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The Highlands

Posted: 24 May 2018, 12:38pm
by althebike
The B&B route from Bonar bridge up to Thurso offer very little in the way of places to stop, unless camping. There are a few shops and the odd inn but nothing much. I know there is an Inn at Cask, and options to stop or shop in Bettyhill .
It is a long stretch of cycling, so I was wondering how you experienced people deal with it. I know some of you camp, have panniers and carry enough stuff to move house but the rest of us..has anyone been stranded without accommodation?

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 24 May 2018, 1:27pm
by bikepacker
There are B&Bs at Altnaharra and Thurso also quite a few along the top coast of Scotland. Most of them just cater for passing trade and don't appear to advertise.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 24 May 2018, 4:24pm
by LollyKat
^ This. Also, even if local places appear to be full it is always worth asking around, as there are often quite a number of of unoffical B&Bs as well.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 24 May 2018, 4:31pm
by Mick F
Go up the east coast.
Towns and villages with shops and pubs and accommodation.
Brora, Golspie, Helmsdale for instance.

If you want to take the route Bonar Bridge to Thurso, you obviously want the desolation and openness up there, but the downside is there's not much in the way of facilities.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 24 May 2018, 5:27pm
by althebike
Thank you for your replies, they are much appreciated. I am almost ready to go, I just need a bit of bike maintenance, so I would like to get off in June. The plan is Joggle, that is train to Thurso, Dunnet head, jog and back to Thurso, Day 2 head to Bettyhill, I know there is a shop there I should be able to get supplies for all day .
Cask for lunch. My loose plan is to ring ahead and try to get somewhere for the night from Cask. Invershin is about as far as I would wish to go .If I am unsuccessful, then I can try and stay at the Inn.
I tried to break the route down into manageable chunks, but in the highlands, the b&b do not fall in the right places.
I will be doing the ride mostly solo although it would be good to pass the time of day with anyone while on route, desolation, does allow plenty of thinking time.
I felt safe planning, because I could tweak it, replan look at it again, and feel safe, but now it is getting close my bum is a bit squeeky.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 24 May 2018, 6:28pm
by Lilyf
On approaching Bettyhill from the Crask direction there is a massive sign stating that the cafe there is open ‘8 days a week’. Unfortunately, on the day we passed through, just about two years ago, there must have been ‘9 days’ in that week :( . It was CLOSED (due to family circumstances). Hubby and I were disappointed and hungry. Fortunately we had been carrying our emergency packet of cereal and pint of milk so stopped at the top of the next hill and wolfed it down.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 24 May 2018, 10:56pm
by shadwellrhino
I went up the east coast in early June last year, accommodation was really difficult to find at short notice. Book as far ahead as you can, and if needed, use Tripadvisor which helped me identify a couple of places that were not listed on the likes of Booking.com

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 25 May 2018, 6:37am
by Norman H
The Hotel at Invershin also has hostel style accommodation.

http://www.invershin.com/

You should make Invershin fom Bettyhill in a day. It's pretty much downhill from the Crask to Lairg and from there,if you take the road on the otherside of the river, that goes by the Falls of Shin, it avoids a wee bit of climbing between there and Invershin.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 25 May 2018, 8:18am
by sjs
I found a B&B in Lairg, then the next night stayed in the Melvich Hotel, which was very nice. Melvich may be too close to JoG though if you're going in the opposite direction. I was continuing to Wick for the return train.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 25 May 2018, 11:58am
by althebike
Thank you once again.
I have the trip broken into legs of about 25 miles. I intend to do 2 of the legs by lunch, then decide if I want another 25 miles, and ring ahead as appropriate from the lunch spot. The Invershin Hotel looks good, the bunkhouse cheap , I will be coming from Thurso, but if as you say it there are plenty of downhill stretches it looks doable.
Thanks for the tip on the falls of shin, I was routed to go the hillier way.
Has the lejog pack been updated recently regarding the accommodation list?

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 26 May 2018, 4:01pm
by loafer
stayed here on my JOGLE really great place and pub is 10 mins away with great food http://www.sleeperzzz.com/ :D :D :D

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 26 May 2018, 8:32pm
by brynpoeth
Looks like a BR mark 2 carriage in an unusual livery :wink:

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 3 Jun 2018, 8:36am
by A7 Simon
It isn't just the Highlands.
Our route up the southern counties bypassed places to the point where we ran out of supplies and couldn't replenish without a biggish diversion.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 5 Jun 2018, 9:18pm
by althebike
A7 Simon, yes there are some long stretches. I have done a google street view and made a note of places I may stop, but I recon the camera must have been looking the other way at times. I think Innerleithen south to Langholm barely has a shop, so I hope to call in to the Buddhist center near Eskdalmuir As long as I do not have to revoke all possessions and find myself bikeless hundreds of miles from home, it looks a nice place.
Out of all the millions of alternatives I could have chosen, I am routed over Warburton toll bridge, just east of Warrington.

Re: The Highlands

Posted: 6 Jun 2018, 8:06am
by Paulatic
althebike wrote:A7 Simon, yes there are some long stretches. I have done a google street view and made a note of places I may stop, but I recon the camera must have been looking the other way at times. I think Innerleithen south to Langholm barely has a shop, so I hope to call in to the Buddhist center near Eskdalmuir As long as I do not have to revoke all possessions and find myself bikeless hundreds of miles from home, it looks a nice place.
Out of all the millions of alternatives I could have chosen, I am routed over Warburton toll bridge, just east of Warrington.

You’ll find very little at Samye Ling in the way of edibles nowadays. A cafe that closes for lunch :D
A mile down the road is Eskdalemuir Community Hub which has good cafe and a small shop. I even got some parsley plants there, on Saturday, for 50p