A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland


My name is Ali Macleod and have lived in a really special place for the last 30 years, Applecross on the NW coast of Scotland. I first went fishing in 1978 and bought my first boat in 1984 and have fished for prawns since. During the 1990s I tried my hand at scallop farming and more recently have been working part-time in the Applecross Inn. 4 boys of which 3 are in further education and a partner Alison who is currently the local development officer.

We live in a vibrant but fragile community and are involved in a fair bit of community development, Pier, Hall,Filling Station and Community Company in general. Constantly trying to find ways of making the community more resilient against a backdrop of falling school role and declining services.

Comments on: "About" (125)

  1. Hi there Ali – I must say that you are one of the most lucky people on this Earth. Applecross is a beautiful place to visit, but to live there would be a dream. Would you be so kind as to tell me if you know if the Ard Ban Cottage ( old cottage by a coral beach) is still available to let. I used to stay there many years ago and have lost the contact details. I have been wanting to visit this stunning place again for sometime.
    Please help me!!
    Michala xx

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Hi Michala
      The two cottages at Ardban are privately owned but I know the owner of the one to the north and if you want I can get in touch if you wish to rent. I know they rent to friends, but do not much more info than that. Applecross is a pretty special place to live and work in. Coilligillie, the next hamlet to Ardban has a renting cottage if you are interested in that.
      cheers Ali

      • Ksenia Findlay said:

        Hello! I was also looking for the contact details for those cottage owners. Used to stay in the one on the right (don’t know if that’s the North one), but would love to stay again in either of them. Could you possibly let me know the details to try and rent one for a few days? Thank you! Ksenia

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        They are both just rented out to friends and family if it the Ardban houses. Coillieghillie, the next hamlet Tim Dapplin has a cottage for rent.

      • Rachel Clark said:

        Hi there, I can’t tell you how happy I was to find this blog!
        I too, think Applecross is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We stayed there a couple of times in the summer when I was a kid -I think about it often, and I’ve always wanted to return. I live in the US now, but I’ve been searching for a long time, (and without much luck) trying to find out any information about Ardban, where we stayed. My mother knew one of the owners; Jo Burns I think. Please, is there any way to get in contact with someone about renting these cottages again? And if not, is there anywhere nearby on the water, with a similar remote feel that we could rent? Thank you in advance for any help you can give me – I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        I will get back to you with some info. Will try to get Jo’s details to you or also the holiday cottage at Coillighillie through Tim Daplyn. Thanks for your kind comments.

      • Rachel Clark said:

        Hi Ali,
        I hate to bother you again, but any more info about Ardban?
        Thank you,

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        Really sorry for not getting back to you. As I suggested Ardban is private but Coillie Ghillie just along the shoreline can be found on the Unique Cottages (Scotland) website and if you search “Cottage by the Shore” Their tel no is 01835822277. cheers and hope this helps.

      • Rachel Clark said:

        Thank you so much! That’s very helpful. Hope to see you in Applecross soon!

  2. Hi Ali

    Loving the blog. Been pushing it as much as I can on Twitter and Facebook and hope I’ve extended the readership, if only a little. The Inn has been good to us and put a link to our website BadanMhugaidh.com from where we get most of our traffic!

    I’m really interested in the broadband project you outlined on 1/5/12 and as a comms engineer I’d love to get involved, if you would email me I’ll be happy to discuss it some

  3. […] it was not until just now that I started reading the rest of the excellent website https://applecrosslifeblog.wordpress.com/about/ put together by Ali MacLeod a fisherman from Applecross. Not only is Ali a fisherman but he was a […]

  4. Hi Ali,
    Just found your great blog through Paul on Raassay. I, too, have fond memories of Applecross having spent some time there at the outward boundy thingy based at Applecross House about 50 years ago. A truly beautiful place. Would love to revisit some time.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thanks for your comments.The West Highland School of Adventure…now that is a blast from the past. I remember them when I came over to stay with my grandparents in the 60s and they would come to church.

