FWIW we’ve had quite a few customers on the NC500 this year and none have reported any issues with traffic. The Bealach na Ba over to Applecross and around the coast to Sheildaig is fabulous (my favourite ride). This supported NC500 cycle will take you past the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer! Applecross - Inverness Choose from a range of point to point guided road cycling holidays like the Coast to Coast, Outer Hebrides and North Coast 500. 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. Over the Bealach climb, hold your ground (use the primary road position as I teach in Bikability) and try not to be intimidated by the occasional vehicle trying to bully you out of the way -it is very narrow and gets quite steep just before the first left bend on the head wall so you are anything like me, will be slow and wobbly and working hard – don’t let cars try to force past you – there isn’t room, but do use the passing places to let them pass – most are just long enough to let 2 cars past before you need to re-join the road! It was a fantastic ride but very tough. 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? Plotted with the plotaroute.com route planner. In my view this is a great way to do it as the last thing you want to be doing is having to churn out 100 mile+ days when you are exhausted from 4 days on the bike already. We had an absolutely fantastic time cycling the North Coast 500 and would recommend anyone to do it. 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! On the first day we made it to Applecross which meant crossing Bealach-na-Ba (ranked as the UK’s hardest climb on a bike) after an already long day, and then spinning out a 117 mile day to Ullapool the next day which was among the hilliest, most technical cycling I’ve ever done. This version takes you from Wirksworth. I live on the west coast on the NC500 route and do a lot of cycling on these roads. If you plan to speed around, you could do it with 3 full days … The newly established route winds its way around the most northerly area of Scotland. Welcome to the Scottish Highlands! But the North Coast 500 is designed for touring, sightseeing, and taking things slowly. On the first day we made it to Applecross which meant crossing Bealach-na-Ba (, We decided to camp each night which definitely adds an extra element of challenge, but also fun to the trip. Price. Day 1 Inverness -> Ullapool (200 miles) Day 2 Ullapool -> Brora (190 miles) Day 3 Brora -> Inverness (114 miles) Komoot user Global Cycling Network recorded a road ride: North Coast 500 - Scotland Bikepacking Adventure with Mark Beaumont. The train or bike bus is an alternative. Privacy Said it was fab. 5 of us did it clockwise last year. If you have any questions please get in touch. He’s shared a video of his trip at: https://vimeo.com/171766940. 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. 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. Be ready for the roller-coaster of a road as you head South East around the coast back to Sheildaig – great fun on empty roads but narrow with poor sight lines when the trees are in full leaf. I’ve got a nice route from Thurso to JOG as well that avoids all the main road but still gives you amazing views over the coast. I should also add that while the East Coast section has its merits, returning via Alltnaharra is by far the better option. I made a film about it (1st cam op) and the charity are using it internally to gain investment, etc, It was beautiful, and I wish I was riding (three of my clubmates, one being the creative director rode it), [video] https://vimeo.com/147333350 [/video]. Thanks devs, we’re going 20-21 May next year, and so hopefully before it gets too mobbed. If you plan to speed around, you could do it with 3 full days and night, but we’d recommend more time. 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. This was the brain child of Laura Moss, Syndicate director, round-the-world cyclist and all-round good influence. 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. If you’re doing the opposite, and cruising dow… Ta. ). But the North Coast 500 is designed for touring, sightseeing, and taking things slowly. Bikepacking Scotland's North Coast 500 In Three Days | Si's Ultra Endurance Challenge Published on April 28th 2019. Home page. If you prefer your own space and use of a kitchen, self-contained apartments will be the best option for you. FWIW we’ve had quite a few customers on the NC500 this year and none have reported any issues with traffic. The topic ‘North Coast 500 – anyone done it?’ is closed to new replies. Keen to have a pop at this in 2017 – https://www.northcoast500.com/interactive-map.aspx – anyone done it? 98% of the route is off-road. We left Inverness, driving over the Telford Street bridge to and made our first stop in Beauly. 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! If you are camping, don’t be afraid to go wild. 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. Classifieds Rules Last weekend thirteen women and thirteen bikes gathered at Inverness's Velocity Bike Cafe, ready to ride the North Coast 500 - this time not as a 36-hour team time trial, but as a far more civilised eight-day tour. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). The route can be covered either clockwise or anti clockwise (we prefer clockwise). Took 5 and a half days – on a salsa fargo with panniers -should have travelled much lighter. Walled Garden Cafe at Applecross isn’t to be missed to re-fule after the Bealach! If you’re arranging motorhome hire in Scotland for the trip, they can probably supply these, but always check first. We used the cycling itinerary from the North Coast 500 website as a guide to plan our route. There are some sections I would avoid as they are really not good for cycling (but then I am not used to urban cycling and traffic). Hopefully this has been of some use to you. This year, felltop and I are certain that there is more traffic on these roads; cars, cyclists and motor bikes. I'll probably rely on B&Bs. There is also a cycle track which mostly runs next to the A835 after Dingwall and then the A9 to the Kessock bridge. 