Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow/Fort William

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
thebedfordfox
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Joined: 27 Apr 2012, 6:59pm

Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow/Fort William

Postby thebedfordfox » 21 Sep 2014, 9:31am

I did LEJOG last month and from Carlisle went to Inverness via Hawick, Galashiels, Musselburgh (trip to races), Edinburgh, Cowdenbeath, Perth, Pitlochry, Kingussie and Aviemore.
After using the A7, which was great, I went round the Cairngorms, avoiding the awful A9 and using NCN7, which was fine - without pushing it, I average about 12pm - but also variable. As it rained all day, a few of the more spartan bits of NCN7 involve narrow and muddy tracks, which weren't ideal for my audax trusty steed.
If I did it again - and I'm sure it's more of a case of 'when' - I'd like to try out the more western route from Carlisle, going through Glasgow and then up to Fort William and along the great fault into Inverness.
I'd be very grateful, therefore, of some advice. I hear the A82 isn't good, but is there a safe (and fast enough) way of doing this?
TIA

rareposter
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Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow/Fort William

Postby rareposter » 22 Sep 2014, 2:58pm

From Carlisle, you just go up the B7076 which runs parallel to the new A74M. Horrible roads - really rough and the scenery isn't much to write home about either. Lots of wind farms. Quiet route though cos all the traffic uses the A74M, there's very little on the old road. There's a brief stint on the A702 around Abington (Abington Services are accessible by bike and have a Starbucks!) before you pick up the B7078 which heads all the way up to Glasgow.

We did a route round the eastern side of Glasgow via Uddingston, Gartosh, Chryston, Kirkintilloch, Lennoxtown, Fintry.
From Callander it's up the side up Loch Lubnaig and then onto Crianlarich where you pick up the A82.

Pick your time along there and it's fine. I've ridden it twice on LEJOG and never had any problems - this year the weather was stunning and Rannoch Moor was probably the best I've ever seen it. Just beautiful. Weekday during the day and you shouldn't have too many problems. Do it on a Bank Holiday Weekend and frankly, you'd be asking for trouble.
The run off Rannoch down to Glencoe is lovely and then just carry on the main road to Fort William. Honestly, it's not too bad just don't do it on a weekend, especially not a summer holiday weekend! We did it on Friday 12th September.

That said, it was that route where one of the participants of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain was tragically killed in collision with a car on the A84 at Loch Earn. Not in itself an indictment of the route, it was simply a stupid overtake - "the road" was not to blame.

Fort William up to Inverness - continue on the A82 until Fort Augustus, turn right onto the B862 (Wade's Military Road), go up the steep, long climb to the spectacular summit then descend to the shore of Loch Ness and through Foyers then Dores and into Inverness.

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TrevA
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Location: Nottingham

Re: Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow/Fort William

Postby TrevA » 23 Sep 2014, 1:07pm

We did JOGLE but used the western route. From Uddingston, there's a cycle path that follows the river Clyde and runs right through the centre of Glasgow, then carries on via old railway and canal paths all the way to Dumbarton. then there's a riverside path to Ballock, at the bottom of Loch Lomond. There's another cyclepath up the side of Loch Lomond, though you do eventually have to transfer onto the road near Tarbert. Then follow the A82 toTyndrum and over Rannoch Moor. We didn't find it too bad, certainly not as bad as the A9. After Glencoe and over the bridge to Fort Bill. This bit of the A82 isn't very pleasant, but you could catch the Corran ferry (free to bikes) then ride around the other side of Loch Oich. Follow the minor road up Neptune's Staircase (set of locks on the Caledonian Canal NW of Fort Bill), then either rejoin the A82 near the Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge or continue on the forest track on the western side of Loch Lochy to Fort Augustus. Then take General Wade's Military road to the south of Loch Ness, to Inverness.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
http://www.jogler2009.blogspot.com

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow/Fort William

Postby ferrit worrier » 24 Sep 2014, 7:34pm

I finished LEJoG on the 9thSept I used the Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow and Fort William route.

Agree about the condition of the B7076and the B7078, a terrible shame as the roads are direct I used these roads in 2009 and again in 2011 and they were fine, from memory. yes the scenery isn't spectacular, but they do get you north quicker. To get through Glasgow I stayed on the B7078 as long as I could and headed for Rutherglen. then turned right to get across the Clyde then head out for the A82. I did try following the NCN Loch Lomond route to Alexandria but gave up after being directed under a railway arch to be faced with two "No entry" signs and the NCN arrow showing straight on. yeh ok.

In 2011 I used the A9 route to get back down to Edinburgh. from Inverness. didn't like it at the time, but now I think it wins over the western route.

Once you get onto the A82 out of Glasgow it settles down, up through Crianlarich over Rannoch Moor down through Glen Co over the Ballachulish Bridge some stretches of road are ok other bits are rough. Fort William, Spean Bridge. Over night at the Great Glen Hostel. (should be the Great, Great Glen hostel. ) super place :D A82 into Inverness go for the cycle track over the Kessock Bridge then follow the NCN route north, the first couple of miles of the A9 are very busy Take care!
lots of Garages with shops attached good for fresh water sandwiches cakes etc.
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JohnWL
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Re: Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow/Fort William

Postby JohnWL » 28 Sep 2014, 8:30am

I decided to avoid Glasgow and that awful road the B7076. After Gretna I took the B roads to Dumfries then B729 through Monaive to and up the A78 ( horrible in a few bits ) to the ferry to Dunoon.

Then it was superb cycling - great scenery and quiet - for A roads - up the A815 and via lots of lochs to Inverary, Connel ( just north of Oban ) , then A828 to Fort William , canal path to Gairlochy and back on the A82 through to Inverness.

I didn't have a problem on the A82, possibly becuase it was a Sunday .

dai_t75
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Re: Carlisle to Inverness via Glasgow/Fort William

Postby dai_t75 » 2 Oct 2014, 4:26pm

JohnWL wrote:I decided to avoid Glasgow and that awful road the B7076. After Gretna I took the B roads to Dumfries then B729 through Monaive to and up the A78 ( horrible in a few bits ) to the ferry to Dunoon.

Then it was superb cycling - great scenery and quiet - for A roads - up the A815 and via lots of lochs to Inverary, Connel ( just north of Oban ) , then A828 to Fort William , canal path to Gairlochy and back on the A82 through to Inverness.

I didn't have a problem on the A82, possibly becuase it was a Sunday .


We did the same and agree about the scenery and mainly quiet roads.

The small stretch on the A83 into Inverary was quite busy, but not too bad. The A85 into Benderloch again was busy and not particularly nice (compared to the A815 anyway!). The A828 North of Benderloch was quite busy, but there was an intermittent cycle path which followed it closely which was pretty good. The A82 to Fort Augustus was probably my least favourite road of the trip, but the easterly road on Loch Ness was fantastic. Suppose you just need to decide if the not-so-nice roads are worth it for the cracking bits inbetween! When planning the routes I couldn't see many alternatives after deciding we were going to go the Westerly route. I have seen people mentioning a more off road path in the area, but I didn't look into it.