Now that we’ve convinced you to start planning your North Coast 500 (NC500) road trip, it’s time to find your ideal hotel.
The Highlands offers plenty of accommodation types for visitors, with lots of friendly B&Bs or romantic countryside hotels to choose from. But after hours of driving along the NC500 route’s meandering roads, you’ll probably want to lay your head somewhere special.
To help you on your way, we’ve handpicked our favourite hotels along the North Coast 500. From city-centre locations, to sea-front castles, we’ve got your places to stay covered.
The Royal Highland Hotel
18 Academy Street, Inverness, IV1 1LG
Conveniently situated next to Inverness train station, the centrally-located Royal Highland Hotel is the ideal place to start your road trip and explore Inverness’ historic city-centre.
Guests arriving at the Royal Highland will be greeted by the hotel’s impressive lobby. Exuding an air of old-world charm, the striking imperial staircase is one of the first things to catch your eye. Tastefully designed, the lobby is decorated with tartan carpets and antique soft-furnishings – make sure to check out the impressive stag’s head which is hung on the lobby wall.
The hotel’s comfortable Classic Rooms come with tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TV and a trouser press. The rooms can be booked as either a classic Double Room or spacious Twin Room.
Castle Street, Dornoch, IV25 3SD
Since the 1200s, a fortress has always been found on the site of what is now Dornoch Castle Hotel. Throughout the centuries, the hotel has taken on many forms, first as home to the prominent Earls of Sutherland, then a courthouse, jail and even a school.
Presently, Dornoch Castle is one of the Highland’s most luxurious hotels and is an ideal stop-over during your NC500 road trip. Found in the picturesque village of Dornoch, the hotel is a one hour drive from Inverness and boasts 24 en-suite rooms, which all have their own individual style and character.
The hotel’s Tower Room Deluxe is situated in the original castle building and features a stunning hand-carved four-poster bed, aged wood-panelling, wood-burning stove and luxurious bathroom, which is fitted with a Jacuzzi – ideal for resting weary bones after long walks through the Highlands.
Ackergill, Wick, KW1 4RG
A jewel at the top of the Highlands, Ackergill Tower is a seafront fifteenth century castle, which boasts stunning views of the Scottish coastline. Situated a mere 15 miles from John o’Groats, the hotel is an ideal stopover during the first half of your NC500 adventure.
The hotel’s sophisticated Daffodil Deluxe Room is classically designed and features an impressive King-sized four-poster bed with a tartan canopy. There’s also a cozy reading-area nestled in front of the room’s bay windows – here, guests can relax and enjoy the breath-taking sea-views.
As an ocean-front hotel, guests can expect to eat some exceptional seafood whilst dining in the hotel’s opulent Great Hall. Every day, fresh fish and shellfish are bought quayside from the local market in Scrabster.
Strathpeffer, IV14 9ES
The family-run Coul House is situated just 30 minutes from Inverness and is the perfect hotel from which to complete your NC500 adventure. Located in the heart of the Scottish countryside, Coul House allows guests to unwind and recharge their batteries after their long journey.
Visitors who love the great outdoors will have lots to keep them entertained, with acres of perfectly-manicured gardens to explore, as well as a fun nine-hole pitch-and-putt course. If adventure-sports are more your thing, Coul House will be happy to organise any special requests. Why not try mountain-biking through the nearby Achilty Forest or horse-riding at Broom Hill Riding Centre?
In the evenings, you can relax in one of Coul House’s charming guestrooms. All rooms are en-suite and come with flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities and breath-taking views over the Strathconon countryside.
Why do you love the NC500? Let us know why below!