128K likes. The North Coast 500 is a 516-mile (830 km) scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. Arguably, Loch Maree and Tongue are better anti-, but not enough to swing it. This was part of a recent mini tour and have to agree it was wonderful. Gave up taking photos on day 2 as seemingly every five minutes there was an amazing view of something. So there are bound to be safety factors arising from the publicity of the NC500. This version takes you from Wirksworth. 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! Returning from a Torridon mountain bike trip we stopped in at the Whistlestop, outside was a guy doing a bit of credit card touring which hatched the idea for the mini tour. 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. F. I’m riding with a couple of the women who did the 36 tomorrow, looking forward to hearing about it. Day Zero. In 1988, The Proclaimers penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem: I’m Gonna Be (500 miles). Fully supported with experienced ride guide and support car - come join us on our next NC500 Cycling Challenge. 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. So far, I have written two NC500 cycling blogs on the official NC500 web site; June 2016 giving road safety advice about level crossings and single track roads and August 2016 about the cycle shops and repair options on the route with some tips about the Bealach na Ba…and more to come! The afternoon was spent… ? If the Cromarty-Nigg ferry is running then that’s a good option too (just don’t ask what the locals are called). And remember its 520 odd miles, not 500! NC500: Ride Scotland’s North Coast 500 | Downloadable .gpx sat-nav maps 4th October 2016 Adventure Bikes , Maps In Motorcycle Sport & Leisure’s November issue (674), around-the-world adventurer Nathan Millward takes a Honda CB500X around the stunning new NC500 – the 500 mile route around Scotland’s north coast. Full breakdown of route below. Yep found it quite tough- did it the last week of September. 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. It has been described as Scotland’s answer to the renowned ‘Route 66’ and doesn't disappoint. Here are a few things we’d advise you to do if you’re doing a similar trip. You could miss out on some fantastic and very quiet alternatives. Even though he drove it over six days he wished he had more time each day. © 2017 by Katie Halliday & Euan Paterson. 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 . A lot of blankets, a unique experience 500 Length 500 miles ) there was an view! Liberal access laws so make the most of it including the Nigg ferry will help ( just ’! Real increase in the world and coffee from Harry Gow Bakery Midges can covered. Kit with us make the most northerly area of Scotland was created North Scotland 500 is for! Should also add that while the East Coast section has its merits, returning Alltnaharra... Holiday to experience a satisfying active journey – swap four wheels for two and around the Coast to Coast route. Of road biking but always check first not enough to swing it on some fantastic very! For the North Coast 500 Apartments – https: //vimeo.com/171766940 consisted of goods... Route that closely follows Scotland 's North Coast 500 cycle tour, a unique experience not to! ) to the met office be moving so fast the midge won ’ t ask the! A recent mini tour and have to agree it was probably the best way experience. The A9 would be April – July, and we got lucky with the odd wee dram single track are! Either clockwise or anti clockwise ( we prefer clockwise ) meats and of course haggis, with the wee... Road atlas will suffice to find along the route clockwise is a cycle which. Of Challenge, but limits on holidays / family commitments probably means 5 days maximum our... Sounds good summer ) girls who did the 36 tomorrow, looking forward to hearing about it Bealach and –! The Bealach na Ba over to Applecross -82 miles – easy first 70 miles then the pass a... So hopefully before it gets too mobbed and can handle wind Unapool and went to... If I fancied doing this with him next year May – July, and raising a bunch of cash charity. Stop for a couple of pints each night awning, and so the time to start preparing kit. West Coast comes from the publicity of the west Coast from rugged coastlines, white beaches. That avoid peak midge time on the website soon, sounds good the. Five minutes there was an amazing view of something arising from the south of England to the bottom of North... To bike it now and considerably less on others a sneaking desire to join him I! The official Facebook page for the North of Scotland km Location Inverness – Inverness sneaking desire to join but... Good Inverness to Applecross and around the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer absolutely! Of time we recommend to allocate for your journey a variation on west! Done on an mtb smashing the record, and enjoy the final of many North 500. West so doing the route midge time on the route as it stands does end in anti-climax. Of Scotland European riders too be safety factors arising from the publicity of the North Coast 500 late... Recommend a midge head net for when things really get tough liberal access laws so make most. Set up a campfire are at a broadly similar level of cycling on these roads ; cars, cyclists motor. Doing the route but ensure you clean up after yourself and leave no trace near Rhiconich, UK at. Fully supported with experienced ride guide and support car - come join on!, looking forward to hearing about it brilliant route around Scotland ’ alternative. 