Return of the Vikings – 3 weeks raid around the UK.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Don T, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    This would be our (my girlfriend Katrine and I) 3rd visit to the UK on 2 wheels. The first time was back in 2007 and then again in 2013. Both times we were blown away by the beautiful scenery, great riding and the hospitality we encountered all around the kingdom.

    The plan for this year’s trip was to focus on Scotland and to explore some of the green lanes and trails England has to offer. In regard to the later, I had put in an effort to locate tracks suitable for the obese pigs we were riding – Katrine an 800 GS and I a Super Ténéré.


    Warning – the following RR may contain pictures that will make you want to visit the UK!
    #1
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  2. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    We set out at high noon the 16th of June.

    The first destination was Amsterdam, as we had booked tickets for the ferry to Newcastle. We had 2 days to get there, this allowed us to mostly stay off the highway and take a more scenic route. At the end of the first day we arrived in Oiden/Germany, where we stayed at a small cozy hotel. After dinner we took a stroll around town before heading off to bed.

    At the ferry port in Rødby - a short ride from our house:
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    Romantic dinner in Oiden:
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    The bikes safely parked behind the hotel:
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    #2
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  3. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Well rested (and fed) we got back on the bikes the following morning. Before noon we crossed the border to Holland and a few hours later we arrived at the docks in Amsterdam 1½ hour prior to departure. After showing our tickets we rode directly aboard the ferry and strapped down the bikes. We spend the evening reading, talking and looking at maps before retiring to our cabin. The weather was calm and we got a good night’s sleep.

    Northwestern Holland at one of the dikes that keeps the ocean from flooding big parts of the country:
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    A very persistent pigeon wanted to taste my lunch at Mcdonalds:
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    The bikes strapped down on the ferry:
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    People having fun at the beach, as we sail out of the harbor:
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    Leaving mainland Europe behind:
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  4. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    You’re going to love the west coast of Scotland. Have a great trip!
    #4
  5. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    We did. Got back home 4 weeks ago :-)
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  6. Leegaard

    Leegaard Adventurer

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    Looking forward to read about your trip :eyes.

    Håber i havde en fed tur :-)

    Hilsen Henrik
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  7. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    In the morning the British coast was in sight at port. We just had time for breakfast before arriving in Newcastle. The disembarkment/border control procedure was a bit of a hassle and took a while, but it was still early in the day, when we finally were let loose.

    It required some attention at first to ride on the left side of the road, but as on previous visits it soon became second nature.

    From Newcastle we headed north through the charming countryside. As Katrine is a Harry Potter fan, we stopped by Alnwick Castle, where some of the scenes from the movies are shot. Early in the afternoon we arrived in Edinburgh. I had booked a B&B near the center. Mr. Zümo got a bit confused as we entered the city, resulting in some “creative” riding to get to where we wanted to go.

    We spend the rest of the day exploring the charming city on foot.
    When we got back to the B&B Katrine was off to bed. I stayed up another couple of hours to catch up on the weekends MotoGP races.

    Unstrapping the bikes prior to arrival in Newcastle:
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    Lining up at the dock for passport control:
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    Parked in front of Alnwick Castle:
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    Walking around the castle:
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    Scotland here we come:
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    A room with a view in Edinburgh:
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    All the following pictures is from our walk through the city.

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    The Castle:
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    Dean Village:
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    (yes we are still in Edinburgh)
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    A UK specialty - plumbing on the outside of the buildings:
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    New Town seemed to be an expensive neighborhood - residential parking only:
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    Tasty dinner at Byron's:
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    Edinburgh has a bad reputation for bike theft, so the owner of the B&B we stayed at had made a wall anchor and supplied the chain.:
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    #7
  8. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    We started the day with our first (of many) full English breakfast of the trip. Stuffed like foie gras geese we got back in the saddles and wound our way out of the city.
    We did a detour to marvel at the Falkirk Wheel and a short ride from there at The Kelpies – both part of the Forth and Clyde Canal. From there we continued north on scenic roads. We stopped for lunch at a Tea Room in a small village.
    Late in the afternoon we arrived at Ian and Carol’s place just north of Inverness. I had got in contact with Ian through his offer in The Tent Space Thread. In the evening Ian and I spend some time poring over maps of Scotland. He know the Highlands like the back of his hands, so I was paying close attention - making notes for places to see and roads to ride.

