Manual 9 MILES BETTER - THE ULTIMATE COAST TO COAST GUIDE

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The day between Richmond and Ingleby Cross is long but the terrain is fairly flat. Our 17 Night itinerary is the longest itinerary we offer and breaks the walk down into easier manageable sections over 16 walking days an 18 day trip in total including your arrival and departure days. The long day between Richmond and Ingleby Cross splits in Danby Whiske making this section more manageable. I would suggest if you are looking for a more relaxing walk with a reasonable average daily distance, then either of the last two itineraries would suit.

Many of our customers will tackle only one section and then take on the other section a year later. I have been lucky enough to travel around most parts of Europe, and I'm always looking forward to my next adventure! Keep up to date with the latest updates and offers on all things walking, cycling, and adventure travel. We offer a range of over walking and cycling tours: Blog — Macs Adventure. This blog post will give you all the information you will need to work out how many days would be right for you: One of our customers enjoying the C2C walk last summer.

Email Newsletter Keep up to date with the latest updates and offers on all things walking, cycling, and adventure travel. About Macs Adventure Macs Adventure specialise in outstanding walking holidays and cycling holidays in the UK, Europe and around the world. If you're interested, you can read more about us here. How to prepare for your first road cycling holiday. How to Get Fit for a Walking Holiday in One advantage of driving it counterclockwise heading towards Invergordon and east coast first is that the most dramatic portions to us anyway are along the north and west coasts so you save those towards the end of the trip, so the ruggedness continues to increase along the drive.

However there is no right way to drive the route so head in the direction that makes the most sense for you! Yes, as of , there are enough electrical charing points around the route for those with fully electric cars to drive the route safely. The most popular way to experience the North Coast is by car, but it is also a popular route for motorcyclists and cyclists. If you have a lot of time, you can also traverse it by foot. Just note that some sections can be dangerous for bikers, horse riders, and pedestrians e.

If you prefer not to be at the wheel or handles at all, you also have the option of booking a guided tour or hiring a private driver guide. See section on tours below. You might also be wondering if you can do the North Coast by train. The simple answer is no, there is no train route that approximates the route and an entire portion of the northwest of Scotland has no train connections. However, if you really want to travel via train you can do a portion of the route by train and stop at several of the towns in the area.

You can take the Inverness to Thurso train route it also branches to Wick as well train route and then head back to Inverness and take the train line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. Check the ScotRail website for the route details and to buy tickets. Yes, if you prefer not to drive yourself you do have some options to book a guided North Coast group or private tour. Most Scotland-based tour companies should be able to arrange a guided NC private tour to suit your needs although you will pay a lot more than you would if you did a group tour or a self-drive trip.

Inverness is probably the most convenient place to start a NC tour, but any of the above companies should be able to arrange departure and return via Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Inverness. Currently few companies are offering NC tours, especially group tours, but the options will likely increase as the popularity of the route increases.

If you are not bringing along your own vehicle, you can easily rent one in Scotland. You can also rent motorcycles, bikes, cycling gear, campervans, and camping gear once you arrive. Depending on where you arrive and plan to leave in Scotland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, and Aberdeen are the four largest cities and best places for rentals. It is easy to rent a car from Inverness Airport or downtown Inverness. A GPS unit can also be helpful for navigation. Enterprise are usually our favourite for car hire.

Each rental car agency has its own rental policies. If the license is not in English or Latin alphabet, then you will need to get a validated English translation or have an International Driving Permit. Surcharges may apply to drivers under age For instance, even cars rented in Ireland or Northern Ireland can sometimes not be brought by ferry over to Scotland. There are a couple of places you can rent motorcycles along the North Coast A bit south of Inverness is Cairngorm Campers.

For camping, hiking, biking, and outdoor gear, we can recommend the following outdoors gear stores which are all located in Inverness: Go Outdoors, Blacks, Tiso, and Trespass. There are several places to rent bikes along the NC Most bike companies also rent bike gear and accessories and some also can arrange for guided day or multi-day tours. This is particularly true if you are planning to drive a rental car, caravan, or motorhome. Some things that may be new for you are driving on the left side of the road, driving on single-track roads, and driving in areas where livestock is unfenced.

Increased tourism in the Highlands has led to more traffic accidents and complaints. We have a post full of tips for driving in the UK that you should check out.

Cross country: trail running the coast-to-coast route

The infrastructure of the Highlands in some areas is not fully ready to handle mass tourism, but most traffic incidents can be avoided by following the driving laws, knowing how to safely drive your vehicle, and being prepared. If you see a vehicle coming towards you, or the driver behind you wants to pass, pull into a passing place on your left, or wait opposite a passing place on your right until the car goes past you.

Give way to vehicles coming uphill whenever you can. You may need to reverse to get into the nearest passing space which is why it is important to know how to safely reverse your vehicle which can be a problem for those in caravans or with rental vehicles. We noticed a lot of people who were stopping on the road, to the side of the road, or in passing places during our trip. This is unsafe and also illegal in some cases.

