North East Coast 500?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
User avatar
ultraburner
Posts: 53
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 4:27pm

North East Coast 500?

Postby ultraburner » 11 Feb 2018, 6:30pm

I’ve been discussing potential cycle routes with my cycling chums. Having tasted the Western Isles in 2016 and Wales (twice) in 2017 we are plumping for the highlands this year.



We have looked at potential of a Lochs and Glens or a section of the North Coast 500 – east or west look possible, although west probably a little too tough for us oldies – the trouble is the east section looks as though it includes the A9 – a no-no for us – we like traffic-free roads or at least no trucks! So we are thinking of NCR1 thro’ the Highlands, i.e. JoG to/or from Inverness via Dingwall, Tain, Invershin, Ardgay, Lairg, Altnaharra, Tongue, Portskerra, Thurso.



Any comments on knowledge of routes, wind and therefore travel direction, difficulty, types of road/off-road, where good info can be found other than Sustrans?

Your thoughts, experience and guidance are very much welcome.

captain offensive
Posts: 120
Joined: 22 Oct 2014, 8:36am

Re: North East Coast 500?

Postby captain offensive » 13 Feb 2018, 2:08pm

Hi Ultraburner,

Back in the summer I did a trip vaguely along those lines. Rode from Inverness to Kirkwall via John O Groats ferry. I didn't completely follow NCN1 but largely did: At Lairg I ventured off towards Durness with the (dashed) hope of getting to Cape Wrath, and then went along the north coast.

Lovely riding. I've written it all up at http://www.richmay.co.uk/allpointsnorth/

This image gives you a quick overview of the route!

Image

Cheers

C.O.

User avatar
ultraburner
Posts: 53
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 4:27pm

Re: North East Coast 500?

Postby ultraburner » 13 Feb 2018, 2:31pm

Many thanks indeed C.O. that looks like a fantastic trip.

captain offensive
Posts: 120
Joined: 22 Oct 2014, 8:36am

Re: North East Coast 500?

Postby captain offensive » 13 Feb 2018, 2:40pm

Certainly was. If you ignore my dalliance to the North West, unless you have a particular desire to see Tongue I would recommend following the 'Naver Trail' from Altnaharra to Betty Hill (the right hand half of the green 'U' of day three on my map. It diverts you off NCN1 but I don't get why NCN1 doesn't head this way. Takes you off the main road and its a really lovely valley with lots to see,