The NC500 has everything – towering peaks, white beaches soaked by turquoise waves, historical treasures. Peace. Tranquility.
Criminally, food is an afterthought for many travellers – but it needn’t be, the 500 mile stretch is studded with outstanding restaurants, the majority of which put an emphasis on the local ingredients at their disposal, from freshly caught fish to rich-tasting venison.
Punctuating your long drives with pit-stops is essential, and it’s worth breaking up your unforgettable day with a lingering break at one of these outstanding restaurants.
The drive over Bealach Na Ba to Applecross is mildly treacherous – reward the driver with a spot of lunch at the delightful Walled Garden in this picture perfect village.
The cafe-restaurant is an island in a sea of multi-coloured wild flowers, herbaceous borders and vegetable gardens, with much of the food sourced from the garden itself.
Delicious seafood is also locally sourced, though coffee and cakes are also available for those looking for a quick bite.
A historic fish port, Ullapool is home to a number of great spots for freshly caught seafood and chips.
The humble shoreside Seafood Shack is arguably the pick of the bunch with its cooked to order fish from lobster to haddock. This is fast food with a difference.
An eye-catching yellow, it’s hard to miss Suttor Creek when you’re in Cromarty
If you’re in town on a Saturday, pop into the restaurant and capitalise on their outstanding fish and chips and a can of local Cromarty beer for a tenner.
For a break from seafood, try the eatery’s wood-fired pizza. If you’re feeling adventurous, tuck into the Black Isler, a doughy disc topped with haggis, black pudding, mushroom and bacon.
A popular pitstop with NC500 visitors, the Storehouse foodhall is a vast larder of locally sourced goods from smoked salmon to Black Isle Dairy ice cream.
Peckish travellers can choose to eat at the venue’s restaurant with a constantly rotating menu of local fayre available to diners from breakfast to supper.
The restaurant is wonderfully situated against the backdrop of the Cromarty Firth.
Scotland boasts some of the world’s best seafood – and there are few better places to sample the delights of the depth than the Captain’s Galley in Scrabster.
Hosted by husband and wife team Jim and Wendy Cowie, the Captain’s Galley also offers a warm and friendly northern Highland welcome to guests from far and wide.
The award-winning and sustainable restaurant has a constantly rotating menu of stunning seafood dishes with king scallops, grilled langoustines, razor clams and fish cakes all featuring on occasion.
Situated at the confluence of Loch Gleann Dubh and Loch a Chairn Bhain, Kylesku is the remote and charming setting that most rippers are seeking when they set off on their 500-mile adventure.
The Kylesku Hotel gives you an excuse to dwell in the glorious setting, with its award-winning menu and inviting setting.
The restaurant takes advantage of the fishermen, crofters and producers on their doorstep, dishing up refined but non-pretentious plates of outstanding Scottish food from a bowl of cullen skink to a plate of Kylestrome venison haunch.