Saturday, 20 October 2018



We travelled 500 miles the day previous from our home in Bedfordshire to Inverness. The North Coast 500 Route (NC500)  typically starts in Inverness but you could start from any of the towns along the route if you so wish. The road isn't called NC500 as it's a collection of many different A&B roads put together and has just been given that name as the route has grown in popularity with road-trippers! We decided to start in Inverness and then travel round in a clockwise direction as that seemed the most natural thing to do.

Beauly was the first stop on our route as the priory is set in pretty gardens and the ruins are very extensive, so it is worth a visit if you pass by this way. 

After trying to avoid rain showers in the priory doorways, we decided to head off to the next stop on route, Rogie Falls.  Now Rogie Falls is a must see on your NC500 road trip. The waterfall is a beautiful sight to see and the suspension bridge was entertaining to walk across (maybe a bit too wobbly for my liking!)

We detoured off the typical NC500 route slightly for our next stop however it was well worth the extra miles! Eilean Donan castle is one of the most spectacular castles I’ve ever seen in the most picturesque location!

On a side note be prepared for it to take triple the amount of time it should to reach any destination and plan for this. Around every corner and over every hill is a spectacular view that we just had to get out of the car and admire.

Detouring to the castle did add some extra miles onto our journey and took some extra time however in my opinion it was well worth those miles. So if your time/budget allows then add this castle to your must see list as I promise you will not be disappointed!

To enter the castle you need to purchase a ticket (Adult ticket - £7.50). They have strategically placed the ticket booth at the bridge leading up to the castle, so that you will need to pay to get up close.

We bought tickets as we are quite happy to have a wander round the exhibition inside, it’s actually reconstructed quite well and gives you a glimpse into what life at the castle would have been like.

Even if you don’t go inside it’s still worth a visit in my opinion, also they have extremely yummy highland shortbread in the cafe!

As you have probably seen from the photos (these were all taken on the same day!) the weather was very variable so also be prepared for that on your Scotland trip. It really is true that you can experience four seasons in one day, so pack with this in mind. We had brought our own car on this trip so we didn't need to worry about packing light.

The next part of our trip we had both read about plenty before we travelled and were  both very excited to experience, if not a little apprehensive. The famous Bealach na Ba mountain road to the Applecross peninsula.

Before you embark on this road there is are warnings about how high the road climbs (2054ft) to be exact. It’s advisable not to use the road if you have a large vehicle or are a relatively new driver.

However do not let the warnings put you off, if you are a confident driver, this road is 100% a must see. The views all the way up and all the way down are breathtaking, and I know we both enjoyed the experience thoroughly.  

Once we had safely made it to the Applecross it was time to find our accommodation and much needed pub grub! We stayed in a hostel in Applecross called Hartfield House and if I'm being honest I was very nervous about what it would be like. However there was no need to be worried as our room was clean and comfortable. There is also a cosy lounge where you can chill in the evenings and we were lucky enough to have it to ourselves during our stay.

On a side note the food at the Applecross inn was amazing, and quite possibly the nicest Thai curry and sticky toffee pudding I’ve ever tasted.

I hope you have enjoyed our photos and hearing about day one of our trip. Be sure to check back soon to hear about the rest our Scotland adventures!

Lots of Love

Natasha Audrey

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