A classic 90 mile circuit crossing the famous Bealach na Ba to Applecross where the wonderful views and sense of achievement compensate for the effort required.
This 90 mile circuit, the route of the classic “Bealach Mor” cycle sportive can be considered one of the best as well as one of the toughest circular routes in the country. The highlight is the crossing of the 2056 foot high Bealach na Ba which gives superb views back towards Loch Kishorn and onwards towards the islands of Skye and Raasay. But the climbs and the views aren’t limited to the stretch over the Bealach, the run down Glen Carron to Lochcarron, the coastal road north of Applecross and the section through Torridon are spectacular while the coast road also provides some surprisingly tough little climbs.
Start from Kinlochewe (there’s good parking near the east end of the village) and follow the A832 east up Glen Docherty to Achnasheen where a right turn at the roundabout leads south to Lochcarron via the A890. Although classed as A roads neither road is particularly busy and give pleasant cycling. After the Lochcarron the real work starts with a short sharp climb out of the village before a good descent to Kishorn. Continue through Kishorn, turn right to cross the bridge at the head of the loch and then start climbing!
7 miles of fairly steady climbing that finishes up a set of hairpin bends is followed by an equal amount of descent into the village of Applecross. A right turn at the foot of the hill leads to a fairly straightforward section round Applecross bay and northwards up the coast. However the hard work isn’t over as the road becomes increasingly hilly near the north end of the peninsula and there are numerous ups and downs all the way to Shieldaig but the views do offer some compensation for your efforts.
The main road bypasses Shieldaig itself but it’s worth the short detour into the village, one of the most picturesque in the west Highlands and it only adds on a couple of hundred metres. From Shieldaig the route follows the southern shore of Loch Torridon giving good views, particularly to Ben Alligin, before the final stretch through Glen Torridon leads back to Kinlochewe.