Scotland cycle tour May 2018

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  • Scotland cycle tour May 2018
  • whitestone
    Member

    Judging from the traffic on the NC500 route this August it won’t be pleasant on a bike though there were quite a few doing it. A restaurateur in Ullapool said they were continually busy due to it and also there were very few rooms available in the town without prebooking.

    There’s a day or two’s riding on Mull then you can get the ferry over to Kilchoan and Ardnamurchan and the land between there and the Ft William – Mallaig road.

    Scotroutes who posts on here should have some suitable suggestions.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    whitestone wrote:

    Judging from the traffic on the NC500 route this August it won’t be pleasant on a bike though there were quite a few doing it. A restaurateur in Ullapool said they were continually busy due to it and also there were very few rooms available in the town without prebooking.
    There’s a day or two’s riding on Mull then you can get the ferry over to Kilchoan and Ardnamurchan and the land between there and the Ft William – Mallaig road.
    Scotroutes who posts on here should have some suitable suggestions.

    * waves *

    Bobs suggestion of Mull, Kilchoan and up to Mallaig is an excellent one. The whole Ardgour/Morvern area is very much under-sung compared to the islands and the West coast. In many ways it feels like the islands too.

    It’s true that the NC500 has caused an increase in traffic – I’ve seen figures suggesting 10-15%, though it can feel more than that at peak times. I certainly wouldn’t rule out all or part of it.

    The next area to be hit by a similar marketing effort will be the Cairngorms Snow Roads route. There’s no reason you couldn’t hit that too/instead. It’s certainly simple to link up Fort William and the Cairngorms using a selection of gravel tracks and minor roads. I could help out with some detail on that if you require.

    Outer Hebrides has been very busy this year (well – it’s all relative I guess) and there’s no sign of that abating. I’m just back from North Uist and there are loads of cyclists around even now.

    I’ve probably not been much help as it’s such a generic question but feel free to post here or email me direct if you narrow it down a wee bit.

    In general, book accommodation well in advance wherever you fancy going.

    Edit: self-promo time…..

    You might get some ideas if you click on my username.

    rapidrob95
    Member

    So, looking for experiences, advice, routes, must go places, and inspiration in general. Parents are going up to Mull next May, I’m looking to piggyback a solo 1-2 week cycle tour to it. I have done a few multi-day tours, and would be happy with consistent 40-50 mile days. Would be keen to go on backroads/gravel/gnarmac/cycle paths, but don’t mind mostly road. I’ll be on a CXy roady toury bike. Camping and b&b’s will both be used.

    Looked at the NC500, or variations of this, (which may be a stretch,) or the Outer Hebrides. I have been to Mull, Skye and the Outer Hebrides before, but nowhere on the mainland, although I would be more than happy to stay off the mainland again!

    Any input appreciated 🙂

    I have recently (well, before the summer, not like recently recently) been having quite a good time exploring NCN and sustrans routes – seems to me there’s lots to keep you busy, and you can probably see most of Scotland without too much traffic interaction.
    From Oban maybe head north on NCN78 through the great glen and back via NCN7?
    Or head south – link up some of the five ferries route to the John Muir Way, and back via perth/dunkeld/rannoch?

    Any particular things you want to see/do/eat/drink along the way?

    rapidrob95
    Member

    Thanks for the replies- I was hoping you would have your say Scotroutes! 😉
    TBH, the popularity of the NC500 route was putting me off, I didn’t know the outer hebrides would be busy(ish) so thanks for the heads up. I’m from the south east so it will probably all seem deserted to me, but its definitely something to think about!
    The idea of using NCN routes does appeal to me, as they are fairly predictable and normally easy to follow, but occasionally I have found they skirt round the nice bits for whatever reason, but this may not be the case everywhere.

    In terms of seeing/doing/eating things, I’m much more into scenery and views than touristy attractions, but I haven’t done a lot of research as of yet, so no pointers there I’m afraid! Good food is a bonus though!

    I quite like the idea of going up the west coast- following the NC500 route or not, and then coming down NCR1, and then down NCN78, so I’ll do a bit of research on that- any pointers on this?

    All good ideas so far, will look into them all…

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    If you’re on the west coast then anywhere north of Strath Carron IS the NC500 route – though you can choose the “wee mad road of Inverpolly” instead of firing on up to Lochinver on the main road.

    NCN 1 south from Lairg is lovely, as are any of the routes south from the north coast. That keeps you off the JOG section of course, the A9 south of Helmsdale not being the most pleasant road for cycling. Rather than go through Tain you can cut uphill over the Suie after Ardgay. It’s a bit of a climb but has one of the best viewpoints in Scotland looking back along the Kyles of Sutherland. (If you’re camping then I can thoroughly recommend a wee site near Lairg. They’ve shelter, an outdoor BBQ and will even do you dinner if you give them notice. Lovely folk too).

    Picking up NCN78 in Inverness will get you comfortably back to Oban. There are a couple of off-road sections, particularly at Clunes Forest, where a fatter tyre will be appreciated but I’ve done it on 28mm Marathons.

    coconut
    Member

    I did NCN 1 Edinburgh to Aberdeen last weekend, great ride through Fife but it really loops around a LOT ! feels like more east-west than heading north. I would go west coast and do NCN 7 Inverness to Glasgow (best ride in UK IMO)

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