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Lochs & Glens North - anyone done this?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Danny, 11 Jan 2008.

  1. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    I am planning on doing the Lochs & Glens North route (NCN 7) in the summer. Has anyone ridden this, and if so could you let me know:

    1. How long do you think I should reasonably allow for the complete route - based on the map I assume it would either require 4 hard days or 5 more leisurely ones.

    2. How easy is it to find good campsites and/or b&b accommodation along the route - and do you need to book ahead.

    3. Are there any particularly good place to eat along the route (some of us will be vegetarian)?

    4. Are we likely to get attacked by killer swarms of midges every time we stop for a break?

    5. Any other useful tips (e.g. is their a website for the route - I couldn't find one)
     
  2. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    I've not done it but a top tip for repelling midges is Avon Skin So Soft body lotion. Works a treat, and was definitely necessary in northern Scotland last September. If you go earlier in the year you might be ok though.
     
  3. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    I have been savaged by midges from June onwards in Scotland :rolleyes:

    Is the body lotion from Avon as in "Avon calling"? I didn't know they even still existed.
     
  4. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol

    That's the one! It's sold as a body lotion, but the navy fleets stationed up there somehow(!) discovered it's brilliant at repelling midges. I used it when cycling through on my LEJOG in September - the midges don't bother you when on the move, but they were awful when I stopped. A good spray all over of the Avon did the trick.
     
  5. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

    Location:
    Gosport
    Cycle-n-Sleep

    Lots of good advice, profiles and accommodation.
     
  6. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    Avon Skin So Soft is the business when it comes to repelling midges. The only places that I got bitten was where I hadn't applied the lotion i.e. the gap between the top of my shorts and the bottom of my cycling shirt and behind my knees.

    The midges landed but then took off again without biting.

    It's the stuff in the pale green bottle that folk need to buy. Avon was selling it at two bottles for a fiver last year i.e. BOGOF
     
  7. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    The stuff can be bought online. A quick google will reveal a web site of a franchisee.
     
  8. sloe

    sloe New Member

    Location:
    Banffshire
  9. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I was in northern Scotland all last summer and didn't see a single midgie;)
     
  10. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    Thats because if it wasn't torrential rain, it was gale force winds ;)
     
  11. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    1 You would easily do it in 5 days.
    2 Depends on time of year, in peak season some campsites might be full.Best to call in at Tourist Info offices as you go and either book ahead or get advice.
    3 Difficult to advise, but you won't starve.
    4 Just depends, only if there is no wind.
    5 There is no website for the route, but there is a map from Sustrans. The Sustrans map keeps you off the main roads where possible, but if the roads are not so busy you might prefer to use them rather than the longer mapped route. This could cut quite a few miles and hills of your trip.
    eg Balloch to Drymen, Drymen to Aberfoyle, Strathyre to Kingshouse, between Kingussie to Carr Bridge there are various options, I would use the old A9 which is never very busy, and has few gradients. Between Daviot and Inverness the mapped route takes a lengthy detour via Culloden, but you may find the visitor centre at Culloden(battlefield) worth a visit. Do not hope to rely on the NCN signage, Highland Council has long since given up on maintenance of the NCN:sad:
    These websites might help
    http://cycling.visitscotland.com/
    http://www.visitscotland.com/
    http://www.sustrans.org.uk/default.asp?county=1132673749156
     
  12. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    How strange. They were certainly about when I visited in June and September.
     
  13. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Not really, the midgie population varies with biodiversity and is therefore not evenly spread in northern Scotland but can vary from nil to unbearable within a relatively few miles.;)
     
  14. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
  15. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    Thanks Jock. I already have the map but didn't realise there was an accompanying book.

    I also like the look of the Midgeater Max which is advertised on the Midge Report website you linked to - if that doesn't deal with the midgies nothing will. Unfortunately it looks a bit heavy to carry on a bike ;)