      • How strange, just commented on the blog after re-finding your blog through the Rona blogsite. Completely missed this reply four years plus ago, incidentally sent by you on my birthday! Serendipity or what! I was the WHSA in the early 1960s. After university iin Sussex, I turned to journalism and now cover music only – I generally get to Celtic Connections most years and cover it for various outlets. This year, I felt line-up a bit weak so didn’t bother travelling from my current home in SW France. Maybe get there for 2018. It’s generally an excellent festival. Glad to see you also enjoy it.

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        We love it and I think you were right. There was still plenty for us to make the trip but had to look hard for a bit of Americana. Seems that was an effect of Brexit as there costs went up due to pounds decline. Enjoyed plenty home grown along side Tom Russell and the Mark O’Connor Band.

  5. richard spoors said:

    Hello Ali……..we spent a charming few days at the inn and you managed to get us some lovely Halibut thanks……we have been coming to applecross for a few years and its a very special place Thanks for your blog and good luck on the Hydro-power

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Good, I have really enjoyed coming out front of house this year and meeting people like you. It keeps you fresh and prevents a closed mind which can occur if you do not get out in a rural community. Small tiffs can become all consuming. Glad you got the halibut and see you the next time.

  6. lorna macdonald said:

    Wow. Just found this blog and it brings back lots of memories. Dont know if you’d remember my mum and dad, Ali and Margaret who used to own the pub till 87? My wee brother was born in bedroom 1 (as it was then). I left at 11 and returned for a weekend 2 years ago with my boyfriend, 20+ years later. And again last year…and hopefully this year. Such a magical place!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Nice one, yes I remember your folks really well. I came to Toscaig in 83 and started going to the pub around 85 and I remember you and your wee brother (think he was a handful at the time, a live wire !!!) Introduce yourself if you are visiting again.

  7. Hi Ali I probably meet you 20+ yrs ago I was working for Kishorn Shellfish and I came to visit you on the pier and had a brief look at your Scallop operation. Unfortunately I gave it up a few years later and headed back south again.

    I have fond memories of the Pub (who didn’t) I used to always take my parents there for lunch when they came and to visit me.

    You have given me many hrs of reading now, glad I found the blog.



    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      As it was 20 years ago I have vague memories of you coming over. Really appreciate you liking the blog. Still not entirely sure why I started it but now I have it is good fun even the politics. Thanks again.

      • I didn’t for one moment expect you to remember me.

        Thanks and keep up the good work with the Blog and the Applecross Community, more everywhere needs and deserves a better community..

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        Cheers for that. Working in the Pub we get a lot of return visitors and sometimes it is slightly embarrassing if you don’t recognise them or forget their name. Of course they know you…usually go scurrying to Judith but she is becoming less reliable, might be an age thing!!

    • Hello Alistair, my name is Lyle from Volt Bikes we came across your blog after seeing you on BBC Scotland the other day. We would love for you to share your experiences of the Volt Alpine with our own blog readers. Would you be interested in writing a guest blog post for us?

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        Yes I can do that. Well spotted that it was a Volt, although I have not had a look at Landward and only briefly seen Reporting Scot. Let us know what you want.

      • Hello Alistair, that’s great really looking forward to seeing what you come up with. We’d love for you to just write a blog post about how you use your Volt Alpine with regards to your business. Also if you could share what you like about it and and the benefits it brings to you. We have seen some great pictures of your bike and you trailer on several blog posts, it would be great if you could include some of those photo’s too. Please email it to info@voltbikes.co.uk, thanks Lyle

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        Will do, sometime soon, although weather is pretty good just now.

      • Hello Alistair,

        Just thought I’d see if you have managed to get started on the blog post yet? If not don’t worry feel free to do it when you get the chance.



      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        Have n’t forgotten you. The weather has been brilliant which means work and also i have set up the system in such a way that I now use the bike more. So it is coming with one or two photos.

  8. One quick question I know KSF must have closed along with KLD but what became of my mussel rafts. Reading your blog is reminding me of days spent encording mussels, turning oysters below seafield and having my lunch on Kishorn Island.