    The Falkirk Wheel - an engineering masterpiece:
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    - in action:
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    The Kelpies were very impressive:
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    Men working is indeed dangerous :lol3
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    Time for lunch:
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    Entering the Highland:
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    The bikes tucked away for the night in Ian's "small bike" garage (I'll show you pictures of his "big bike" garage later). Note the Honda XL 250 hiding behind my bike - Ian picked it up back in the 80's, and it's still going strong. They have shared many adventures together.
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  9. Folly1

    Folly1 Been here awhile

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    Great job with RR. Thanks for making the effort.

    b
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  10. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thanks for sharing another gorgeous ride! Great pics! :thumb
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  11. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    :lurk
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  12. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Thank you for the feedback guys - it's nice with confirmation that someone actually read the RR - and seems to enjoy it :-)

    Stay tuned - there is much more to come...
    #12
  13. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices

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    :thumb Nice!
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  14. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    It had been pouring down all night. We enjoyed breakfast with Ian and Carol before they left for work. During that time the rain had seized and the sun broken through the clouds. It was still early in the morning when we hit the road. Later in the morning we passed by Crask Inn. According to Ian Scotland’s most isolated inn – I believe him.
    The theme of the day was great riding on amazing roads. We stopped for lunch at Cocoa Mountain in Durness - the northernmost point of our journey. From there we more or less follow the west coast. The highlight of the day was a single track road connecting Unapool, Drumbeg, Clashnessie and Lochinver.
    We had a few showers during the day, but all in all the weather was really nice.
    In the evening we arrived in Ullapool where we spend the night at a small motel.

    Katrine with our hosts in the morning:
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    A peek in the "big bike" garage:
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    Something interesting hiding in the corner:
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    Heading north along the east coast:
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    In the middle of nowhere:
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    First glimpse of the north coast:
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    Fantastic roads:
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    - that just got better and better:
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    Katrine is having a good time:
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    Posing:
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    In the evening we took a stroll around Ullapool:
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    #14
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  15. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    Your pictures bring back such good memories, I loved those 1 lane roads and Ullapool.
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  16. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Yet again it had been raining all night and the clouds were still leaking when we left Ullapool in the morning. After about half an hour the sky cleared and the sun accompanied us for the rest of the day. Around noon we reached Applecross. We had lunch at the pub before climbing Bealach na Bà. During the afternoon we stopped at Eilean Donan Castle and Scottish Commando Memorial.
    After another long day packed with great riding and amazing views we arrived at a B&B just outside of Fort Williams. It was a 3 km walk to the nearest restaurant to get dinner - a good opportunity to stretch our legs and build up an appetite. Back at the B&B later in the evening, we chatted with a German couple. The woman was a Harry Potter fan like Katrine, and we got some input for the following day.

    Getting ready in the morning:
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    Pictures from the mornings ride:
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    Sweet lunch at the pub in Appelcross:
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    A view from Bealach na Bà:
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    Eilean Donan Castle - with good reason the most photographed castle in Scotland:
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    Scottish Commando Memorial:
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    At the B&B near Fort Williams - with a view to Ben Nevis:
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    Walking back from dinner in the evening:
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  17. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene

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    Wonderful RR! 'Been looking forward to this one!
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  18. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    You’re so lucky, Bealach na Ba was completely socked in when I went.
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  19. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Welcome aboard my friend :wave
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  20. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    The weather was amazing during the trip. It was almost too good - more about that later...
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