Links to useful pages for local information

We run a small visitor information point within Cafe Ceardach, which is run by LCDC on behalf of the community. Our staff who will help visitors to the best of their ability, contact us if you would like to volunteer to help around teh Smithy Hub or with our day to day Community Development Charity work.

Follow us on Facebook and twitter for regular links to interesting information about the area and what we do. We have also compiled a list of our favourite useful websites for local information;






Highland Council website for information about local public services

run by the local business association, contains lots of information about lochcarron and district and all the affliated local businesses, including accomodation and things to do and see


Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highland Social Enterprise Zone




Kylerhea & Glenelg Ferry




Cycle race over the Applecross Bealach



Archive Photographs

The Gallery of photographs below have been uploaded from our Archives. These were inherited from former Smithy Heritage Society and gathered from many sources over the years. Click the small pictures to see larger ones. If anyone has any further information about any of these photographs please let us know either by writing in the comments box or via e-mail; If you have any old photographs of local interest and would like to share them to this digital archive, we would be very grateful.

all rights reserved (c) 2016 Lochcarron Community Development Company

The Road network. A brief history of roads around strathcarron.

The roads around the Lochcarron  district were mostly all built within short time periods:- 1810-1825 and then 1962 -1978. map copy

Before 1800 transport in the West Highlands depended on the sea. Land travel was on foot or on horseback.
In 1802 a Parliamentary Commission for roads and bridges was established. Under their engineer, Thomas Telford, more than twelve hundred miles of roads were built in the Highlands over a period of little more that twenty years. Lochcarron was to benefit considerably from the Commission’s work.

In the Lochcarron area the first road to be completed, in 1813, was from Kyle to Strome Ferry.

The road from Strome Ferry to Lochcarron was finished in 1817; Mr MacKenzie of Applecross was the contractor – having a proprietorial interest in the road, it is not suprising that one of the Commission’s reports makes mention of ‘his judicious exertions’. The rest of the road to Contin was much slower, and in one case the contractor’s sureties were called upon to complete the road.
Meantime Mr MacKenzie was promoting his own interests, and was the contractor of the road from Lochcarron to Shieldaig, completed in 1819.

The famous mountain road to Applecross over the Bealach na Ba, was not one of the Parliamentary roads. Mr MacKenzie of Applecross built it entirely at his own expense in 1825 and 1826. This is the third highest public road in Britain, reaching 2,050 feet.

scan002(photograph by Ian Reynolds)

It was the Parliamentary roads of the early nineteenth century which were still in existence when we entered the twentieth century and the motor car age. The culverts and bridges which we can still see in many places are the masonry built by the contractors under the supervision of Telford over 200 years ago. To cope with the new traffic, most of the roads got their first black top bitumen between 1930 and the mid 1950s, the first major change in over a hundred years. Even in 1956 the Applecross road, over the Bealach na Ba, was still gravel on the summit, although there were two tarmac tracks, separated by grass on the climb up the Pass.

ax(photograph by Ian Reynolds)

In the early 1930s, under the Crofter Counties Act, the Strathcarron bridge was rebuilt, and improvements made to parts of the roads immediately east of Lochcarron.

The breakthrough to the whole of the North Highlands came in 1963 with the openingof the Balgy Gap road between Shieldaig and Torridon. This had a positive knock-on effect for many areas.

The road known locally as the Stromeferry Bypass was built in 1970. Since then, this road has been unstable and problematic with regular rock falls and landslides. Solutions are currently being sought.
old118The Glencarron stretch of the Achnasheen/ Lochcarron road was upgraded to a two lane highway about the same time. The Stromeferry/ Auchtertyre road was re-built in 1976-78.

Access to Applecross by road had long been a problem. Up to the mid-1950s, the main means of access was the traditional route by sea. The steamer used to transfer passengers and goods to local small boats in the exposed Applecross Bay. By 1960, a regular service, a converted fishing boat, was running from Toscaig to Kyle daily.The settlements on the north coast of Applecross peninsula still depended on a motorcycle track, and the sea. The existing transport routes became impassable in winter weather or rough seas.oldpix050 In 1964, a start was made on a road from Sheildaig to Kenmore, on the North Applecross coast. Eventually, partly promoted by the development of the Butec torpedo testing range, with its control base north of Applecross, the road to Applecross was complete in 1976.



all rights reserved (c) 2014 Lochcarron Community Development Company