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Discussion in 'Europe' started by Yodagoat, Jan 23, 2016.
That's Lybster harbour in Caithness.
There's a ride report from a short, 4 day trip taking in the Isle of Mull and the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Stunning places to visit
I am from Newfoundland, Canada. Purchased an 06' GS in a Cork Ireland. I leave there mid-June and plan to travel north around Scotland and back to Cork. I have about 3 weeks. I plan to tent when possible. Your ride reports look great. Any suggestions on routes would be appreciated. I am travelling solo.
Take the west coast of Ireland all the way up, come down through Donegal into Northern Ireland to the Larne-Stranraer ferry. Get off in Scotland and Mike can take it from there. All the roads outside the cities are brilliant.
I am riding the Highlands in May, and I am trying to figure out gas/petrol station locations. Here a visual of my (tentative) itinerary. The one thing left out is my plans to actually see more of Skye than what is shown on the route. I am leaving and returning from Edinburgh (I have a friend there that can help act as a home base). Dates are May 21 - 27. I'll be staying pretty much entirely in hostels.
At this point, I'm mostly concerned with ensuring that I don't run out of fuel, and that I make the necessary stops to get food to prepare at the hostels. I found this site, which seems to have a pretty good list of petrol stations, but it may be out of date. Thoughts?
Not Mike, but I live in the Highlands so I hope he won't mind me butting in... The website is a pretty fair picture of the petrol situation up here although a little out of date perhaps- the Dundonnell Hotel doesn't do fuel any more for example, but it is available at Laide just up the road. It seems that self service 24 hour credit card operated pumps are becoming popular- there is one at Applecross (not shown on the map) and I think Scourie and Durness are the same. I would say if anything there are more filling stations than shown on the map.
It's highly unlikely that any bike with a normal range (ie 150-200 miles) would have difficulty with fuel.
Thanks Three Dawg,
This is very helpful. I just heard that it is a sort of colloquial joke that people in the Highlands make about foreigners running out of fuel. I just want to make sure that I am not the joke of the month. Self-service credit card pumps would be fantastic. I have ridden the Icelandic Westfjords, and my visualization of the situation in the Scottish Highlands comes from that, but it seems that the Highlands are quite a bit more populated and serviced.
Do you have any other suggestions re: my route? I am thinking twice about going up near Dingwall, and thought maybe heading west sooner over to Torridon would be better riding. Any thoughts?
And if you're looking to go for a ride between May 21 and 27, please let me know!
Well certainly Kyle of Lochalsh-Lochcarron-Applecross-Shieldaig-Kinlochewe is a fantastic run, and if you have time I'd turn west and go down Loch Maree to Gairloch on the 'Wester Ross Coastal Trail' The scenery is sublime- mountains on one side, beautiful near deserted beaches on the other and some spanking roads to boot. You could still do that in a day from Applecross and make it to Fort William in good time. When I'm down there I like to stay outside the town at the Clachaig Inn near Glencoe village. It's a very popular pub with walkers in a lovely spot, their Boots Bar has an excellent selection of ales and decent food.
Ah, just realised you're going anti clockwise. Yeah, I'd still do it; on the bike by 9.00am Clachaig Inn- Loch Ness-Beauly-Braemore Junction-Gairloch-Kinlochewe-Torridon-Shieldaig then Applecross via the coast road so you can enjoy the view coming down Bealach na Ba the following morning. Maybe a spot of lunch at the Old Inn in Charlestown just south of Gairloch, or the Badachro Inn a few miles further on which has a lovely deck looking out over a cove.
Always looking for a ride out, but as I'm in the tourism business I have to grab time when I can in the summer.
PS when you come over from Skye on the ferry, make sure you pick up the old road signposted 'The Silver Sands of Morar' on a decent day it's so beautiful.
Thank you for those gorgeous photos and your suggestions. I'm planning a 4 day trip up to the Isle of Skye shortly and had a couple of questions. I looked up a few bike friendly hostels and many are booked for months. Can you recommend any good camp sites where I can just pitch a tent? I need maximum flexibility as I'm not sure when I can get those days off. In the U.S. (I'm an American stationed in the UK) there are many public and federal areas where we can just "stealth camp" and move along before anyone notices. But as part of U.S. visiting forces I definitely don't want to offend our English and Scottish hosts.
You can free camp in Scotland pretty much anywhere you like, BUT just bear in mind that camping in front of someone's cottage will not make you very popular, no matter what the legal situation!
Now that there is 24 hour fuel in Scourie there isn't as much of an issue with running out of fuel.
My favourite route would take in Applecross, Gairloch then round to Achiltibuie and north to Durness via Lochinver and Drumbeg.
Pretty much the NC500 but with Achiltibuie/Lochinver/Drumbeg added in.
Wolfcomm. Applecross campsite is a cracker. You can get great local seafood in the pub. on skye the Campsite at Dunvegan is good.
There isn't as much of an issue with fuel thses days. There is 24 hour fuel at Scourie (card payment). As long as you fill up before 5 or 6 oclock elsewhere you should be fine.
three weeks is loads of time. Could you afford a ferry to an Island? there's loads to see on Orkney and a great campsite at Stromness. Other must visit places for me is Applecross, Achiltibuie (campsite at Altandhu), Durness, John O Groats, Balloch O Dee (near Newton Stewart) is nice.
the Red Squirrel campsite is just along from the Clachaig Inn that Threedawg posted about. I'd only recommend staying there mid week though as it can fill with arseholes at the weekend.
Just booked a night away in a pod at Applecross campsite next month. Very rare thing for me to be able to do in the summer. Right looking forward to it, reckon I'll go over to Skye to catch the Mallaig ferry on the way back, always a good run through Glenfinnan.
Ktompkins, have a look at this post for some pics of the places mentioned.
We're heading up to Orkney in a couple of weeks. If you see the Massif on the road give us a shout. I'm sure folk could tag along with us if they want.
The wigwam pod things are great eh? Skye Forest Gardens has one to rent out. It's got a cracker of a view.
Aye, well they seem a good compromise between camping and a proper room. Buggered if I'm paying the Inn's prices, nice though the view is.
Just read the Sloppy Seconds blog- will have to get out to that abandoned village at Slaggan Bay, never knew it was there.