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    Self Guided Plus+ Cycling

    North Coast 500

    9 reviews

    Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From £1,195

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    Trip created by Craig Little
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    Region: North West Highlands
    Trip Type: Self Guided Cycling
    Accommodation: Classic
    Deposit From: £298.75 £298.75

    Grading: Your Own Pace

    Carbon Footprint: 165kg ? What does this mean?
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    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    500 miles in 7 days. This epic adventure on two wheels will take you through some of the wildest and most spectacular roads and scenery in Europe. This self-guided but fully supported trip sees you journey from the breathtaking and ancient mountains of Torridon to the wild coasts of Assynt and the vast moorland of Sutherland.

    With your warm and welcoming accommodation arranged, your bikes prepped, and your soigneur taking care of all the details, all you have to think about is turning the wheels. With over 10,000 meters of elevation, this 500 miles-long journey truly is a cycling trip of a lifetime.

    This price is based on a group of 6, prices will vary depending on group size. Please get in touch with the team to confirm the trip price for your group

    Trip Highlights

    • Enjoy full vehicle and mechanical support from a qualified guide, while enjoying the freedom to cycle at your own pace
    • Ride along beautiful isolated roads surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain and coastal scenery in the UK
    • Pit yourself against the famous Bealach na Ba - voted as the best day cycle in the UK
    • Enjoy the journey as your soigneur / support guide takes care of all the details
    • Experience the freedom of just turning the wheels as your luggage is transferred each day
    • Stay in handpicked warm and welcoming highland accommodation

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 - Inverness to Achnasheen

    Meeting in Inverness, we’ll transfer a short way out of the city to a quiet spot where we will set up the bikes and make sure you are comfortable with the route before you head off. An easy cruise out of Inverness on rolling roads, keep your eye out for the red kites as you travel north to Garve. Here, the support vehicle will be waiting to provide a welcome snack before you start heading west. You’ll enjoy a smooth road and lovely views of the winding River Bran as the scenery becomes more mountainous. Arriving at your accommodation you’ll have time to settle in while your support guide makes any adjustments to the bikes to make sure they are ready to go tomorrow. (B)

    Ride details: 40 miles / 64 km | approx. 3 hours | Elevation: 1,955 ft / 595 m

    Day 2 - Achnasheen to Shieldaig

    Set out for the village of Strathcarron after breakfast today. The riding from this point on is incredible and exploring the area by bike gives you the opportunity to really take in the stunning scenery. From Strathcarron, a short warm-up climb prepares the legs for what lies ahead. The Bealach na Ba is the UK’s highest and toughest road climb. With hairpin bends and ramps of up to 20%, you’ll be working all the way to the top – although the support van is always there if you need a boost – where the most incredible view of the Scottish Islands and West Coast awaits. After an amazing descent, our work isn’t quite finished with some punchy climbing around the spectacular coastal road which eventually reaches the charming village of Shieldaig. (B)

    Ride details: 63 miles / 102 km | approx. 4.5 hours | Elevation: 5,593 ft / 1,705 m

    Day 3 - Shieldaig to Ullapool

    After breakfast this morning, you’ll get back on the bike ready for the day’s adventure. The route winds its way through arguably the most spectacular landscape in the UK. Dramatic mountains rise like ancient giants and provide an unforgettable backdrop. An early lunch in the fishing village of Gairloch offers an opportunity to recharge with some local seafood before we continue around the coast. Our destination for this evening is Ullapool – very much the “capital” of the Northwest Highlands, home to a great range of restaurants and bars. (B)

    Ride details: 93 miles / 148 km | approx 6.5 hours | Elevation: 6,667 ft / 1,971m

    Day 4 - Ullapool to Kylesku

    Start your morning with a climb out of Ullapool, rewarded with fantastic views as the mountain scene reveals itself. Today you’ll be riding some truly epic roads. Our favourite section, known locally as “the wee mad road,” squeezes between mountains and sea as it winds its way north. We’ll stop in Lochinver where we’ll enjoy lunch in the famous pie shop – a highlight in a day of highlights. The next 22 miles almost defy description. A looping ribbon of tarmac climbs and descends for over 3300ft/1000m. Look out for sheep that roam freely here – they tend to be the cause of traffic jams as you wait for them to casually move off the road. Arriving at your accommodation this evening, you’ll be tired but happy after an incredible day and you can relax as you admire dramatic views of sea lochs. (B)

    Ride details: 55 miles / 88 km | approx 4 hours | Elevation: 5,459 ft / 1,663 m

    Day 5 - Kylesku to Melvich

    You’ll start the day by crossing the iconic Kylesku bridge before continuing north. Following the winding coast, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Atlantic. After 21 miles you’ll cross inland on the most northerly road connecting the west and north coasts. It’s 14 miles of single-lane riding as you cross through wild moorland covered in heather and bog cotton. Arriving at Durness, there will be time for a break to explore the quirky artists’ studios and maybe grab a hot chocolate from a local chocolatier. Back on the bikes, it’s a wonderful ride along the north coast following the sea in places and dipping inland again to reach your accommodation with views of a sandy beach and impressive sea cliffs. (B)

