7 reasons to travel the NC500 during spring
If you’re planning on holidaying along the NC500, have you considered visiting during spring?
While the Scottish Highlands are beautiful no matter when you visit, there’s something magical about springtime.
The days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and there is new life emerging wherever you turn. But why the Scottish Highlands in particular? Well, we’re probably bias but we don’t think it gets much better than up here at the tip of mainland Britain.
Read on to discover our seven reasons to travel the NC500 during spring – we struggled to keep it to seven!
Businesses open back up
After closing for the winter season, local businesses start opening up come the spring months, meaning there’ll be plenty of small shops and companies for you to support! If it’s food you’re after, why not have a coffee break in the Elphin Tearooms, or an infamous Lochinver Larder pie?
Or if you fancy taking a few gifts back to loved ones, there’s nothing better than supporting small businesses and shopping local, such as Assynt Aromas or Lochinver Landscapes – and you’ll return with something truly unique and special.
And if memorable days out with the family are what you’re after, why not visit John O’Groats Brewery at the tip of Scotland, explore the fantastic geology around Inchndamph, or majestic Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, a suspension bridge with the River Droma rushing through a mile-long box canyon below.
Longer days, warmer and, hopefully(!) drier weather!
It’s no secret that it rains a lot in Scotland. That being said, it doesn’t rain half as much as people like to make out, and we should know! We often witness all four seasons in one day up here, especially during the spring months. And while this can be tricky if you’re planning your days, it also provides some epic scenery and views to make your trip extra memorable.
It’ll start to warm up too. However, it may take a little while longer than further south, so still worth packing a few jumpers with you for the evenings!
Being at the very tip of Scotland means we’re blessed with some of the longest days and shortest nights across the UK during the spring and summer months. If you’re lucky enough to see some sun, you can guarantee an epic sunset – especially from Stoer Head Lighthouse and Old Man of Stoer.
Cherry Blossom and lambing season
With spring comes new life, the season of growth and new beginnings. The dark, cold days of winter are finally behind us and the hope of spring is here.
The highlands truly come alive now, with daffodils, bluebells, primroses and cherry blossom all filling the landscape with bright bursts of colour.
Visit late spring and you’ll be greeted by lambs scurrying across fields (and roads, so do take care). Bird life will increase, with puffins and swallows migrating home for the summer months!
Tourism season up here on the NC500 doesn’t really start until late May/June time so now is the perfect time to escape and live your road-trip dreams without the crowds!
Accommodation will be more varied with fewer holidaymakers, the roads will be quieter and you’ll be able to sight-see with uninterrupted views, in your own time.
The best one: no midges!
You can’t imagine a summer holiday in Scotland without being daunted by the prospect of being inundated with midges. Well, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any in spring! Typically they’re around in July and August, meaning the spring months of March to May should be midge-free. Go and enjoy that walk along the loch, or hike up a mountain – there’s little risk of you being bitten alive!
The start of the Highland Games
Later in the season is the return of the Highland Games, a celebration of Scottish culture that have been taking place for hundreds of years.
Expect a caber toss, Highland dancing and music, livestock events and ceilidhs – they’re usually one-day events and they’re brilliant fun for all the family. You’ll find Highland Games taking place across the whole country throughout spring and summer, so make sure to add at least one to your itinerary to really embrace Scottish history.
May is whisky month
And finally, we have May, the month of whisky! If there was ever an excuse to raise a dram of whisky (excluding, of course, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Burns Night, a winter night, a summer evening…) we’ve now got world whisky day on the 21st May to add to our calendars.
Scotch whisky is known across the world, with its varying flavours and regions, from Islay and Campbeltown, to Highland, Lowland and Speyside.
And while the main Scottish whisky trail may be further south than here in Lochinver, that doesn’t stop us from celebrating whisky day in style!
Plan your NC500 trip during spring and have the trip of a lifetime.
Whether you’re planning an adrenaline adventure hiing up mountains or scrambling cliffs, or fancy enjoying the slower pace of life with epic strolls along the beach and seasonal food, there is nowhere quite like the north coast of Scotland, especially during springtime.
If this has sparked something in you, check out our local accommodation suggestions here to book your next holiday, and be sure to pop in for a pie during your trip!
We can’t wait to see you.