Inverness to Applecross

From the banks of Loch Ness and across the Highlands

Follow the route - Inverness to Applecross

Memorial cairn at Culloden



Inverness to Culloden

> Leave Inverness on the B9006 to the battlefield of Culloden.

Visiting Culloden

Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, Culloden Moor is a place of sombre memories. It was here, on 16 April, 1746, that the Duke of Cumberland’s army crushed the Jacobite rising led by Prince Charles. The battlefield is laid out with plaques showing the disposition of the opposing forces, and in the visitor centre you can follow the story of this last major battle on British soil. Displays illustrate the confusing political climate of the times, when there were Scots – and even different Highland clans – fighting on both sides. The bitter aftermath of the battle, when government troops were sent on a murderous rampage through the glens, is also described.

Places to stay near Culloden

Royal Highland Hotel

Rocpool Reserve Hotel and Restaurant

Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa

Urqhart Castle, Drumnadrochit

Culloden to Drumnadrochit

> Return to Inverness and take the A82, signed Fort William, to Drumnadrochit.

Visiting Drumnadrochit

This is the site of the Loch Ness Centre, with its exhibition about the search for the world’s most famous monster, said to lurk in the chill waters. You may arrive feeling sceptical, but you will almost certainly leave with the feeling that there is something here to be explained. Follow the ‘Divach’ sign off the A82 to the graceful Falls of Divach, and visit the striking lochside ruins of 13th-century Urquhart Castle, and the roadside monument to John Cobb, the land-speed record holder who was killed on Loch Ness in 1952 trying for the water-speed record.

Places to stay near Drumnadrochit

Loch Ness Lodge

Woodlands B&B and self-catering

Pinewood Steading

Eilean Donan

Drumnadrochit to Eilean Donan

> Continue on the A82 to Invermoriston, then take the A887 and go straight on along the A87. Continue through Inverinate and turn right up Carr Brae. Go into Dornie and turn left for Eilean Donan Castle.

Visiting Eilean Donan

Probably the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan was rebuilt on its splendid islet site between 1912 and 1932, after lying in ruins since the Jacobite Rising of 1719. The MacRaes have been its Constables since 1509. Principal apartments open to visitors are the barrel-vaulted billeting room and the small but impressive banqueting hall. In the hall, look for the letter from Bonnie Prince Charlie – ‘Being fully persuaded of yr loyalty and zeal for the King’s service…’ – sent to clan chiefs on behalf of his father, seeking their support in the 1745 Rising.

Things to do near Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan Castle

Balmacara Estate & Lochalsh Woodland Garden


Eilean Donan to Applecross

> Leave Dornie on the A87, signed for Kyle of Lochalsh, then at Auchtertyre turn right on to the A890, left on to  the A896 through Lochcarron and Kishorn, and left on to an unclassified road for Applecross.

Visiting Applecross

If you don’t like narrow mountain roads, skip Applecross; if you do you will find a beautifully located crofting village, facing the splendid skyline of the Cuillin Hills on Skye. St Maelrhuba is the local saint, and after his death in ad 722, villagers carried soil from his grave on long or perilous journeys. Potter southwards to the lovely rocky bay beyond Camusterrach and take a picnic behind the rippled sandbanks of Applecross Bay. On the lonely road north, look for the pathway which, until a generation ago, was the only land link between the scattered settlements of North Applecross.

Places to stay near Applecross

The Torridon

Duisdale House Hotel

Staffin Camping & Caravanning

Love this route?

Head north via coasts and mountains
Let's go!

Discover more AA Road Trips