Am Baile/Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Location: Applecross and Loch Carron
the natural world

A new road for Applecross

The road around the north coast of the Applecross peninsula finally opened in 1976 by Princess Margaret after more than a century of campaigning- a merchant giving evidence to the Napier Commission in 1883 had outlined the problems caused by not being connected to surrounding townships. The new road meant that if the Bealach na Bà was closed because of the snow then you could still drive in and out of Applecross. Many people had campaigned, for many generations, to have a road built. However, politics, finance and the views of various landowners prevented this. Instead, they had to make do with a track which could be driven by motorcycle.

The north part of the road was constructed by workers for the local county road crew, with much of the early work done by hand before the Council provided heavy machinery. One old lady said she could hear them approaching the township of Ardheslaig where she lived because their tools and buckets would clang against their bicycle frames as they headed to their work. One man still living on the coast was on these crews. He said once that weather conditions were so bad that pieces of cake they had been given by a kind person disintegrated in the rain before they could eat them!

More information on visiting the area can be found here.