Sept 2018 trip to Arran/Islay/Mull

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
ambodach
Posts: 683
Joined: 15 Mar 2011, 6:45pm

Re: Sept 2018 trip to Arran/Islay/Mull

Postby ambodach » 26 Nov 2017, 10:40am

To say Sanna to Portuairk is a bit of a push is a bit of an understatement. At the Sanna end when I was last there there was kissing gate and a barbed wire fence. Ignore the notices which say leaving the path will get you shot if they still exist. A previous landowner did not welcome visitors. Further on there is a boulder field with car sized boulders which involves a carry. The final bit down into Portuairk I had to push the bike in front by holding the saddle and walking behind on the narrow path with a drop on the right. There may of course be an easier way but I did not find it. I did write up an account in the cycling section of our then local paper and there is a link somewhere in the distant past on this forum.

Bearly_Able
Posts: 2
Joined: 8 Jun 2018, 10:47am

Re: Sept 2018 trip to Arran/Islay/Mull

Postby Bearly_Able » 8 Jun 2018, 11:00am

Very late to the discussion, I know, but we live on Islay and I can confirm that there are a good variety of options for cycling. Where you go depends on whether your main interests lie in just exploring as far as possible, or in seeing wildlife, history or distilleries. There are plenty of opportunities for each. As already mentioned, Jura is just ten minutes away by ferry, and well worth a visit if you have time. It is a very different island - large, but with a population of just 200 people and 5,000 deer.

The only road I would recommend avoiding on Islay is what's known as "the low road" - the main A846 between Port Ellen and Bowmore. It's very straight, and as such, liable to speeding motorists. :( It is also, according to my husband - a cyclist and runner - "uphill all the way, in both directions". :lol: The parallel B8016- the high road - is single track (as are many roads in the area), more undulating and more interesting (IMHO).

skinikki
Posts: 17
Joined: 12 Aug 2016, 8:33pm

Re: Sept 2018 trip to Arran/Islay/Mull

Postby skinikki » 10 Jun 2018, 6:47pm

We have just come back from a week on Mull and the Ardnamurchan. We had a fantastic time with full sunshine every day, high temperatures and not a drop of rain! We left our car in Oban then jumped on the ferry with the bikes to Craignuire. We cycled to Fionnphort and took the boat out to Staffa and Fingals cave then stopped at Iona on the way back. We then cycled up the west coast of Mull via Ballygowan, Calgary Bay, Dervaig and Tobermory. Ferry from Tobermory to Kilchoan then cycled out to the light house. Followed the road back along the loch side to Salen, Strontion and then over the top to Lochaline and caught the ferry back to Mull- Lochaline- Fishnish. Cycled back to Craignuire and ferry back to Oban. A really lovely route with plenty of ups and downs. Pre midges too which was a bonus!

durhambiker
Posts: 91
Joined: 6 Jun 2010, 12:59pm

Re: Sept 2018 trip to Arran/Islay/Mull

Postby durhambiker » 26 Jun 2018, 5:56pm

Arran.Mull.Tarbert etc is all very pleasant.Best trip myself and the other half did in sept was Ferry to Barra.then cycled right up to Harris and down the length of skye then ferry and train back.via Fort William.Magical.

Bearly_Able
Posts: 2
Joined: 8 Jun 2018, 10:47am

Re: Sept 2018 trip to Arran/Islay/Mull

Postby Bearly_Able » 3 Jul 2018, 6:12pm

A word of warning to anybody cycling on Islay in the near future. The council has just "resurfaced" some of the roads. The process consisted of tarring the existing surface and covering it with loose chippings, which have been left for vehicles to compress and bed down. The result is a loose, unstable surface (there are "skid risk" signs up for motorists) with the risk of flying chippings thrown up by passing vehicles. The potholes are still there, but they are now concealed by the "surface" and far more hazardous than they were previously.