A tour of the Peninsula
Location and access
The Peninsula is located on the west coast of Wester Ross, directly opposite Raasay, Rona and Skye. Access is by the Bealach nam Bo, or by the coast road from Shieldaig. The Bealach nam Bo (the pass of the cattle) is an old drove road used in past times to take cattle to the market. The coast road was completed in 1975, and prior to this, the coastal townships were only accessible by footpath or by sea.
The Bealach nam Bo is the highest pass in Scotland at 626m (2053 feet) above sea level. The road incorporates a number of hairpin bends and is unsuitable for learner drivers, caravans or those of a nervous disposition. However, the views of the Applecross hills, the Cuillins of Skye and the bay are spectacular. The coast road offers an alternative route for those uncertain of the Bealach, and provides panoramic views over the Torridon Mountains and Loch Torridon. Irrespective of which route is taken, the visitor never fails to be impressed by the beauty and grandeur of this rugged coastline.
Picturesque villages and remote crofting townships are scattered along the coast. Friendly locals are always willing to give advice and assistance to visitors to the area. Everywhere on the Peninsula, the slower pace of life of the Western Highlands is evident.
Activities and wildlife
For those wishing more than the tranquillity of this beautiful and remote area, the Peninsula offers a wide variety of activities which include walking, climbing, cycling, sailing, fishing and kayaking. The offshore waters visited by the Gulf Stream make these latter activities even more appealing.
Wildlife abounds and includes red deer, pine martens (one of the rarest British mammals) and otters. Seals can be seen basking on the shore and there is a huge variety of sea-birds, including eider and mergansers. Porpoises, and occasionally whales, can be seen in the Inner Sound.
Accommodation, eating out and shopping
There are self catering and bed & breakfast establishments between Shieldaig and Toscaig, and the Applecross Inn also provides accommodation. There is also a campsite.
The Inn provides excellent local cuisine, as does the Potting Shed Restaurant in the Walled Garden of Applecross House. The Flower Tunnel at the camp site provides light meals, snacks and beverages.
Locally produced goods and crafts are available at locations along the coast, and Applecross General Store & Post Office, situated in Camusteel, provides a range of groceries, wines, spirits, general goods and souvenirs. Small gift and craft items are available in the Heritage Centre.
Applecross is one of the earliest centres of Christianity in Scotland. In the year 673 ad, the Monk Maelrubha, having alighted on the southern shores of the Peninsula and established a monastery at Applecross, declared the surrounding area a sanctuary. Even today, the Applecross Peninsula still provides sanctuary to those wishing to escape the pressures of modern living and who wish to enjoy the romance and tranquillity of this most beautiful part of Scotland.