Bealach na Ba
is Gaelic for “Pass of the Cattle” and the route dates back centuries as a pass used by Highland cattle drovers who took their stock to the more lucrative southern markets. Only during the 20th century did this pass become driveable and is now a lifeline to those who live within the Applecross community.
The pass is part of the now famous North Coast 500 Route, so beware it becomes extremely busy during the summer months, it’s not unknown for there to be major delays with people attempting to go over the pass pulling large caravans or in large motor-homes. The pass is unsuitable for such vehicles.
Photograph was taken almost at the summit looking south down the mountain pass to Loch Kishorn.
Thrilling Bealach na Ba 2019
Although I have traveled this road a few times I was lucky enough in September 2019 to drive up the pass in glorious sunshine and with little traffic which made this trip the best ever, so far.
On the way up, or down this alpine style pass the drive is dramatic and affords some pretty stunning views across Wester Ross, the Isle of Skye, Raasay, Rona, Harris, and Lewis. If you are fortunate enough to get the weather right, then you will be treated to views that you will remember with joy.
Bealach na Ba Viewpoint
If you do manage to find a parking space at the top of the Bealach na Ba and decide to take a stroll, take one with care, in places there are steep drops, try not to wander too far without the appropriate clothing and footwear, the weather is prone to changing quickly and the cloud drop rapidly making visibility poor.
This photograph was taken on an unusually clear day in September 2019. A short walk from the viewpoint car park takes you to the summit. The view looks over the sound to the Isles of Raasay and Skye.
Getting to the Bealach na Ba
Take the A9 north over the bridge, turn north-west at Tore on the A835 follow the road till you pass Garve and take the A832 west to Achnasheen. Turn left onto the A890 and continue till the A890 turns left, you take the A896 which runs straight along the banks of Loch Carron towards the beautiful village of Lochcarron. Head to Ardarroch then to Tornapress, just before Tornapress turn left.
Where to snack and dine en-route
If you fancy a pit stop enroute and you are a fish fan then the Kishorn Seafood Bar is a must.
They serve up delicious, freshly caught seafood.
You can find it between Loch Carron and Tornapress on the A896. It’s a bright blue wooden building.
Open March – October
Kishorn Seafood Bar
01520 733 240
For those into home cooking, freshly baked cakes and scones, wonderful coffee then hit the Bealach Cafe and Gallery at Tornapress.
The menu is extensive for such an out of the way place and the home baking fabulous. You can find it just past the Bealach na Ba turnoff.
Opens at Easter through to Mid December
The Bealach Cafe and Gallery