Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

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brynpoeth
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby brynpoeth » 6 Sep 2018, 2:43pm

I would take the train, Settle & Carlisle, overnight in Glasgow, better and more relaxing than driving or doing the whole journey by train in a day

Perhaps you could relate more of your childhood on the Bonnie Banks, sure I would not be the only one interested. Have you kept your Scotch accent?
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome

mikeymo
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Sep 2018, 3:27pm

brynpoeth wrote:I would take the train, Settle & Carlisle, overnight in Glasgow, better and more relaxing than driving or doing the whole journey by train in a day

Perhaps you could relate more of your childhood on the Bonnie Banks, sure I would not be the only one interested. Have you kept your Scotch accent?


Thing about overnighting is it adds cost and time. I know the journey is part of the thing, but a lot of lugging bikes on and off trains, in and out of B&Bs/Hotels especially in cities isn't really my thing. I'd rather get to the starting point ASAP and start pedalling. But this is all very much at the planning stage so all these things to consider, thanks.

I'm the youngest of four, and we left Scotland when I was about 9 months old. So no Scottish accent ("Scotch" is whiskey and eggs). Neither have any of my older siblings mind you. And I'm afraid no memory of that time. Though there were a few trips up there as holidays when I was a kid, and a couple of times I went up with dad to help with the shearing at old friends' farms. Dad was from South Uist, mum from Portsmouth (!) and they met after the war at agricultural college in Aberdeen. Then farmed around Scotland, but always as farm managers, rather than tenants or owners. But as dad got older I think the physical demands of farming in Scotland before large scale mechanisation became clear, so he took a job in England teaching agriculture.

ambodach
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby ambodach » 6 Sep 2018, 4:25pm

Mikeymo note that “dump the car “ was in the past. New parking restrictions have made this more difficult. Oban may not be like an inner city but there are still drunken vandals and there is damage reported to parked cars. Best as I suggested earlier to use commercial parking. Hazelbank Motors advertise but no idea of cost. At least you then have peace of mind as to car safety.

mikeymo
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Sep 2018, 4:34pm

ambodach wrote:Mikeymo note that “dump the car “ was in the past. New parking restrictions have made this more difficult. Oban may not be like an inner city but there are still drunken vandals and there is damage reported to parked cars. Best as I suggested earlier to use commercial parking. Hazelbank Motors advertise but no idea of cost. At least you then have peace of mind as to car safety.


Thanks. Yes, compared to the jumbo jet-like fuel consumption of my car paying a bit for parking is no big deal. I think Hazelbank are £40 for a week. Though thinking about it as I'll have a bike (doh!), there's nothing particularly to stop me finding somewhere a few miles outside town. Or as somebody else has suggested offering a resident some money to use their drive. Probably no big deal either way.

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TrevA
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby TrevA » 6 Sep 2018, 4:38pm

We did a tour of the Inner Hebrides, leaving the car at Ardrossan taking in Arran, Kintyre, Islay, Jura, Oban, Mull and Ardnamurchan. We caught the train back from Mallaig back to Glasgow and on to Ardrossan. It's a spectacular train journey over Rannoch Moor and I think you can change onto the Oban train at one of the stations near Crianlarich. There are 6 bike spaces on the Mallaig-Glasgow train.

I drove back from Ardrossan to Nottingham in about 6 hours. It was a bit longer driving up but we stopped a couple of times. Oban is another 80 miles or so past Glasgow so probably another 2 hours. The train would be more relaxing, but it's certainly doable in a day in a car, also probably cheaper unless you can get cheap advance train tickets.

You could probably park up the hill in Oban or in one of the outlying villages.

andrew_s
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby andrew_s » 6 Sep 2018, 4:52pm

mikeymo wrote:Thanks. Whereabouts did you "dump the car"? I know Oban isn't exactly a crime ridden inner city, but I'd still like to be confident it would be there when I got back. Is there any paid option that you know of?

I parked in the car park by the leisure centre.
There was paid for secure(ish) parking near the station, there's a car park just off the first roundabout you get to (full when I looked), or I've heard of people roadside parking just down the road towards the Kerrera ferry.
Of course things like yellow lines or "no overnight parking" in the car parks may have changed since I was last there.

The last time I rode back from Ullapool, it was overnight in Ullapool after the ferry, Gairloch YHA, Torridon YHA, , Skye & Kylerhea ferry, Ratagan YHA, Invergarry, Glen Nevis YHA, Crianlarich YHA, Glasgow, which would be something like 250 miles if you went to Oban from Ft William.
The short route is direct from Ullapool to Inverness, and straight down the Great Glen; something like 175 miles

mikeymo
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Sep 2018, 5:01pm

andrew_s wrote:
mikeymo wrote:Thanks. Whereabouts did you "dump the car"? I know Oban isn't exactly a crime ridden inner city, but I'd still like to be confident it would be there when I got back. Is there any paid option that you know of?

I parked in the car park by the leisure centre.
There was paid for secure(ish) parking near the station, there's a car park just off the first roundabout you get to (full when I looked), or I've heard of people roadside parking just down the road towards the Kerrera ferry.
Of course things like yellow lines or "no overnight parking" in the car parks may have changed since I was last there.

