North Coast 500 Discovery Small Group Tour
3 day/2 night tour
Our unforgettable journey starts with a drive across the Moray, Cromarty and Dornoch Firths. There are rugged coastal views to enjoy as we make our way to Wick. After a relaxing night’s rest discover the amazing sea stacks at Duncansby then travel through the true wilderness of the North West Highlands to discover white sandy beaches, soaring mountains and scenic lochs. After an overnight stay in attractive Ullapool test your head for heights at Corrieshalloch Gorge then traverse the winding “Pass of the Cattle” to reach delightful Applecross.
Price range: £265 - £425
Small group Tour - travel in an intimate group of just 16 passengers
Wick - explore the thriving marina and take a (short) stroll along the World’s smallest street!
John O’Groats - stop for a souvenir photograph
Knockan Crag - discover one of the oldest landscapes in Europe
Corrieshalloch Gorge - cross the suspension bridge to see the waters tumble 46m over the Falls of Measach
Applecross - relax and “get away from it all” in this idyllic village with stunning views to the Isle of Raasay
Movie locations - The Eagle, Being Human and What We Did On Our Holiday
Guest house accommodation included - hotel upgrade option available
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Inverness - Golspie - Wick
The time has come to join your fellow passengers for one of Scotland’s most exhilarating journeys - The North Coast 500. Our journey starts will panoramic views over the Moray Firth as we cross the Kessock Bridge and make our way through the Black Isle.
Between our crossings of the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths we’ll pass the village of Tain which played an important role during the infamous Highland Clearances. We’ll hear more about this sad episode in Scotland’s story and the subsequent emigration of highlanders to the New World.
As we travel northwards we’ll experience wonderful coastal views and historic fishing villages. At Lybster we’ll find a planned village with an attractive harbour built during the height of the 19th Century herring boom. The silver darlings, as the fish were known, brought great prosperity to this remote area of the Highlands and created many of the little fishing communities that are sprinkled along this coast. One of the largest ports was Wick, our home for tonight.
Inverness - Golspie - Wick
Day 2 - Wick - Tongue - Ullapool
We start our day with a visit to John O’Groats, for a souvenir photo of the most northerly village in the United Kingdom. A short drive away lies the stunning cliffs of Duncansby Head. Enjoy a walk to see the impressive sea stacks, surrounded by crashing waves, and the teeming colonies of seabirds!
Our spectacular drive along the north coast of Scotland presents an ever changing landscape of beautiful beaches, towering mountains and imposing sea lochs. At Tongue enjoy the panorama as we travel the causeway across the Kyle - look out for the soaring peaks of Ben Hope and Ben Loyal which dominate the view. A short distance on we’ll tour along the banks of Loch Eriboll, the deepest sea inlet in Britain.
At Durness enjoy the sparking waters and stunning beaches which have enchanted many visitors to this part of the coast including John Lennon, who holidayed here on many occasions. Look out for his memorial as we pass through the village.
After crossing the impressive Kylesku Bridge we’ll come to the beautiful ruins of Ardvreck Castle overlooking Loch Assynt. In the background are the towering peaks of the Assynt Hills including Suillvan and Canisp, both popular climbs with mountaineers. From here we’ll make the final part of our journey to the attractive fishing port of Ullapool attractively situated on Loch Broom.
Day 3 - Ullapool - Applecross - Inverness
Leaving Ullapool behind we’ll stop at Corrieshalloch Gorge to witness the thundering Falls of Measach. The dramatic 45m waterfall is best viewed from the slightly swaying suspension bridge which makes for a memorable, if heart-stopping, experience!
We tour along the banks of Little Loch Broom, Gruinard Bay and Loch Ewe to reach the attractive villages of Poolewe and Gairloch. Next is picture-perfect Loch Maree, considered by many, to be Scotland’s most picturesque lake. Like Loch Ness it is claimed that this stretch of water is home to an elusive monster so keep a careful watch, just in case!
