2-3 Day Route Advice Please MTB or Road/CX – eg West Highland Way etc ?

Home Forum Bike Forum 2-3 Day Route Advice Please MTB or Road/CX – eg West Highland Way etc ?

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 45 total)
  • 2-3 Day Route Advice Please MTB or Road/CX – eg West Highland Way etc ?
  • FunkyDunc
    Member

    Myself and a small group of friends would like to do a 2-3 day route at some point over the summer (probably July).

    We are all based in Yorkshire, but dont mind if its up north, or down south so long as we can get public transport back to the start. Remote would be good.

    Any ideas gratefully appreciated.

    Initial thoughts are

    West Highland Way
    North England Coast to Coast on road.

    Any good or bad things about either of the above. Are there any better gems out there?

    Ta

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    WHW ain’t exactly remote – but then that’s also one of the attractions of it. There are some very good reports/threads over on the http://www.trailscotland.co.uk/ site.

    Are there better gems? Definitely. e.g. the Cairngorms Loop is 186 miles with a couple of villages en route. There are lots of modifications possible.

    Both are easily accessible by road or rail.

    parkesie
    Member

    Trans cambrian. Great in the summer sun.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Cheers so far, that Cairngorm loop looks interesting although 186 miles is too far for me in 3 days! Looks good though maybe cutting the loop size down.

    I appreciate the WHW isnt that remote but it is big mountain nice scenery.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Agreed. It’s pretty easy to see how the Cairngorms Loop could be cut down to a reasonable size – mostly by missing out the central loop.

    willyboy
    Member

    Another vote for trans cambrian. Great scenery and very few people. Just get a minibus back at the end. We did it over a fairly leisurely 3 days.

    tpbiker
    Member

    How long is just the central loop of the cairngorm loop scotroutes? – roughly?

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    100k maybe?

    tpbiker
    Member

    ahhhh…quite far for a day out then. Assume its fairly hilly as well.

    Can’t work out if there is a way of seeing the route profile on google earth (or similar) by using the gpx coordinates – anyone know?

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Scotroutes – have you done the WHW and Cairngorm route? Is the Cairngorm one more rideable as a whole?

    The Cairgorm route looks interesting going by Loch Morlich and down to the A9 and round, or would it be better doing the more northern loop to Tomintoul and coming back round via the route on the southern edge of the Cairngorm range?

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    tpbiker wrote:

    ahhhh…quite far for a day out then. Assume its fairly hilly as well.
    Can’t work out if there is a way of seeing the route profile on google earth (or similar) by using the gpx coordinates – anyone know?

    Just done some route chopping. 88km and 1,400m of ascent.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    FunkyDunc wrote:

    Scotroutes – have you done the WHW and Cairngorm route? Is the Cairngorm one more rideable as a whole?
    The Cairgorm route looks interesting going by Loch Morlich and down to the A9 and round, or would it be better doing the more northern loop to Tomintoul and coming back round via the route on the southern edge of the Cairngorm range?

    Walked all of the WHW and cycled bits. Done lots of the Cairngorm tracks but never joined up like that (both are in plan for early 2014)

    I think the Northern loop would be best. Aviemore to Tomintoul, down to Braemar and back via Feshie – but it’s all good.

    tpbiker
    Member

    brilliant thanks, that seems doable in a day..almost

    Premier Icon postierich
    Subscriber

    Lakeland 200 google it, great route with quite a few sort cuts if your struggling would recommend it!

