Scotland’s North Coast 500 on a budget: the best cheap hotels, hostels and campsites on the NC500 route

Exploring Scotland's extraordinary circuit of tarmac can be pricey, but it needn't cost tourists - from near and far - the world.

Sango Sands Oasis is one of the country's most stunningly situated campsites, offering striking views of the Durness coastline (Shutterstock)
Sango Sands Oasis is one of the country's most stunningly situated campsites, offering striking views of the Durness coastline (Shutterstock)

The 517-mile route is punctuated with luxurious stays for big spenders, from The Torridon to the Achnagairn Estate. Affording such a stay is out of the question for many, especially once you've calculated fuel and travel expense, but there are countless charming budget stays for the thriftier traveller.

It's recommended that road trippers allow themselves seven to eight days to complete the trip, plotting stops in and around: Tain, John O'Groats, Durness, Lochinver, Poolewe, Torridon and Inverness. With that in mind we've tracked down affordable, but equally enchanting stays at the traditional pit-stops.

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These are 13 of the best views on the North Coast 500
The village of Poolewe is perched above the River Ewe (Shutterstock)

Tain: Kincraig Castle Hotel

Luxury on Scotland's answer to Route 66 can be affordable.

Situated less than ten miles south of Tain in Invergordon, the Kincraig Castle Hotel offers sensational value to travelling couples looking for that special first stay to kick off their trip.

A classic double room at the 4-star hotel can cost just £65 a night at the historic home of Clan Mackenzie.

The NC500 passes through Glen Torridon (Shutterstock)

John O'Groats: Bower Wigwam

A visit to Great Britain's most northerly point is a must for anyone embarking on the road trip of a lifetime and a stay at Bower Wigwam will ensure that the trip is unforgettable.

Situated under 10 miles to the south of John O'Groats the cosy camping pods are again a great spot for couples and cost just £33 per person.

Durness: Sango Sands Oasis​

Durness' coast is as gorgeous as it is wild and a stay at Sango Sands Oasis ensures that you get to spend your valuable time in proximity to the area's rugged splendour.

Perched above Loch Eribol and regarded as one of the finest campsites in the country, pitches cost just £9.50 per adult.

Lochinver: Acheninver Hostel​

Situated in the Assynt wilderness, Lochinver is an enchanting outpost on the NC500 trail.

Acheninver Hostel is located to the south of the village and offers exquisite views of the Summer Isles. Travellers can bed down for the evening in one of their pleasant glamping pods - complete with private bathroom, balcony and sea view - for just £27.50 per person.

Poolewe: Inverewe Gardens

After a day of exploring the northwest coast and feasting on fish and chips in Ullapool, travellers tend to finish their day in and around the village of Poolewe.

Just to eh north of the village is the cracking Inverewe Gardens campsite which offers extensive views over Lochewe and serves as a great vantage point for sunsets should the weather be in your favour.

Camping pitches cost £7.20 per adult.

Torridon: Torridon Youth Hostel

The road to Torridon is the highlight of many traveller's trip along he NC500.

Located in the shadow of one of Glen Torridon's mammoth peaks the Torridon Youth Hostel is a cheap and cheerful spot to reflect on your remarkable day with bunks costing just £23 per person.

Inverness: Columba Hotel Inverness

Inverness tends to serve as the start or finish point for an NC500 road trip, and the Columba Hotel will ensure that you finish or start your trip in comfortable fashion.

Located on the banks of the River Ness, the four-star hotel offers sublime value for sojourning duos, with double rooms just costing £47.