Do not use passing places for parking, these are needed for traffic to properly pass on single-track lanes. Stopping in the middle of the road to take in a view or photo is holding up traffic and may result in an accident. If you want to stop, find a safe place to pull off in a designated parking space or lot.

The Bealach Na Ba is a narrow windy stretch of road near Applecross, and the most difficult and steepest stretch of the official NC route. This route often gets blocked by inexperienced drivers and also shut down by bad weather conditions, and you should not drive this route unless you know how to drive single-track roads, use passing places, and reverse your vehicle safely. We would also recommend avoiding the B from Lochinver to Kylesku as this can be a tricky route to follow for large vehicles.

If you take the A back from Lochinver on the the main road you will be fine. As always, please take due caution on the roads and use passing places where possible. You want to drive at a speed that feels safe and you are likely going to be driving slower if you are new to single-track roads or are driving a motorhome or caravan. However, you are likely going to be causing frustration to those behind you wanting to drive at a normal speed, especially those not on vacation. So be mindful and pull over into a passing place or parking area every so often to let faster traffic pass you.

They will be very grateful! Large sections of the Scottish Highlands have unfenced livestock which include cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. It is not uncommon to see animals, especially sheep, on or right next to the road. Drive slowly around turns, follow the speed limits, and keep vigilant for livestock. They will rarely run out onto the road in front of you, but it can be easy to miss a little lamb lying on the road until it is too late.

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Lambs are most vulnerable in the Spring and early summer. Wild animals, particularly deer, may also be on the road and are much more likely to run out in front of you. Be extra mindful for deer in the early morning and evening hours when they are most active. The North Coast is not a route for those who want to drive fast. The speed limits are often low and single-track roads mean a lot of slowing down and stopping. Even if you are an experienced driver and know the route, you can be sure that you are sharing it with less experienced drivers and speeding could cause you to hit them or they hit you.

Bring along bags or containers you can keep in your car to store your trash and wait until you get to a proper place to dispose of it responsibly. One common issue is that tourists are throwing garbage into proper trash receptacles but the receptacles are already overflowing so the garbage ends up on the ground or in the water anyway.


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The drink drive laws in Scotland were changed in and are now very strict with low limits to discourage drinking and driving. The legal drinking limit is now lower than in any other part of the UK. You could still be charged even if you are riding a bike. If you are planning on drinking, even one drink could put you over the legal limit, so plan to stay in after drinking, have a designated driver, or call a taxi. The popularity of the North Coast has brought both benefits and negative consequences to this part of Scotland.

Some of the negative side effects of increased tourism have been increased littering, overwhelmed local services during the summer, and more traffic accidents and complaints. Common tourist complaints by locals in the area include improper driving on one-track roads, parking in passing places or in places that are not designated parking spaces, putting garbage into overflowing trash cans, not picking up after dogs, dogs chasing or harming livestock, leaving garbage and human waste at campsites yuck! All of the above issues are easy to avoid by following road safety guidelines and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

I strongly recommend checking out the Scottish Outdoor Access Code website which covers information, tips, and guidelines relevant to campers, cyclists, hill walkers, dog owners, horse riders, farmers, beach goers, park visitors, and more! Be a good traveler and respect this beautiful area of Scotland, which has been relatively unspoiled by mass tourism. What you need and want to pack is going to depend a lot on you what do you normally pack for trips?

Then you can use this to create your own personalized North Coast Packing List. Everyone will have a different set of general packing items they bring on any trip and things they enjoy having on a road trip. Here are some general road trip supplies to help you get started: First, you may want to invest in a guidebook for the North Coast or if your travels are taking you elsewhere in Scotland, a Scotland guidebook. Ticks can also be a problem in these same months, especially if you plan to hike. You may also want to bring water proof bags to keep wet clothing, supplies, and camera gear.

If you plan to hike, you may want to invest in a good set of hiking maps, especially for those planning to do longer distance hillwalking, climbing, or hiking. Ordinance Survey maps are the ones we recommend see below. If you are bringing your own car or renting, most of the things you need should already be in it, but it is important to check before you go.


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  • If you have a rental car or RV, make sure you know how everything works e. Some things to consider: We hope you have found this North Coast guide helpful! As always, all questions and comments are welcome. We partnered with North Coast who helped us plan the logistics of our trip and also arranged many of our meals and accommodation in order for us to share our experiences as travel writers.

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    We had input into every place we stayed, ate, and visited, and we covered our own transport costs and additional expenses. Great blog, thank you. A lot of useful info. We have 2 dogs and will we stopping in our T5 and various campsites.

    Hoping to go to Skye for a night or 2 and maybe isle of Harris and Mull depending on time. Is everywhere mainly dog friendly? A lot of people in Scotland travel with their dogs and you should find plenty to do. Luckily most nesting birds will be gone by October and lambs will be larger, which are 2 of the biggest issues with dogs in this area. Most beaches allow dogs and allow them to be off leash if supervised and cleaned up after.