    I will never forget the measure of Cardu that Judith gave my father and the ensuing trip back over the bealach to Couldoran.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      I will find out about the rafts and get back to you. A lot of people have many good memories of the Inn.

  9. Hi Ali, stumbled across your blog while googling the area, it’s great to read. I think I remember you from the time I was there with Fairbridge Drake at the Centre, back in 89, one of the highlights of my life. I’ve missed Applecross ever since!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Hi Julia, thanks for the wee comment and Applecross always stays with you!!!!. That will be the Martin, Andy, Heather, Mike,even Nick Essen. I probably know you as I knew quite afew of you guys then. It was good times, maybe too good in some cases.

      • Julia Cornes said:

        crikey, just found this reply 2 years later! Yes, they were all the guys back in the days of Drake, I’m still in touch with Heather, I live in New Zealand now but planning a visit soon so I hope I can get up to AX 🙂

    • Alan Jones said:

      Is this the same Julia from Merseyside? I remember Julie from Liverpool and a Julia both had blond hair?

      You both came to Applecross with Fairbridge and I was doing some volunteer work…I remember making a big pan of scouse and everyone loved it apart from a Julia or Julie…ha ha ha ha. I’d love to hear from Heather as well because we were good friends and I lost contact when I joined the Army….how time flies..xx

  10. Hi Ali,
    your blog is my daily sunshine from scottland. We turned around 5 times through the west highlands,everytime to applecross. But first time our friend from Laide, near Gairloch, said – to go there you need best breaks. The roadview was so beautifull, never forget.
    Thanks for every post.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thank you so much for your comments. I was never really sure why I started to blog but I now know why and one of these reasons is receiving comments like yours. Thank you again.

  11. Andy Tibbetts said:

    Hi Ali,
    It was a real pleasure to meet you over on Knoydart last week and delighted that you enjoyed your visit. Drop in anytime you’re passing. Love the blog by the way. It’s great to meet someone as enthusiastic about where they live.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Andy, although it was “work” it never felt like it. From not knowing Doune existed to what I know now about it and the rest of the peninsula…it been great and really informative. I enjoyed our chats and absolutely everything about the two days. I will hope to make it back some time and thanks for your kind comments about the blog. Cheers again.

  12. Fraser MacDonald said:

    Dear Ali,

    Really enjoying your blog and photos. I’ve been tracing family history recently and my great Grandfather was born in shore street but later moved to Nairn. His parents continued to live in Milton for many years. I found your blog when I was looking for more information about the area. Your photos have really helped create an image of the places where they lived.

    Many thanks.


    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thank you for your comments. I will have to speak to Taddy to find out who you are!!! He is a wonderful source, even my own family I check up with him.

  13. Fraser MacDonald said:

    They were a long time ago! John MacDonald married Mary Maclean in Raasay in 1860, They appear to have lived in Milton. John was a mason on the Applecross Estate.
    Mary died in 1903 and John in 1910. They had several children, Christy (1862) Neil (1865) John (1867) Jane (1871 died young) Chirsty (1875) and my great grandfather, Angus (1877). Neil and Angus went to Inverness and Nairn for work, but Neil came back to Applecross and was a fisherman. I’ve no record for Chirsty after the 1891 Census so its possible she married and had a family. There may still be relatives in the area. Would be fascinated if your friend does know anything about them.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      I am going to forward your history on to Gordon who is the curator at the Heritage Centre and the nephew of our best local historian/genealogist.

  14. Snoddy
    depsite the great weather -busy paddling (as you might have noticed a few times) so I havent been able to get my cylinders charged-Ill try to get them organised by next month after my next work down period-btw loved your piece in 2012 about African Ubunthu-absolutely true-how can we adopt ubunthu in a chomraich?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      It is harder work than it should be but ubunthu is under way. Catch you whenever.

