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NC500 with kids. Disaster or Adventure?

32 replies

SuperAunt08 · 18/05/2022 22:17

Hi,
Has anybody done the NC500 with kids? DH would really like to do it and I’d be excited if it was just the 2 of us but we’d be dragging along 2 teenagers and an 8yo.

We’re planning a 10 day itinerary in the summer and since it would be our family summer holiday I don’t mind throwing some money at it but probably can’t stretch to 10 days in hotels with 5 of us so would have to camp, this is usually my idea of hell but I’m trying to see it as an adventure and have suggested breaking it up with a night in hotels at the beginning, middle and end of our trip.

We don’t currently own a large family tent and the closest we’ve come to camping is a couple of nights Glamping.
Are we mad? Any tips?

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PuffinMcStuffin · 18/05/2022 22:22

I live on the route (it's bloody gorgeous) and think you could be a bit bonkers, but it really depends on how much you can handle. There is a lot of driving, obviously, but it's different driving to what many are used to. Twisty roads, passing places etc.

You'll need 'smidge' and plenty of it, but if you are all reasonably chilled out, you'll be fine if you are well prepared.

Don't expect sunshine, see it as a bonus.

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GingerFoxInAT0phat · 18/05/2022 22:34

We did it in a motorhome with our 2 boys who was 11 and 8 at the time. And the dog. We all had a good time but it’s a lot of planning. The scenery is absolutely beautiful, and plenty of things to see/activities. I downloaded an app that spoke about the history of the area as you drove through but I can’t remember the name of it now.

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Searchfornessie · 18/05/2022 22:36

If I was a teenager spending 10 days in a car with my parents would be my idea of hell!

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Fidodidit · 18/05/2022 22:40

Do you have enough room in your car for camping equipment and 5 of you? I don’t suppose you’d want to be packing up a massive family tent every time but you’re probably going to be dealing with a wet tent a lot of the time.I think this is one to wait for when it’s just the two of you.

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scruffanddodge · 18/05/2022 22:41

We’ve ruled it out with our teens. Better holidays for them rather that being stuck in the car with parent saying oh, look at that Loch, mountain, sheep, cow etc. they’d be bored.

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SuperAunt08 · 18/05/2022 22:48

Thanks everyone, kind of confirmed my feelings.
Not so much the driving since we’d only planned a max of 2 hours driving per day but I agree that the teens will probably hate the lack of Wi-Fi and home comforts. The 8yo is really keen on a camping holiday and would see it as a big adventure though.
Now to convince DH it’s not a great idea, at least not this year.

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Indoctro · 18/05/2022 22:57

Camping in Scotland in summer.. good luck with that

I can't cope with west coast due to the midgets and the ticks .

I've done NC500 many times on motorbike, I don't think it would be very interesting for your kids to be honest.

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Letsrunabath · 18/05/2022 23:05

On the total issue you will be very unlikely at this time of year to get anything booked for a family it’s a no go. It’s a beautiful route but not sure older kids would enjoy it as it is her off grid. Take them round the Welsh coast until you are free to do NC500 on your own with youngest.

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BurscoughBooths · 19/05/2022 00:06

We did the NC 500 last year, I see no reason why your children wouldn’t enjoy it. Fantastic scenery & beaches. Many interesting things to do along the way, we particularly enjoyed the Smoo cave. Castles. Dolphin watching.
Apart from a couple of days on Skye, I had no difficulty with internet connection, mostly 4g. Every teen I know has a large data package, or you. Could get a family mifi with sufficient data for the family.

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User478 · 19/05/2022 00:34

Sitting in the back of the car while your parents drive on an interesting road is awful.

Driving holidays are only alright for whoever is in the front. The people in the back are uncomfortable and bored.

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dollymuchymuchness · 19/05/2022 01:34

Indoctro · 18/05/2022 22:57

Camping in Scotland in summer.. good luck with that

I can't cope with west coast due to the midgets and the ticks .

I've done NC500 many times on motorbike, I don't think it would be very interesting for your kids to be honest.

Midgets 😂😂😂

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GingerFoxInAT0phat · 19/05/2022 07:54

I just asked my kids and they say they would do it again, we’ve bought a campervan now after doing the NC500 in a motorhome. We could connect to the internet the majority of time. We visited castles, went to Smoo cave, there’s a beach with a zip wire, more beautiful beaches, saw waterfalls, went dolphin watching, watched leaping Salmon (this was
near a place called Mac and wild with amazing food). Exploring round a new campsite was fun every night too then chilling in the motorhome playing games/reading/iPads etc.

Personally we wouldn’t have enjoyed it in the car or with putting up and packing away tents. You wouldn’t get much covered only driving 2 hours a day. Would you pitch up somewhere fairly central and then plan days to drive out to? I couldn’t imagine setting up and putting away tents and equipment every night, it was bad enough making sure everything was put away in a motorhome before setting off.

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PuffinMcStuffin · 19/05/2022 08:15

It would take you a very long time to do it if you are only opening to drive for 2 hours a day. Given the traffic at that time of year you'll be lucky to average 40mph. Sorry to put another dampener on it.

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WouldBeGood · 19/05/2022 08:19

Terrible idea 😃

Go with your DH out of season and enjoy it

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AverageJoan · 19/05/2022 09:20

I agree it's a terrible idea to all try go in a car - DP and I did the route last year and I thought it was enough with just the two of us and all our stuff! Could you look at hiring a motor home?

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EdgeOfSeventeenAndThreeQuarter · 19/05/2022 12:30

2 hours driving a day doing the NC500 at the height of summer with 2 teens in the back?

mass murderers have endured shorter sentences.

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WouldBeGood · 19/05/2022 13:27

If you go in a motor home everyone else will hate you as well as your kids

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emmathedilemma · 19/05/2022 15:22

I'm very anti-NC500 in general because it's actually done quite a lot of damage to the area as sadly not everyone treats the countryside with respect and the roads can't cope with the high number of visitors (a lot of them also can't drive on single track roads). Also, think of the environment! There's a lot of big empty spaces with not a lot inbetween, I'd imagine teenagers probably wouldn't appreciate it and the novelty would wear off for the 8 yr old after 3 days in the car.

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SuperAunt08 · 19/05/2022 20:19

Thanks, lots of food for thought to present to super keen DH.
Perhaps oddly it was the camping not the driving which was my main concern, probably since it wouldn’t be me doing it and DH is a very confident driver.

We did drive approx 1500 miles up the Australian Coast several years ago but admittedly that was Australia not Scotland!

We’re not city dwellers and live in a small touristy rural town so are very respectful of the countryside but take on board the environmental impact.

DH has now conceded that a tent is not a good idea.

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FAQs · 19/05/2022 20:21

The youth hostels are worth looking at, that’s how we did it.

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thenightsky · 19/05/2022 20:29

WouldBeGood · 19/05/2022 13:27

If you go in a motor home everyone else will hate you as well as your kids

Oh God, yes, this! Imagine the poor buggers stuck behind you, mile after boring mile looking at the arse end of a motor home.

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GingerFoxInAT0phat · 19/05/2022 21:25

We hardly saw anyone on the roads. This was about 3 years ago now - maybe now it’s freakishly busy with motorhomes bumper to bumper 🧐

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CockingASnook · 19/05/2022 21:28

Save it for your retirement road trip.

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