Oban to Fort William

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
graymee
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Oban to Fort William

Postby graymee » 17 Jul 2010, 6:49pm

Hi all

Sue and I are doing a bit of a tour round Scotland starting next weekend and I'm after a bit of advice on the section from Oban to Fort William.

When we were up there last year we saw quite a few sections of cycle route on the old railway line but I'm worried that, because the route isn't complete, we'll set off, hit a dead end and have to back track to the road which I'm trying to avoid because it's quite busy.

Any info or advice would be welcome.
Graymee

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PW
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby PW » 17 Jul 2010, 7:27pm

Where are you going after Fort Bill? The ferry to Mull and a ride up the side of the island takes you to another ferry across to Ardnamurchan, then there's a choice of road routes either up to Mallaig and the Skye ferry or down Loch Sunart back to the Corran Ferry near Ballachulish. I would avoid the Oban/Fort William road like the plague, the traffic's awful and they don't think twice about running you off the road.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

graymee
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby graymee » 17 Jul 2010, 7:57pm

From Fort William we're heading to Inverness then turning south to my parents in Blairgowrie.

We toyed with the idea of doing Oban to Fort William via Mull and the Camusnagaul ferry but we don't have the time to add at least another day to the trip. I just want to stay off the A82 as much as possible.
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bodach
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby bodach » 17 Jul 2010, 8:38pm

From Oban to Connel most local cyclists use the pavement (strictly illegal but the only sensible option and there are few pedestrians)as far as Dunbeg tho' there is a path from Ganavan to Dunbeg. Better use the back road from Oban by the golf course which takes you to Connel .The A85 is an accident black area for this whole stretch.The rest of the road to Ballachulish is not too bad and there are bits of cycle path from time to time. From Ballachulish to Fort William is pretty dreadful. Take the Corran Ferry and go up the west side of Loch Linnhe and then the wee ferry over to Ft William.

lowrider
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby lowrider » 19 Jul 2010, 2:42pm

You could go via Lismore by taking the calmac ferry from Oban to Lismore then the local authority ferry from Lismore to Port Appin this would cut out a large chunk of the A 828 joining it near Castle Stalker. Your stuck with this I think until Balahulish from there go to Corran cross by the ferry and then up the west side of the loch crossing back over to Fort William by the small ferry.

You would need to check the ferry times though for the final crossing miss the last one and you have a bit of a detour.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby Tigerbiten » 19 Jul 2010, 3:46pm

One other option is ..........
The Oban -> Craignure ferry across to Mull.
Then cycle ~8 miles up Mull and get the Fishnish -> Lochaline ferry back to the mainland.
Then follow A884 -> B8043 -> A861 to the wee ferry back to Fort Bill.
Its only around 5 miles further & ~500' more climbing following the west side of the loch as to following the A85 -> A828 -> A82 on the east.
So it would depend on ferry times if its possible to do it in a day.

If your getting into Oban in the afternoon, then getting the ferry to Mull that day and camping/BBing in Craignure will make the next day to Fort Bill easier as you can then easily get the first ferry from Fishnish.
Thats what I did when I followed that route to the Corran ferry, as I was aiming at getting to Glen Coe.

Luck .......... :D

peterm
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby peterm » 19 Jul 2010, 8:27pm

Last year I cycled the coast of Britain and that of course includes the route talked about here.
If it's helpful there is a full write up and lots of photos of my adventures around Fort William, Mull, Ardnamurchan and Oban on the site below.Just click on more when the site appears. Good luck.

http://www.petermaddern.weebly.com

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby matt2matt2002 » 21 Jul 2010, 9:06pm

I am just back from a Highland tour - and did Fort William to Inverness.(and then Aberdeen)
I took the East side of Loch Ness and apart from a couple of mega hills just outside Fort Augustus, it was a great run

Pm me if you want more details about this section
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graymee
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby graymee » 6 Aug 2010, 11:54pm

Got back from our very enjoyable tour on Thursday. In the end we went from Oban to Ganavan then took the new path to Dunbeg. The new path was good and the road from there to Connel and Benderloch wasn't too bad. Where there were bits of cycle path we preferred to use them although the road wasn't that bad. It was only after Ballachulish when the A82 and A828 merged that the road got very busy. One prat overtook and gave less than a metre clearance. He was so close that a white van man even commented on it when we were on the Corran ferry. The decision to cross to Ardnamurchan then back to Fort William at Camusnagaul was a good one and most enjoyable.
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matt2matt2002
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby matt2matt2002 » 7 Aug 2010, 8:37am

Did you do Fort William to Inverness?
:)
2014 Scottish End2End 1 month
2015 Pamir Highway Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan for 2 months
2016 Sri Lanka for 1 month.
2017 West Coast of Scotland. Herbrides Lewis Harris 2 weeks
2018 Ethiopia.5 weeks.
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graymee
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby graymee » 7 Aug 2010, 11:20am

Fort William to Fort Augustus we used the tow path beside Neptune's Staircase, the quiet roads to Clunes then the forestry roads to Laggan Locks. At the locks we crosses the canal and used the Great Glen Way path to Cullochy Lock which was interesting. It's a narrow slightly muddy footpath in places, dismantled railway line in others and there are places where tree roots make the going a bit difficult but it was enjoyable all the same, we were both on MTB's. The last bit into Fort Augustus was on smooth, well surfaced canal tow path.

From Fort Augustus we used the B roads on the South East side of Loch Ness. The climb out is a killer! Once we got to the top it was easy going. We dropped down through Foyers and had a look at the falls then carried on the B862 through Dores to Inverness.
Graymee

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bodach
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Re: Oban to Fort William

Postby bodach » 7 Aug 2010, 8:15pm

Glad you enjoyed your holiday but I would still reccommend going from Oban to or from Connel by the back road rather than the main A85 ,even the short distance from Dunbeg to Connel. The A82 unfortunately is pretty well unavoidable tho' until Corran Ferry.The rest of it is as you suggest OK.