6-Day Inverness Loop

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Samurray
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6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Samurray » 25 Aug 2020, 10:46pm

Hi
Catching the train to Inverness in a couple of weeks. Intend doing a 6-Day cycle-camping loop from/to Inverness. Would like to take in as many wilder trails as possible and take advantage of wild camping opportunities. Heavy duty touring bike, balloon tyres, panniers.
Have done all of my cycle travelling abroad and not been to Scotland before (on bike). Am considering loops out West and back or even South East into Cairngorms. The wilder the better but will need to get supplies once in a while.

Any suggested routes from those in the know?

Thanks

Oldjohnw
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Oldjohnw » 25 Aug 2020, 11:10pm

A trip to Kyle of Lochalsh can be fun.
John

irc
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby irc » 26 Aug 2020, 8:33am

Head for Tomintoul to join the Cairngorms outer loop. Off road via Braemar and Glen Tilt to Blair Atholl. Then north via Gaick Pass to Kingussie. Then west o er Corrieyairick pass to Fort Augustus.

https://welovemountains.net/bikepacking-cairngorms

/
bridgeornot.jpg
Heading to the Gaick Pass

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Paulatic
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Paulatic » 26 Aug 2020, 8:48am

Have you checked out Lee Cragie's page?
https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/lee-c ... -highlands
I had the route to Kyle of Lochalsh bookmarked for this year but a damned virus got in the way.
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Norman H
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Norman H » 26 Aug 2020, 9:19am

If you're up for some off road on estate roads there's a nice route northwards via Strath Vaich, Gleann Mòr and Strath Carron to Bonar Bridge. Continue northwards to Lairg and then take the A838 along the shore of Loch Shin to Loch Merkland. At the top of Loch Merkland head off road again via Bealach nam Meirleach to Gobernuisgach and then on the minor road through Strath More and past Ben Hope to the north coast at Hope.

At Hope you have various options to return to Inverness. To the west via Durness and the A838, and possibly Cape Wrath if time allows. And to the east via Tongue and/or Bettyhill.

Plenty of opportunities for wild camping, bunkhouse accommodation at Altguish and Invershin, YH at Tongue and Durness. Also camping at Crask Inn.

Samurray
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Samurray » 26 Aug 2020, 4:10pm

Thanks very much for the route suggestions, everyone. I shall examine all and make a plan ;)

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Mick F
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Mick F » 26 Aug 2020, 8:07pm

Applecross.
Over the top from Lochcarron to the summit at Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) and then back via Sheidaig.

"Highly" recommended.
Mick F. Cornwall

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andrew_s
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby andrew_s » 26 Aug 2020, 9:01pm

Here are a couple of routes I've done that may be of interest:
a) Inverness - Alness - Strath Rusdale - Oykel Bridge - Glen Cassley - Tongue - Lairg - Strath Vaich - Muir of Ord - Inverness
Image
Includes some of Norman H's suggestion. The off road is all estate tracks, though there was a short (500 m?) stretch after leaving the forestry at the top of Strath Rusdale that was heather up the middle rather than grass up the middle, to the extent that seeing the ex-tarmac wasn't easy.

b) Cairngorm Circuit
Kingussie - Loch Morlich - Nethy Bridge - Glen Brown - Tomintoul - Loch Builg - Braemar - Glen Tilt - Blair Atholl - Loch Garry - Loch Rannoch - Corrour - Loch Laggan - Loch Pattack - Dalwhinnie - Kingussie
Image
There are hike-a-bike bits getting out of Glen Brown, at the upper end of Glenn Tilt, between Loch Garry and Duinish, and for about a mile just north of Loch Pattack.

Will
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Will » 27 Aug 2020, 11:45am

Have you got a bike reservation to/from Inverness?

You will need one if you are travelling on the Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Aberdeen services to/from Inverness. There is a limited amount of space for bikes on these trains, and they are much in demand by people doing LEJOG/JOGLE. When I was in Inverness with my bike queueing for the Edinburgh train, ScotRail staff were coming down the queue checking bike reservations, and if you didn't have one then you were not allowed on.

