NC500 (north coast road)

NC500 (north coast road)

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Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Monday 25th January 2016
quotequote all
Hi guys
There are a few of us thinking of doing the NC500 road trip and would like some useful tips
We are thinking of 2nd week of July and planning to cover the 500 miles over 3 days
Whats the weather like in July and how busy is July for tourism also the cars that we will be driving average 13-15 mpg lol
Whats the NC500 like for fuel stations also any good places with secure parking to stop over for the night
Thank you
Tony

EL11SEG

1,824 posts

147 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Rocco1 said:
Hi guys
There are a few of us thinking of doing the NC500 road trip and would like some useful tips
We are thinking of 2nd week of July and planning to cover the 500 miles over 3 days
Whats the weather like in July and how busy is July for tourism also the cars that we will be driving average 13-15 mpg lol
Whats the NC500 like for fuel stations also any good places with secure parking to stop over for the night
Thank you
Tony
We have been doing this run in a group for many years.

The weather should be fine by July but we never saw much of a summer last year so who knows. Will be busy as you going on school holiday time.
Secure parking?? You do know most of the locals travel by quad bike yes? Lol, joking aside, maybe look for the more secluded hotels. Get Carter on here would be a good source of info as I believe the is The Sheildaig hotel up there.
Take fuel additive. I don't know what cars you are taking but once you leave Inverness you won't see Shell till you come back.

Google coca mountain in Durness, highly recommended by everyone. Durness is also a great place to stop over for a night. Beautiful beach, Smoo caves and campsite right next to the pub. There are hotels there but can't say what like as we always camp. Again if you are looking for security look for something that requires a taxi to get to a pub.

I take it you have already seen this? https://www.northcoast500.com/home.aspx If not some good tips on there.

Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Thank guys
Cars we will be driving are the likes of Mclaren 650s,Ferrari Scuderia,Lambo Gallardo Spyder,Porsche 997t,TVR and kit cars,are the roads user friendly for such cars

s2kjock

1,101 posts

114 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Rocco1 said:
Thank guys
Cars we will be driving are the likes of Mclaren 650s,Ferrari Scuderia,Lambo Gallardo Spyder,Porsche 997t,TVR and kit cars,are the roads user friendly for such cars
Fuel aside, as noted above, you will have clearance issues on some of the unclassified roads or narrower B roads. Likely you will be avoiding these anyway, as narrowness and lack of passing places would make them a bit challenging on a large mid-engined with restricted rear visibility.

Some of these smaller roads have the best scenery, but the bigger roads are still great.

Roads will be busy at that time and you will inevitably get stuck behind tourists. You'll also need to book accommodation well in advance if you plan to get the whole group into the same place.

Generally I wouldn't worry about parking, although I would prefer to get exotica off the street overnight which is likely anyway given a hotel budget commensurate with the motors you are taking.

Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Thanks great advice
Has anyone driven the whole of NC500 in a supercar and if so what route/roads did you use also whats the story with fuel and fuel stations are there many on route
Thank you

s2kjock

1,101 posts

114 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
I doubt you are ever more than 60 miles from fuel on the whole route.

But.........

filling stations are small, so it could take a while to get your convoy all tanked up, especially in July when it is busy.

you may need to be sensitive to the fact that the smaller community fuel stations are not geared up to providing full tank fill ups for large numbers of cars - if they are running low, then the local's needs should come first (try to do large fill ups at the bigger town stations (eg Inverness, Wick, Thurso, Ullapool, Kyle of Lochalsh) and just use the small ones for top ups)

the opening hours will not be as late as town stations/those on main roads

You just need to take all of the above into account for planning, but perfectly doable.

GetCarter

27,728 posts

246 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
I live on it. (Torridon)

First up, July and August are busy. If you can find another time it would be much better. After Easter to mid may is the best time. you will see less than 10% of the traffic.

There are a few places where very low cars need to take care. Notably the Bealach na Ba (the hill towards Applecross). If you do this in a Lambo etc, you NEED to take a very wide line round the hairpins. I've had two R500's and an Aston here and have never grounded, but know of Lambos that have.