  15. Alec Jordan said:

    Are you any further on with your thoughts on a St Ayles Skiff for Applecross?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      No, but the idea has not gone away. there has been a lot going on recently with trying to keep the Fuel supply going, toilets refurb and broadband installation. I think we may try to tempt the Coigach Lass down for a demo to gauge enthusiasm and take it from there.

  16. Won’t take much tempting to get Coigach Community Rowing, Achiltibuie down to let the Applecross folk have a row of our lovely skiff and generally get the craic with them. We are anybody’s for a bowl of soup and a bit of homebaking! We’ve just been over to see potential Skiffies in Lochinver and have a trip to do similar in Avoch shortly…. So maybe have to be the spring, but we will definitely be there… will keep in touch about it.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Raasay and back in a NW 7 would not be a good idea but good to know you are up for it. I know there is lots of interest. Of to do another mini rant, cheers

  17. Becca Fox said:

    Love this blog 🙂 really keeps me feeling ‘at home’ when I’m missing out on everything up there!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Ach thanks Becca, enjoyed your set at the Hall…..and not just saying that. Hope you have a good year.

  18. Hi Ali. Love the blog. I met you last year at the inn with my wife Louise when we were researching our own website, which is now up and running at last. Could we persuade you to write a guest blog entry for us? Please drop me a line. Thanks, Christian

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Happy to do that Christian. Give me some guideline on what you want and I will give it a good. Bear in mind I am a fisherman and not a writer. Thanks for the blog comment and not because of that your site is really good. Great stuff on it.

  19. Liz mcknockiter said:

    Hi Ali, I love your blog. I should be ironing this afternoon but am engrossed. Still have family in Kyle, Norman and Heather Finlayson. I honestly feel I should know you but am not sure.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      If you were Liz Finlayson and you are saying that Norman is Marine Stores I know who you are. You may know me as “Snoddy” or Chrissie Anne’s brother. Thanks for the comment on the blog anyway.

  20. Andrew Mitchell said:

    Hi Ali, Didnt get the chance to thank you for looking after us in our stay at the Inn. Cant get enough of your blogs, they are highly educational and will no doubt open the eyes of many in your community and beyond. The power of the pen and the internet is immense,you have certainly put me in my place, the best things in life are free, money is just a man made machine which often brings out the worst in us. Take care with your mobility bike. Linda & Andy Mitchell, the tall baldy also known as Chickenlegs from Burton Cheshire.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Good to meet you and thanks for your comments. As long as you are in work and live in a place like Applecross money does seem less important. I don’t mean to put anyone in their place but I think I know what you mean, I usually leave that to the people we were talking about. Cheers and may see you again.

  21. Hi,

    Thanks for letting me go out in the boat with you a couple of weeks ago, very kind of you and very interesting. I’ve finally finished the photos, if you are interested you can find them here:

    Village Shop

    Hope the fishing is still good & the sea is still calm.

    Thanks again & enjoy the peace & quiet.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers, the photos are special. thanks for showing them and glad you enjoyed the day. I enjoyed the ice cream.

  22. HI Ali, just found your blog whilst trying to find an email for Geoff the picture framer in Kishorn! Me and the hubby are coming down tomorrow from Stornoway to get our boat out of the yard at Kishorn, whilst over i’d love to get him over to the Applecross Inn (he’s never been, i used to come on a pilgrimage from Boat of Garten!), are there any buses we could get? Would we have to go via Sheildaig? Is it worth thumbing a lift from the bottom of the pass road? I know it seems a strange request, but we are coming via public transport and sailing home! Finding your blog was just meant to be 🙂

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Public transport from Kishorn to Applecross is non existent but getting to the Yard and phoning the Inn may result in a lift as there are always people coming and going over the Hill. Thumbing may well work. there are not so many hitchers nowadays but I always pick up and most locals do. Best of luck.