    Most places have dog waste disposal bins. You can see our suggested NC camping itinerary for ideas of where to stay along the route. You can easily spend days on any of the islands. We will be in an Elddis Autoquest motor home which is approx 19 feet in length and 7 feet wide. Are there any parts of the trip that you would advise us to avoid with a van of this size. Many thanks for any help you can give us and congratulations on such a wonderfully friendly and indepth site Regards June. That sounds like a fun trip, and very happy you are finding our blog helpful in planning your North Coast road trip!

    Much of the road along the NC especially in the north and west are narrow single-track roads that were not designed for a lot of traffic or larger vehicles. But as long as you are patient and know how to drive safely on single-track roads and use passing places you should be fine in a motorhome of that size for the majority of the route. The two stretches of the road that are usually noted as unsuitable for larger caravans and motorhomes are:. This is on the southwestern part of the route over by Applecross.

    It is easy to avoid as you can take the slip road up to the A instead. So I would just avoid those 2 stretches and you should be fine.

    You might find this suggested 7 day camping itinerary useful as it provides a suggested NC itinerary and tips for those planning to camp or stay in motorhomes along the route. Hope this helps, and if you have further questions as you plan your trip feel free to reach out. Many thanks for the advice Jessica. We will be sure to bear this in mind when we undertake the trip Regards June. Great article guide on the North Coast Planning on taking the new Overland vehicle on its first official adventure in early September with our 2 dogs, so came across your guide.

    Very well written and a great starting point for planning. Hopefully will be doing a lot of rough camping. Hi Chris, Wishing you the best of luck on your upcoming North Coast road trip! Glad the guide has been helpful in planning your road trip. If you are planning on camping, you can check out this 1 week NC camping itinerary.

    Enjoy your time in northern Scotland! There is so much interesting and helpful information in this North Coast guide, thanks a lot for providing it! Hi Julie, So happy your enjoyed our NC guide, and do let us know if you have any questions as you plan your NC road trip! Even more excited to get going now!! We would either be camping or borrowing a pop-up trailer from a friends. Would we be ok waiting booking into camp sites at the time?

    I usually have a fairly flexible style to travel but a little worried about a lack of facilities in the busy season would mean no availability. September will get calmer once schools are back in session. So it will depend a little on your dates and it is hard to predict the numbers but summer is a very busy time. I think a lot of people who camp have a more flexible travel style so you should be OK to wait to book until a bit closer to your trip. But I would not wait too long if you have an idea of where you want to stay as the facilities are limited and there are only so many campsite along the NC Currently the need is exceeding the demand at different points in the summer.

    In general, I would recommend booking at least 1 month in advance if you need facilities e. But if you just need a campsite with just basic amenities access to toilets, shower block, waste disposal station, drinking water , then you have much more flexibility. But in some areas, like Applecross, there is only one campsite so for places like this it is good to book a bit in advance if you can. You can check out this NC camping itinerary for some ideas for campsites along the North Coast and camping tips.

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    Done that been there several times up down across and back in our camper and up apple cross. Hi Paul, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Yes, it is certainly a beautiful area of Scotland, very popular with people from England who love the mountains and more rugged terrain! Hope you have many more chances to return and visit the northern Highlands of Scotland!

    I enjoyed reading the information about the NC However, you made no mention of how someone with restricted mobility would cope with such a trip. I have a blue badge for my car and walk using a rollator with a seat. Obviously I would not be doing any hiking and getting onto a beach is difficult but I would like to think that there is enough that is accessible to make the trip worthwhile. Glad you enjoyed our North Coast guides. Yes, since many of the attractions are outdoors and natural, some may not be an option for someone with restricted mobility.

    However, many of the scenic viewpoint stops are viewable from the parking area or a very short walk from it and even some of the longer paths have been designed for those with restricted mobility in mind such as this one in Assynt.

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    But for the most part, the hiking trails and beaches are difficult in terms of accessibility. The area can be challenging as even some of the top attractions like Dunrobin Castle have a number of stairs that need to be navigated to tour the castle although wheelchair access can be arranged to visit the gardens. But I think the best thing to do would be to make a list of attractions you really want to visit and then check their websites or call them about accessibility.

    Then you can decide if there appears to be enough things available that you want to do to visit. I know as tourism has increased along the North Coast there has been growing awareness of this as a concern for businesses. I know that many of the museums and visitor centers are wheelchair accessible and therefore accessible with a rollator. Hope this helps, it is not an easy answer. But do let us know if you have further questions and we will try to help! Indeed, over miles of gorgeous scenery. Like always, your guides are so detailed.

    I would so love to take this road trip sometimes.

    How Many Days to Walk the Coast to Coast? - Blog - Macs Adventure

    First off, it was great meeting you guys at TBex! This looks like a fantastic drive! We got a good bit of single track and drive on the left! You mention hiring a driver or doing a tour. Ah, glad you got some experience driving in Ireland, that will definitely come in handy for Scotland.