North Coast 500 – day 5 – Applecross peninsula, the beach at Redpoint and Badrallach

Bothy at Badrallach

North Coast 500 part 3 of 7.

Read part 2 of our North Coast 500 trip.


Applecross peninsula

After staying one more night at Applecross Campsite, it was time to hit the road again. But this time we took the coastal road, which enabled us to see more of the Applecross peninsula. I was glad we came this way, because the area was beautiful.

This day’s drive was a long one. In total, we spent over four and a half hours driving. So sadly, we didn’t have much time to stop off in many places.

However, we did stop off at the Croft Wool Shop. We were hoping to make a purchase, but we had neglected to take out any cash beforehand (the nearest ATM was in Lochcarron, over an hour’s drive away). The shop couldn’t accept cards because it had no internet connection.

I didn’t expect the connectivity to be great in this part of the world. But I was surprised at just how constantly I had no mobile signal, and at the physical places that had poor internet or none at all.

The Scottish government and BT both talk about how much they are doing to improve rural connectivity. But there is clearly a very long way to go.

Before we left the peninsula to head northwards to Wester Ross, we stopped off at the Applecross Smokehouse to get some fish. (It was literally someone’s house.) The fish tasted excellent. Later in the day it made a boring campsite pasta meal much more exciting.

As we left Applecross and headed towards Wester Ross, the scenery became stunning. The road winded around great hills and charming lochs. I was very sad we didn’t get a chance to stop and explore anywhere. It looks like an amazing place to go walking.

Badachro

Badachro

We stopped off at the Badachro Inn for lunch. This pub has a great outdoor area overlooking the loch. It reminded me of Plockton from the day before. The seafood we had here was great.

The beach at Redpoint

The Beach at Redpoint #boc

A photo posted by Duncan Stephen (@duncanstephen) on

I couldn’t come to Wester Ross without stopping off at Redpoint. Not only did it (presumably) inspire the title of the Boards of Canada track, the Beach at Redpoint, but it was also recommended in the North Coast 500 itinerary we were loosely following.

It’s a beautiful beach, but unfortunately it was drizzling so the photos aren’t so spectacular.

By now it was almost 4pm, and we still had a long way to go to our campsite. If we had a bit more time we would have explored more around Gairloch. Maybe next time.

Badrallach campsite

Badrallach

Our campsite for the night was at Badrallach. This was – by a long way – my favourite campsite of the trip.

Situated 7 miles up a steep and bumpy road off the A832 on the north side of Little Loch Broom, it really felt like we were going into the wilderness. We were about as secluded as you could comfortably get.

The campsite is small, with space for just 12 tents. Only a handful of pitches were occupied when we got there, with a couple more arriving later.

The small size of the campsite, combined with its remote location, led to the creation of a better community atmosphere. Everyone said ‘hi’ to each other as they walked past, and we struck up many conversations.

And check out the view from the campsite!

Badrallach

The hilly and twisty road made me think we were still high up. But in fact the short of Little Loch Broom was a very short walk away, just hidden over the crest of the hill. Magic.

The facilities of the campsite were also superb. The showers and toilets were easily the most pleasant of any of the campsites we visited on the North Coast 500. There was also an impressive bothy with good washing up facilities. The water in the facility comes from the hill, and is filtered and treated.

Despite its remote location (and the midges), I would not hesitate to stay here again.

But as nice as the campsite was, we had a road trip to continue. Visit later this week to find out what happened on the rest of our trip.

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