If it’s true peace and tranquility you’re after, you won’t go far wrong with Applecross – a peninsula in Western Ross, in the north west of Scotland.
It’s a small village famous for its scenic drive on one of the highest roads in Britain, some 2053 feet above sea level. The village is also well-known for having one of the oldest place names in the UK, at over 1300 years old.
But despite its rich history, there’s plenty going on in Applecross these days to merit a stop-off during a Rockinvans holiday.
The village can be driven into one of two ways – either via a winding coast road from Shielding, to the north on Loch Torridon, or the Bealach na Ba, which is the super-high route.
Things to do
The Applecross Walled Garden, by Applecross House, is a sympathetically restored green space in the village which dates from 1675 and was originally built to serve the ‘big house’ with fruit and vegetables. It once employed a team of gardeners to maximise on its produce, but fell into disrepair following the second world war.
A restoration project began in 2011 and nowadays the team works to bring the on-site Potting Shed café and restaurant the best of what the garden yields for visitors to enjoy. The eateries offer all kinds of locally sourced produce, from Applecross salmon and lobsters to venison from the estate. Breakfast is served from 8.30am to 12pm, and dinner from 6pm to 8.30pm.
As a peninsula, Applecross naturally offers much in the way of water activities. Sea kayaking, walking, climbing and mountaineering are all popular in the general vicinity and multi-day activites are also offered by local company Mountain and Sea Guides – ideal for those who plan to enjoy Applecross for longer than just a brief encounter. The firm can also design days around a group personal preferences or cater its offering to specific budget requirements.
Exploring the area by foot is highly recommended, and what better way to do it than with a beautiful beach trek? The white coral beaches of Ard Ban are a worthy way to spend the day, and there’s even the chance to discover how the white sands are formed during informative trips held at a secret location on the beach. Check Visit Scotland’s website for more information. The bay at Sand is another popular choice with those who like to paddle in the shallows of a day, and Applecross Bay, one of the biggest inlets in the Highlands, provides stunning aspects of the Isle of Skye in the distance.
For foodies, the Applecross Smokehouse is a must-visit. Gourmet trout, salmon, cheeses, pates and mussels are hot and cold smoked in an original hot smoker and sold through the smokehouse as well as online. Not just brilliant at smoking, the smokehouse also offers locally caught langoustines, squat lobsters, crabs and prawns for seafood lovers.