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Jake Jul 4th, 1999 06:49 PM

Scotland by Bicycle
I am going to bike through Scotland in September of this year. I'll arrive by ferry from Belfast, then go north to Loch Ness, up to Inverness, then south through Edinburgh to Newcastle. I'm staying in youth hostels the whole way. Any suggestions on what to see along that general route? I'll be somewhat limited in where I can go because I'm on a bike, but I'll try... Thanks!

Sheila Jul 5th, 1999 02:41 PM

This will be a general posting. If it sparks some ideas, feel free to come back to me for further details. <BR> <BR>Incidentally I have friends who aer very keen cyclists. If you want some input into routes, I could ask them for you? <BR> <BR>Everything south of Glasgow is a mystery to me. Someone else will have to answer that bit. <BR> <BR>When you get to Glasgow, if you want to come off the roads, go to milngavie and you can go all the way to fort William on the West Highland Way. It goes along Loch Lomond, across Rannoch Moor and through Glen Coe. there are lots of hostels along the way. <BR> <BR>At Fort William you have the choice of a redundant pulp mill or an out of use aluminium smelter. (Just joking!) You have of course the magnificnet Ben Nevis, and a distillery at its foot. If I were you, I would go over the hills from the head of Loch Cluanie to the head of Glen Affric then cycle up Glen Affric to Drumnadrochit. Then go up to Castle Urqhart and fail to see the monster ( but only because she does not want to be seen!) <BR> <BR>Then go on up to Inverness. take a boat trip to see the Dolphins in the Moray Firth. Go over the Kessock Bridge ( which my cycling friends say is not fun because the barriers are so low, and stop at the Red Kite viewing point at the Tourist Centre at North Kessock. <BR> <BR>I know there is a sustrans route south out of Inverness, but I'm not sure of the details.. certainly after you've past Aviemore and been to the Highland Wildlife Centre cross over to Glen Feshie and cycle to the head of the Glen. there is then a rack over the hill to Blair Atholl (great castle) <BR> <BR>See the Pass of killiecrankie and the Soldier's Leap. <BR> <BR>Salmon ladder (wrong time of year, but)at pitlochry. <BR> <BR>Come down the west side of the tay as far as Inver then come into dunkeld and see the little houses and the Cathedral. <BR> <BR>Follow the road along the river to Perth (take in Scone Palace, where the Scottish kings were crownedthen follow the old road to Edinburgh passing Loch lven wher Mary Queen of Scots got locked up and escaped from, the Vane Farm Nature Reserve on the other side of the loch, and eventually crossing the river in the shadow of the great Forth rail Bridge. <BR> <BR>see other postings on Edinburgh itself. <BR> <BR>Have a good time! <BR>

topper Jul 8th, 1999 05:26 AM


Chris Jul 8th, 1999 12:31 PM

In response to Sheila's earlier report a few factors that a cyclist would want to bear in mind. Your itinerary is quite extensive. How many miles/km are you good for and what are you carrying/riding. The west is wetter than the east, but moe spectacular in scenic terms. The very crown jewels are slightly higher than you are intending at Torridon, Glen Affric and Skye for instance, but nevertheless there is a whole load of scenery out there. <BR> There is a cycle route being worked on from Dumfries through the Doon Valley and via Kilmarnock to Glasgow, but if you are a roadie there are planty of quiet rural roads until you reach Glasgow that should keep you happy. That said, the SW is a little dull by comparison the the wilds to come and my personal recommendation wold be to get the new service to Troon on the Ayrshire coast, do a 56 mile lap of Arran (island in the Firth of Clyde - ferry from Adrossan)then return the next day to the mainland and take the Kilwinning to Glasgow Cycle path.There is also a service being developed between Northern Ireland adn Kintyre which would be a top intro to Belle Ecosse. <BR>Despite all of us east coasters telling you different Glasgow is its very own place, Victorian grandeur, city of culture and booming cafe society. Nevertheless I always take my wife as native guide. <BR> The West Highland Way is not all suited to bikes and you may reach much wetness at some times of year. I'd take the cycle path to Balloch then brave the crossing to Garelochhead from Luss then via Arrochar northwards.Check brakes. <BR> Not a lot of roads in this part of the world so can be narrow and busy, by Scottish standards at least. Also make sure that you always go faster than the highland midge. <BR> From Fort William eastwards through Laggan is a good way home.If you are still up for it by then visiting Aberfeldy and the Sma' Glen are also far better than the A9, the interstate through the spine of Scotland. <BR>Dont forget your leggings whatever the time of year, though I came over tonight in 26 degrees C. <BR>If you want technical back up on the pubs and clubs of Edinburgh and Newcastle please let me know. Saturday night in the Bigg Market, a 120 mile dash across the Cheviots and a Sunday night in the Bigg Market would be my idea of a real triathlon. Enjoy.

Jake Jul 9th, 1999 12:17 PM

The plan I have (so far) is to not go more than 30-40 miles per day. Thank you for the ideas.

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