Will

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andrew_s
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby andrew_s » 27 Aug 2020, 1:42pm

Will wrote:Have you got a bike reservation to/from Inverness?

If it's a problem, the Cairngorms loop can be done from Aberdeen as easily as from Inverness, just by starting at Ballater, say, instead of Aviemore or Tomintoul.

Update:
I see on today's teletext that the Aberdeen line will be closed for "several more weeks", on account of the landslide and derailment on the 12th. That will probably mean replacement bus services - not so good with a bike.

Samurray
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Samurray » 31 Aug 2020, 4:16pm

Will wrote:Have you got a bike reservation to/from Inverness?

You will need one if you are travelling on the Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Aberdeen services to/from Inverness. There is a limited amount of space for bikes on these trains, and they are much in demand by people doing LEJOG/JOGLE. When I was in Inverness with my bike queueing for the Edinburgh train, ScotRail staff were coming down the queue checking bike reservations, and if you didn't have one then you were not allowed on.

Will


Yes, thanks, all sorted

Samurray
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Samurray » 31 Aug 2020, 4:26pm

Thanks for the further suggestions. It's going to be a challenge just deciding! However, I think it will either be a jaunt north - a la Andrew S and Norman H - or connect up some routes (partly inspired by Lee Cragie's page) that would make up a loop out west including - and thanks for the suggestion Mick F - the Applecross circuit. Still to decide though...

What's the water situation like up there? Worth taking a filter or is clean/fresh water access pretty easy?

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matt2matt2002
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby matt2matt2002 » 31 Aug 2020, 8:11pm

I'm just back from 6 days on the West coast.
I passed through Inverness coming and going from my home near Aberdeen.
Checkout my blog on crazy guy:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Nort ... andAug2020

Top tip. Bring a midge net hat/ head covering. Have long sleeve top, leg coverings and gloves.
For me, lotions didn't work.

Enjoy.
Matt
2017 Ethiopia.5 weeks.
2018 Marrakech 2 weeks.
Lots more in hot countries.
Always on a Thorn Raven/Rohloff hub.

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andrew_s
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby andrew_s » 31 Aug 2020, 9:49pm

Samurray wrote:What's the water situation like up there? Worth taking a filter or is clean/fresh water access pretty easy?

The Highlands and the west of Scotland are generally wet (hence the midges), and there's plenty of water about.
My general rule is that above human habitation and fenced/walled fields, any fastish flowing water is OK without filtering - i.e. streams with small rapids or waterfalls at fairly frequent intervals. Low down, and in any flat wet areas, water gets filtered.
Sample camping spot and small stream (Loch Merkland): https://goo.gl/maps/a24stdXKoDwbY25r7

Samurray
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Re: 6-Day Inverness Loop

Postby Samurray » 3 Sep 2020, 6:08pm

andrew_s wrote:Here are a couple of routes I've done that may be of interest:
a) Inverness - Alness - Strath Rusdale - Oykel Bridge - Glen Cassley - Tongue - Lairg - Strath Vaich - Muir of Ord - Inverness
Image
Includes some of Norman H's suggestion. The off road is all estate tracks, though there was a short (500 m?) stretch after leaving the forestry at the top of Strath Rusdale that was heather up the middle rather than grass up the middle, to the extent that seeing the ex-tarmac wasn't easy.

b) Cairngorm Circuit
Kingussie - Loch Morlich - Nethy Bridge - Glen Brown - Tomintoul - Loch Builg - Braemar - Glen Tilt - Blair Atholl - Loch Garry - Loch Rannoch - Corrour - Loch Laggan - Loch Pattack - Dalwhinnie - Kingussie
Image
There are hike-a-bike bits getting out of Glen Brown, at the upper end of Glenn Tilt, between Loch Garry and Duinish, and for about a mile just north of Loch Pattack.


Hi Andrew S. Which maps - shown in your post - did you use for your trip please?