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How long does the north coast 500 take?

Scotland NC500 & Passing Places – How long does the north coast 500 take?

Scotland NC500 & Passing Places
Collins NC500 Pocket Map

The North Coast 500 is a scenic driving route that covers approximately 500 miles (805 kilometers) around the northern coast of Scotland. The time it takes to complete the NC500 will depend on a number of factors, such as your pace, stops you plan to make, and the activities you want to do along the way.

Typically, it takes around 5-7 days to complete the North Coast 500 route, but this can vary depending on your preferences. Many people like to take their time, stopping at many different locations, while others complete it more quickly. The NC 500 can be challenging at times, with winding single-track roads with passing places, so it’s important to take your time and enjoy this stunning route.
The North Coast 500 is a fantastic way to experience all the stunning scenery and rich culture of Scotlands Route 66 and can be tailored to fit your schedule and interests.

Driving on single-track roads in Scotland can be quite daunting to some people but in a short time you will have it mastered and will be able to enjoy the unique and exciting experience, but it requires some preparation and attention to safety.

Here are some tips on how to drive on single-track roads in Scotland:

Take it slow: Above all take your time, you will enjoy it much more! Single-track roads are narrow and winding, so it’s important to drive at an appropriate speed. Always be prepared to slow down or stop for oncoming traffic or animals.

Single Track-Roads and Passing Places

Use passing places:

Single-track roads often have designated passing places and in most cases they are within sight of each other. Pull into the space on your side of the road or adjacent to the space when it’s on the other side of the road and allow oncoming traffic to pass. Using the passing places to allow drivers to overtake you when they are behind you. ( This practice is recommended by Police Scotland and you will see signs along the roads that advise this) Use these passing places when necessary, and be sure to thank other drivers with a wave or nod. Do not use them as parking spots as this could cause congestion that is very difficult to undo!

The Highland Coo!

Watch out for wildlife:

Scotland is known for its diverse wildlife, including deer, sheep, and cows (The Highland Coo!). Be prepared to slow down or stop if you encounter animals on the road, especially in late winter and early spring during the lambing season.
Always give them plenty of space (Sheep have zero road sense!)

Be prepared for the weather:

Scotland’s weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for rain, fog, or even snow, however, these conditions make the scenery even more amazing! Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, carry a map or satnav, and take some warm clothing.
Be courteous to other drivers: Let fast drivers that catch you up overtake at the passing places, it’s considered courteous and helps with the flow of traffic. Use your headlights to signal other drivers, and always give way to larger vehicles such as buses or trucks.


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