Self Drive Itineraries


This 10-day (9 nights) holiday is our “You Will Drive 500 Miles” itinerary and allows you to experience one of the best driving routes in the world… the North Coast 500! The itinerary will take you to some of the most remote and beautiful parts of Scotland with the opportunity to see a wide range of Scotland’s unique Highland landscapes and beaches. It will also give you the opportunity to explore the rich culture, history and heritage found throughout Scotland. This itinerary starts in Glasgow and ends in Edinburgh, but we can be flexible to suit.

Prices from: £3,600 GBP (£1,800 per person based on 2 sharing)

Price includes:

  • 9 nights in our carefully selected accommodation based on x1 double room (see below for more information on accommodation)
  • Car Hire (Medium/ Large, automatic 4/5 door)
  • Breakfast every day
  • Itinerary planning and consultation
  • Personalised information package for your tour, including your detailed itinerary and what there is to see and do in each area, depending on your specific interests
  • A detailed map, with your route marked and places of interest highlighted, and directions to each accommodation with their contact details

Highlights Include:

  • Stirling Castle & Wallace Monument
  • Doune Castle, as seen in Monty Python and Outlander
  • Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
  • Rannoch Moor
  • Buachaille Etive Mor, as seen in Skyfall
  • Glencoe
  • Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain at 4,409 ft
  • Urquhart Castle & Loch Ness
  • Culloden Battlefield
  • Clava Cairns
  • Dunrobin Castle & Gardens
  • Duncansby Stacks
  • John O’ Groats, the most Northernly point of mainland UK
  • Dunnet Head, a chance to spot some beautiful Puffins
  • Smoo Caves
  • Ardvreck Castle
  • Achmelvic Beach
  • Corrieshalloch Gorge
  • Applecross Peninsula
  • The spectacular Bealach na Ba Mountain pass
  • Cairngorms National Park
  • House and Falls of Bruar
  • Killiecrankie and the “Soldier’s Leap”
  • Pitlochry
  • Forth Bridges


Glasgow – Port Appin

Distance: 123 miles                Travel Time: 2hrs 50 mins

Rental car pick up - Glasgow

You will head North from Glasgow via Stirling and into the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and onto the Highlands. The drive will take you through some of the most spectacular landscapes Scotland has to offer, including Rannoch Moor which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Glencoe, made infamous by the “Glencoe Massacre” in 1692.


Country House Hotel, Argyllshire, near Glencoe - 1 night

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

Stirling Castle & the National Wallace Monument are two of the most iconic buildings in Scotland, whether you want to see them from a view point as they dominate the Stirling skyline or go inside and learn about the history is up to you. Try spotting some wildlife, including our native red deer or golden eagles in Rannoch Moor or stop and get a picture at one of the most photographed mountains in Scotland, ‘Buachaille Etive Mor’ which translates from Gaelic to “Great Herdsman of Etive” and featured in the James Bond film, Skyfall.



Port Appin - Inverness

Distance: 91.6 miles               Travel Time: 2hrs 41 mins

From Port Appin, you will continue your journey North through Fort William, known as “the outdoor Capital of the UK” and the location of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which stands at 4,412 ft! You will then drive along the Great Glen fault and along the shores of Loch Ness, home of the elusive Loch Ness Monster… or “Nessie” as she’s affectionately known. You’ll then arrive in Inverness, “the Capital of the Highlands”.


Small, Luxury Hotel or Guest House, Inverness - 1 night

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

On your way North, stop by the Spean Bridge Commando Memorial, erected to honour the commandos who trained in the area. It also boasts a spectacular view looking back towards Ben Nevis and Loch Linnhe. As you make your way up The Great Glen and along the shores of Loch Ness, keep your eyes peeled for “Nessie” and stop in at Urquhart Castle, a picturesque ruin on the banks of the Loch… and said to be the best spot for catching a glimpse of the Monster!



Inverness – Wick

Distance: 104 miles                Travel Time: 2hrs 19 mins

After leaving Inverness, you’ll cross over the Kessock Bridge and travel North along the East Coast, passing through The Black Isle. Take your time to enjoy this long scenic road with some stunning coastal views which could rival Australia’s Great Ocean Road!


