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Cycle tours in Scotland

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by HJ, 31 Jul 2007.

  1. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    Someone on the other place was asking for suggestions for cycle touring in Scotland, as the BR server keeps falling over when I try to reply I thought I would post something here instead. Feel free to join in with other suggestions.

    Try the Western Isles, here are a few possible routes:
    Take a train from Glasgow to Mallaig. From Mallaig catch the ferry to Armadale on Skye then cycle north to Uig and catch the ferry to Tarbert on Harris. From Tarbert you can either go north to Stornaway and take a ferry to Ullapool, then cycle to Inverness and the train home. Or you could go south down through the Uists and catch a ferry to Oban and the train back, or you could do a loop round Harris and Lewis before reversing your outward journey through Skye to Mallaig and the train back.

    Above are a just a few possibilities, two weeks is a good amount for any of those, allowing plenty of time for sight seeing. Not sure if you can book bike place on line, First ScotRail have a fairly positive attitude towards cyclist, but I think you have to book by phone (see link).

    For info on ferries see the CalMac website, you don't need to book bikes in, but be aware of the quirks in the timetables.

    Also things in the Isle can be very different from the mainland, expect everything to be closed on Sundays, although so places maybe open don't rely on it.

    Also I have just remember a tour I suggested on the old C+ forum which went like this:

    From Glasgow a train to Ardrossan then the ferry to Brodick, ride north to Lochranza (first point of interest). Then the ferry to Claonaig and the road south to Campbeltown, there is the odd hill on the way so by the time you get there you will have worked up a thirst for the next point of interest. Follow the A83 north to Kennacraig where you take the ferry to Port Ellen.

    From Port Ellen, it is just a couple of miles to Ardbeg, not forgetting to stop off at Laphroaig and Lagavulin along the way, then back to Port Ellen. Next head north to Bowmore, then round Loch Indaal to Bruichladdich, from here you can continue on down the Rhinns of Islay if you enjoy cycling into the wind or go back up the road then turn right on to the B8081 then take the first left and left again to visit Rockside. Then back to Bridgend, from there follow the A846 to Port Askaig, turn left and keep going until you reach the end of the road at Bunnahabhainn. On the way back you can stop off at Caol Ila, before returning to Port Askaig for the ferry to Jura. Navigation on Jura is simple, there is only one road, a stop in Craighouse is recommended, then nip up to the end of the road and back to clear the head.

    Returning to Port Askaig, then another ferry gets you back to Kennacraig, from there take the B8001 to Claonaig and reverse you outward journey to the station at Ardrossan. This tour can be comfortably accomplished in 10 days and takes in (at my count) 12 distilleries. Slainte:biggrin:
     
  2. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    The bikes on Scotrail condition vary from time to time, but regarding the Sleeper train there is a complication in that Bargain Berths, which represent excellent value, for money can only be booked online but bicycles cannot be booked online. This would mean that bicycles cannot be taken if you book a Bargain Berth, however as the Sleeper has more luggage space than your average train, usually taking a bike poses no problem.
    This was the situation, and things may have changed, but be aware of a possible problem.;)