  23. Claire Miller said:

    I really wished I had known about the blog before I visited Applecross last week. It was a journey of memories for me as my family owned a property in Ard Dhubh for many years (Dophin Cottage – the little one!). I spent all my holidays there as a child and teenager (except for Christmas due to the problems of getting there) but this was my first visit in about 35 years. I saw you about in the Inn and also unloading the new petrol pump but of course didn’t know who you were then. I was worried that I would be disappointed returning after so many years but it was all as I remembered and just as beautiful. I hope to visit again soon.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Maybe meet you sometime. I am still not used to people I do not know introducing themselves through reading the blog. Hope you keep enjoying it and thanks for your comment.

  24. Rachel Clark said:

    Thank you for following up. I will eagerly await any information you can pass on about Ardban and Coillighillie. (Sorry – I couldn’t seem to reply to the previous thread?)

  25. Hi ALI I enjoy following your blog. I have a website cantered round Shemaron an ex-ring net fishing boat. I would like to ask if you would be happy for me to use your photograph of the Mary Anne in your Fishing Tales post on this site? It shows the ring net clearly, I have not ben able to find a photograph of our own boat with a good picture of the ring net.

  26. wonderful blog – interesting, witty and fabulous photographs. wish i was haulin pots instead of sat staring at a screen all day !

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      What can I say but thanks so much. There are days I prefer the screen but only on condition I will be able to get on the water again. Cheers and Have a Good New Year.

  27. What a fantastic blog Ali. It’s a joy to read and very much a credit to your goodself..I was first took to Applecross 51 years ago as a five year old by mum and dad in an old Ford Thames minibus that dad converted into a camper. I fell in love wi’ the wee place and have tried to return every year. Just myself, my motorcycle, my camping gear and of course my fishing tackle…There’s nowt better for the soul than a day on the rocks at Fearnmore, Toscaig or Uags angling for Wrasse and Pollock topped off wi’ a pint or a dram at the inn at the end of the day……Haven’t been up for a couple o’ years (my longest gap) due to taking on a pub in Greater Manchester and totally crave the peace and solitude that the sanctuary offers. Hoping to get up in April or May before the winged piranha make their hatch…..Thanks again for a beautiful blog fella and may your creels be heavy ones. Take care.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Nice start to the day when I read a post like yours. Thank you so much. I do enjoy writing and taking the shots but it is a bonus when I read what you have written. Good luck with the pub and give us a shout when you are up. Piranhas have n’t been too bad the last couple of years. Thanks again.

  28. Hi Alistair, just wanted to give you our idea about the eggs you found and didn’t seem to know what species they come from. We think they must come from some sort of whelk – which are common on our (Belgian) coast. Looking forward to seeing you guys again coming Easter! Best wishes from Tiny, Iwan and Iago (we’re always staying with Thomas and Lesley)

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Yes we received a couple of confirmations that it was the dog whelk eggs. See you Easter time with better weather. Cheers

  29. sonny ashton hay said:

    I read an article in applecrosslife that included an ex black and white minstrel named
    Shirley anne lewis I have been trying to contact her for over 40 years, I worked with her in London but I now live in Queensland Australia if any body can pass on my email address it would mean a great deal to me.

    My contact details are ashtonhay579@yahoo.com.au


    Sonny Hay

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Sorry Sonny, I cannot help as although I do remember her she was a visitor having a meal at the Inn. If she had stayed then I may have been able to pass on her details. Hopefully some one may pick up on this…chances of you reading about her were pretty slim after all. cheers Ali

  30. Hi Ali, we read your ‘last post’… sorry to hear about your mum. It sounds as if she had a fulfilling life; hope that this thought can be of any comfort. Even though she became quite old, it is still your mum, and never easy to part with… Take care. Love from Tiny, Iwan and Iago (the Belgians that stay with Thomas and Lesley every year)

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thank you very much for your kindness. She saw many changes and although towards the end she lost a lot of her capacity I think she was very happy and certainly really well looked after. cheers Ali

  31. Hi Ali I love the blog and all the variety of life that is in it. We are making a film for the BBC about seabirds and the state of the sea‚ hinged to the Shiant isles and the Minch in general which I know from this blog you have visited, and I wondered if we could be touch base to see whether we might come and talk to you about fishing in those waters and how things have changed over the years, the extraordinary LACK of fishing boats in the Minch today which as you say must be a symptom of something wrong, the destruction of the sea floor by heavy gear and so on. You have my email here. all very best Adam

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      If I can be of help, certainly. Will send you an email just now.