The last time I rode back from Ullapool, it was overnight in Ullapool after the ferry, Gairloch YHA, Torridon YHA, , Skye & Kylerhea ferry, Ratagan YHA, Invergarry, Glen Nevis YHA, Crianlarich YHA, Glasgow, which would be something like 250 miles if you went to Oban from Ft William.
The short route is direct from Ullapool to Inverness, and straight down the Great Glen; something like 175 miles


Thanks, I'll look at that route. If I ended up anywhere near Crianlarich I'd have to stay in one of the Drovers lodges, preferably the one that was my bedroom when my parents had it as a farm.

Is "down the Great Glen" on the cycle route? Some of it looks unsuitable for a road bike, around Loch Ness I think.

bogmyrtle
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby bogmyrtle » 6 Sep 2018, 8:32pm

My time used to be very limited.
I drove to Oban, stayed the night in the youth hostel and left my bike in the bike shed. The next morning I drove to Ullapool and left the car there. I spent the night at Ullapool and then got buses back to Oban via Inverness and Fort William in time to pick up the bike and get the afternoon ferry to Barra.
The cost was two nights in hostels. The parking is free at Ullapool.
It worked well and I was able to go straight home at the end without any hassle.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

LollyKat
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby LollyKat » 6 Sep 2018, 9:17pm

Now that's what I call lateral thinking!

ambodach
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby ambodach » 7 Sep 2018, 2:55pm

Andrew-s things have indeed changed re parking since you were in Oban last. I have not looked at Oban but driveway parking for payment is well established in some places. While I am reasonably familiar with the area east and north of Oban I cannot think at the moment of anywhere that is not already congested. There are areas in Taynuilt for example but too far away from houses for safety but possibly Connel just under the bridge?

mattsccm
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby mattsccm » 7 Sep 2018, 4:29pm

Good car dump in Oban is the diving centre a couple of miles south on the minor coast road. Even showers should you need them and a few quid a day.
Back via Skye is easy enough.
Or.
How about going from the Skye bridge over to Glenelg and keep going down the coast until the tarmac turns to gravel? google Earth shows a track that's at least quad width or maybe 4WD. I bet much of that would be rideable and eventually it hits tarmac again.

largeallan
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby largeallan » 8 Sep 2018, 2:03pm

Easy Peasy....Dump your car at Fort Wullie.... cycle down to oban...... ferry to Barra........Pedal up the Outer Isles.......Ferry From Tarbert to Uig on Skye......Pedal to Armadale.......ferry To Mallaig.......Cycle to Fort Wullie via Lochailort, Strontian, Corran........I can't think of a nicer tour. :D

gloomyandy
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby gloomyandy » 8 Sep 2018, 7:09pm

It's a pity that the parking in Oban is no longer very easy. Is it no longer possible to park on the coast road south of the ferry terminal? I've left my car on that road near the "sea food temple" or whatever it is called a few times, but that was a few years ago as recently I've tended to park in either Uig or Malaig (both of which are pretty easy, at least at the time of year I go).
Last edited by gloomyandy on 14 Sep 2018, 7:52pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tom_B
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby Tom_B » 9 Sep 2018, 1:22pm

We’ve had Scottish island holidays with our bikes for 5 years on the run now.
The journey to Aberdeen ferry port from Manchester is especially smooth - train from Mcr mid-morning, change at Haymarket with just a few steps across the platform, then arrive in ABD in plenty of time for overnight ferry to Orkney / Shetland. When trains were cancelled (more than once), Scotrail staff met us on the platform to explain. They had already arranged cycle carriage on another train and the journey went ahead on time. They were really very helpful.

This year, for the first time, we went by car, instead of train, thinking to tour more on the way to the Oban ferry. We stayed at the SYHA (recommended!) in Oban and got the 0715 ferry to Tiree.

Re parking in Oban: there were spaces on the Kerrera ferry road but we didn’t fancy them and left the car at Hazelbank Motors. It was, IIRC, £55 for 12 nights. We thought this a fair price for security and peace of mind. At the ferry terminal we met someone who, with the permission of staff, had left their car at the Leisure Centre. Oban Tourist Information had earlier told me this was no longer possible.

Next time we will probably get the train again. For us, the small possibility of rail delays or cancellations spoiling the holiday is a small minus compared to the certainty of the stress of a long drive, particularly at the end of a holiday.

mikeymo
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Re: Outer Hebrides "tour". Train to Oban or car?

Postby mikeymo » 9 Sep 2018, 2:17pm

Some great ideas there folks. Thanks for that. My parents also farmed in Glenelg, I think, but in the 1950s.

I'll mull (arf arf) it over. A bit of this will depend whether I'm on my own or not. With more than one the car gets cheaper than the train, and also more reliable in terms of staying together as a group. Whereas on my own it'll just be brave little me against the world, and it'll be easier to go with the flow. If I've dragged reluctant friends along I'll feel obliged to get them there.