenery that defines the north of Scotland.
All along the route, there are a wealth of opportunities to discover more. Travel across mountains, lochs and glens. Visit the towns and villages and taste the best of our distilleries!
To make the most of your tour, you’ll want to stop off in different places. Borlum House Farm is at the halfway point of the NC500. This makes it an ideal place for an overnight stop or a base for your treks and visits.Tour the NC500
Thurso is home to many traditional shops, cafes and restaurants. Visitors come to see the circular wellhouse of Meadow Well and the Swanson Gallery. Thurso is also a destination for watersports lovers. Because of its river mouths, beaches and reefs it hosts several surfing championships.Read more
Catch the ferry from John o’Groats to explore the beautiful Orkney Islands. Discover the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site. Key attractions are Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the Stones of Stenness and the Maeshowe chambered tomb.Read more
Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and boasts a wide range of attractions. Visit Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Or Fort George, built by King George as the largest artillery fortification in Britain. Hike around Loch Ness and try to spot Nessie. Then stop to sample the famous Highland Whisky at one of the local distilleries.Read more
The Castle & Gardens of Mey
The Castle of Mey is the most northerly inhabited castle in Scotland. Owned by HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother from 1952 to 1966, it’s now run by a charitable trust. Built in the 1500’s the castle overlooks the Pentland Firth and the Orkney Islands. Enjoy the romantic walled garden that accompanies the castle.Read more
This crumbling castle is set in a stunning location near Tongue in Sutherland. It’s a two-storey tower house previously owned by the Bishop of Caithness then the Clan Mackay.Read more
Dunrobin Castle is the ancestral home of Lord Strathnaver. The enchanting castle has been in his family for over 700 years. Unusually for a Scottish castle, the building resembles a French chateau with towering spires. It was a naval hospital during the First World War and a boarding school from 1965 to 1972.Read more
Explore the Norse and Gaelic ancestors of Scotland. The museum is based in the former Parish Church of Columba in Bettyhill. The museum is home to a unique collection of Mackay memorabilia from the Clan Mackay Society. It also tells the stories of the Highland Clearances and crofting life.Read more
This nature reserve is home to puffins, guillemots, cormorants and a variety of other seabirds. Because it’s the northernmost point in mainland Britain, Dunnet Head also has several old military buildings from the Second World War.Read more
Forsinard Flows is part of the Flow Country, a key natural treasure for Scotland. The landscape includes blanket bogs, straths and mountains. The blanket bogs have formed over 10,000 years with deep peat. This habitat is home to a variety of wildlife including red-throated divers and otters.Read more
About one mile east of Durness is Smoo Cave. This spectacular sea cave is part of the limestone cliffs. It has one of the biggest sea cave entrances in Britain at 50ft high.Read more
Cyclists love to explore Loch Eriboll. As you cycle around the loch the road changes from flat terrain to steeper climbs. Visit Choraidh Farm Park halfway around the west side for a break and a cup of tea with some home baking.Read more
Known as the Queen of the Scottish Mountains, Ben Loyal makes a great day out. With 4 peaks visitors get a full 360-degree view of the surrounding bogs, moors and mountains.Read more
The North West Highlands UNESCO Geopark begins at The Summer Isles in Wester Ross and extends beyond Durness and Loch Eriboll. The geopark celebrates Scotland’s major geological heritage with sustainable development.Read more
Borgie Glen is a vast area with red deer and buzzards. The landscape consists of hills, heather moor and tiny lochans. It’s also known as the ’empty lands’. Walkers can climb to see ‘The Unknown’, a thought-provoking sculpture by artist Kenny Hunter.Read more
Dunnet Bay Distillery
Home to Rock Rose Gin, Vodka and other premium Scottish spirits. Enjoy north coast stories with tastings in the distillery’s coastal-themed tasting room.Read more
Old Pulteney Distillery
Wolfburn is the northernmost whisky distillery on mainland Scotland. Their whisky is made in the traditional way by hand with the finest ingredients.Read more
Borlum House Farm is at the top of the Scottish Highlands on the NC500. Our beautifully restored 1700’s farmhouse is in the quiet little village of Reay. We welcome visitors from across the world.View map