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Subscriber

    I’ve down the central Gorms route in a day; did it anti clockwise which was a mistake as there were several hours of frustrating hike-a-bike (somebody will come on and tell you it’s all rideable but you’ll need to conserve energy for the whole loop), pinch flats. 11 hours all told.
    I think the riding in the eastern Gorms is better.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Keep the ideas coming good so far

    Any roady stuff?

    nbt
    Member

    tpbiker wrote:

    ahhhh…quite far for a day out then. Assume its fairly hilly as well.
    Can’t work out if there is a way of seeing the route profile on google earth (or similar) by using the gpx coordinates – anyone know?

    if you have the gpx file there are several sites that do this – GPSVisualizer, GPSies etc

    Premier Icon Straightliner
    Subscriber

    Another option is the Wessex Way (250 miles from Weston-super-mud to Eastbourne) – not as remote but good for rail/transport links.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    The bare bones Tour de Cairngorms is an easy three day loop, or a hard single day.
    Used to be a site with the basic route, can’t find it at the moment.

    Kunstler
    Member

    Can’t work out if there is a way of seeing the route profile on google earth (or similar) by using the gpx coordinates – anyone know?

    You can load the gpx file here (it added a couple of large as-the-crow-flies lines on the route. Helicopter trip to pick up a lost glove?)

    FunkyDunc – Member
    Keep the ideas coming good so far

    Any roady stuff?

    There was this thread the other day.

    Here’s a reasonable loop round the Cairngorms for two days:

    A Cairngorm Loop

    There’s links to the GPS trace route on endomondo further down the thread. You could easily make it three days by going down Glen Tilt instead of Glen Geldie on the first day, then going up to Aviemore over the Minigaig or Gaick Pass on the second. I can give you any details you need for the routes, as I’ve been round a few times!

    Premier Icon postierich
    Subscriber

    Funkystuff “any roadie stuff” pffffffft 🙄

    Love the idea of the Cairngorms Loop or Lakeland 200. I’ve ridden parts of the WHW around Fort William and Glencoe. Terrific location and section of trail to ride, but I’m not sure if the same can be said of the full length of the WHW – there could be quite a bit of carrying involved in parts.

    Previously on STW

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Right had a good think and the WHW is leading at the moment.

    However just costing it up and got a bit of a shock at £250 for the trip, but thats not searching out cheaper accommodation options.

    How do people get their bikes back from Fort William to the start? I’ve read that the trains will only take a max of 2 bikes?

    Also is there any where to leave bikes in Milngavie for the full 3 days without annoying the locals, having to pay a fortune, or your car getting knicked?

    Thanks

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    FunkyDunc wrote:

    Right had a good think and the WHW is leading at the moment.
    However just costing it up and got a bit of a shock at £250 for the trip, but thats not searching out cheaper accommodation options.
    How do people get their bikes back from Fort William to the start? I’ve read that the trains will only take a max of 2 bikes?
    Also is there any where to leave bikes in Milngavie for the full 3 days without annoying the locals, having to pay a fortune, or your car getting knicked?
    Thanks

    £250?? Got some 4* accommodation booked?
    Scotrail are pretty good with the bikes (i.e. squeezing more on) but you’re still better booking. Number of spaces will depend on which train. I think the sleeper has more (and still has seating).
    “leave bikes in Milngavie”?

    Oh – one way to get around the train problem would be for someone to drive to FW, park there, and get the train back to Milngavie before starting to ride north – back to the car(hope that makes sense).

    following the thread…

    stick_man
    Member

    I can recommend the English coast to coast as a lovely scenic ride. I did this last year with some mates http://www.opencycling.com/coast-to-coast-in-a-day/route.php. Maybe use the same route but include stop over in the eastern lakes and north York moors?

    Premier Icon grtdkad
    Subscriber

    +1 for Trans Cambrian c120mls and 12000ft of climbing iirc

    Locals are used to the bikers now so taxis will port your bags to the next pub/inn and chap in Mach minibuses you back to your car once you’re done.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Also is there any where to leave bikes in Milngavie for the full 3 days without annoying the locals, having to pay a fortune, or your car getting knicked?

    Plenty free parking in Mingavie. Many people walking the WHW park across from the police station

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Cheers for the additional info.

    4* accommodation, certainly not!

