Friday, 5 May 2017

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 because the road is much longer and never as steep. The view from the top is something else though, especially to the West where you get a birds eye view of Rasaay, the Isle of Sky and the Outer Hebridean islands of Lewis and Harris. To the East the massive bulk of Beinn Bhan cuts out most of the view.

The entire Applecross peninsula is a sheer delight. I followed the road as far south as it went, which stopped at a hamlet called Toscaig and had lunch. I was joined by a couple of cuckoos, one each side of the bay. At one time it must have been a busy little port as the harbour was quite sizeable and at one time there was a motor boat ferry service across to the Kyle of Lochalsh. Plus research has informed me that the road over the Bealach na Ba and its continuation to Toscaig was known as the Parliamentary Road but unfortunately I cant ascertain why.

I will continue the next part of my journey along the coast and down Torridon in my next blog.



Green Man, Strathcarron

Caledonian Pines, Strathcarron

Bealach na Bà

View from Bealach na Bà

Bealach na Bà

Skye from Bealach na Bà

Skye from Bealach na Bà

Bealach na Bà summit

Applecross Inn

Applecross Peninsula

Applecross Peninsula

Applecross Peninsula

Applecross Peninsula


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. ...