Scotland North Coast 500: Applecross to Ullapool

Setting off this morning all the sat naps said to go back over the Bealach Na Ba to Shieldaig, however we could see theres a coast road around the peninsula so it was a no brainier as to which we took! I now have a new favourite road! The road was very narrow single track but ran along the edge of the loch.

The views were amazing, and the sky was bright.

As we drove we saw a herd of wild deer grazing.

Fortunately there was a place to stop so that I could take some pictures before they were startled by other cars passing and leapt off into the trees.

One of my desires for this trip was to see Highland Cattle, or ‘Muckel coos’ and not very much further along the road Sally shouted ‘Mum, Mac o coos!’, as Amr said ‘no not by the road, ON the the road!’

And sure enough there was a huge one stood right in the middle of the road, and a number of others by the side of the road. Totally unperturbed by the car or us they continued to graze away. After I had jumped out of the car (not noticing the gale force icy cold wind)

and taken dozens of pictures

we edged forward

and managed to squeeze past the cow who was not going to budge. Further along there was another spot to park properly

so that I could take some more pictures of the most gorgeous one just by the roadside

with the most beautiful backdrop behind him. By this time I noticed I was getting blown away and freezing so I hopped backed into the car and told them I don’t care if we do nothing now as I have had so much fun already this morning!

We had a long drive today as we had not been able to find accommodation, note to anyone else planning on doing this trip, book early! So, although we had identified quite a number of things to do and walks to take, the weather which changed from heavy cloud, downpours and brilliant sunshine in what seemed like minutes hampered our plans, but as it happened the drive took us longer than anticipated so it was probable as well.

Sally had seen Applecross Smokehouse and been keen to visit to stock up on supplies for our self catering over the next few day but had been disappointed to see that it would be closed today. However as we passed it we saw the sign saying open so in we went. It appeared to be someone’s house, then we saw the sign saying ‘were round the back at the smokehouse’ so we headed round the house to the back garden and found the smokehouse and shop.

The lady came to tell us about the wares and where they sourced their fish and how the cured them, and we left laden with hot smoked salmon, sea trout and smoked cheese. I don’t think I’ve seen Sally as happy as she was then.

We did stop in Shieldaig and popped into Nanny’s for coffee, and seeing the delicious looking homemade cakes and pastries bought some cheese scones for later.

Driving along there were so many waterfalls racing down the hillsides it was difficult to know which way to turn! We saw a signpost for Victoria Falls by the road so decided to stop and have a look. It was only a short distance from the care park so we donned our boots and coats and set off…. just as the rain came down!

Undeterred we made our way and one ‘wow’ was followed by another and then another as we each came in sight of the waterfall. The rain was too heavy to stand still, but we found a small path which appeared to lead to the top of the falls so we followed it.

Sure enough we found ourselves at the top of the falls, on rocks with the river gushing towards us,

but veering away because of the naturally rock forming a wall, scary! As we got back to the car, soaking wet, the rain stopped and the sun came out aaargh!

Arriving at our cabin for the night by Loch Broom we checked in

and headed straight into Ullapool which is only about six minutes away in search of the Seafood Shack.

After ordering what seemed a mountain of seafood we headed back to the cabin to eat as the rain had started yet again.

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