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A little south of Gairloch's harbour at Charlestown, the single track B8056 branches off the main A832 and travels for eight miles: first west along the south shore of Loch Gairloch, then south to the road's conclusion near the beach at Redpoint. For more information about Scotland's single track roads and how to drive them, visit our feature page on driving single track roads.
The main settlement on this road lies a couple of miles along it, at Badachro. This unexpectedly busy little village looks out onto an inlet projecting south from Loch Gairloch, well guarded from the weather by the rocky islet of Eilean Horrisdale.
The area was long renowned for its cod fishing, and Badachro's growth was as a result of that. When the fishery was in full operation much of the cod landed at Gairloch was dried at Badachro before being shipped to markets in Spain. Today the area's main catch comprises lobsters, crabs and prawns: and the piles of lobster pots on Badachro's jetty suggest that the village is still an active base for fishing vessels. Most of the vessels on view in the inlet, however, are leisure craft.
The start of any exploration of Badachro is the parking area close to the shore, some 50 yards from the "main" road going through the village. Close by, a lane leads to Badachro's jetty.
In an idyllic spot overlooking the jetty is the Badachro Inn, offering bar lunches and informal evening meals plus a good choice of beer, wine and malt whisky. Additionally the Badachro Inn offers two free moorings for customers of the inn plus a range of other facilities for those visiting by sea.
On the main road running through the village is the picturesque Old Post Office, now a private residence, while to the west are a string of cottages overlooking the shore of Loch Gairloch. This shore doubles as a harbour for a line of craft moored along it. Further around the inlet is another small settlement at Aird, complete with a pier, overlooking the passage between the mainland and Eilean Horrisdale.
In getting to Badachro you will already have driven past the largest hotel in the area, the Shieldaig Lodge Hotel. On the shores of the loch, this started life as the grand Victorian shooting lodge for the Shieldaig Forest, and the owners have sought to maintain the country house ambience that comes with this heritage.