Touring Scotland

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I had planned to ride JOGLE departing on 6th July but work and family circumstances now mean I would only have 11 days to achieve this. I had originally expected to have 12 days on the bike plus a couple of rest days / extra days in case of problems. I feel trying for 11 days would be an all out slog for me and therefore not enjoyable, which is the whole point.

I now find myself with 11 days available to tour in Scotland and i'd really appreciate some suggested routes. This will be my biggest tour, I'm 56, regularly ride the club run of 70-80 miles without a problem. I'm thinking this tour would be about 80 miles per day.

Current plan is to take the overnight train from Preston arriving in Inverness at 8.30 and then make my way home via Fort William, Oban (friends to see) and find a route home. If I run out of days I'm happy to get the train back.

Any suggestions on this or other routes would be very welcome. I have little in mind that is definite.
 
Head north, hit the north coast and turn left towards Cape Wrath, then left again and down the coast eventually getting to Ullapool. then make your way to the Bill - you will really enjoy it. Scenery is stunning and roads reasonably quite once you get to the North Coast. I love the Sutherland Area. Beautiful if the weather is good for you - seems to have its own weather system separate from the rest of the mainland when you get over to th north west.

The only problem is you have not stated what you want for accommodation - if you are camping then the above route would be easy - but if you are not, then problems galore with the long distances between places. However, the roads are great (a lot of the A roads are single track with passing places once you get to Sutherland) and really worthwhile.
 
OP
PaulSB

PaulSB

Legendary Member
Thanks aramok. I was thinking of B&B or YHA, definetly not camping. When you say long distances between places presumably I might find something every 70-90 miles?
 
Hi

There are plenty of places that have B&B's or SYHA along the North coast, my main concern would be the stretch from Durness south - Don't get me wrong, there are places B&B's and hotels, but I would want to have places booked in advance and for them to know that you are arriving my bike - a bike won't be an issue, but just helps find you if you don't arrive.
People up there are wonderfully helpful and the area is amazing, but places are few and far between, so plan it carefully.
But it is most definitley worth doing.
et me know if you are interested, I can post you my maps of the area if you return them when you are done with them - I have quite a few of them covering most of the north and west coast, but I leave for my own touring holiday to Denmark on Wednesday, so time is tight if you are interested.
 

fimm

Veteran
Location
Edinburgh
My boyfriend did a tour staying at Youth Hostels in Tounge, Lochinver and Gairloch (that last day is 100 miles, though). I can find you a link to his blog on it if you're interested.

Another suggestion would be to cycle on to Skye by the bridge, spend a day or two there, and then leave by the ferry to Mallaig. I don't know about accomodation between Mallaig and Fort William, though.
 
OP
PaulSB

PaulSB

Legendary Member
fimm said:
My boyfriend did a tour staying at Youth Hostels in Tounge, Lochinver and Gairloch (that last day is 100 miles, though). I can find you a link to his blog on it if you're interested.

Another suggestion would be to cycle on to Skye by the bridge, spend a day or two there, and then leave by the ferry to Mallaig. I don't know about accomodation between Mallaig and Fort William, though.
A link would be good, thank you. I'd thought about the Skye bit and quite fancied the idea.

All these suggestions are great. I shall be doing some serious planning tonight and tomorrow.
 

fay144

New Member
This is the link to my planned first tour, later this summer, also over 11 days (with a few days off in the middle).
http://www.mapmyrun.com/route/gb/scotland west coast/417127617574796234

I'm planning to take it way easier than 80mpd though, so you could probably head all the way up to Cape Wrath after Skye, and there is a bike bus that would take you back to inverness afterwards. Or you could head up to Lewis, across to Ullapool, and down the coast to skye?

Whatever you do, don't come to scotland and miss out on Mull.
 
Bike to Ullapool (or take the bike bus avoiding a busy road). Then ferry to Stornoway and cycle down to Lochmaddy for the ferry to Uig on Skye. Down through Skye and ferry to Mallaig. From Mallaig, turn south at Lochailort heading for Strontian then either circle back up to Fort William if you simple must - the Corran ferry is a short hop from Ardgour and saves a long (but pretty) road. If you can miss Fort Bill, then keep south from Strontian to Lochaline and the ferry to Mull. Anticlockwise circuit of Mull, possibly taking in Iona at the southern end. Finally ferry over to Oban.
This will most likely give you plenty head wind. If you can take the train to Oban instead it would be easier to take this route in reverse and cycle north, coming home from Inverness.
 

toroddf

Guest
All the suggestions above is excellent and includes the best cycling in the British Isles........... but I am chipping in with my own suggestion on this smorgasboard.

Train to Ardrossan which is 50 minutes from Glasgow. Ferry to Brodick on Arran and cross over to Lochranza and ferry to Kintyre (Claenoig). Cycle to Oban and the 1540 ferry to Castlebay, Barra. B&B in that place. Ferry to the Uists and cycle the 60 miles to the Youth Hostel at the north end. Ferry the next day to Leverburgh, Harris. Cycle up to the Butt Of Lewis or Stornoway. Plenty of B&Bs and Youth Hostels. Ferry over to Ullapool. Either straight to Inverness and thereby bypassing all the fun or cycle down over Gairloch and Applecross to Kyle Of Lochalsh. Train back to Inverness, London, Paris, Vladivostok and the rest of the world.

The total costs of the ferries are £ 37 by using the Hopscotch 5 and 8 tickets. I am starting on this ride the 2. July by the way and is doing Armadale-Mallaig-Glencoe on the back again from Kyle Of Lochalsh to Vladivostock.......... eeh, make that Paisley. 10 days. 660 miles.
 

fay144

New Member
toroddf said:
All the suggestions above is excellent and includes the best cycling in the British Isles........... but I am chipping in with my own suggestion on this smorgasboard.

Train to Ardrossan which is 50 minutes from Glasgow. Ferry to Brodick on Arran and cross over to Lochranza and ferry to Kintyre (Claenoig). Cycle to Oban and the 1540 ferry to Castlebay, Barra. B&B in that place. Ferry to the Uists and cycle the 60 miles to the Youth Hostel at the north end. Ferry the next day to Leverburgh, Harris. Cycle up to the Butt Of Lewis or Stornoway. Plenty of B&Bs and Youth Hostels. Ferry over to Ullapool. Either straight to Inverness and thereby bypassing all the fun or cycle down over Gairloch and Applecross to Kyle Of Lochalsh. Train back to Inverness, London, Paris, Vladivostok and the rest of the world.

The total costs of the ferries are £ 37 by using the Hopscotch 5 and 8 tickets. I am starting on this ride the 2. July by the way and is doing Armadale-Mallaig-Glencoe on the back again from Kyle Of Lochalsh to Vladivostock.......... eeh, make that Paisley. 10 days. 660 miles.
Forget what I said, do that. That sounds awesome.
 

toroddf

Guest
Forget what Fay144 says above. :-)

The reason is that there is so many absolute excellent cycling rides you can do in this area that we are seriously talking about a paradise. My tour is also bypassing Islay, Kintyre, most of Arran, Skye, Moydart and Mull too. I have done them before and they are excellent bike rides. Fay144 has included most of these areas and he is not wrong. Neither am I.

This is a smorgas board and you simply cannot go wrong whatever you do. I would though suggest a 2-4 years project where you take one dish every summer.
 

happy pedaller

New Member
Location
NE Scotland
Another suggestion paul could be ,take the train to aberdeen and the ferry ffrom aberdeen to kirkwall in orkney do some island touring then ferry from stromness to scrabster and do part of JOGLE back to aberdeen via moray coast which you would miss doing the full JOGLE.:biggrin:
 
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