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Around deep and mysterious lochs and up steep magnificent hills is a truly idyllic place, Applecross. Situated on the beautiful west coast of Scotland about 80 miles west from Inverness and adjacent to the Isle of Skye, Applecross is one of those magical places no visitor could ever forget. The journey to Applecross is worth the trip in itself as you drive by (or travel by train) beautiful lochs and mountains you will encounter landscapes and seascapes so breathtaking you will be forever getting out of your car to take pictures! The air is clean and there is barely any traffic. In many parts you can feel totally alone in the world as you look round to see only bare landscapes. Nearing Applecross you must decide which route you will take as between yourself and your destination is a very high mountain (2053ft summit) with the highest road in Britain going over it. You can take one of two paths. The easier option is the coast road and although the route is enjoyable and scenic you may prefer to brave the Bealach na ba which is the road going over the mountain and into the heart of Applecross, the village. If you choose the latter and decide to navigate the frightening and dangerous one track road over the mountain (Bealach na ba) with its terrifying hairpin bends and steep hills you must keep your wits about you. This route is best avoided in bad weather. The very first time I travelled this road, which is a shorter journey than the coast road, there was thick fog and snow and we could barely see a few inches in front of us. We survived to tell the tale but in hindsight it might have been wiser to take the alternative route. The drive over the Bealach na ba is unforgettable. The views are amazing and captivating. It is worth stopping at the large parking place at the top as the view from the high summit is breathtaking. Driving around these areas can be difficult due to the single-track winding roads, wandering sheep a nd deer. Running into a deer is not a pleasant experience. It is easy to drive with too much confidence due to the lack of other traffic but there are animals to consider and a full-grown deer could cause serious damage to your car and personal injury to you. When you arrive you will be bowled over by the scenery, peace and harmonious tranquillity. It is more than likely that one of your first ports of call will be the Applecross Inn which offers a homely meeting place for locals and tourists. Have a malt whisky and try some delicious food. The Inn offers many dishes including seafood sourced locally. There are currently five rooms available one of which has en-suite facilities. Each room has coffee and tea facilities and a tasty breakfast is included. There is also a comfortable sitting room available to guests. The Applecross Inn has ?Investors in People? recognition as well as featuring in guides such as ?The Good Food Guide?, ?The Which Guide? and ?The AA guide to Britain?. Other places to stay include many bed and breakfasts and a conveniently situated campsite which has space for sixty tents or caravans. Showers, toilets and laundry facilities are available to campers and there is also a campsite shop which stocks gifts, camping accessories, bread and other foods. The tearoom is also a popular feature of the campsite. Aptly named the ?Flower Tunnel? the restaurant serves drinks and meals in lovely floral surroundings. I have spent many a pleasant afternoon in the tearoom. The staff are friendly and helpful and the abundance of flowers and greenery make it a lovely place to have a cup of tea. If exploring is your thing, you will not be bored in Applecross. Discover coral beaches, lochs situated on tops of mountains and remains of houses from times gone by. On your explorations you can expect to encounter many species of wildlife including otters, roe deer, arctic foxes, whales, dolphins and porpoises. Ensure you wrap up well as the weather can be quite bracing even in summer! A nice place to visit, near to Applecross, is the Isle of Skye. This is a relatively small island but there are many nice drives, walks and shops to visit which makes it a very pleasant choice of destination. As Applecross is so isolated there are not a lot of other places nearby to visit. Should you prefer more ?organised entertainment?, why not try the local company ? Mountain and Sea Guides. They offer many activities for general holidaymakers and corporate groups. Try your hand at kayaking, ice climbing, hill walking and many other activities. All-inclusive packages are available. Mountain and Sea Guides also have ?Investors in People? recognition. As for the best time to visit Applecross it kind of depends on what you plan to do while you?re there. If you plan on ice climbing for instance it would be advisable to plan your trip for winter. If you fancy sightseeing, walking and having a bit of fun, summer would be the best time. The weather is nicer and there is lots of activity going on. The summer fair is held every year around mid June. The fair has many stalls and games manned by locals and in the evening there is usually a dance. Watch the drink infused locals dance real highland dances. A sight you will never forget! The local people in Applecross are the friendliest people I have ever met and they are sure to engage you in friendly bar-room banter and make you feel at home. Aside from the scenery, lovely as it is, many visitors will leave Applecross remembering foremost the heart-warming community spirit. I have never known such a place where everyone helps and knows each other. I speak from experience because I lived there and have been visiting numerous times a year for the past eight years. I think of Applecross a lot and wish I had the means to live there again. It might be hard sometimes in such an isolated area, miles away from supermarkets and other ameni ties but there is something about living in a place where you feel secure and contented. It is easy to feel cut off from the rest of the world and forget your worries and problems! It?s not a place for people who want a fast paced holiday. Applecross is ideal for those who want a really relaxing break and are not concerned about the absence of sunshine. In the evenings there is not much else to do besides sitting in the pub. That shouldn't bother most people though! In summary you can?t go wrong in choosing Applecross for your holiday destination. You will certainly have a nice time and will definitly appreciate the picturesque scenery. The locals are friendly and you will probably find yourself booking your next visit as you leave.