Soak up Scotland's spectacular scenery
Hit the road and discover two of Scotland's most iconic driving routes
We've put together two of Scotland's most beautiful driving routes - the North Coast 500 and the Kintyre 66, and suggested some of the most luxurious hotels to stay in along the way. Our Luxury Scotland Partner, Little's Chauffeur Service can put together a driving route to fit any schedule - and have Scotland's largest fleet of Mercedes, Jaguar saloons and MPVs, so you can explore these breathtaking routes in style.
Kylesku Bridge, Sutherland
The North Coast 500
What is it?
The North Coast 500 is a 516 mile-long touring route that takes in stunning coastal scenery in the far north of Scotland. Often compared to America’s famously scenic Route 66, it starts and finishes next to Inverness Castle, in the heart of Inverness.
How long will it take to drive?
Designed for leisurely touring, the route can take anything between five and 10 days to drive around, depending on just how slowly you take it. It’s certainly worth spending time stopping off and taking in the magnificent Scottish scenery.
Five of the best places to stay along the way
There are five Luxury Scotland hotels either along or very near the route, so why not combine a drive along one of the most breathtaking routes in the world with unforgettable hotel experiences.
For authentic Scottish island hospitality, try family-owned Kinloch Lodge on The Isle of Skye, nestled at the foot of Kinloch Hill. Once the ancestral home of Lord Macdonald of Macdonald, it is now a delightful hotel with a hugely popular restaurant. Chef Jordan Webb has found on Skye ingredients and new flavours like nowhere else. The Highlands and Islands contain one of Europe’s last remaining wilderness areas – and the food grown and reared among the unspoilt purity of this land and water tastes complex, decadent and beyond fresh.
As you wind through the scenic Scottish Highlands, why not factor in a stop at The Torridon Resort. Built in 1887 as a highland shooting lodge, The Torridon today is a luxury five star hotel set in 58 acres of stunning parkland, providing an idyllic escape surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
If you are looking to experience a true taste of the Highlands, look no further than a stay at the impressive Glenmorangie House, a luxurious boutique hotel on the Moray Firth. Guests also receive a complimentary tour of the Glenmorangie Distillery.
For a luxury experience in Inverness city centre, enjoy a stay at the Rocpool Reserve Hotel, a Georgian mansion house with charm and charisma situated in the capital of the Highlands. Dine in style and enjoy a private hot tub to relax after a day on the road.
Don’t forget to include a trip to the stunning Dunnet Bay Distillery, located in Caithness in the far north of Scotland, on the NC500. The distillery is most famous for producing the multi award winning Rock Rose Gin, which was launched to critical acclaim in 2015.
Once you have explored the beautiful NC500, why not browse some of our other delightful Luxury Scotland hotels here.
Kintyre Peninsula, Argyll and Bute
The Kintyre 66
The Kintyre 66 covers a 66 mile loop on the A83 and B842 public roads with six spurs allowing drivers to choose their own adventure. It's the perfect way to experience the magnificent peninsula on the west coast of Scotland that inspired Sir Paul McCartney to pen his famous song 'Mull of Kintyre.'
66 miles may not sound like a lot, but there's so much history, natural scenery and fantastic food that you can easily fill a few days. Pristine beaches, sparkling night skies and ancient castles are just some of the things you can expect to see as you drive around the Kintyre peninsula and the islands, just a short hop away by ferry.
The Crinan Hotel near Lochgilphead is just half an hour's drive from Tarbert, where the route begins, and makes a perfect base for exploring everything the Kintyre 66 has to offer. Wake up to dramatic waterfront views before heading south-east on the A83 to the Kintyre Peninsula. Enjoy a picnic on Westport Beach as you watch surfers tackle the Atlantic waves, or marvel at the ancient Ballochroy Standing Stones. If you're feeling active, you could even hike part of the Kintyre Way – a 100 mile walking trail that zig-zags across the peninsula.
For an especially luxurious detour, hop on the ferry across to the Isle of Islay and stay at The Machrie Hotel. The island's only hotel to boast golf links and a spa, it makes the perfect base for tasting Scotland's iconic whisky. Another boon for road-trippers is their Kintyre 66 package, allowing you to hire a Land Rover for the drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Download the Kintyre 66 brochure here to find out more.