Venture North day 2: car-free NC500 to Brora

balcony nc500 pod brora

Day 2 visiting the far north of Scotland by public transport

We continue our NC500 to Brora from Dornoch. The X99 bus, northwards to Scrabster, wasn’t until 15:20 so that gave us time to wander down to the beach for fresh air and then have a look in shops including Carnegie Whisky Cellars and Jail Dornoch before visiting Historylinks, the Dornoch heritage museum.

Lou at Dornoch Whisky Festival recommended a visit to Links House at Royal Dornoch for their afternoon tea, so it would have been rude to say no to that! 

links house dornoch outside

There are no boring sandwiches here, we had pumpernickel bread with hummus and roasted vegetables, demi baguette with hot smoked salmon and dill pickled cucumber.  Served alongside homemade pork and black pudding sausage roll, tomato and basil quiche, and haggis bon-bons with a whisky dip. 

After this, another plate appeared with various cakes including Battenburg and a blueberry posset alongside a basket filled with scones, jam and clotted cream.  The teas here are supplied by Brodies and we’d recommend the Japanese Cherry Tea.  A lightly fragrant but not too overpowering cherry-flavoured tea.  

The x99 left on schedule so we arrived in Brora at 15:46 where we met our NC500 Pods host at the bus stop, who gave us a lift directly to the accommodation, just a couple of miles outside the village. If you don’t have a car, like us, then Christine will pick you up in Brora. Otherwise, it’s a 30-minute walk from the nearest bus stop or a 45-minute walk from Brora train station.

NC500 Accommodation in Brora

Forget about the old pods that were popular a few years back.  This is the good stuff.  

balcony nc500 pod brora

In our pod, we had voice-controlled lighting, a Bluetooth sound system, Amazon Alexa, WiFi, a TV with Netflix, USB plug sockets, underfloor heating and full insulation. All pods feature a fully equipped kitchenette, en-suite, a deluxe double bed and a fold-out sofa bed.

On site, there is also a gas BBQ and a sauna, yes, a sauna!  You’ll be glad to know that we aren’t sharing photos of our sauna visit! Before dinner, we had time to squeeze in two episodes of a Netflix show.

Food in Brora

The Sutherland Inn was our dinner destination and we received a lift there and back from our hosts at NC500 Pods. Dishes include salmon tagliatelle, fish and chips and sirloin steak, and they have real ale from Cromarty Brewing in the Black Isle.  We picked the vegan bang bang cauliflower (spicy!) and prawn cocktail to start then gammon steak and fish and chips. Humble pub-grub, the portions were massive.

The Coop in the village is open until 10 pm so we popped in to buy some bits for breakfast. Once back at the pods we settled down for the night, with background owl hoots and deer noises, what is the official name for a deer making noises?  Well, we’re not sure but it was lovely to be so close to nature.

night time lights nc500 brora
These lights can be controlled by Alexa inside your pod.

We woke early after a pleasant night’s sleep and stepped out onto our pod balcony to meet a couple of friendly horses having their breakfast.  We joined them, with tubs of yoghurt, not grass. 🙂 

Map thanks to Wanderlog, a vacation planner app on iOS and Android

Catch up on Day 2 NC500 to Brora via TikTok




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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