By Sean McGauran
Published: 29th June 2018

A journey around the Applecross Peninsula

Mention the North Coast 500, and one of the roads which often springs to mind is the Bealach Na Ba. This winding, single-track road is located in the Applecross Peninsula within Wester Ross, and is often described as one of Scotland’s most spectacular drives.

However, the Bealach na Ba is not without its challenges; it’s a demanding drive, with steep sections and hair pin bends. Completing this drive requires a great deal of skill and complete attention to the road ahead. If you do decide to drive the Bealach na Ba as part of your North Coast 500 adventure then, as with the rest of the route, we would encourage you to take things slowly. Please also remember that if you cannot accurately reverse your vehicle several hundred yards on a narrow single track, then you cannot safely drive over a road such as this. However, the Bealach na Ba is a simply spectacular drive, and one which should be experienced if you are able to do so.

Some visitors to the North Highlands may not feel comfortable driving the Bealach na Ba, or may encounter situations which cause the road to be closed. Ice and heavy snow may also lead to the closure of the Bealach Na Ba during the winter months.

If the Bealach na Ba is not open while you are driving the North Coast 500, don’t miss out on the chance to visit Applecross! Take the road up the A896 instead and join the alternate road via Shieldaig (C1091 Shieldaig to Applecross coast road). This route is also recommended for drivers of large motorhomes and cars towing caravans; the Bealach na Ba isn’t suitable for these types of vehicles due to its sharp bends and steep gradients. If your motorhome is larger than a standard VW T5 conversion (16-18 feet in length), then take the alternate route via Shieldaig instead.

Whichever route takes you to Applecross, the area abounds with beautiful scenery and activities to suit visitors of all ages. In this blog, we’ve outlined some of our favourite things to do in this very special part of the North Highlands.

Applecross Smokehouse

Overlooking Loch Torridon and the Torridon Mountains, Applecross Smokehouse started out as MacIver Shellfish in 1998, before being established in its current incarnation in 2014. Owners Lorna and Derrick are passionate about the quality and flavour of their products, specialising in gourmet-standard seafood and cheeses, smoked by artisan methods. Whether you’re picking up an order for your holiday home, or just looking for some picnic supplies, Applecross Smokehouse is a must visit while you’re in the area.

Fiona Watson Photography , Applecross Smokehouse

Applecross Heritage Centre

Learn about the rich culture, history and heritage of the Applecross area at the Applecross Heritage Centre. The centre documents the history of this unique Highland community, from the early settlers to the people who have played key roles in making Applecross the distinctive crofting and fishing community of the 21st century.

Applecross Walled Garden

Make the most of the glorious weather at Applecross Walled Garden. This scenic attraction is home to the Potting Shed Café & Restaurant, so once you’ve explored the hidden treasures around the café, such as the treehouse and woodland walks, treat yourself to a spot of lunch, an ice cream or some delicious home baking.

Applecross Walled Garden – Potting Shed Cafe and Restaurant

Explore Applecross

Applecross is a wonderful place to explore by foot, or to cycle. Deer roam around the village – why not try to spot them from a distance? You may also meet a few Highland cows roaming the fields adjacent to the beach! With an abundance of coastal areas to walk and beautiful beaches to explore, Applecross also enjoys spectacular views across to the Isle of Skye. For more information about the Applecross Peninsula, please visit www.applecross.uk.com.

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