  32. Alan Jones said:

    Hi my Name is Alan Jones and Applecross brings back fond memories when I was just a teenager with Fairbridge Drake.

    In particular I was good friends with Heather, Nick and Julian.

    Would you mind asking Heather to get in touch with me? If it’s the same Heather I remember she was married to Martin?

    It would be fantastic if they got in touch…I eventually joined the Army and completed my 22 years. I now work in Africa and Heather will also remember me as I was lucky enough to be selected to sail on the Spirit of Merseyside in 1989 Tall Ships race….

    Many thanks


    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Should not be a problem. Heather lives just over the Hill in Kishorn.

      • Alan Jones said:

        Hello Ali,

        Did you manage to get in touch with Heather? It would be absolutely fantastic if she got in touch via email. I was also friends with Julian (he looked like Chris Bonington) and Nick the Chef.

        I’m also replying to another Fairbridge Drake member Julia Cornes (thanks to your website) who now lives in New Zealand.

        Many thanks and really appreciate your assistance, I’m currently in the UK on leave from West Africa and I’m here for 19 days.

        Best Regards


      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        Left a message with her and tried again today. Will give her a call in the evening. Nick is Dover now and another guy you may know, Andy is down in Cambridge. I’ll be in touch when I manage to speak to Heather. Cheers Ali

  33. Hey Alan, I’m from Nottingham. Live in New Zealand now. My email is Richard.Julia @xtra.co.nz drop me a line and we can do some reminiscing 🙂

  34. Hello Ali,

    we met a couple of years ago in Perth, I’m a friend of Mel and Steve, dont know if you recall, but I certainly remember the absolutely amazing langoustines you had brought with you!

    I’ll be back in Scotland for a week of holidays starting saturday, and i’m travelling with a friend to Skye. Was hoping to go fishing, and Mel mentionned that you actually live really close to Skye. So was wondering, if it were at all possible and not too much trouble for you, if we could come fishing with you maybe?

    We clearly do not know how to fish at all, but we’d of course be happy to help anyway we can on the trip!

    Thank you!


    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Just back from Cambridge Folk Fest and seen the forecast for the week and it is pretty awful. You are welcome to come out but the weather may be against it. Also although I see Skye it is 45 miles from the Skye Bridge to here but as I say you are more than welcome, anyone interested comes out. Be in touch. Tomorrow and prob Wed definitely out.

      • Hello Ali,

        thanks for your reply. It’s only next week we’ll be there, and by the look of it probably more on the 13th.
        I think we’ll come your way whatever the weather is, if there’s a possible fishing expedition, it’ll be absolutely amazing, if its only for lunch at the Applecross Inn that still feels more than good enough! And hopefully the weather will get a little better by then!
        I think we’ll leave Skye early in the morning, and then we’ll drive to Perth in the evening, so that’ll give us time to see Applecross either landside or seaside!
        I’ll confirm as it gets closer
        Thank you very much anyways


      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        No Problem, we will hear from you.

  35. Hello Ali,

    We will stay on Skye tomorrow after all, there’s a few things we’d still like to see. We will be crossing over to Applecross either tomorrow nigth or early Friday morning. Is the weather good for a fishing trip, would it still be ok to come along if so? We can be there whenever it suits you, the plan is to have the langoustines at the inn at lunchtime whatever happens, but we’re absolutely free around the lunch at whatever time may suit you.
    Thank you!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Sounds like a Saturday trip would be best if you are around then. I have an early start on Friday with a meeting in Kyle in the afternoon. Early start on Friday if you want.

      • Hello,

        We’re returning the rental car to Edinburgh tomorrow evening, so tomorrow morning, however early, absolutely works for us.
        Just give me a time and place and we’ll be there!
        Very excited about it!
        See you tomorrow

  36. HI Ali

    A few years back you kindly recorded some thoughts and tales about the fishing life in Applecross for a project we were doing gathering oral histories of fishing in Wester Ross.

