Applecross Peninsula

The Applecross peninsula is a remote mountainous region in Wester Ross on the Scottish mainland opposite Skye and Raasay. Applecross is called ‘a Chomraich’ in Gaelic, which means ‘The Sanctuary’.

The name came from the account  “Saint Maelrubha was born in Londonderry on 3rd January 642AD, and in 671 sailed from Bangor to Scotland to found a new monastic settlement.  In 673 he at last reached the Pictish territory of Aporcrosan, ‘confluence of the river Crossan’. Here he established his monastery and declared the area within a six mile radius a sanctuary.” There had been a Mesolithic site at the Sand rockshelter in Applecross that is over 8000 years old. The inhabitants must have been a boat using people, as the Sand residents were part of a Mesolithic network that operated across the Inner Sound.  They got stone for their tools from the Isle of Rum (30km to the South) and Staffin on Skye (10km to the West).

There is a single track road that is one of the 2 ways to access Applecross called the Bealach na Ba, meaning pass of the cattle, which was used in earlier days to drive cattle from Applecross and surrounding settlements to other parts of the Highlands. The other road is the coastal route from the North, which was built in 1975.

Someone (not me) has an excellent dashcam time-lapse video of driving the Bealach na Ba on YouTube, link below.  Some claim it as the most challenging and exhilarating drive in Scotland, but I can think if at least 2 far more terrifying roads… Road to Tokavaig and Dunscaith Castle, looking at you.

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