Applecross area route advice

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  • Applecross area route advice
  • Premier Icon billyboy

    I'm up in Applecross in August with a fairly cycle/mountain-wise lady who will be riding an 80mm travel Scott hardtail. I've done several routes in the area already so I have a vague plan in mind, but I just wanted an idea of the viability of the following three routes which I have never done.

    1. There is a road running south out of Applecross that deadends at a place marked Toscaig. The map then shows a loop going out from there to Uags (Rubha na h-Uamha….something of the cave?) then to Airigh-drishaig and back over. Cycleable? Or is it a dog's dinner and just do it as a walk?

    2. Last time I was up there locals told me that the track up the side of Loch Dahm was very doable (runs from Shieldaig to Kishorn to the east of the road). BUT has anyone gone on from there at a place marked Glasnock and up the Bealach a Ghlass-chnoit (Pass of the clear/shiny something) and down to Loch Carron? Is it a walk all the way job or is it cycleable in parts? I've done the Coulin Pass before which I know would be suitable for us. Would I be better off doing the extra miles and do that to get to Loch Carron?

    3. Going west from Loch Carron there is a road to Strome Castle and shortly after that there is a track shown going over the hill north to Kishorn. Alternatively the road continues to Ardaneaskan with a dirt road connecting you up to the same track about a third the way along its length. Anyone done these? Are they viable?

    Many thanks for any input.

    Heather Bash

    You wouldn't endear yourself to her with any of these…

    1 (part of) and 3 are ROW's – I think 2 is also iirc but all are very rough. 2 is a complete sense of humour failure…


    80mm fork is very limited in these sort of areas no matter how good you are. What about Torridon out Diabaig to Craig then Redpoint. If wanted go onto Badachro for a pint (lovely spot). I know it's mainly road but it is quiet and she will still talk to you afterwards.

    I have looked at riding to Kenmore from Applecross up the river and past Croic bheinn but I have only looked on the map so dont know the lay of the land.

    Have a good time whatever you do.


    trail around south of toscaig is pretty rough,ok to do if your up there a while,or walk the dog,i would recommend the coffin road from applecross to kenmore out and back to enjoy the climbs,descents and scenery both ways,then an evening cycle form the bay over to sand from the church' both signed,on map,
    always meant to have a look at your route 2,proberly is possible,most tracks ive found on the map there are on the ground, i usually head up to torridon to ride lower diabeag to red point beach and back then head up loch marie next,lots of options…

    heres a film of both trails;


    just to add to this post,The pub at Applecross is well worth a visit and does great food,The local campsite has good facileties too, with a handy cafe. enjoy 😉


    I've done the route to Airigh-drishaig several times on my mountain bike just as a "there and back" I've also run on foot the full loop via uags. The path to Airigh-drishaig is doable but i usually leave my bike at the summit before running down to the Airigh-drishaig. The route from the summit is quite steep, you might get down most of it on bike but it would be a hard push/carry back up. The path from Uags to Airigh Drishaig is hard to follw at times and frequently disapears or you end up going off route along sheep paths that lead you away. I wouldn't really recommend it for a mountain bike, but again probably possible. I know that the times I rode the route to A-d it was actually slower over all than running on foot. If you were to do the full route I would recommend doing it in the "Toscaig – Airigh Drishaig – Uags – toscaig" direction. Just remembered also that I once set out to Uags on my bike… and turned back because the terrain was just full of large clumps of heather and grass which just made hard going and wasn't worth the bother to me, again still possible though if you must. The path to Airigh Drishaig is more made up in parts and more worn and identifiable. Someone is living at Airigh-Drishaig now, hence the worn path, so don't expect it to be a bothy like there is at Uags, there is only one house there.

    A good mountain bike route that I've often considered that's nearby is from the coulin lodge on the torridon road to Achnashellach on the loch carron road. I've also done the coffin road from kenomore which is a proper made up path mostly but still with some challenges. You can do a loop on this one if you head alsong the old path Sand then take the road for some parts round to kenmore, you can pick up the old path that existed before the road was built in parts too. There is another path marked on the map from further round the peninsula, I tried this once on Mtb but it was very rough and not really distinguishable, I ended up pushing most of it until I reached the kenmore path.


    Sorry Just read your original post more fully and see you have done the route from the coulin lodge. Re points 2 and 3 I have done both of these routes and they are good, I did 3 from ardenaskan. you can make it a loop by taking the road back to ardaneskan, there is a short track you can take from achintraid to cut the corner off at kishorn. Re the route from Glasnock and up the Bealach a Ghlass-chnoit down to Loch Carron? I have done this and there was a fair bit of carrying but still an enjoyable outing. I lost the path on the way down, but could see another track over to the left on the other side of the valley (not on the map) which I would head for if doing it again.

    re the toscaig routes (see my previous post). It is not worth missing these routes even if you don't ride them, especially if you are into real wilderness, so here is a really excellent and challenging loop you can do: start by leaving/hiding your bike somewhere at Russel on the road to the old oil rig fabrication yard at the foot of the bealach-na-ba – then drive over the pass and to toscaig, walk/run to uags then airigh drishaig and then on to russel where you left your bike then ride over the pass and back to toscaig – sounds easy! I have done this in part but got a lift to tosciag so only needed to get to Achintraid with my bike. I have cycled the pass many times and I would allow minimim 1hr 15 mins for the pass (on road bike at my current fitness level) and about 3.5-5.0 hours for the walk/run depending on fitness. The path from Airigh-Drishaig to Russel does exist although not on any maps now. There is the odd man made ford remaining but generally it is hard to follow. Stay on the high ground midway between Airigh-Drishaig and Russel unless you're good at rock climbing! That's the error I made on this route. I will probably try this whole loop sometime in August.

    Not sure how any of this would suit your female friend, the route mentioned from Ardaneskan is probably the easiest.

    Premier Icon billyboy

    Thanks for all that input jonro.

    We are now back from our trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the Applecross to Sands track and the Applecross to Kenmore track was the sheer bliss it always was.
    I ran out of time to fit in the Toscaig routes but did just have a look at the start point. The track going out east seemed to disappear almost immediately! I'll save it for another time.
    On the back of the input here I copped out of the Bealach a Ghlais- Cnoit….and we did the Coulin Pass. I did ask a local on the Loch Carron side and he thought the path on his side for the Ghlass-cnoit route was very sketchy.
    And the Strome Castle to Kishorn route was very doable.

    We also did a moonlit/midge infested ride on a loop from Ullapool to Leckmelm to Glen Achall and some stuff near Aviemore.

    We slotted nicely through the weather and the midges and she loved the place and wants to go back…………….

    So cheers everyone for the input.

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