Bealach-na-Ba, Applecross

by snappyandrew   June 23, 2014  

Dear All
Driving from London to ride this in July. Any B&B recommendations or indeed any other advice would be very much appreciated
Many Thanks
Andrew

14 user comments

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Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [896 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 16:09

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Be prepared for midgies! I went there in July a few years ago and it was pretty bad. I rode in leg warmers, arm warmers, gloves, the lot, and with a bandana across the face, despite it being warm. Didn't try any but perhaps some type of midgie-repellent might have helped, though they're pesky buggers and there's millions of them.

Zermattjohn's picture

posted by Zermattjohn [72 posts]
24th June 2014 - 10:33

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posted by oldstrath [149 posts]
24th June 2014 - 11:23

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I swear by Avon SkinSoSoft. Seriously.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [896 posts]
24th June 2014 - 12:56

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Gizmo_ wrote:

I swear by Avon SkinSoSoft. Seriously.

It works - perhaps perversely I prefer the smell of Smidge

posted by oldstrath [149 posts]
24th June 2014 - 14:02

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There's a good few B&B's around Loch Carron and Shieldaig and Wester-Ross. I've stayed in Loch Dubh B&B in Loch Carron myself and the couple running it were lovely, along with the room and breakfast.

posted by Paul J [644 posts]
24th June 2014 - 14:15

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+1 for Skin so Soft - And I'm Scottish - believe me, we know about these things Wink

posted by kennethsross [16 posts]
24th June 2014 - 19:04

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We stayed in the Torridon Scottish National Trust Cottage at the start of June, it was great. Torridon SYHA looked OK?

Midges were out already at the start of June. Did Bealach twice, once just before lunch and it was busy, but again really early a few days later and it was great not having all the bikers and traffic around. If your feeling masochistic and the weather is good, get up real early and do it while its quiet, you won't regret it.

The midges were only a problem if we stopped for too long and yes, skin so soft does work. Its good if it rains too cause because the water rolls off your skin.

posted by Nzlucas [96 posts]
24th June 2014 - 21:35

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+1 also for skin so soft. Works a treat. Remember though to apply sun cream first. Cut out all refined sugars before you get up north and also while your there. Apparently the blighters enjoy sweet blood. Have also found that loading up with vitamin B or yeast helps. Marmite is more bearable than 3000 midgie bites in an hour. Also avoid being out when the sun is low or there is low cloud cover. Damn I'm itching while even thinking about these wee beggars. But above all. Enjoy yourself. Your going to a cracking part of the country.

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posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
24th June 2014 - 22:55

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Yes, good point on the vitamin B - lots of ginger and garlic for a couple of weeks also helps. Smile

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [896 posts]
24th June 2014 - 23:12

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Applecross campsite is lovely, and the inn in Applecross does amazing haggis (it also has bedrooms if you want more luxury than the campsite though I don't know what they are like). A midge head net is a good investment if you do camp, hopefully wouldn't need it for the actual cycling but it is much more pleasant putting a tent up if you don't have thousands of midges getting into your eyes etc. I prefer Smidge to Skin so Soft but that's just me... take both and see what works for you?!

posted by ShonaMcIntosh [2 posts]
26th June 2014 - 11:36

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Here we go, this might help. You can zoom in on where you are going , click on the icon and you get a five day forecast. http://midgeforecast.co.uk/home/ Nerd

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posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
26th June 2014 - 20:49

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The peninsula road that goes North to Shieldaig is an ASTOUNDING bit of riding so you should aim to do that too. Just beware - even though it has no big climbs it has more ascent/descent than the Bealach itself so keep something in the tank for that.

the campsite has wigwams that you can use if you want a more comfy camping experience.

Midges: The Avon stuff does stop them biting but only because it leaves an oily layer on your skin that drowns them. I don't like walking around feeling like a greaseball all day so I use Smidge (which works brilliantly) and a midge net when camping or likely to be standing around. If you're out on the bike and getting midged then you're riding too slow (they can only fly 4mph).

posted by Stevious [1 posts]
27th June 2014 - 9:14

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I rode the Bealach a coupe of years ago and it was fantastic. Incredibly scenic but I wasn't bothered by the midges. Local hospitality is warm and welcoming. Have a great time.

posted by WiznaeMe [6 posts]
27th June 2014 - 23:19

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