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Caithness beach on the NC500


'And I would drive 500 miles!'
Start planning for the ultimate experience around Scotland's Route 66!

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Touring the Best of Scotland:

Dubbed as Scotland’s version of ‘Route 66’, the comparison fails to illustrate the breath-taking culture and heritage one embarks on this journey.

Created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative. The route brings together 500 miles (516 if we are being accurate) of the finest of Scottish landmarks and food.


Which Route to Take:

The official North Coast 500 route begins and ends at Inverness Castle. You can undertake the route either clock-wise or anti-clockwise.

For breath-taking views, we recommend heading West.

Features such as ‘The Bealach Na Ba’ are guaranteed to excite your palate for the experiences yet to come!

If you fancy throwing yourself deep into the Highland route why not fly direct to Wick John O’ Groats Airport. Arriving in the middle of the 500 miles you will enjoy close access to the breathtaking features both on the East and West!

Save yourself a day or two travelling and jump right in your journey, we at Mackays are more than happy to arrange a hire car to make your journey that wee bit less stressful!


Visiting Attractions:

With an ample supply of daily activities, it is understandable that choosing what to do during your available time scale can be quite challenging!
To assist you making this decision, the official NC500 website has created an interactive map. The map features all the available activities and accommodation during your journey.

If  you fancy an in depth exploration of Sutherland and Caithness visit Venture North. The website features extensive ‘To Do’ lists ranging from accommodation to ultimate shopping experiences.
Speaking on behalf of the locals, we have also created a map of Mackays recommendations of our favourite spots in the Northern Highlands.

Mackays’ Nc500 Recommendations

Duncansby Stacks
Photo By: Maciej Winiarczyk


Travel Green:

Being proud owners of our Gold Tourism Award, green living is at the core of our business and weekend explorations!

Ever aiming to minimize our carbon footprint, Mackays have installed a TESLA charging point for all guests. We extend a warm offer to all TESLA drivers, to charge while you dine at no extra cost!

If you too share a passion for reducing your emissions, try out the carbon calculator as recommended by the Green Tourism scheme.

Additionally if you are looking to complete some or all of your travels by bike but don’t fancy the nuisance of extra baggage on the trip home visit John O’ Groats Cycle Transport who supply bike taxis across the highlands.

Tesla charging point mackays

Where to Stay:

Mackays hotel is ideally situated for those looking to relax and rejuvenate before the last leg of their NC500 journey.

With an ample supply of local attractions Caithness is an area not to be missed along the map of the Highlands.

At Mackays we guarantee an award winning warm meal and soft bed to leave you finishing your tour bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Don’t take our word for it?

They say seeing is believing, have a look at former guest’s experience

Mackays room


Download the NC500 Map

NC500 Map

Better safe than sorry!

Download the NC500 Map for a trusty guide on your upcoming journey.


Download the NC500 App

NC500 App

Download the NC500 App to explore everything there is to know about your upcoming journey.

Click here for Android downloads. The App is also available via the Apple App Store.


Download the Venture North Heritage App

Venture North appDownload the Venture North Heritage App to prevent missing out on breathtaking historic landscapes!

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