Once you leave Inverness, secure parking is not an issue. Nobody nicks posh cars up here. The Torridon Inn (or hotel) is a good place to stay/meet up.

There are enough garages for you, but Super U/L is in short supply. Keep a few bottles of octane booster and you'll be sorted.

Weather is generally crap in July (and August). Much better in late spring, early autumn. (Midges in July too)

Here's the bealach to give you an idea of the hairpins >> http://stevecarter.com/random/TopToCafe.mov

(You'll see why it's better when it's empty/not busy!)

Edited by GetCarter on Wednesday 11th January 14:56

Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Thanks guys appreciate the advice,what is it with the weather in July,is it the rain??


GetCarter

27,728 posts

246 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Rocco1 said:
Thanks guys appreciate the advice,what is it with the weather in July,is it the rain??
Traffic, midges, rain, hotels booked, ferries full.

Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
GetCarter said:
Traffic, midges, rain, hotels booked, ferries full.
Mid May any better???

GetCarter

27,728 posts

246 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Rocco1 said:
Mid May any better???
Much.

Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
GetCarter said:
Much.
Thank you
We are thinking of covering 200 miles a day,does that seem reasonable and whats the genral consensus regarding speeding (mobile speed traps/vans/cameras etc)

GetCarter

27,728 posts

246 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Rocco1 said:
GetCarter said:
Much.
Thank you
We are thinking of covering 200 miles a day,does that seem reasonable and whats the genral consensus regarding speeding (mobile speed traps/vans/cameras etc)
Speeding in any of the villages is a no, no - but they are few and far between. There are cameras and the odd camera van in the east and in the middle, but I've never seen one on the west or north coast except near Ullapool. Anywhere within 30 miles of Inverness there are a couple of unmarked cars, but we never see them on the west coast. A lot of the roads on this side will feel bloody fast if you are doing the NSL believe me. There are certain sections where people have been known to open up (!)... these are in the middle of nowhere with good visibility.

Watch out for deer... especially early and at dusk. They are the most common cause of RTCs here. Oh and if you do May... lambs WILL run in front of you to get to mum, so slow down for sheep! (they are not kept fenced in up here).


Edited by GetCarter on Tuesday 26th January 16:53

Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Thank you once more :-)

johnnyr6

281 posts

162 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
3 days should be fine. We did a modified run from glasgow up loch lomond way then onto the NC500 route. We covered 850 miles in 3 days easily. We were on bikes so probably travelling quicker than you guys will be ( although i'm sure you'll be more comfy). So 500 in the cars shouldn't be a problem.

Enjoy, Johnny.

Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Any hotel recommendations and places to visit

RedThree

130 posts

105 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
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Eddrachilles Hotel near Scourie does good food and good selection of malts. Hotel and car park are off of the road.
Some photos of the hotel and the road here.

nigelonich

1,016 posts

187 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Time: May is a good call but watch out for the bank holiday weekend in early May.

Speeding: Police Scotland have gone 'nuts' and be warned they will be on your route. anything with A9 forget speeding and the Achnasheen area was famous last year due to this but its fish in a barrel for the Police and you'll see why when you get there https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highland...

Social Media/People reporting you: We were up there a while back with these (Taken at Achnasheen) and a few more cars and by the time we got to our digs in Lochinver we hadnt done to well in keeping a low profile lets say. People will call the Police on you so be sensible.

Cars: You will get stonechips so bad you'll cry each night so keep well apart. We had two burst (not chipped) windscreens.

Hotels etc: Its Scotland so lower your expectations and you will be fine. I eat at the Albannach in Lochinver which has a Mich Star and they bought the pub there too so its probably good. Genuinely take a flask and a pack lunch and enjoy the place as its stunning.

Best bit: Nobody really mentions the best bit? For me its Ullapool to Lochinver full chat early evening (7pm) in May. Not one car heading the other way for 40 miles and full width smooth tarmac.

We are planing to do it in two days in May. Ill take my R26R.


Rocco1

Original Poster:

3,081 posts

150 months

Tuesday 26th January 2016
quotequote all
Thank you all for your contribution,do keep sharing your experiences,more info equals better preparation
By the way does the sun ever come out in the Highlands in May or in any month lol