Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

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Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Omega Sprinkles » Thu May 29, 2014 12:14 pm

I am planning a week long bike trip though Scotland at the end of July. We're starting in Inverness (train booked) and planning to meander down through the highlands to the borders in Dumfries & Galloway, taking in highlands, lochs, glens and drams. We're after beautiful scenery and and quiet roads.

We'll be on road bikes, not mountain bikes, but apart from that, anything goes!

Has anyone done something similar on bikes?

Are there any routes or places which we definitely shouldn't miss??

Any B&Bs or bothies we should definitely stay in?

Any amazing resources that you recommend to help plot a route?

Any tips or shared experiences would be very welcome!!

Thanks!
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby geocycle » Thu May 29, 2014 1:41 pm

National Cycle Route 7 (Lochs and Glens) is a good start. Well thought out and rideable on most bikes except perhaps carbon road affairs. I've ridden both north and south options and enjoyed both.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby andrew_s » Thu May 29, 2014 2:00 pm

I'd recommend bypassing the Glasgow/Edinburgh central belt by taking the Claonaig/Arran/Ardrossan route. You can also go from Campeltown to Ardrossan on Fri/Sat/Sun, though not at very convenient times.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby irc » Thu May 29, 2014 3:12 pm

Avoid the A82 south of Inverness. Use the B roads east of Loch Ness to Fort Augustus. Then the canal towpath to Loch Oich, a short section of the A82 the B roads and forestry tracks (Great Glen Cycleway) west of Loch Lochy.

The forestry tracks are OK on 700x28 and wider. If by road bikes you mean 23mm tyres then you may be better using the A82 from Fort Augustus to the Commando Monument at Spean Bridge before going back to the B roads.

From Fort William there is a passenger ferry over Loch Linnhe which would let you head for Mull.

Going south from Oban the B road down the west side of Loch Awe (a Sustrans route) will be far better than the main road.

I'd second avoiding Glasgow/Edinburgh via Arran.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Omega Sprinkles » Thu May 29, 2014 4:21 pm

Brilliant. Thanks.

My bike does have 23mm tires at the moment, so thanks for the advice.

Keep them coming!!
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby patpalloon » Thu May 29, 2014 6:00 pm

+1 for Claonaig - Arran - Ardrossan. I did this route last year as part of Dover to Cape Wrath and it was stunning! Also you could visit Electric Brae - not been but sounds pretty cool.
I feel sure that the genius that did this, didn't even feel a thud as he drove by.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby dellwood33 » Thu May 29, 2014 7:11 pm

This might give you a bit of local incite into routes in the Dumfries area :)

http://dumfriescycling.co.uk/index.html
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby cheesypeeps » Thu May 29, 2014 7:17 pm

As it is, I'm cycling from blantyre to ardrossan 2moro. I'm planning on doing it on a road bike with 700 * 25 tyres.
I'll let you know how it goes.
It's in preparation for a bigger trip from my house to Jura. :)
Using Tapatalk
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby nosmarbaj » Fri May 30, 2014 12:25 am

patpalloon wrote:+1 for Claonaig - Arran - Ardrossan. ... Also you could visit Electric Brae - not been but sounds pretty cool.
Another +1 for Arran, but the Electric Brae isn't worth it IMO unless you're passing anyway. I was brought up in Ayr and even as a child I was always disappointed. Of course, given it's an optical illusion, some folks may be more susceptible than others, so it might seem quite impressive to them. Also it is weather-dependent - IIRC it's best in overcast conditions. (For those who don't know what it is, look up"Electric brae" in Wikipedia).

If you do use that route, Culzean Castle (both house and grounds) is worth visiting. And of course, Ayrshire and also Dumfries have numerous sites connected with Robert Burns, if you're into that sort of thing. The Galloway region has many quiet roads, attractive villages and pleasant scenery, although rather too much of it has been covered by spruce forest.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby eileithyia » Fri May 30, 2014 8:19 am

+1 for Clanaig - Ardrossan, but avoid the campsite just outside Brodick, Glen Rosa.. it was a nightmare of some extremely noisy people just arrived on the ferry from Glasgow; 2am card games, 3am dog escaped and chased the local ducks around the campsites........ talking to the ferry staff it sounded as though that was parr for the course...
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Omega Sprinkles » Fri May 30, 2014 2:44 pm

Thanks everyone! Really helpful.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby khain » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:25 pm

I would tend to agree with the posters here about heading down the west coast. However, it does tend to rain considerably more on the west side. If the west is looking very wet an alternative is to take the A939/A93 through the Cairngorms National Park, then head down through Fife, across the Forth Road Bridge and follow the A70/A702 to Dumfries. This is a very hilly route though, and a hassle getting to the A70 from the bridge. However, it's all good roads and no ferries. On a road bike I would avoid any sustrans routes unless they are on an actual road.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Miscology » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:28 pm

Then the canal towpath to Loch Oich, a short section of the A82 the B roads and forestry tracks (Great Glen Cycleway) west of Loch Lochy.


I did this last year, and while it is an absolutely stunning cycle it wasn't easy on my hybrid. I don't know if somebody on a road bike could enjoy it. I got a few punctures. Your average speed will have to come down dramatically. The canal towpath is a little easier, but still very bumpy.

OP, you should definitely swing by Aviemore and cycle up to the Glenmore Forest park. Maybe camp by the lake there. If you're up for it, you can even climb Mount Cairngorm. It's basically climbing stairs for 1000+ meters but the views are great.
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby Jeremy Bond » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:59 pm

Just return from my week in Scotland, everyday was superb. We cycled from Callander and took the National Route 7 to Inverness (that was superb). We then cycled the Great Glen Way and Caledonian Canal to Fort William, followed by catching the ferry to Camusnagaul and cycled to Lilchoan on the A861 and the B8007. We then enjoyed spending the day on the Isle of Mull, great scenery before taking a ferry to Oban and headed to the Isle of Aaron and spending the day cycling around the island.

If you asked me for the highlights I would say...all of it, but for me, the wow factor came during the climb before Lilchoan, the scenery was awesome. The west coast on the Isle of Mull was also breathtaking on the B8035

Have a great time whatever you do
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Re: Scotland adventure! Inverness to Dumfries

Postby LollyKat » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:16 pm

In case anyone is searching the map in vain, JB means Kilchoan, not Lilchoan....

Sounds a great run!
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