I have been wallowing in nostalgia these last few days.  My golfing pilgrimage to the far north, eighteen months in the writing and nowhere near finished, has reached Applecross, a detour on the way to the delights of Gairloch’s nine holes squeezed between mountain and sea.  Thanks to Monty Halls, everyone has now heard of Applecross – I am thinking of printing a T shirt – I was here before Monty.  Long before, in 1973 and many times since.

During the writing of this book I have several times concluded that it is near impossible to convey the majesty of landscape in words, there is simply no substitute for being there; I can only recommend that you go see for yourself.  My passion for this isolated corner of the world can be best explained by the following short facts.  Firstly, it feels like an achievement just getting there, combined with a strong sense of arrival as you coast down into the village.  Secondly, the sun always shines on Applecross, no matter what is happening elsewhere – it was shining when I first went there in 1973 and whenever I return, it is shining still.  Thirdly, it always feels wonderfully removed from the world and I immediately start drawing up plans to relocate.  Finally, the landscape and the light are beyond words – see above.  Just to prove my credentials I dug out this ancient photo of my first drive up and down Bealach na Bà (The Pass of the Cattle) in an 18cwt  Bedford CF, from the days when this was the only route in and out.  What I like most about this picture is something I don’t remember noticing before; rubbed in the dust on the back door is the word Expedition – there is only one door in the picture so the type of expedition remains a mystery.

Pass of the CattleThen I became distracted and started scanning some more.  In an earlier post from Ullapool I referred to this sunset.  Originally taken on 35mm Kodacolor, developed/printed/mashed by Boots the Chemist, stored in the loft for years on end, it has been scanned from the original negative and subjected to Photoshop CS.  The colour may be ‘enhanced’ but that watery light is the genuine article.

Applecross sunsetThese are some more taken on various trips since:

Applecross Highland CattleApplecrossLoch a Mhuilinn - ApplecrossApplecross


  1. nature789 · December 3, 2012

    Applecross? I took a wordpress break so I’m a bit out of the loop…. you have written this book? Please tell me more…. enjoyed your pictures especially the last one; are those 3 people standing on the beach? Look forward to more of the Expedition…. 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · December 3, 2012

      Applecross is on the northwest coast of Scotland, I recommend taking a look around on Google Streetview – Applecross, IV54, UK will find it. The book is in first draft (incomplete) with at least one re-draft to come, maybe more, so don’t hold your breath 🙂
      Well spotted, yes those are people on the beach….and a dog but I he/she has exited stage left.

  2. nature789 · December 3, 2012

    Reblogged this on Tj's Garden.

  3. applecrosslifeattheedge · December 3, 2012

    Living here it is funny trying to work out when you took the photos of the Shore Street by the minibus and cars parked there. Nice blog and good the Monty effect is dying off slowly.

    • northumbrianlight · December 4, 2012

      Hi – thanks for following – great to have someone from Applecross reading this stuff. As a result of date stamped digital jpegs I know that the picture was taken on 20th March 2009; again we got lucky with the weather. The ‘analogue’ picture at the top of Bealach na Bà was taken on 23rd April 1973 – strange how some dates/events stick in the mind. By contrast I can walk purposefully into a room and forget why I came 🙂 . I guess the owners of the Applecross Inn quite liked the Monty effect while it lasted.

  4. Pingback: Kyle of Lochalsh | northumbrian : light

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s