    You and other readers of the blog might like to know that a programme based on your chat will be going out in our Fishing Days series on Two Lochs Radio in a couple of weeks on 4 November. The recording was at Kenny Livingstone’s in Shieldaig, and he’ll also be featuring in a few weeks (and tomorrow it’s Angus Bain of Gairloch).

    Fishing Days is in our local Voices slot on Wednesday evenings at 9pm with a repeat on Sunday evening at 8pm. We’re on 101.8 FM in the Shieldaig and Torridon area, and various other frequencies in the wider Wester Ross area, but anyone outside the broadcast coverage can listen online through UK Radioplayer at http://radioplayerhosting.com/stations/live/1107/index.html or the Tune-in app.

    All the best from all at Two Lochs Radio.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Forgot all about that. Good you think it was worth recording. Do not like hearing myself too much, but will give it a go, cheers

  37. Avril Baker said:

    Really great to read about good friends that I made while living there and working as the cook at Fairbridge Drake. Hello to my favourites Mike ,Andy,Martin and jean lynch.
    Cheers Avril

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Thanks Avril, often the case for many people who have spent time here they never forget it. Hope all is well with you. Lochend is back up for sale….as a business

  38. Rory Trust said:

    Hi Ali,

    I came across a photo on your blog https://applecrosslifeblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/9q7q7106.jpg which I absolutely love. My partner and I visited Applecross last April – we got the train to Strathcarron and cycled over the Bealach. I was wondering if you’d be so kind to send me a copy of the photo so that I could get it printed and framed for our house. It reminds me of our cycle and would be a great surprise present for my partner.



    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Should not be a problem. I have cleaned it up a bit as the camera was getting a bit dirty by that time. You may have to get it cleaned up more depending on size of print. Probably the best way to do this is to send you a stick with the photo on. My email is fishermanapx@btinternet.com. All I ask is for any sort of donation to Applecross Community Company, size is entirely up to you. Cheers and glad you like it.

  39. Joana Martinez said:

    Hi Ali,

    Dont know if you can help ..Just returned from Ardbhan after another brilliant week, met the lovely Tim and Ann from Collieghillie, good chats, cuppa and home baking baking (thanks Ann!!) great to hear some more local history (Thanks Tim) our only problem we were hoping to keep in touch with them but on emptying the car back in Edinburgh realised the email and mobile we have for Tim has vanished somewhere on the return journey (may have gone through the wash)…
    would there be any chance you could pass on my email to Tim and ask him to drop us a line … keen to send him a wee thank you email.. if you let him know it’s Joana, Jill, Richard and Barbara trying to get in touch from Edinburgh that would be brilliant…

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Just emailed your comment to Tim. Hope it helps, key me know if not as I will be seeing him at the CC Meeting tomorrow. Cheers

  40. Joana Martinez said:

    Thanks for that Ali not heard back as yet but know he’s a busy man! Hope you’re all enjoying the amazing weather very sorry we cant be there enjoying it with you

  41. […] I would also commend to you a fellow WordPress blogger by the name of Ali MacLeod, who writes some very interesting and informative articles on life in the NW of Scotland. […]

  42. topherdawson said:

    Thanks Alastair for the visit to Applecross which I’ve always felt is a bit special, even compared to Scoraig where I come from. Let’s hope for a future where wee west coast places are secure and thriving!

  43. So nice to see this blog!
    2017 marks the 20th anniversary of me and the missus running away to Applecross and getting married by Hugh Ferguson just down the road. Now living in the US, but really need to come back and visit at some point. Thanks for the memories 😀

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      You’d be welcome. Mr ferguson is not so well now, suffering from a form of dementia and is now through in Inverness. Apart from being a bit busier Applecross will always be the same. may see you back some day and wish you well for the new year in this “interesting” times.

