Enjoying a superb, secluded setting with outstanding bay views, this sympathetically extended, 18th-century shepherd’s cottage is set next to 2 miles of golden sand; a turquoise blue sea with twisting otters and bobbing seals; the Cuillins of Skye on the horizon, with mountains, moorlands and forests behind. Attractively and most comfortably refurbished, it has its own garden and conservatory with far-reaching views to Skye, and offers a cosy hideaway for all seasons, with a friendly hotel a short walk.Until the building of the coastal road from Shieldaig, Applecross was one of the most inaccessible parishes in mainland Britain, with the only route being the very scenic but hair-raising ‘Pass of the Cattle’, or Bealach na Ba. Rising up to 2053ft, it is the highest road in Scotland and affords truly panoramic views across the Minch to Raasay and the Isle of Skye. The other route gently winds along the coast round Loch Torridon from Shieldaig. In contrast to the surrounding moorland, Applecross is made up of sheltered fertile coast, where a row of cottages nestle along the shoreline. It was here that an Irish missionary monk, St Maelrubha, built a monastery on the quiet bay about 673 AD, and made it a place of refuge, although nothing of the building remains apart from part of the stone cross which resides in the parish kirk.To the north of the Applecross Peninsula and with the backdrop of the rugged mountains of Liathach and Beinn Eighe, is an area coming under the care of the National Trust, mostly made up of 750 million-year-old red Torridonian sandstone. A Countryside Centre at Torridon village describes the local wildlife and the Ranger Service offers guided hikes along the Liathach massif or more strenuous walks traversing Beinn Eighe. On past Kinlochewe, the Beinn Eighe Visitor Centre stands as the UK’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, with parts of it clad in Caledonian pinewood, which once covered the whole of the country. A delight for nature lovers, the area is home to pine martens, wildcats, badgers and foxes as well as buzzards and golden eagles, in addition to a fine selection of flora, displayed in natural alpine rock gardens. Loch and sea fishing available locally. Shop/P.O. 2 miles.
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