Saturday, 27 October 2018

HIGHLAND ADVENTURE - NC500 ROUTE - DAY TWO


APPLECROSS TO ULLAPOOL


We started our second day by having breakfast at The Walled Garden, a cafe/restaurant set in a beautiful Victorian walled garden. Such a lovely location and great food if you need to refuel before you head back out on the roads.

The travel time to Ullapool from our accommodation in Applecross was just over 2 hours, however it took us 8 hours to complete. Purely because there is just spectacular view after spectacular view to enjoy and of course photograph.

If you are planning on completing the NC500, then perhaps you could split up this part of the route even further than we did, and stay halfway in between at Gairloch.

Take the coastal road out of Applecross as the views are fantastic, the road is a must see! Just be wary of the sheep and cows that wander freely on the roads as they obviously are in no rush to get anywhere.








We had hoped to visit the Torridon deer park but it appeared to be closed when we were passing so we carried on to Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls is a waterfall that is situated beside Loch Maree, in my opinion it wasn’t as breathtaking as Rogie Falls but was pleasant all the same.






Gairloch was the first main fishing village we came across which has a very quaint harbour. I would have liked to have stayed here longer and taken a boat trip out to sea, as there was lots of companies offering whale watching expeditions.

However we were concerned at how much time it had taken us to cover very little distance thus far, so we decided to press on towards Gruinard Bay.

Gruinard Bay had a gorgeous beach were lots of visitors were exploring and walking their dogs. We decided to get out of the car here and stretch our legs,  and of course write our names in the sand!

If you are being braver than us on your NC500 trip then I would say this would be a beautiful spot to wild camp.












After we had finished our walk on the beach we jumped back in the car to make our way towards Falls of Measach or also known as Corrieshalloch Gorge.

As the name would suggest, this waterfall plummets straight down 60 metres (196ft)  into the gorge. You can actually walk straight over the gorge across a wooden suspension bridge (not for the faint hearted, especially if you're not keen on heights!)

That being said I would highly recommend a visit as it really is yet another breathtaking view. Once we had taken all the photos we could stomach, we continued on for our final leg to Ullapool.




We had a reservation at the harbour house (a lovely B&B overlooking Loch Broom.) We checked in and dumped our bags, ready to head down to the harbour in search of our fish and chip supper!




I hope you enjoyed hearing about day two of our trip, and have loved the photos as much as we do!
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for day three of our adventure! As always thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog posts, it's very much appreciated! 

Lots of Love
Natasha
xxx

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Saturday, 20 October 2018

HIGHLAND ADVENTURE - NC500 ROUTE - DAY ONE


INVERNESS - APPLECROSS

We travelled 500 miles the day previous from our home in Bedfordshire to Inverness. The North Coast 500 Route (NC500)  typically starts in Inverness but you could start from any of the towns along the route if you so wish. The road isn't called NC500 as it's a collection of many different A&B roads put together and has just been given that name as the route has grown in popularity with road-trippers! We decided to start in Inverness and then travel round in a clockwise direction as that seemed the most natural thing to do.

Beauly was the first stop on our route as the priory is set in pretty gardens and the ruins are very extensive, so it is worth a visit if you pass by this way. 



After trying to avoid rain showers in the priory doorways, we decided to head off to the next stop on route, Rogie Falls.  Now Rogie Falls is a must see on your NC500 road trip. The waterfall is a beautiful sight to see and the suspension bridge was entertaining to walk across (maybe a bit too wobbly for my liking!)







We detoured off the typical NC500 route slightly for our next stop however it was well worth the extra miles! Eilean Donan castle is one of the most spectacular castles I’ve ever seen in the most picturesque location!

On a side note be prepared for it to take triple the amount of time it should to reach any destination and plan for this. Around every corner and over every hill is a spectacular view that we just had to get out of the car and admire.



Detouring to the castle did add some extra miles onto our journey and took some extra time however in my opinion it was well worth those miles. So if your time/budget allows then add this castle to your must see list as I promise you will not be disappointed!

To enter the castle you need to purchase a ticket (Adult ticket - £7.50). They have strategically placed the ticket booth at the bridge leading up to the castle, so that you will need to pay to get up close.

We bought tickets as we are quite happy to have a wander round the exhibition inside, it’s actually reconstructed quite well and gives you a glimpse into what life at the castle would have been like.

Even if you don’t go inside it’s still worth a visit in my opinion, also they have extremely yummy highland shortbread in the cafe!






As you have probably seen from the photos (these were all taken on the same day!) the weather was very variable so also be prepared for that on your Scotland trip. It really is true that you can experience four seasons in one day, so pack with this in mind. We had brought our own car on this trip so we didn't need to worry about packing light.

The next part of our trip we had both read about plenty before we travelled and were  both very excited to experience, if not a little apprehensive. The famous Bealach na Ba mountain road to the Applecross peninsula.

Before you embark on this road there is are warnings about how high the road climbs (2054ft) to be exact. It’s advisable not to use the road if you have a large vehicle or are a relatively new driver.

However do not let the warnings put you off, if you are a confident driver, this road is 100% a must see. The views all the way up and all the way down are breathtaking, and I know we both enjoyed the experience thoroughly.  




Once we had safely made it to the Applecross it was time to find our accommodation and much needed pub grub! We stayed in a hostel in Applecross called Hartfield House and if I'm being honest I was very nervous about what it would be like. However there was no need to be worried as our room was clean and comfortable. There is also a cosy lounge where you can chill in the evenings and we were lucky enough to have it to ourselves during our stay.

On a side note the food at the Applecross inn was amazing, and quite possibly the nicest Thai curry and sticky toffee pudding I’ve ever tasted.

I hope you have enjoyed our photos and hearing about day one of our trip. Be sure to check back soon to hear about the rest our Scotland adventures!

Lots of Love
Natasha
xxx


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