5 Reasons to Add Inchnadamph Explorers Lodge to your NC500 Trip
Craving a road trip with a difference? Look no further than the North Coast 500 (NC500)
This scenic route offers breathtaking landscapes, picturesque villages, and diverse cultural experiences that make it a must-add to your road trip list. It also takes you through magical Assynt, Scotland’s geological gem and home to one of its most iconic peaks, Suilven. Every great adventure requires equally great accommodation. Step forward Inchnadamph Explorers Lodge, your home from home on the NC500.
Here are five compelling reasons to include Inchnadamph Explorers Lodge in your travel plans.
The NC500 is renowned for jaw-dropping scenery that will leave you in awe at every turn. The route takes you along the rugged coastline of our dramatic Scottish Highlands, through pristine beaches, ancient forests, majestic mountains, and serene lochs. The landscape changes dramatically as you drive, offering a feast for the eyes and endless opportunities for Insta-worthy photographs. Highlights of the route include the iconic Bealach Na Bà, a winding mountain pass boasting breathtaking panoramic views, and the mystical Fairy Glen, a serene and otherworldly landscape that feels straight out of local legend. For the ultimate awe-inspiring bird's eye view, marvel at Assynt (officially designated as a National Scenic Area) from the top of one of our many Corbetts or Munros.
We may be biased, but we think Assynt is one of the most spectacular parts of the North Coast 500. A real feast for the senses, Assynt is a great base from which to explore rugged mountains, white sandy beaches and 3 billion year old rocks. We highly recommend taking your time to fully experience what this gorgeous part of the world has to offer.
Grab a pen and get ready to make a long list of sites to see: Suilven, Loch Assynt, Stac Pollaidh, Ardvreck Castle, the Wailing Widow Falls, Calda House, Achmelvich Beach, not to mention the endless land and water sports you can try.
Rich Cultural Heritage
The NC500 is not just about the stunning scenery; it's also a treasure trove of cultural experiences. Explore ancient sites, like the ruins of atmospheric Ardvreck Castle at the mouth of Loch Assynt, which dates back to the 16th century. Browse local arts and craft shops (friendly warning: give yourself plenty of time to do this!), and wander the gorgeous fishing villages and hamlets of Achiltibuie, Kylesku, and Lochinver. While you’re in lovely Lochinver, pop into local favourite, Lochinver Larder, and sample a luxury sweet or savoury pie or two. You’ll not regret it.
The NC500 offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness that will deepen your appreciation for Scotland's heritage.
With its diverse landscape, the NC500 route offers a plethora of outdoor activities to get your adrenaline pumping. For enthusiastic hikers keen to explore the nooks and crannies across Assynt, the amazing Hamlet Mountaineering offer tailored mountain guiding, scrambling and climbing packages. If you’re a water baby, throw yourself into kayaking, paddle boarding, and surfing along the coastline, with its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. We highly recommend hiring a stand up paddle board from local specialists, WhatSUP Ullapool. It’s a fantastic family-friendly activity and a wonderful opportunity to admire the scenery. Wildlife fanatics can hop on the Handa Ferry for a chance to spot guillemot, razorbill, great skua, puffin, otters, dolphins, orca whales and basking sharks. Phew!
The NC500 is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.
Off-the-Beaten-Track History and Hidden Gems
The NC500 offers a unique opportunity to get off the beaten path and discover historical sites and hidden gems that are not on the typical tourist trail. You can explore our remote beaches, ancient ruins, and forgotten trails, all of which offer a sense of adventure and discovery.
The Inchnadamph Bone Caves offer an irresistible blend of mystery, magic and geological wonder. Just a few minutes drive from our lodge, the caves were named after the extraordinary amount of animal bones discovered within by famed geologists, Peach and Horne.
Bordering Inchnadamph Explorers Lodge lies the dark, icy waters of Loch Assynt. Are you familiar with the legendary weeping mermaid of Loch Assynt? According to the tale, she was once a beautiful mermaid who fell in love with a mortal man. When her love was not returned, she wept tears of sorrow and swam to the surface of the loch to lament her unrequited love. The mermaid's tears are said to have formed the many small islands that dot the surface of the loch, and her mournful cries can still be heard on quiet evenings.
Like many Highland communities in the 18th and 19th centuries, scores of Assynt residents were subjected to forced evictions during the Highland Clearances. Similarly, the mysterious abandoned village of Badbea, located further up the NC500 route, at Caithness, offers an additional haunting glimpse into this tragic period of our history. The legacy of the Clearances can still be felt today, as many Highland communities never fully recovered from the loss of their traditional way of life.
One of the highlights of the NC500 is the warm hospitality of our local people. Known for our friendly and welcoming nature, you'll feel right at home as you travel through our region. You can stop by local cafes and restaurants to sample delicious Scottish cuisine, such as haggis, black pudding, or freshly caught seafood. We are so proud of our beautiful region and we’re always eager to share our stories, traditions, and insider tips, making your road trip along the NC500 a truly enriching experience.
Our popular Inchnadamph Explorers Lodge sits right on the NC500 road, making it the ideal base to travel to pretty much anywhere! We highly recommend taking some time out of your hectic NC500 schedule to get up close and personal with Assynt and the surrounding area. There are endless day trip opportunities, with great spots for food and drink mixed in. Need to fuel up for a day of adventure? Our shop stocks plenty of goodies (including famed Lochinver Larder luxury pies) guaranteed to give you the oomph you need for an unforgettable day out.
We are proud to offer guests a wide range of accommodation and facilities:
- 5 Hostel Dorms with shared bathrooms and Main Lodge Kitchen, Lounge and Drying Room (32 guests)
- 6 Private Bedrooms each with private bathroom and own kitchen: across 3 Steading Suites, 2 Shepherds Huts and 1 Walled Cottage (17 guests)
- 7 Private Bedrooms with shared bathrooms and Main Lodge Kitchen, Lounge and Drying Room (17 guests)
- 1 Classic 1972 VW Campervan (2 guests)
- Laundry and Drying
- High speed broadband internet
We highly recommend taking your time to explore, relax, and take it all in. Breathe in the fresh mountain air, spend time lounging on our beautiful beaches, and partake in a huge array of adrenaline sports.
A few days in Assynt will do you the world of good; you’ll leave refreshed and ready to continue your NC500 odyssey!
Book your holiday at Inchnadamph now and start planning your Assynt adventure!