Bealach na Bà

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The Bealach na Bà was the only road linking Applecross with the rest of the country until the late 20th century.

Bealach na Bà is a historic pass through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula, in Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands—and the name of a famous twisting, single-track mountain road through the pass and mountains.

The road is one of few in the Scottish Highlands that is engineered similarly to roads through the great mountain passes in the Alps, with very tight hairpin bends that switch back and forth up the hillside and gradients that approach 20%. It boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Applecross to 626 metres (2,054 ft), and is the third highest road in Scotland.

The name is Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle, Scottish Gaelic: Bealach na Bà, as it was historically used as a drovers' road.


The road featured in several episodes of the television series 'Hamish Macbeth' (much of which was filmed in nearby Plockton), which pictures it having a roadsign that indicates: "Narrow road - no more than three sheep abreast". The road was also featured in the 1953 film Laxdale Hall.


In recent years a pair of cyclosportive cycling events has been staged in the surrounding region, and over the pass. The 70 km Bealach Beag event is in May, and the 144 km Bealach Mór is each September.

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Coordinates: 57°25′58″N 5°45′9″W / 57.43278°N 5.75250°W / 57.43278; -5.75250