The Alternative North Coast 500 – The Crerar 450

The North Coast 500 is “Scotland’s Route 66” and is one of the most popular road trips in Scotland. It’s travelled by thousands of merry holidaymakers every year. And has brought a great amount of investment and interest to the North of Scotland. But now there is a contender for the crown of “best road trip in Scotland”.

The Scottish hotel group Crerar Hotels is inviting travellers to try a different route around Scotland this summer and they’ve called it “The Crerar450”.

The route is around 450 miles long and takes in all seven of the hotel group’s locations.

The route explores iconic Scottish attractions ranging from the Isle of Mull in the west, Loch Ness and the Cairngorms. Through to the Granite City Aberdeen on the east coast.

Here Aberdeen Taxis will outline the C450 route and mention the Crerar’s group hotels, but there are of course other accommodation and campsites available.

So, why not take a trip on the Crerar450 and explore Scotland this summer? 

The Crerar450 Route

The route begins at Crerar’s Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa in Inverary.  There you can sample the finest Loch Fyne oysters and langoustines. Maybe have a gander at Inverary Castle? Or pick up some fine whiskies from Loch Fyne Whiskies to whet your whistle after a day’s driving.  From there you set off northeast to Oban on the west coast on your alternative to the North Coast 500 road trip.

Oban Harbour


In Oban, you can visit the incredible McCaig’s Tower which overlooks this picturesque seaside town. Then go tasting some of the local “water” at one of the smallest whisky distilleries in Scotland, Oban Distillery. They’ve been producing the good stuff since 1794!

Mull & Iona

After an overnight stay at Crerar’s Oban Bay Hotel, it’s on to the iconic Calmac ferry to Craignure Bay on the fabled Isle of Mull. Mull is a cracking wee island, and many will know Tobermory on the Island as the location for the children’s TV favourite “Balamory”.

The town itself is awash with wee shops, pubs and places of interest to while away a day of adventure. On the South of the Island is the historical Isle of Iona. Known for its abbey that marks the founding of a monastic community by St Columba.

The island is well worth a day’s exploring its rolling countryside, inquisitive wildlife, and wee nooks and crannies before settling down in the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa in Craignure to rest up for the next leg of your best Scottish road trip.

Isle of Mull

Fort William & Glencoe

The next day it’s a hop onto the mainland once again and on to one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks – Glencoe. Situated right next to Fort William the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, the area boasts a landscape that is unrivalled anywhere in the world. High peaks, rushing rivers and cascading waterfalls make this area an outdoor enthusiasts paradise. Walk, climb, ski, snowboard, kayak, bike, fish or just have a walk in the presence of the glory that is Scotland’s natural beauty on this alternative to the North Coast 500.

A trip to Scotland is incomplete without a glance at these legendary vistas. Easily one of the best things to do on holiday in Scotland.  Rest those weary legs from a day’s adventure in Crerar’s five-star Glencoe Inn. Here you can continue staring at the stunning scenes of Scotland with spectacular views of Loch Leven and the Pap of Glencoe.


The route then takes you north through the Great Glen Way, along the banks of the beautiful and mysterious Loch Ness. Stop at Urquhart Castle on the bank and explore the ruined fort’s unique history. Or maybe indulge in a bit of Nessie hunting from the fort or the banks of the Loch. Could you be one of the lucky ones that spot the beast? Even if you don’t manage to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster, the views are stunning!

If views aren’t your thing, stay awhile and take a cruise on the water. Or explore the surrounding area that’s filled with wildlife, trails and exciting outdoor activities.  

Past Loch Ness, you’ll travel through Inverness which is a bustling city full of great local attractions like Inverness Castle, Culloden Battlefield. It’s also a visitor’s dream with shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants galore.

From Inverness, it’s a short trip to Nairn. Here you can stay at Golf View Hotel & Spa and indulge in the luxuries of the spa. Or, if you’re a keen golfer, fit in a round or two at the neighbouring Championship course at Nairn Golf Club.

Inverness CIty


Next, the route continues east onto Aberdeen. The area is full of landmarks, shopping opportunities, and dining experiences. Visit landmarks like St. Machar’s Cathedral, Brig o’Balgownie, the Tolbooth MuseumAberdeen Art Gallery and not to mention a multitude of world-famous golf courses to visit.  The Crerar group recommend staying at the 18th-century mansion Thainstone House, just outside Aberdeen.

A trip into the Aberdeenshire countryside is next and onto Royal Deeside. Steeped in history, visitors can experience historical sites like Balmoral Estate. Or take a hike through the beautiful Cairngorms National Park before retiring to the Crerar’s Deeside Inn.

The Crerar450 routes final leg sees you return to the Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa. A perfect way to round off a unique Scottish tour. If you’re looking for an alternative to the North Coast 500, the Crerar450 is a fine Scottish road trip that’ll make your holiday in Scotland a memorable one.

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