    Ride details: 88 miles / 141 km | approx 6 | Elevation: 7,064 ft / 2,153 m

    Day 6 - Melvich to Golspie

    From the sands of Melvich, you turn south this morning and head into the “Flow Country” where we exchange wild coast for wild moorland. There is very little traffic on this route so keep an ear out for the songs of the many bird species that make this remote and isolated valley their home. You’ll cross the west-east watershed and climb through another wild and beautiful glen before a fun descent takes you to the east coast. You’ll follow the coast for a short time before arriving at Golspie where you finish the day. (B)

    Ride details: 62 miles / 100 km | approx. 5 hours | Elevation: 3,068 ft / 935 m

    Day 7 - Golspie to Inverness

    After a final hearty breakfast, you’ll get back in the saddle today for the last push. You’ll cycle along the tranquil coastline of the Dornoch Firth and then there’s an optional ferry ride to take you across to the Black Isle and the historic town of Cromarty. You can explore the streets and look out for the Dolphins that are often spotted on this stretch of coast. After lunch at a local cafe, the final part of the ride sees you cross the Moray Firth and head on backroads into the centre of Inverness where your North Coast 500 journey will end. Your support guide will hand back your luggage and you can either continue your journey home or spend a final night in Inverness.  (B)

    Ride details: 62 miles / 100 km | approx. 6 hours | Elevation: 3.020 ft / 920 m

    Self Guided <i>Plus+</i> Cycling
    North Coast 500

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    Price from: £1,195
    Duration: 7 Days 6 Nights

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    This itinerary includes 6 nights in 3-4 star accommodation, staying at some of our favourite locally-owned guesthouses and small hotels along the North Coast 500 route, each handpicked for their warm welcome and bike friendly facilities. Single rooms are available on request.

    Accommodation Upgrades are available in some locations for a supplement and are subject to availability. Please note that choosing to upgrade the accommodation may mean additional transfers to and from the route at the beginning and end of each day.

    Meals Read More

    Breakfast is included each day barring Day 1. Your soigneur will suggest a number of options for your lunches and evening meals in each location.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 6 nights accommodation in 3-4 star locally-owned guesthouses and small hotels
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary: Breakfast each day
    • A support vehicle, with a guide who will offer guidance, local insights, snacks, change of clothes, navigation and a boost if needed
    • Soigneur / Support driver, bike mechanic and first aider available 24/7 while on the trip
    • Essential equipment including GPS with pre-loaded routes, bike lock, bike tool, spare inner tube, pump and tyre levers
    • Bike cleaning and maintenance throughout the trip
    • Welcome briefing and expert bike fitting on Day 1 if hiring
    • Daily luggage transfers

    Need a bike? See our bike hire page for details.

    Trip Grading Read More

    At Your Own Pace

    On this adventure, you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Scotland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes from gentle low level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready.

    On the other days of the trip, you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    Arrival Info

    Meet at Inverness Train Station at 10:30 on Day 1

    Departure Info

    You will be returned to Inverness Train Station by 18:00 on the final day

    Upgrade and Customise Your Trip Read More

    Accommodation Upgrades are available in some locations for a supplement and are subject to availability. Please note that choosing to upgrade the accommodation may mean additional transfers to and from the route at the beginning and end of each day.

    Other Read More

    For a full list of inclusions please see our comparison table here

    Looking to extend your stay? Get in touch with our friendly sales team to book extra nights before or after your trip.

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    Speak to an Expert

    Bridget Brown

    Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Scotland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

    Ask Bridget a Question

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Self guided trips can be taken at your own pace, meaning that you can travel whenever and at whatever pace you feel comfortable, leaving time for optional extra activities, explorations or relaxing.

    On this self guided cycling adventure, each day you will have detailed route notes to follow. On most days, you will also have the option to extend your cycling routes with optimal extensions ranging from 2 to 25 miles.

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 9 reviews of Self Guided+ Cycling – North Coast 500



    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.


    Christopher Morrogh

    Reviewed on 06/06/2022

    Age: 50 - 60
    Trip Date: 19/05/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    A memorable experience made particularly special by our guide Ben. You also did a very good job in finding really pleasant accommodations which makes a big difference at the end of exhausting days.


    Justin Hanslip

    Reviewed on 04/06/2022

    Age: 50 - 60
    Trip Date: 19/05/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Fabulous! (Despite the rain every day)!!


    John Fuller

    Reviewed on 01/06/2022

    Age: 60 - 70
    Trip Date: 19/05/2022
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I'd certainly recommend this trip to cyclists I meet. I think it's one that many would enjoy but may not have considered. It was a tougher route than I'd expected, but very good for that.

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