Welcome to the first post in my Exploring Applecross series!
The Applecross peninsula is in North West Scotland, only accessible by two roads, and inhabited by only a couple of hundred people. Despite this, it’s one of the most unique and rugged landscapes I have travelled to, with a fascinating and deep routed history which very much still feels alive today when you visit.
In this first post I share with you; getting to Applecross and venturing up Scotland’s highest road, the beautiful cottage we stayed in, and a first look at the views Applecross Bay has to offer.
Scotland’s Third Highest Road: The Bealach na Bà
The road is single track, but there are passing places along the way in case you meet another car. You can’t drive at a speed over 30mph, or if the weather conditions are poor. We travelled in a BMW 4×4, so travelling in a large vehicle made the single track element of it even more interesting! It is not advised to drive on the road in a motor home, very large vehicles, or if you are a learner! The road is often closed in the winter months. The road twists and turns through the mountains to 2,054 feet above sea level, and as you can see, the views really are worth it.
The name of the road is Gaelic for ‘pass of the cattle’. The road was originally built in 1822 and was used as a drovers road to direct cattle from one place to another. The road is engineered similarly to ones in the Alps.
Cruary: The Cottage Set Amongst the Hills
This was the beautiful cottage we stayed in, named ‘Cruary’. If you like staying in places with no neighbours anywhere in sight then you would love this cottage! There was nothing but hills and heather behind the house, and the gorgeous view of Applecross Bay that the house looked out on to. This is the spectacular view from the front garden…
This is another view of the house from behind the house, the building on the left is the shed that also belongs to the owners of ‘Cruary’.
This is the view from the road before you reach the driveway, the house was only a few minutes drive away from the Applecross Inn, more information and photographs of that famous pub coming in my next Applecross post!
This was the lovely view from the driveway…
The first set of buildings you can see across the bay on the left is where the Applecross Inn is located.
The photo below gives you a feel of the decor in the house, it was very cosy. If you are interested in looking at the house in more detail, there is a link to more information here.
We spent most of our time in the open plan kitchen of the house as the large glass windows look out on to the bay. The house was built in the 18th century but has been extended since. The house sleeps up to four people, with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The rooms were all very spacious. The house was very well stocked, the kitchen supplies we needed were all there, there was also plenty of items such as towels etc. A great thing that came with the house was a pair of binoculars, it was great being able to use them and look in detail at the wildlife and scenery that surrounded the cottage. There was also a large collection of information books and leaflets on things to do in the area and the history of Applecross. The house is pet friendly too. An important feature of the house is there is no wifi, it was actually really lovely to live without wifi for a week, I read a lot of books during this trip!
Speaking of wildlife, here is one chap who also enjoys making use of Cruary’s garden…
Martin the Pine Marten
This fellow, who we named Martin during our stay, visited every evening and seemed to be particularly fond of peanut butter on toast. He was very interesting to watch, he seemed to enjoy climbing on our car too!
There were lots of birds that came to the garden too, as well as a couple of mice who would feed on the birdseed.
If you look closely, you can see the cottage on the right hand side of this picture, it really shows off ow wonderfully it was located!
Here is a link to the Applecross peninsula website which has a lot of helpful information if you are thinking of visiting! My next post will have lots of photos and information about things to do when visiting Applecross, including the Applecross Inn, great walks on the beach and the interesting history of the church. Keep an eye out for this post next Saturday!
Also, if you are looking to explore any other areas of Scotland, here is a link to my post all about the gorgeous town of St Andrews. I also have a tourist guide to Edinburgh if city breaks are more your style!
Hope you are having a great day where ever you are in the world,