Cosy Bed & Breakfast or Guest House, Wick - 1 night

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

At the Eastern tip of the Black Isle, stop in at Cromarty to try spot some dolphins as they frequently feed and play in these waters or take a wee stop at one of the many distilleries along the route, including Dalmore and Glenmorangie. Get out and stretch your legs at Dunrobin Castle & Gardens and marvel at this beautiful castle that looks straight out of a Disney film!



Wick - Thurso

Distance: 35.8 miles               Travel Time: 53 mins

From Wick, you will head up to the most Northerly part of mainland UK, John O’Groats, before heading West to Thurso. Keep an eye out on a clear day and you’ll be able to see the Isle of Orkney from the North Coast!


Luxury Country House Hotel, near Thurso - 1 night

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

Just to the West of John O’Groats lies the Duncansby Stacks, these huge, jagged sea-stacks are the impressive result of thousands of years of erosion from the sea, and a fantastic location for any photographer. Take a wee stop at the Dunnet Head RSPB site where you will have a good opportunity to spot some Puffins, the black and white birds with a colourful beak and personality! If you enjoy water-sports, Thurso is also a fantastic spot to do a bit of surfing.


DAY 5 

Thurso - Kylesku

Distance: 106 miles                Travel Time: 3hrs 10 mins

As you make your way West along the scenic North Coast, you’ll notice the landscape becomes more rugged and mountainous. As you reach the North-Western tip of Scotland, you’ll begin heading South along the West Coast and through some spectacular rocky landscapes.


Country House Hotel, Kylesku area - 2 nights

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

Stop in and marvel at Smoo Caves on the North-Western tip, this sea-cave is truly a spectacular site and short walk from the road. Stop by a number of the beautiful white sandy beaches, with turquoise waters that will make you think you’re in the Caribbean! Our favourite would be Achmelvic Beach. Take a wee walk at Ardvreck Castle, where legend has it that the castle is haunted by the ghost of the MacLeod Chief’s daughter… who was said to be betrothed to the devil!


DAY 7 

Kylesku - Gairloch

Distance: 87.9 miles               Travel Time: 2hrs 8 mins

The route takes you further South down the West Coast and into more spectacular mountain landscapes. You will pass through Ullapool, the gateway to the Outer Hebrides


Country Lodge Hotel, Gairloch area - 2 nights

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

The Corrieshalloch Gorge to the South of Ullapool is a beautiful short walk to see the waterfall and gorge lookout. Keep an eye out in this area, there’s a good chance to see some red deer, birds of prey and a variety of other wildlife.



Gairloch - Inverness

Distance: 114 miles                Travel Time: 3hrs 3 mins

On the final stretch of the North Coast 500, you’ll head South and across the Applecross Peninsula before driving through the spectacular Bealach na Ba Mountain pass. From there, you will head East through Achnasheen and back towards Inverness.


Small, Luxury Hotel or Guest House, Inverness - 1 night

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

The Bealach na Ba is a must see, it is a spectacular drive, although be sure to take your time  on this narrow and winding road carved into the mountain valley. We also recommend taking some time in the Torridon area which is another fantastic opportunity to spot some wildlife, including otters in Loch Torridon.


DAY 10

Inverness - Edinburgh

Distance: 158 miles                Travel Time: 3hrs 17 mins

The final day of the itinerary will take you South from Inverness to Edinburgh, travelling through the Cairngorms National Park and passing beautiful Highland towns like Aviemore, Kingussie and Pitlochry. You will pass through Perthshire as you continue heading South and through the Kingdom of Fife before crossing the Queensferry Crossing bridge and into Edinburgh.

Accommodation - NA

Uniquely Scotland Suggests

We would suggest having a lovely lunch at the House of Bruar and have a browse through the prestigious shops. You can take a short walk behind the House of Bruar to a beautiful waterfall called the Falls of Bruar. The Pass of Killiecrankie is another spectacular gorge that is worth a visit where you can learn about “The Soldier’s Leap” and the Jacobite battle that took place here in 1689.

Rental car drop off: Edinburgh

Please note that our example itineraries only provide a basic summary of your proposal; there is a significant amount of work behind each proposal, with attention to detail being very important. Please let us know if you have any questions in relation to your proposal and we will do what we can to help. For further information or to book a holiday with Uniquely Scotland please contact us.


Go back