Absolute Escapes January 4 2021

The North Coast 500 is a spectacular driving route through some of the best and most untouched coastal and countryside scenery in Europe. To experience some of the very best of Scotland’s hospitality, why not treat yourself to staying in some of the fantastic boutique and luxury accommodations along the route?

Travelling from Inverness, 516 miles around the North Coast of Scotland, you will pass by enormous, mighty mountains, drive along rugged cliffs with far-reaching views out to sea, admire striking natural attractions and enjoy the tranquillity of walking along perfect white beaches or by the side of sparkling lochs.

Six hours drive from Edinburgh will transport you into true wilderness. Here there is exceptional beauty, unforgettable landscapes, sublime food and drink, and warm Highland hospitality.


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Our Premium and Special Places to Stay levels of accommodation allow you to stay in a range of unique hotels, guest houses, country houses and rural retreats, each offering an excellent level of service and a truly memorable stay. We have no doubts that these will be a highlight of your holiday! Choose to stay in these properties throughout your trip, or upgrade for a night or two of added luxury.

Here’s a selection of some of our favourite Premium and Special accommodations along the North Coast 500 …


The Torridon

The Torridon is one of the most renowned hotels along the North Coast 500 and many people may recognise it from the BBC’s ‘Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby’ TV series.

The hotel is the epitome of Highland luxury, sitting tranquilly by the edge of Loch Torridon in a grand, former hunting lodge. The rooms mix Highland and Victorian features with a touch of modernity and extra comfort.

There are incredible opportunities for outdoor activities as well as for eating and drinking. Their whisky bar contains over 365 malts – now we could easily spend an evening in there!


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Links House at Royal Dornoch

Adjacent to the first tee at Royal Dornoch Golf Club is this exceptional, luxury 5* accommodation which was voted one of the best hotels in the UK by Conde Nast in 2020.

The hotel is decorated in a country house style and the main reception rooms are a delight to wander through. The building itself dates all the way back to 1843 and has been beautifully renovated in recent years, including the extensive gardens.

The bedrooms are luxurious and yet comfortable and embody the Highland spirit of the hotel’s location. Take a walk on the stunning beach at Dornoch and then sit back and bask in the opulent surroundings of this incredible accommodation.


Rocpool Reserve Hotel

Located in the delightful city of Inverness, which is the start / end point of the North Coast 500, you have the chance to experience a touch of city life before heading into the heart of rural Scotland.

The Rocpool Reserve is a boutique 5* Hotel which sits close to the River Ness and city centre in an old Georgian manor house.

Everything about the hotel oozes style and luxury from the spa-style bathrooms complete with velvet bathrobes to the modern “destination” cocktail bar. It is the perfect place to start or end your holiday in style!


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Rua Reidh Lighthouse

Rua Reidh is situated at the entrance to Loch Ewe overlooking the sea in one of the most remote locations in Scotland. Here you will feel like you are on the very edge of the world!

This former lighthouse has been re-invented into a bed and breakfast which offers a real escape from modern life. A stay here will appeal to nature lovers or those looking for a digital detox, with ample opportunities for wildlife watching and no phone signal or WiFi in the rooms.

Their evening suppers and large breakfasts are a highlight, with locally sourced or home-made items such as artisan bread and Scottish cheeses.


Shieldaig Lodge Hotel

Another Victorian Hunting Lodge turned into a luxurious hotel, Shieldaig Lodge boasts fantastic views, warm log fireplaces, delicious food and drink and a hearty welcome.

The lodge is next to Gairloch tucked away overlooking Shieldaig Bay. Their incredibly well-stocked bar has every single Scottish gin for you to choose from and the rooms have cosy rugs, antique furnishings and home-made shortbread delivered daily.

One unique experience here is to visit the impressive onsite falconry centre where there are eagles, falcons and owls.


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The Granary Lodge

A treat for royal fans – Granary Lodge B&B is set in the grounds of the Castle of Mey, the famous former home of Her Majesty, the Queen Mother, and was opened by HRH Prince Charles in 2019.

The bed and breakfast has 8 unique and individually decorated rooms with luxurious furnishings.

The views out to the Pentland Firth and Orkney are spectacular, particularly around sunset while the drawing-room is a relaxing spot in which to reflect on a day out and about in the far North. A warm and personal welcome awaits you here.


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Mackay’s Rooms

Mackay’s Rooms is a small, family-run hotel in the heart of the village of Durness, close to Smoo Cave.

This charming little home from home accommodation has just seven rooms all furnished uniquely to give guests maximum comfort and style, mixing contemporary and historical features. The oak floors are stunning and the tweed sofas offer a nice touch.

We love it when places say that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and this certainly rings true here with a fantastic selection of local produce to set you up for exploring this stunning corner of north-west Scotland.

These are just a few of the endless list of excellent accommodation options along the North Coast 500 that will add something truly special to your holiday.

Caitlin Rush
P.S. Absolute Escapes offer self-drive holidays on the North Coast 500 which include carefully-selected accommodation in our favourite places to stay, car hire (if required), sightseeing recommendations, and full financial protection. Enquire now and start looking forward to an unforgettable road trip in Scotland’s amazing far north.

Classic Scottish Road Trips

North Coast 500

From £1370pp

Self-Drive Holidays
Duration 10 Nights
  • Admire the majestic splendour of mountains that Assynt has to offer
  • Experience a thrilling journey over the Bealach na Bà
  • Discover Achmelvich Bay, one of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches

Grand Road Trip of Scotland

From £2330pp

Self-Drive Holidays
Duration 17 Nights
  • The spectacular beauty and grandeur of the rugged coastline of Wester Ross
  • The Malt Whisky Trail, with the opportunity to visit Glenfiddich and Macallan Distilleries
  • The medieval university town of St Andrews - the home of golf

North East 250

From £1105pp

Self-Drive Holidays
Duration 8 Nights
  • Incredible mountain landscape and Britain’s highest road in the Cairngorms National Park
  • Brooding Dunnottar Castle and the splendid Balmoral Castle Estate
  • The Malt Whisky Trail including Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Glenlivet Distilleries

Hebridean Island Hopping

From £1320pp

Self-Drive Holidays
Duration 8 Nights
  • Luskentyre beach - one of the most spectacular beaches in Scotland
  • Travel back in time at the 5,000 year old Callanish Standing Stones
  • 16th century Kisimul Castle - the magnificent 'Castle in the Sea'

Shetland & Orkney: Escape to the Edge

From £1385pp

Self-Drive Holidays
Duration 8 Nights
  • A unique blend of Scandinavian and Scottish culture.
  • Archaeological wonders such as Skara Brae, Jarlshof, the Ring of Brodgar, and the Standing Stones of Stenness
  • Abundant nature including dolphins, porpoises, puffins and guillemots
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