Combine this tour with our 10 day Ireland tour for a free night's stay in between and £200 off per person... Combined 21 Day Tour

North Coast 500, Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye

Scotland & England

North Coast 500, Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye

Scotland & England

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North Coast 500, Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye
Scotland & England

Spend 11 days exploring the magical scenery of Scotland, the famous NC500, the glorious isle of Skye and the National parks of North England.

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11 Day Self-Guided Tour

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Spend 11 days exploring the magical scenery of Scotland, the famous NC500, the glorious isle of Skye and the National parks of North England.
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Find out more about Magellan Guides
Scotland is beautiful, historic and extremely hospitable. It is a country with rugged landscapes that will see you riding the hills and glens, past soaring mountains and deep lochs, and experiencing the awesome route that is the ‘North Coast 500’. With a visit to Scotland’s capital city to enjoy the excellent fare, a day trip to the rugged Isle of Skye and finally a ride south to explore the National Parks of northern England, and the famous ’Cat and Fiddle’ road it’s the best way to see what these lovely regions have to offer.
  • Self Guided Tour
  • 11 Days
  • 1750 miles
  • Holyhead, UK
  • HIRE BIKE AVAILABLE
BEST TIME TO GO

March to October

Set off from Holyhead for a beautiful ride through the forest of Bowland Area of Natural Beauty. From here you ride on to the castle in Lancaster for lunch, then into the Lake District National Park and ride the length of Windermere and Thirlmere on the way to Derwentwater. Heading north you visit a well-preserved section of Hadrian’s wall with turrets and the outline of a Roman fort still visible before venturing into the Kielder Forest and the Northumberland National Parks.

You cross into Scotland and cruise to the capital city, Edinburgh, where we have a day off to explore this ancient capital. Back on the bike, you ride over the Firth of Forth and ever northwards into the highlands through endless forests before passing Perth and climbing out of the lowlands. Castles and distilleries aplenty on this route and we have incorporated two of the most famous ones on the way to Inverness.

Visit the battlefield at Culloden where the Jacobite uprising of 1745-46 was brought to a bloody end by the duke of Cumberland. From here, hop onto the famous North Coast 500 route heading to the most northerly point in the UK, where you stop off at the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. Follow the spectacular NC500 around the top of Scotland and down the west coast to the Isle of Skye to spend the day exploring the rugged landscape of the island with its beautiful coastal roads, picturesque fishing villages and jagged Cuillin mountain range.

Back on the mainland you ride east and join the Great Glen at Invergarry. Following this huge valley, which runs for over 60 miles from Inverness to Fort William, you pass the mighty Ben Nevis - the highest mountain in the UK and continue to Glencoe, the Trossachs National Park and through Tyndrum to Oban.

Ride along the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond through the Trossachs National Park and south past Glasgow to visit Gretna Green, where generations of English lovers were married against their parents’ wishes. From here you find yourself on a 2000 year old Roman road before turning into the Lake District National Park itself.

Heading back south through the lakes, you ride to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and through the Forest of Bowland, before continuing south to the Peak District National Park. You then pass through the market town of Macclesfield where a series of waypoints will take you up and over the legendary ‘Cat and Fiddle’ road to Buxton and then onwards to your final hotel stop of the tour.

Historic Scotland, lochs, glens, castles, distilleries, mountains and the beautiful North Coast 500 route combine to give a fabulous touring experience of England and its beautiful northern neighbour.

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Tour highlights

A day to explore Edinburgh, ancient capital of Scotland called the ‘Athens of the North’. Visit the site of the Glencoe massacre, and the battle of Culloden.

Walk in the footsteps of Roman legions following roads they laid out and explore Hadrian’s wall, the ancient barrier erected to keep out the marauding scots almost 2000 years ago.

Ride the Great Glen, the banks of Loch Lomond, the North Coast 500, and the infamous ‘Cat and Fiddle’ road in the peak district.

'We are missing everything about the trip...the motorcycle, the scenery, the food and the list goes on. Firstly we would like to thank you and everyone at team Magellan for organising our tour... We enjoyed the route you had set and the choice of hotels were something we looked forward to everyday! .... Overall we had a great time. We will talk to you soon when we plan our next trip.'
S & L. Vikram

Visit the home of the Tomintoul Glenlivet whisky, the Talisker distillery (founded in 1830 and still going strong) John O’Groats and the hotel where Drambuie was invented.