The mountain peaks and ancient pinewoods of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve are our next treat as we make our way towards Torridon, Shiedaig then along the coastal route to Applecross.
Applecross is well off the beaten track but our travels are rewarded with some of the finest scenery in Scotland. During our time here why not enjoy a walk to spot some local wildlife or visit the local heritage centre to discover the intriguing history of this delightful community.
The next part of our journey is the much anticipated drive over the Bealach na Ba mountain pass. This Alpine-like route is littered with hairpin bends and steep ascents. The long climb to the summit is rewarded with amazing photo opportunities (if the weather is kind) of the Isle of Skye!
Our scenic drive will continue though Glen Carron to Achnasheen, which will be our last stop of the day. Soon we’ll return to Inverness and the end of this awesome road trip!
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Small Group Tour?
With an average of just 16 passengers (and never more than 20) a Small Group Tour will provide a more intimate and flexible travelling experience. These tours are carefully planned to travel off the highways so you’ll discover quaint villages and picturesque vistas that other tours just can’t access. All the small group tours that we feature are operated by purpose built luxury minicoaches that feature air-conditioning, panoramic windows, wifi, usb charging points and comfortable seating. Each group is led by an experienced driver/guide who will entertain and inform you with stories of our history, nature and folklore. Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours. You can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish. A delicious Scottish breakfast is included each morning of your stay. If you’ve got more time to spare a series of extraordinary itineraries has been created by combining one or more shorter tours. Seamless in operation these unique holidays allow you to discover even more of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. A feature of these tours is that you will travel with a different driver/guide and fellow travellers for each portion of the itinerary.
Tell me about my accommodation and which type of room should I choose?
The cost of accommodation is included in the price of your tour. On this tour you can choose between Guesthouse/B&B or Hotel accommodation: Guesthouse and B&B. The guesthouses and B&Bs are family run and offer comfortable accommodation in bedrooms that have en-suite bathrooms, tv, tea/coffee making facilities and other facilities. Bedding, towels and basic toiletries are provided. Some guesthouses and B&B’s offer enhanced facilities such as a resident’s lounge where you can relax with other guests. Hotel. We select comfortable hotels that are a minimum of 3 stars with bedrooms featuring en-suite bathrooms, television, tea and coffee making facilities and other amenities. Most have restaurants offering a selection of Scottish and international dishes as well as comfortable bars where you can relax and un-wind. Accommodation is spread throughout the communities that we stay in and are seldom more than a 10/15 minute walk from the town or village centre.
Can I reserve specific seats on the coach?
Seating on this tour is on a first come, first served basis and cannot be pre-booked. If you are travelling as part of a group please make sure that all members of the party arrive at the departure point together.
What meals are included ?
A full Scottish breakfast is included from day 2 onwards. This hearty meal consists of fruit juice; a choice of cereal; bakery basket; cooked items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and, maybe, a taste of haggis! plus tea or coffee. Vegetarian and lighter Continental options are always available. Lunch and dinner are not included in the price. During the touring day there will be a stop where you can enjoy lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Your driver/guide will be happy to suggest a conveniently located restaurant where you can enjoy good food for dinner.
Will there be a tour commentary?
Each tour is led by an experienced driver/guide who will provide an informative and entertaining commentary in English. You’ll hear tales of the Clans, bloody battles and the famous characters that have shaped the history of Scotland. You will learn too of the landscape that surrounds you and of the nature that makes Scotland so special. Be ready to have a laugh as well - you’re bound to be told some really corny jokes!
- 2 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Wick (1) and Ullapool (1)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (2)
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned minicoach with wifi and usb charging points
- Live commentary in English
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From Platform 7
Inverness Bus Station
Inverness IV1 1LT
Check-in: 13:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 13:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 18:00 hrs
Concession discount applies to adults aged 60 years and above; students and children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom. You can up-grade to hotel accommodation at extra cost during the booking process.
One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.