  44. Hi Ali, I saw your talk at the inshore fisheries conference in Inverness and wanted to speak to you – would you be able to drop me an email ( details below) and I can explain why I’d like to talk to you? Hamish from Coigach has often suggested we connect and it’s taken me a while to get around to it but your talk inspired me! Sara

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Just going to do that now, Sara. Seem to be meeting rather a lot of like minded people.

  45. Hi Ali,
    Do you know if the submarines will be in the Inner Sound this week ?
    Kind Regards
    Alex Nelson

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Saw one out there today, smaller so not the Trident. Windy until Thursday so not at sea.

  46. Andy Kelly said:

    Hi I was Apple cross West Highland school of adventure in 1772/73 my company sent me there forv12 month ,I suppose for a character building thing I guess it was called something else then .I have little memory of the place and keep saying I’ll revisit….

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      I caught the end of the School and came across the Character Builder who became the Estate factor. He was classic them and us type us being the peasants. Although a lot busier the place is timeless.

  47. Jacqie Lamb said:

    So glad to have found your blog as I was searching around for information on the games this weekend. Applecross is my “happy place” and I come to visit dear friends in Lonbain once or twice a year. I live in the states, so it’s a bit of a journey, but always worth the effort to go “home.”

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Hope you enjoy reading about the goings on over here, sometimes political, but always something happening. Although busy it is also peaceful ten minutes away from the centre.

      • Neil Roberts said:

        Hi, just found your blog. Wow! WHSA brings back so many fond memories. As a young police cadet I was sent to Applcross as part of my training. Highlights were cutter sailing to Raasay, the assault course, Sunday sermon by Mr Watkins and the independent walk around the peninsula. Our group was going to be late back so we hitched a lift on one of the lorries that was involved in building the new road!! Spectacular views seaward and in the hills particularly over the pass. Would love to return sometime. All the very best.

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        That is a blast from the past. The Flight Lt became factor and the coast road finished in ’76. Although busier and not so many crofts worked, fewer houses lived in, Applecross is still and timeless, today as it was in the seventies.

  48. Yvonne Carroll said:

    Hi, my husband and I met via The Drake Fellowship / Fairbridge Drake and we were both at Applecross in Feb 89 and I was also there in Nov 88. It was one of the best times of my life! Would love to hear more from those days. My maiden name is Yvonne Brock and Hubbie is Paul “Cazzy” Carroll. We recently took a trip back just last week (Easter weekend 2018) xxx

    • Alison Macleod said:

      Hi Yvonne, Ali died in November last year. You can see what happened in the final 6 posts on the blog, so I am responding instead.
      Were you working at Fairbridge Drake? I am still in touch with some of the others there at that time; Andy Cussell, Heather and Martin Welch, and Nic Essen (he was the cook).

  49. yvonne carroll (brock) said:

    Hi Alison, thanks for replying and so sorry to hear about Ali. I came across his blog when i was googling the Drake Fellowship and Applecross, as we had been thinking / talking about the great time we had there back in the late 80s, after our recent re-visit to Applecross. Neither me or Paul worked for Drake, we were both participants on the courses, so i guess its unlikely any of the instructors would remember us, though we remember them fondly. All if the people you mentioned were there when we did our courses, so please pass on our regards when you next see them. Sorry again to hear the sad news about Ali xxx

    • Alison Macleod said:

      I will do; all of them were at the Celebration of Ali’s life, plus two of Andy’s sons and Heather and Martin’s son and daughter (all grown up of course). Andy lives down near Cambridge and is now a social worker. I’ll see him and Nick this summer at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Heather lives over the hill in Kishorn, and Martin is in Skye.

      • yvonne carroll (brock) said:

        Thanks, so nice to hear about them, and I love the idea of a “celebration of life”, Ali seems to have been a remarkable person xxx

      • Alison Macleod said:

        I asked journalist Peter Ross to write about him, and he described him as an extraordinary ordinary man, which seems appropriate.

  50. Yvonne Carroll said:

    Sorry reply is so late, I just saw this, it was a lovely article, thanks for sharing the link xx

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