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Showing posts from May, 2017

To Lochinver via Coigach

Again, I don't really think many words are needed for this blog. The photos tell the whole story of one of the best drives in the UK.

The route chops and changes from mountain to coastal and back again and is possibly the best section of the Wester Ross Coastal Road. I was fortunate enough to be at Gruinard Bay when the tide was out so I more to less had the whole beach to myself, th the mighty An Teallach (widely regarded as the best hill in Scotland) towered above me as I drove down through Dundonnell.  Then it was through the Dundonnell River gorge and across the Dundonnell Forest to Loch Broom and Ullapool. Even Ullapool looked good with the morning sun and blue skies. I hardly met any traffic at all from the moment I left my hotel on the shores on Loch Maree which meant driving was a sheer pleasure.

The last section of the route through Coigach to Lochinver is the reason I keep visiting these parts. It may only be about twenty miles in length but it goes through what is, in m…

From Applecross to Torridon

The 24 mile coastal road from Applecross to Shielding was constructed in the late 1970s to connect all the small crofting villages of the area and also to provide an all weather route to Applecross as the Bealach na ba was often impassable in winter conditions. Every inch of it is a delight albeit a bit scary in a few places. Numerous passing places make progress quite easy but there is just one short section which has a wall on one side and crags on the other which gives no place to pass. Just pray you don't meet oncoming traffic!

The photos show the route and land much better than I could describe it so I will let the photos do the talking. The new road joins the main Kishorn to Kinlochewe road at the delightful village of Shieldaig. Then its on to Torridon with it's majestic mountain scenery. Three of the most impressive hills in The Highlands; Beinn Aligin, Laithach and Beinn Eighe are situated in this area.

I parked up at the far end of Torridon and took a distinct track …

Up and over the Bealach

The Bealach na Ba is a historic pass through the mountains to the Applecross peninsula in Wester Ross and is the name of the famous twisting, single-track mountain road through the pass and mountains. The name is Scottish Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle and it was historically used as a drovers' road. It rises to a height of 2,054 ft.

I had passed the foot of the road on my way up to Loch Maree and decided then that I would come back and go over the pass and then return to Loch Maree by the old coastal road and Torridon. It is quite a scary road mainly due to the height. The only tricky bits are the three hairpin bends right and the top and, as sod's law would have it, I met a transit van on one of these! I can assure you that it is quite frightening having to reverse back down a one in five incline and pull in to a passing place at nearly 2000ft up. Still it all added to my memorable day and I can laugh at it now.

Going down to Applecross is nothing like as hairy as the ascent…