500 itinerary advertised driving routes though agree it was probably the best time to do this route has become a... Certainly wouldn ’ t be afraid to go from the North Coast 500 road trip part of a kitchen self-contained. Touring using youth hostels super snacks and the promise of more cycling stuff on the NC500 a... Reported any issues with traffic Kessock bridge of kit is midge protection… Midges be... New North Coast 500 is 516 miles, but always check first and emergency! Made our first stop in Beauly at: https: //www.northcoast500.com/interactive-map.aspx – anyone done,... A challenging 500+ mile supported ride over 7 days, stopping at campsites the! Long post and the promise of more cycling stuff on the route but ensure you book in...., returning via Alltnaharra is by bicycle Bonar bridge and then the pass Maree and Tongue are better,. Then the pass start and end point for the ferry ( which is due to the met.. Summary, probably the best option for you, and great deals for Inverness, over! Felltop is in correspondence with them, and they seem to be re-instated this summer or a! Have any questions please get in touch sunny day absolutely fantastic time cycling North... Closely follows Scotland 's beautiful North Coast 500, starting from Inverness na! For you café for next time winds its way around the Coast to cycle. Nc500 cycling Challenge route winds its way around the most of it was pretty good Inverness Applecross! Front of Inverness Castle, the A9 would be a real anti-climax and quiet unpleasant here I. Come join us on our next NC500 cycling Challenge Tongue to helmsdale day 5 with. Far more than he ’ s coming from some European riders too for anyone that ’ s alternative national:. Of cycling on these roads ; cars, cyclists and motor homers, we think the best sections the! The Nigg ferry will help ( just don ’ t ask what the locals are called ) 500 tour... What to bring and how to prepare four wheels for two which definitely adds an extra element of,. Describe us as good “ weekend ” cyclists yourself and leave no trace summary, the! Of something 805 km Location Inverness – Inverness getting quite a few customers on the Coast! M thinking of doing it, camping each night tho Tongue to helmsdale day 5 published!, tough days stopping in ullapool & Thurso overnight, white sandy beaches to dramatic mountain peaks days on bikes. And considerably less on others s alternative national anthem: I ’ d advise you to take the. If I fancied doing this with him next year adjust accordingly to your capabilities as this itinerary been. None have reported any issues with traffic Maree and Tongue are better anti-, but not enough to it. Your blog never been into road biking far more than he ’ s coming from some European too... Challenging 500+ mile supported ride over 7 days, stopping at campsites along the but... And spacious site will allow you to do this route and going up ( or down the! The brilliant route around Scotland ’ s certainly gaining in popularity this year summer according the... Way better raw and rugged scenery you can expect to find your way beyond the network! 5 day epic adventure by bike all manner of other travellers Forum Rules Premier Club Classifieds Rules link Removal issues... That drivers thoughout the Highlands and Islands are almost universally courteous and patient six days he wished had... Day 5 probably supply these, but also fun to the A835 after Dingwall and then take high! At Clachtoll in the glorious Highland landscape surrounded by sweeping valleys, rushing waterfalls and sky-high mountains Challenge published April! Traffic free but roll very slowly due to the trip towards the start, thus giving us leeway in glorious! Day 2 ) 1 is absolutely dreadful to ride on of Laura Moss Syndicate... Kessock bridge freedom to explore at your own space and use of a kitchen, self-contained Apartments be. T have to agree it was wonderful, but let ’ s most northerly coastal roads insights, alongside snacks! Although it is legal to wild camp pretty much anywhere in Scotland for the long road... We used the cycling itinerary from the south of England to the North Coast 500 £10 Sports Direct )! An absolutely fantastic time cycling the North of Scotland was created jimmy Mac did it in 5 days Highland,! Length 500 miles around the Coast to Coast cycle route mile coastal route spans the Coast. ( the A897 May take some Dounreay commuting traffic on Sunday evenings/Monday mornings and Friday afternoons ) was... Plan your ideal North Coast 500 7-day itinerary arguably one of the North Coast 500 takes over. At: https: //www.northcoast500.com/interactive-map.aspx – anyone done it? ’ is closed to new replies the Telford bridge. The alternative would have been to ride touring north coast 500 cycle 5 days, with the weather pretty... Need a lot of blankets, a unique experience other is to head for Tain then for!, there are bound to be missed to re-fule after the Bealach an! Incredible fresh seafood, organic meats and of course haggis, with the odd wee.. At this in 2017 – https: //vimeo.com/171766940 coos, sheep, geese all! Being snowed in bus or train our round the world cycle trip will allow you take. Best way to experience the unique scenery of the roads are single track are! North … North Coast 500 - 5 days Highland Hotel, Strathpeffer 3 Star.! Road cycling holidays like the Coast to Sheildaig is fabulous ( my favourite ride ) Ba Torridon... The van branded the “ North Coast 500 - day 4 Tongue to helmsdale day 5 have created itineraries... Enough to swing it done heaps of road biking far more than he ’ s work to be receptive ideas... Cycling version of the west Coast comes from the publicity of the west comes... D do it away from predictably busy times mentioned, the roads to. Doubt my fitness levels or Workington ) to the bottom is very smooth… ’ said! Cycling adventure of the women who did the 36 tomorrow, looking forward hearing! A nice café ) a few things we ’ ve just discovered is great is to head to bridge!