Inverness to Strathcarron

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
litchy76
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Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby litchy76 » 12 Feb 2019, 4:50am

Looking for suggested route from Inverness to Strathcarron avoiding busy roads. Will be cycle touring with panniers. Still internally debating crossing the Belach na ba or bypassing and going direct to Sheildag. Any advice on route to Strathcarron appreciated. Rgds

Norman H
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby Norman H » 12 Feb 2019, 9:27am

Is this part of a longer tour of the west coast?

If so, it might help if you posted your approximate itinerary. In particular, are you also planning to end your tour at Inverness?

There are various road options but you could also consider using the train for at least part of the journey. I once stayed in the Station Bunkhouse at Plockton, which is alongside the railway, and there's a regular service.

Bealach Na Bà is certainly worth doing if you have time.

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Mick F
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby Mick F » 12 Feb 2019, 9:53am

I rode Inverness to Strathcarron some years ago.
No problems at all. Very quiet roads even if they were main ones. A roads all the way.
Route.jpg
Empty Road.jpg
Mick F. Cornwall

Navrig
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby Navrig » 12 Feb 2019, 10:27am

The Bealach is a cracking climb but will take a bit of effort. The point to note is that from Applecross to Shieldaig the road is very undulating and tiring. All the uphill bits are preceded by a tight turn over a burn meaning you cannot carry any of your downhill speed. Lots of people think the Shieldaig ride is harder than the Bealach.

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Mick F
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby Mick F » 12 Feb 2019, 10:35am

Navrig wrote:The Bealach is a cracking climb but will take a bit of effort. The point to note is that from Applecross to Shieldaig the road is very undulating and tiring. All the uphill bits are preceded by a tight turn over a burn meaning you cannot carry any of your downhill speed. Lots of people think the Shieldaig ride is harder than the Bealach.
Utterly agree on both points. It would have been easier to go back over the pass.
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Chat Noir
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby Chat Noir » 12 Feb 2019, 10:56am

Mick's provided a good route, part of the North Coast 500 ( https://www.northcoast500.com/ ), and reasonably quiet most of the way, although a lot of vans and lorries leaving Inverness first thing in the morning. Plenty of café or food stops along the way (Lochcarron pretty special place for breakfast, if you've made a very early start, or lunch if more leisurely). The Bealach na Ba is very special and most of the drivers are considerate with cyclists, especially if you have luggage. Agree with comments about going round the peninsular to Shieldaig, it's hard but well worth it, and the village itself is a gorgeous place to stop for a break.

Enjoy the ride.
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Navrig
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby Navrig » 12 Feb 2019, 11:24am

Mick F wrote:
Navrig wrote:The Bealach is a cracking climb but will take a bit of effort. The point to note is that from Applecross to Shieldaig the road is very undulating and tiring. All the uphill bits are preceded by a tight turn over a burn meaning you cannot carry any of your downhill speed. Lots of people think the Shieldaig ride is harder than the Bealach.
Utterly agree on both points. It would have been easier to go back over the pass.


I've ridden the peninsula once on my motorbike and cycled the pass once. After m/biking the peninsula there was no way I was going beyond Applecross on my bike. Thankfully both trips were in glorious sunshine ;-)

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby SimonCelsa » 12 Feb 2019, 1:58pm

You could always take the scenic route:

Inverness - North Kessock - Redcastle - Muir of Ord - Marybank.....then take the single track road out to Strathconon & Scardroy Lodge (which is the end of the tarmac). When the tarmac runs out you're on a walking track over the hill to the A890 (follow the signpost 'Achnasheen via Inver'). Some of the track section I think was cycleable although I do recall some pushing. I did this as part of a loop out from Marybank one summers day. Hybrid bike with panniers & semi slick tyres (which would probably not be the best choice if it was wet). Fairly long day ride but plenty of good spots for camping.

Check out the map below if it works. You cannot route further than scardroy lodge on cycle.travel but if you zoom in at the termination of the ride you should see a track 'appear' that heads a bit North of West.

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/89381

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby SimonCelsa » 12 Feb 2019, 2:37pm

Here's a few images to whet your appetite!!

strath.jpg


strath (2).jpg


strath (3).jpg


Enjoy your trip!

litchy76
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby litchy76 » 13 Feb 2019, 2:13am

Thx for great replies, yes part of a longer tour starting in Edinburgh - Campbelltown - Oban - Outer Heb to Tarbert then down through Skye to Lochailort, Fort William & on to Inverness. Looking at then getting into the N/West Highlands continuing on to Durness / Tongue before heading back to either Inverness or Edinburgh. Love the Scottish scenery when cycling but mindful or carrying panniers up big climbs - Cheers

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Dean
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Re: Inverness to Strathcarron

Postby Dean » 21 Feb 2019, 2:59pm

SimonCelsa wrote:You could always take the scenic route:

Inverness - North Kessock - Redcastle - Muir of Ord - Marybank.....then take the single track road out to Strathconon & Scardroy Lodge (which is the end of the tarmac). When the tarmac runs out you're on a walking track over the hill to the A890 (follow the signpost 'Achnasheen via Inver'). Some of the track section I think was cycleable although I do recall some pushing. I did this as part of a loop out from Marybank one summers day. Hybrid bike with panniers & semi slick tyres (which would probably not be the best choice if it was wet). Fairly long day ride but plenty of good spots for camping.

Check out the map below if it works. You cannot route further than scardroy lodge on cycle.travel but if you zoom in at the termination of the ride you should see a track 'appear' that heads a bit North of West.

https://cycle.travel/map/journey/89381


Ah, good to know that's ridable - I was looking at that when I was up in the area last year.

The OP could also look at Coulin Pass over to Torridon - not at all rough apart from a few yards near the top, and great views down either side.