North Coast 500 | Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate


I know it’s probably old already but WE DROVE THE NORTH COAST 500. Swear I’ll stop going on about it at some point. 

The main tip I’d give for organising a NC500 road trip is to book in advance. As much as I liked the idea of simply booking our flights in and out of Inverness, picking up our hire car and then just driving off and seeing what happened; the NC500 takes more planning than that. Unless you plan on wild camping (my only regret), you will need to book your accommodation for each night because everywhere gets booked up in advance. I don’t think we saw a B&B with any vacancies the entire trip – and there were a lot of B&Bs.  The same goes for food – some places you stop at for the night will literally just have the one restaurant and said restaurant only has 5 tables so yeah; you get my drift. You gotta get organised. 

So here’s where we stayed and where we ate along the North Coast 500…. 

Night one: Lochcarron


Accommodation: The Sithean B&B 
Pronounced ‘she-hen’ and meaning ‘fairy hill’; we thought this place was adorable. It was set into the hills so took about half an hour to walk into the ‘centre’ of Lochcarron but it was a very pleasant walk so we didn’t mind. The owner was really friendly, we had freshly-baked scones waiting for us upon arrival and the view was stunning. There were all these lovely touches that made it feel a really special place. I loved the sculpture of the highland cow which, if you looked closely, had a little fairy sitting on a swing inside it. The breakfast (full Scottish for G, Scottish oatmeal for me - with full cream!) was also really tasty. 

Very small and very popular, with only 9 tables. We had a slight moment of panic when we arrived and found they’d messed up our booking because, as far as I could tell, this was the only place around. But they seated us just fine and we had a really nice meal. The inside weirdly reminded me of a Greek taverna – I think perhaps it was the cute simplicity of the place? All the menu was written on blackboards all over the wall and we both ordered the ‘posh fish n chips’. Battered salmon fillet, langoustine and smoked salmon with chips and peas. I wasn’t quite prepared for the langoustine to come with shell, eyes & all and it was so much faff for like half a mouthful of food but the battered salmon was tasty and the chips incredible. Only downside of the place was your choices were either fish or meat; no veggie options in sight. Otherwise, would definitely recommend. Sticky toffee pudding was a highlight.

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate


North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

Night Two: Gairloch 


Accommodation: Gairloch View B&B 
A bit more basic compared to the Sithean but no complaints. Again, owners were friendly and we had tea and cake on arriving. The best thing about this place was definitely the view (clue’s in the title). We managed to time our arrival just as the sun came out and we sat on the deck looking out across Gairloch and out to sea with blue skies and sunshine; it was glorious. 

Pretty average tbh. Nothing wrong, but I wouldn’t shout home about it. We very much enjoyed the view of the mountains though, and the home-made apple crumble was pretty good.

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate


Night Three: Ullapool


Accommodation: Ferry Boat Inn
The pub itself was lovely; 100% our kind of place. The room was what you’d probably expect above an inn; clean but basic. Although the shower didn’t drain properly. Considering this was the most expensive place we stayed (£100), I’m not sure you’d say it was good value for money. It did the job though and, like I said, we liked the pub itself.  

Food: Fish and chips sat on the front! Really fresh and really tasty – we loved! 

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate


Night Four: Lochinver


Accommodation: The Rose Guest House 
Had a bit of a hostel vibe going on which we weren’t a massive fan of. Great view over Lochinver though and I was impressed with the packed lunch they did us to take away: pile of sandwiches, crisps, tomatoes, kit kat, apple & orange juice for just a fiver. 

Lochinver has a foodie reputation and Peet’s did not disappoint. A vegan menu! Gluten free! The choice! The ‘Peets parcel’ which I had for my starter – goat’s cheese wrapped in ham and chutney – was heavenly. Main was a spicy sausage, chilli, pesto, parmesan & rocket pizza and dessert was a chocolate orange torte. Loved the atmosphere of the place and the service was really high quality. Would highly recommend. 

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate


Night Five: Kinlochbervie 


Accommodation and food: The Old School Restaurant and Rooms 
Big fan of this place.  Right on the side of the road just outside Kinlochbervie overlooking a spectacular view. The old school (from 1879 – 1970) has been converted into a restaurant and the rooms are in an annex, with a little stream running under the window. The restaurant had all these cute little touches, playing on the history of the place, like the kitchen door with a ‘headmaster’ sign and blackboards dotted about on the walls. There was an impressively stocked bar and the food was all really good quality. G said his paté was incredible so there you go. 

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

Night Six: Melvich


Accommodation and food: The Melvich Hotel
Loved loved loved. Located on a hill-top, looking out to sea. There was a perfectly placed bench at the edge of the garden, where we sat with drinks enjoying the view. The décor was shabby-chic, nautical and awash with fairy lights; basically everything I want in life. We stayed in a twin room because it was the cheapest and it was nice and cosy. 

Their food speciality is stone baked pizzas and honestly, they were absolutely incredible. I genuinely think maybe the best pizzas of my life? We shared two between us – one ‘Brims Ness’ which was salami, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and one ‘Farr’ which was mozzarella, goat’s cheese, highland brie and basil. The ‘Farr’ was insanely good and I wish I could eat it at least once a week. G had ice cream for dessert and they had a huge range of flavours, and I had the Italian doughballs which were rather sexy (although still not as good as the pizza…). 

We had drinks in the lounge afterwards and spent a good while reading through the original guest books / registers – the hotel was established in 1851 and it was fascinating to see all the people that had passed through over the many years. 

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

Night Seven: Lybster 


Accommodation: This cosy cabin booked via Airbnb
I wish we had booked two nights at this place; it was freakin’ glorious. Again, located on a hill top (are ya sensing a theme?) with a beautiful view of the sea. The cabin was adorably cosy with all these homey touches. My favourite part was probably the handful of chickens wandering about. They weren’t bothered by us whatsoever and had no qualms at attempting to get into the cabin or hopping up onto the table; I thought they were hilarious. It also meant we got fresh eggs for breakfast in the morning so win win. 

Food: the one night we self-catered! We had pasta and some rice pudding and it was actually quite nice just to have something simple after a week of indulgence. There was a little picnic bench just outside where we sat to eat and drink gin in the beautiful sunshine.

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

Night Eight: Inverness 


Accommodation: Touchwood House booked via Airbnb
By far the most unusual place we stayed. This was a grand Edwardian mansion, hidden behind a mini forest. It was quite something to pull up to; Gary had just commented that it looked like somewhere that could be haunted and then the big front door creaked open to reveal a woman in black stood behind it (she was very friendly though)! The house was huge, creaking and mysterious; like a never-ending maze. The lounge was lit mostly by blue fairy lights and the house was full of witch figurines, huge plants, and had its own resident ginger cat called Bailey! We stayed in the ‘Alice’ room which was Alice in Wonderland themed. It certainly was surreal and I’m not sure G knew what to make of it all but I thought it was the perfect way to end a week that had felt full of adventure. 

We hadn’t booked anything in Inverness, assuming that we’d be fine now that we were back to civilisation but it turned out that booking was important in Inverness on a Saturday night! We were lucky in the end. We stopped at this place because it was right on the river and you could sit outside so we thought it was perfect for a drink. We asked to book a table inside for later in the evening but they had nothing available. Luckily the weather was warm enough to stay out so we ended up having a few drinks and then ordering food outdoors. The food was really tasty and I would definitely recommend – particularly the truffled parmesan fries. 

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

North Coast 500: Where We Stayed & Ate

No comments