Explore the jagged Cuillin mountains and the rugged landscape of the Isle of Skye. Visit numerous castles and the famous blacksmiths shop in Gretna Green, which for centuries conducted marriage services for eloping under-age English couples.

Ride the Peak District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Cairngorms National Park, the Trossachs National Park and the Lake District National Park.

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Hootvox
99.7 % Overall
100 % Would recommend

Tour Map / Itinerary

Full Itinerary

Day 1 191 Miles

Heading north, you ride through the Forest of Bowland, and visit Lancaster castle on the way to your hotel in the picturesque Lake District National Park

Day 2 158 Miles

Leaving the beauty of the Lake District National Park and on to the border with Scotland via Hadrian’s wall. Through the Northumberland National Park and onward to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh – the “Athens of the North”.

Day 3 Explore Day

A day off the bike to explore Edinburgh. See the Castle looking down over Princes Street Gardens. Climb Calton Hill overlooking the city, or the Scott Monument, walk through the ‘Auld Toon’, take a ghost tour and visit the churches of St Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate.

Day 4 172 Miles

Leaving Edinburgh behind, you head north to the original Scottish capital of Perth, and continue through the Cairngorms National Park to Inverness.

Day 5 210 Miles

Following the iconic bikers route ‘The North Coast 500’ you ride to the most northerly point in the British Isles, John o’Groats. Continuing this spectacular coastal ride you pass castles and ride narrow causeways en route to your hotel in Durness.

Day 6 193 Miles

Heading west on the The North Coast 500 again, you then turn south and follow the scenic ‘West Coast Drive’ to the beautiful Isle of Skye.

Day 7 180 Miles

A taste of how rugged and deserted Scotland can be today as you ride a coastal circuit of the Isle of Skye. The dark brooding Cullin mountains dominate the entirety of the island, and you visit both Dunvegan, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and the world famous Talisker whisky distillery.

Day 8 207 Miles

Back on the mainland you ride the full length of Loch Ness and Loch Lochy with eyes peeled for a glimpse of Nessie. Then on past Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles, before visiting the site of the massacre at Glencoe, on the ride to your hotel in Oban

Day 9 220 Miles

Heading south again, you ride through the rolling Trossachs National Park and along the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond… on the route to your hotel over the border in the quiet Lake District National Park.

Day 10 190 Miles

Three National parks on the agenda today. The Lake District park is followed by the Yorkshire Dales park and finally the Peak District park. In the last of these three parks you will ride the famous ‘cat and fiddle’ road down to your hotel near Ashbourne.

Day 11

Depart for home today, with memories to last for many years.

What's included
10 Nights accommodation in good quality hotels.
Excellent breakfast each morning.
Full use of all hotels’ leisure facilities.
Detailed route plans and maps.
GPS routes (Garmin / Tom Tom).
Detailed daily itinerary including sights and suggested coffee and lunch stops.
What's not
Fuel.
Toll charges.
Admission charges.
Occasional hotel parking charges.
Meals and drinks other than specified above.
Travel/Breakdown insurance

Common questions about this trip

Where does this tour start from?

Holyhead but if you are renting a motorcycle then the tour will start from our rental facility in the south-east of England near London and we’ll help with arrangements getting up to Holyhead. If you’re on your own bike then you just need to make your way to Holyhead for the first evening of the itinerary.

What’s the weather like on this tour?

We pick the tour dates to make the best of the weather and also avoid the crowds in peak season. With it being the UK however it could be sunshine, rain or anything in between. A sensible mix of vented kit and waterproofs with some base layers should cover all eventualities. Full kit and packing lists are supplied and we are happy to offer advice on packing for any of the trips.

Can I extend this trip?

Of course, we run a 10 day Ireland trip that finishes the day before this trip starts and these are designed to be done back to back, click here for more info.

When is the best time of year to do this trip?

May to September as a rule is the safest time to tour anywhere in the UK and Ireland although March, April and October can work with a dash of luck. It can be wet at any time of year but a sensible mix of vented kit and waterproofs with some base layers should cover all eventualities. Full kit and packing lists are supplied and we are happy to offer advice on packing for any of the trips.

More information
For general information on planning and preparing for motorcycle trips including what to pack please see our Prepare for your trip section.
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