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View Full Version : It's May, so it's Scotland



Dave B
21-05-2019, 09:00 AM
We went to Scotland over these last 6 days. 4 of us. On bikes. We rode just shy of 2000 miles. It was great, as Scotland always is.

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The ride up was different for us, we went NW across Dumfries and Galloway and caught the Gourock to Dunoon ferry, then rode North (Via Coop for food and beer) on quiet roads to our first digs, 2 nights at the Corran bunkhouse near Fort William.

Free ferry across to the pub…

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Thursday, caught the Corran ferry and rode SW toward the Isle of Mull. Short hop ferry to the Eastern side of Mull and then a lap of the Island before departing from Tobermory to the Ardnamurchan peninsular on the mainland. The ferry was due to leave, I got on and the lad on deck duty asked if I was alone, ‘No, with 3 others’ I half expected to have to wait for them on the other side but he radioed the Captain and they waited a few minutes and all was well. Great service with Calmac. Back to the bunkhouse (via a Coop for food and beer)

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You seldom see Ben Nevis so clear…

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Friday, up early and rode North out of Fort William for about 60 miles until the left turn to catch the Glenelg Ferry. The ferry gets you across the Skye (yeah, yeah, there’s a free bridge) via the Kyle Rhea, a narrow and very fast moving body of water separating the mainland with the Isle of Skye (I’ve sailed through it a few times and you can only go when the tide is right….a 4 knot boat won’t make headway against an 8 knot tide) The ferry is the old Ballachulish turntable ferry and takes 6 cars. http://www.glenelgscotland.com/skye-ferry.htm Well worth the detour.

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Quick lap of Skye (with a Coop stop for food and beer)

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Up and over the Bealach na Baa to Applecross

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Dave B
21-05-2019, 09:00 AM
Applecross

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Then via Gairloch and Poolewe to the hamlet of Cove where our airbnb was.

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Cove has an interesting history and a memorial to the brave men of the Arctic Convoys. https://www.scotlandinfo.eu/wartime-loch-ewe-and-shipwreck-incident/

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View from House

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Saturday was a big loop North on part of the NC500 via Ullapool and Durness before getting off it on a singletrack road (we saw 2 cars in over 20 miles) to Altnaharra and then Lairg. (Tea and tiffin at the wonderful Pier cafe) Up and over the Struie Pass in a shower of rain and then the A9 thru Inverness to Aviemore. (via Morrisons for food and beer)

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Sunday was a series of loops around the Cairngorms. 220 miles of quiet amazing roads.

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The Royal dining room at the nicely restored Ballater Station, now a cafe and visitor centre.

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You have to, obviously…

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Monday, the long slog home, avoiding where possible - motorways. (we did about 30 miles on the M90) Bloody horrible things on a bike.

No bike issues. No people issues. Lots of belly laughs and quality bloke time, being abusive to each other, leaving the bog seat up and the odd childish prank.
Showery ride home but as God is a Yorkshireman, the sun shone on us for our return.

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Still toying with getting up North to drive the roads ? Just do it, It takes little advanced planning. Yes, it’s a long way from the South but do-able in a day and a half. Accommodation is plentiful and varied from £20 bunkhouses upwards. Petrol isn’t that much more than in England. It really isn’t that busy. We got stuck behind a convoy of about 12 German plated vehicles (100 were involved apparently) for a few miles...so we pulled over and had a 5 minute break then set off again. No big deal.

I firmly believe the best way to discover Scotland is on 2 wheels, you can keep up a decent average without the need for insane speeds (unmarked Police cars and bikes up here due to bell-ends doing triple figures too frequently) so get yer bike tests passed.

Chris D
21-05-2019, 09:21 AM
Wow, lovely scenery. Great weather too.

I love Scotland. It's a massively underestimated destination for weekend breaks etc. The roads are just fantastic. It just takes an age to get there! When we lived there our drive home to visit family etc took just as long as when we lived in Germany.

-Jamie-
21-05-2019, 09:30 AM
Very, very strong possibility that you lot passed me or we passed you on Friday/Sat. Headed from Skye to Lochinver via Applecross on the Fri then up to Durness on Saturday

Dave B
21-05-2019, 09:34 AM
Very, very strong possibility that you lot passed me or we passed you on Friday/Sat. Headed from Skye to Lochinver via Applecross on the Fri then up to Durness on Saturday

:shock: YOU DID NOT PASS US, we are the most fastest bestest riders there are.....


What were you in Jamie?
Applecross was probably about 4pm on the Friday, We got to Durness at about noon on Saturday.

-Jamie-
21-05-2019, 09:36 AM
Nothing spectacular im afraid just the daily MK1 Focus :lol:, but time does sound very simialr to us for Applecross anyway

Dave B
21-05-2019, 09:44 AM
Don't recall it, I did see a nice Mk1 RS Focus in and amongst

-Jamie-
21-05-2019, 09:52 AM
Yeah I passed that on the way down into Applecross, you probably won't recall mine, just an inconspicuous silver poverty focus. Although it's ideal for a lot of the roads up there as you can just smash it along without a care :lol:

Dave B
21-05-2019, 10:14 AM
I do wonder how some of the flash cars manage on the single track stuff...probably avoid them....and jeez...how bad are all the johnny foreigners in their 19 plate hire cars. We watched an oriental lady try to reverse 40 yards in pretty much a straight line, full lock one, full lock the other...bang...straight back into a large rock. Staggering incompetence

Simon
21-05-2019, 10:23 AM
This report was sponsored buy Co-op with minor thanks to Morrison’s :lol:

Nice trip Dave, thanks for posting. Used to get dragged up to Scotland every year as a kid & loved it. Not been back for ages, definitely on the list to do in the Boxster :thumb:

Jim Cameron
21-05-2019, 12:19 PM
Looks ace.

findlay
21-05-2019, 12:41 PM
Fab roads. Driven most of that in the past, been on the ferry (MX5 very nearly didn't get on as it was too low). Only disappointed that you didn't tell me you were going to be about. I'll just assume I dodged a bullet :lol:
And I really want an Africa Twin. :shame:

orsonbuggy
21-05-2019, 12:59 PM
What a crackin' write up of a long weekend :thumb:

Screacher
21-05-2019, 06:10 PM
Thanks Dave - looked great. Spent a lot of my teenage hols up there with Mam & Dad and its on my bucket list to return. Just got to convince the Oh that it's not full of Scots. Your report has given me an idea...... :whistle:

Tim in Yorkshire
21-05-2019, 08:00 PM
Great report. I need to get Ingrid on the back of a bike... and sell the dog!

Uncle Benz
21-05-2019, 08:47 PM
Lovely report! A year since I was there. Looks like you had the weather too! I've been thinking about that trip a lot recently. Must revisit!

Fitz711
22-05-2019, 07:28 AM
that it's not full of Scots. Your report has given me an idea...... :whistle:

Don’t bother-there’s not much up there for you Tynesiders to rob anyway.

It’s bonny & it’s getting busy though. Just been & done some of it.