    £300 is including all fuel (from Yorkshire) and return trains etc. The most expensive nights accommodation is £40, cheapest £22.75. I cant really see any way of getting the accommodation any cheaper?

    Any recommendations on bike friendly accommodation in Fort Bill though. So far I have quoted on Travelodge which is £20 for the night, but I doubt they will let bikes in !

    IRC – yeah thanks for that googled and sounds like the Police are a nice bunch and you can leave car details and emergency contacts with them etc.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    tpbiker – Member
    How long is just the central loop of the cairngorm loop scotroutes? – roughly?

    I did the top half of the route last year, staying in tomintoul, and braemar, was easy enough. think it came in at just over 100 miles. did it over 3 days(I’m really unfit).

    http://www.mapmyride.com/gb/aviemore-sct/cairngorms-loop-100-5miles-route-259733405

    Best bit was the last bit coming back in through glenfeshie from eidart bridge(hikey bike before that for a mile or 2 though).

    at the start, head up to ryvoan bothy instead of taking the left on the road out of aviemore I did, it’s a bit better that way. it’s all good though, only bit that gets a bit confusing are in glen brown(just before tomintoul), you are getting your feet wet there, I opted just to plunge through the meandering river about 10 times, and you’ll be crossing rivers in glen feshie too a couple of times,(stay on the west side of the river). other than that it’s all pretty straight forward.

    Also, I was gubbed so just jumped the road over to aviemore, but you don’t want to miss out the singletrack at the end from the bothy to loch gamhna.

    (My plan this year is the westhighland way loaded with tents in April! :D)

    Premier Icon chipps
    Subscriber

    Trans Cambrian is fun. Hardly ‘rad’ but surprisingly remote and a good three day ride, with decent connections to return.

    The full WHW (with Loch Lomondside hike-a-bike) is (IMHO) AMAZINGLY AWFUL! Far better to start in Crainlarich or Tarbet and do an enjoyable run up to Fort William and back.

    Pennine Bridleway might be worth a stab, but you’ve probably done that kind of thing.

    Mounty_73
    Member

    Keeping an eye on this thread….just the sort of info I am looking for… 🙂

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    The full WHW (with Loch Lomondside hike-a-bike) is (IMHO) AMAZINGLY AWFUL! Far better to start in Crainlarich or Tarbet and do an enjoyable run up to Fort William and back.

    There’s a couple of ways around it, my plan is to walk it and get one of the packlite companies to take the bikes from inversnaid to invernan for us while we walk that section.

    You could also, get the boat across, if you want to cycle, from inversnaid cycle up the road to ardlui(but is a horrible road for cycling on, so I don’t fancy that even though it’s only 6 miles or so)

    Or you can get the boat across from rowardennen, jump on the train at arrochar up to ardlui and boat back across.

    option 1 for me in April.

    BlindMelon
    Member

    Just do the full thing its not that bad!

    im going to agree with the above poster who said to just do the top half of the whw, i did the whole thing for charity and the bit from fort william to crianlarich is absolutely awesome. but the section at the top of loch lomond is pretty hard and none of the stuff from crianlarich down is actually much fun (apart from conic hill). if youre going through kinlochleven the macdonald hotel is really friendly and very good value, me and my kids stayed in their cabins twice last year. kingshouse is good too, but a bit more expensive. if you do decide to do the whole thing, then id definitely add a +1 on leaving your car in the carpark behind the police station in milngavie (the highland gateway premier inn carpark, they let you park there for a charity donation), get the train to fort william and do it north to south. the train company is great about bikes, but you HAVE to book in advance. Its free to book your bike on, and you dont have to pay for your ticket when you book the bike spot. what else….. oh yeah, alternative routes. torridon. awesome for 2-3 days. get that place in good weather and you will be absolutely blown away. drive up, base yourself in the youth hostel, its the best place ive ever been for just chilling and riding, i came away from there unbelievably relaxed. another one im planning this year is…train to mallaig, wee ferry to inverie, bike over to arnisdale and get the ferry to skye from glenelg, then get the train back. on paper that sounds awesome…has anybody done that and if so, how long did it take to get from inverie to arnisdale, can you do it in a day (no bravado please, i want to enjoy it not set records! if you don`t think it can be done by somebody relatively fit on a bfe then please say!!). wherever you decide to go, i hope you have a great time!

