Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Omega Sprinkles
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Joined: 29 May 2014, 11:55am

Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Omega Sprinkles » 29 May 2014, 12:14pm

I am planning a week long bike trip though Scotland at the end of July. We're starting in Inverness (train booked) and planning to meander down through the highlands to the borders in Dumfries & Galloway, taking in highlands, lochs, glens and drams. We're after beautiful scenery and and quiet roads.

We'll be on road bikes, not mountain bikes, but apart from that, anything goes!

Has anyone done something similar on bikes?

Are there any routes or places which we definitely shouldn't miss??

Any B&Bs or bothies we should definitely stay in?

Any amazing resources that you recommend to help plot a route?

Any tips or shared experiences would be very welcome!!

Thanks!

geocycle
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby geocycle » 29 May 2014, 1:41pm

National Cycle Route 7 (Lochs and Glens) is a good start. Well thought out and rideable on most bikes except perhaps carbon road affairs. I've ridden both north and south options and enjoyed both.

andrew_s
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Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby andrew_s » 29 May 2014, 2:00pm

I'd recommend bypassing the Glasgow/Edinburgh central belt by taking the Claonaig/Arran/Ardrossan route. You can also go from Campeltown to Ardrossan on Fri/Sat/Sun, though not at very convenient times.

irc
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Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby irc » 29 May 2014, 3:12pm

Avoid the A82 south of Inverness. Use the B roads east of Loch Ness to Fort Augustus. Then the canal towpath to Loch Oich, a short section of the A82 the B roads and forestry tracks (Great Glen Cycleway) west of Loch Lochy.

The forestry tracks are OK on 700x28 and wider. If by road bikes you mean 23mm tyres then you may be better using the A82 from Fort Augustus to the Commando Monument at Spean Bridge before going back to the B roads.

From Fort William there is a passenger ferry over Loch Linnhe which would let you head for Mull.

Going south from Oban the B road down the west side of Loch Awe (a Sustrans route) will be far better than the main road.

I'd second avoiding Glasgow/Edinburgh via Arran.

Omega Sprinkles
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Joined: 29 May 2014, 11:55am

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Omega Sprinkles » 29 May 2014, 4:21pm

Brilliant. Thanks.

My bike does have 23mm tires at the moment, so thanks for the advice.

Keep them coming!!

patpalloon
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011, 12:06pm

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby patpalloon » 29 May 2014, 6:00pm

+1 for Claonaig - Arran - Ardrossan. I did this route last year as part of Dover to Cape Wrath and it was stunning! Also you could visit Electric Brae - not been but sounds pretty cool.
I feel sure that the genius that did this, didn't even feel a thud as he drove by.

dellwood33
Posts: 134
Joined: 16 Apr 2014, 6:57pm

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby dellwood33 » 29 May 2014, 7:11pm

This might give you a bit of local incite into routes in the Dumfries area :)

http://dumfriescycling.co.uk/index.html

cheesypeeps
Posts: 84
Joined: 5 May 2014, 11:03am

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby cheesypeeps » 29 May 2014, 7:17pm

As it is, I'm cycling from blantyre to ardrossan 2moro. I'm planning on doing it on a road bike with 700 * 25 tyres.
I'll let you know how it goes.
It's in preparation for a bigger trip from my house to Jura. :)
Using Tapatalk

nosmarbaj
Posts: 168
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 3:02pm
Location: Reading

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby nosmarbaj » 30 May 2014, 12:25am

patpalloon wrote:+1 for Claonaig - Arran - Ardrossan. ... Also you could visit Electric Brae - not been but sounds pretty cool.
Another +1 for Arran, but the Electric Brae isn't worth it IMO unless you're passing anyway. I was brought up in Ayr and even as a child I was always disappointed. Of course, given it's an optical illusion, some folks may be more susceptible than others, so it might seem quite impressive to them. Also it is weather-dependent - IIRC it's best in overcast conditions. (For those who don't know what it is, look up"Electric brae" in Wikipedia).

If you do use that route, Culzean Castle (both house and grounds) is worth visiting. And of course, Ayrshire and also Dumfries have numerous sites connected with Robert Burns, if you're into that sort of thing. The Galloway region has many quiet roads, attractive villages and pleasant scenery, although rather too much of it has been covered by spruce forest.

eileithyia
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Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby eileithyia » 30 May 2014, 8:19am

+1 for Clanaig - Ardrossan, but avoid the campsite just outside Brodick, Glen Rosa.. it was a nightmare of some extremely noisy people just arrived on the ferry from Glasgow; 2am card games, 3am dog escaped and chased the local ducks around the campsites........ talking to the ferry staff it sounded as though that was parr for the course...
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Omega Sprinkles
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Joined: 29 May 2014, 11:55am

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Omega Sprinkles » 30 May 2014, 2:44pm

Thanks everyone! Really helpful.

khain
Posts: 188
Joined: 5 Feb 2014, 5:42pm

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby khain » 1 Jun 2014, 8:25pm

I would tend to agree with the posters here about heading down the west coast. However, it does tend to rain considerably more on the west side. If the west is looking very wet an alternative is to take the A939/A93 through the Cairngorms National Park, then head down through Fife, across the Forth Road Bridge and follow the A70/A702 to Dumfries. This is a very hilly route though, and a hassle getting to the A70 from the bridge. However, it's all good roads and no ferries. On a road bike I would avoid any sustrans routes unless they are on an actual road.

Miscology
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Joined: 15 Jul 2013, 5:34pm

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Miscology » 2 Jun 2014, 10:28pm

Then the canal towpath to Loch Oich, a short section of the A82 the B roads and forestry tracks (Great Glen Cycleway) west of Loch Lochy.


I did this last year, and while it is an absolutely stunning cycle it wasn't easy on my hybrid. I don't know if somebody on a road bike could enjoy it. I got a few punctures. Your average speed will have to come down dramatically. The canal towpath is a little easier, but still very bumpy.

OP, you should definitely swing by Aviemore and cycle up to the Glenmore Forest park. Maybe camp by the lake there. If you're up for it, you can even climb Mount Cairngorm. It's basically climbing stairs for 1000+ meters but the views are great.

Jeremy Bond
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007, 8:40pm

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Jeremy Bond » 16 Jun 2014, 8:59pm

Just return from my week in Scotland, everyday was superb. We cycled from Callander and took the National Route 7 to Inverness (that was superb). We then cycled the Great Glen Way and Caledonian Canal to Fort William, followed by catching the ferry to Camusnagaul and cycled to Lilchoan on the A861 and the B8007. We then enjoyed spending the day on the Isle of Mull, great scenery before taking a ferry to Oban and headed to the Isle of Aaron and spending the day cycling around the island.

If you asked me for the highlights I would say...all of it, but for me, the wow factor came during the climb before Lilchoan, the scenery was awesome. The west coast on the Isle of Mull was also breathtaking on the B8035

Have a great time whatever you do

LollyKat
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Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm

Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby LollyKat » 16 Jun 2014, 10:16pm

In case anyone is searching the map in vain, JB means Kilchoan, not Lilchoan....

Sounds a great run!


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