Are you looking for a unique and sustainable way to explore the stunning beauty of Scotland’s Highlands? The Electrified NC500 is the perfect adventure for you! This 500-mile route around the north coast of Scotland’s mainland offers breathtaking seascapes, rugged mountain views, and charming villages steeped in deep Highland history and heritage. And thanks to ChargePlace Scotland, the NC500 has been electrified, making it easy to enjoy a clean and eco-friendly campervanning experience. In this blog post, we’ll share our top “must stop at” locations and charging options along the way, as well as tips for planning the ultimate sustainable campervanning trip on the Electrified NC500.
What is the Electrified NC500?
The NC500 is a 500-mile route around the north coast of Scotland’s mainland. You’ll encounter stunning seascapes, rugged mountain views, and charming villages with deep Highland history and heritage. The route is perfect for adventurers, and thanks to ChargePlace Scotland & Octopus Electric Universe, it has been electrified, allowing you to enjoy an electrified NC500 sustainable campervanning experience.
Your NC500 journey starts and ends in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands and the UK’s most northern city. The city offers a vibrant atmosphere, with historic buildings and plenty of things to do, such as savoring Scottish cuisine, listening to local live music, and strolling along the river bank.
While you explore Inverness, you can charge your campervan at one of the city’s many ChargePlace Scotland chargers. We recommend the 50kW Rapid charger at the Inverness Cathedral Car Park for a quick charge (this charger has a 45-minute max stay). Alternatively, if you plan to spend more time in the city, we recommend the Highland Council HQ charger, which provides a slower charge but allows you to explore the city at your own pace.
After Inverness, head northwest towards Ullapool. As you travel along the tree-lined A835, you’ll cover your first 60 miles. Don’t miss a stop at Rogie Falls, where you can enjoy beautiful forest walks and views of the falls from the steel suspension bridge. You may even spot some salmon leaping their way upstream to Black Water. Just be aware that there are no ChargePlace Scotland chargers along this stretch until just outside Strathcarron. We recommend having a full state of charge (SOC) before leaving Inverness and conserving your battery with a light right foot.
Ullapool is a charming fishing village located on the shores of Loch Broom. Here, you can visit the Ullapool Museum to learn about the area’s history and culture, or take a boat tour to see the breathtaking scenery from the water. There are also plenty of pubs and restaurants to enjoy a traditional Scottish meal or drink.
For charging, there are two ChargePlace Scotland chargers in Ullapool, both located at the ferry terminal. The 50kW Rapid charger allows for a quick charge, while the 7kW charger provides a slower charge with no time limit.
Next, make your way to Durness, a small village located on the northwest coast of Scotland. This is a great place to see the beauty and splendor of the Atlantic Ocean. A visit the Smoo Cave, a large sea cave with a freshwater stream running through it. You can also take a walk along the cliffs to see the famous Balnakeil Beach, or visit the Durness Golf Club for a round of golf with stunning coastal views.
There are no ChargePlace Scotland chargers in Durness, so make sure to charge up in Ullapool before heading out. Alternatively, you can find a charger in nearby Kinlochbervie.
As you continue your journey, you’ll come to Tongue. A small village located at the base of Ben Hope, one of the most northerly Munros. Here, you can visit Tongue Beach and the nearby castle, or take a walk along the coastline to see the beautiful views. There are also several pubs and restaurants in the village where you can enjoy a meal or drink.
For charging, there is a ChargePlace Scotland charger located at the Tongue Hotel, providing a 7kW slow charge with no time limit.
Finally, you’ll reach John O’Groats, the most northerly point on the UK mainland. Here, you can visit the John O’Groats Ferry Terminal, and the St. John’s Kirk. Or take a walk along the coastline to see the famous signpost. There are also several campgrounds in the area if you want to stay overnight. Alternatively, you may sustainable camp on any public road as long as you follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
For charging, there is a ChargePlace Scotland charger at the John O’Groats Ferry Terminal, providing a 7kW slow charge. Also, you may find Osprey rapid charging stations that can be accessed with the Octopus Energy Electric Universe RFID card.
Return to Inverness
After exploring John O’Groats, you can complete the loop by heading back down the east coast towards Inverness. Along the way, you’ll find many other interesting stops and charging options, including Wick, Dunrobin Castle, and the Black Isle.
Electrified NC500: Conclusion
The NC500 is a must-do adventure for anyone looking to explore the stunning beauty and rich history of Scotland’s Highlands. From the vibrant city of Inverness to the most northerly point on the UK mainland at John O’Groats, the route offers something for everyone. Along the way, you’ll find many charming villages, historic landmarks, and breathtaking seascapes and mountain views. Thanks to ChargePlace Scotland, the NC500 has been electrified, making it easy to enjoy a clean and sustainable campervanning experience. Whether you’re looking for a quick charge or a slower charge with no time limit, there are plenty of options available to keep your electric campervan powered up as you explore the NC500.