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    Auch, Chipps, it’s only because you had the wrong bike! Ha! Ha!

    I really like the Westie to Inversnaid and come April, the upgraded low path between Rowardennan and Invesnaid will be completed which will avoid some 5km of fire roads. 😀 At Invesnaid, you can jump on the ferry to Tarbet and take your chances on the road of despair for a few kilometres. Personally, I’d sooner carry the bike…………….. 😉 Actually, there may even be an Ardlui / Inversnaid direct ferry.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    BlindMelon – Member
    Just do the full thing its not that bad!

    It would be with a full loaded bike, dodging that section and conic hill(as I’ve done that before, and it’s an awful lot of effort for an overly steep downhill.).

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Actually, there may even be an Ardlui / Inversnaid direct ferry.

    intresting, someone really should just put a boat on from inversnaid to ardliesh though!

    kcr
    Member

    The classic Cairngorm loop is 200km. Do-able as 3 easy days, 2 big days or one very big day. It is all rideable, not a huge amount of climbing, because you follow the glens and the rivers, mostly tracks, but some fine remote scenery. Lots of options for bivvying or places to stay en route.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Last Thursday I started the WHW with a mate. About 20 miles later my ride finished with a broken wrist falling off coming down Conic Hill 😕

    100 yds further down, I came off going over one of these steps 🙁

    Strangely I managed to keep riding all the way to Inversnaid by which time the pain was getting a bit unreal and I could go no further. My pace was already slow by that point so we had missed the last ferry over to the other side of Loch Lomond.

    The wonderful ferry company came and picked myself and mate up and took us over to the road side, and arranged me transport to A&E, and looked after my bike over night, top blokes, I cant thank Cruise Loch Lomond enough.

    I’m gutted I didnt get chance to do the ride. The scenery is Epic, and its certainly a challenge. We had the most stunning weather from Day 2 on wards as well. I will definitely be back to do it again, but probably start from Ardlui Train Station, as Day 1 isnt the highlight of the ride.

    We stayed at:

    Premier Inn – Milngavie. Cheap, friendly staff, can leave car in their car park. (meals not cheap)

    Beinglas Farm Cabin – Does what it says on the tin. Clean showers, food bit expensive. 5 min walk to the Drovers Inn

    Glencoe Mountain resort – Stunning views, nice cabin. Bad things. They have made a bit of a mess of the environment/dont try to blend in. Food is crap unless you like deep fried burgers/chicken burgers. Breakfast not served until 9am. Food stopped being served at 7:30pm. Pay for showers.

    Glen Nevis YHA – Well a Youth Hostel…

    We wish we had booked evening meal at the Ben Nevis Inn on the last night, nice pub, good looking food.

    This is just my mate on the last bit of proper off road, coming down in to Glen Nevis…where the WHW should really finish !

    I wasnt going to let not being able to ride stop me doing anything, so I went for a walk up this.. which turned out to be interesting with only one use able hand. Never ever been so hot on top of a Scottish Mountain, or in air so still this was about 7am in the morning, and no one else to be seen 😀

    piemonster
    Member

    Cough

    Walked all of the WHW and cycled bits. Done lots of the Cairngorm tracks but never joined up like that (both are in plan for early later in 2014)

    😀

    Not sure I’m glad to be forewarned about that Loch Lomond section though.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Hey – my Lairig Ghru(some) route last week was all training!

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 45 total)

The topic ‘2-3 Day Route Advice Please MTB or Road/CX – eg West Highland Way etc ?’ is closed to new replies.