ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

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ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by Bryn » Mon May 22, 2017 12:30 pm

Following on from last issue's ride of the West Highlands, this instalment of Discover Britain takes us further up Scotland's west coast and all the way to Tongue, just past Durness. Since riding this two-day route, I find myself sitting in the office day after day, dreaming about the times spent exploring the remote valleys and wild coastlines of Scotland.

Our two-day tour begins where we left off last time, in the outdoors capital of the UK, Fort William. For those arriving from the south, the ride from Glasgow is a beauty as you skirt Loch Lomond before cutting through the incredible Glen Coe. It’s best to stay the night in Fort William in preparation of your assault on north west Scotland, and so we found ourselves spending the night in the Alexandra Hotel. After a hearty buffet breakfast, we set off, heading for Loch Ness. Admittedly, this first section of the ride can be frustrating as the A82 is riddled with traffic, most of it slow moving, but it’s still nice to take in the views, particularly of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which rises mightily on the right-hand side of the road.
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As you turn left from Garve, you enter a stunning and wild valley, flanked on both sides by gently rising mountains. The road is in excellent condition, and on the Monday that we did it we enjoyed the tarmac almost to ourselves. This section of the A832 is a great warm up for the epic mountain pass that awaits, Bealach na Ba, the Pass of the Cattle. As you approach, it’s well worth filling up in Lochcarron, where you can also get a bite to eat and a seriously indulgent cake at the Waterside Café, where Kate and Geoff will look after you.

The road to Bealach na Ba is littered with reminders of how extreme the weather in Scotland can become, with signs warning of treacherous conditions in the snow, and telling certain vehicles to turn back or risk getting stranded. The pass is also exposed to the full force of winds that sweep across the peninsula, so consult local knowledge if the weather's not looking great on your arrival.

After riding one of the UK's most famous mountain roads you'll find yourself deposited in the small village of Applecross. The riding from here is simply magnificent as you follow the road that hugs the coast. I've run out of superlatives to describe the coastal road north of Applecross, and so will you when you ride it. Day one finishes in the Torridon Hotel, a superb accommodation in which you'll find a bar with over 350 whiskies, the perfect way to relax after an epic day of riding.
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Day two kicks off with a bang as you begin to explore the deserted roads north of Torridon, before eventually reaching Ullapool. Grab yourself some lunch here because you'll find it impossible to prise yourself from the saddle once you begin riding the roads to the north. I found it hard to believe that scenery like this existed in the UK, and as we rolled into the Tongue Hotel to conclude the trip, all I wanted to do was turn back and ride it again.

If you'd like to ride this route, we've plotted it out so that you can download it and stick it in your SatNav. Simply right click on the attachments below called 'Scotland Day 1.gpx' and 'Scotland Day 2.gpx' and choose 'Save Link As', once you've saved it to your computer load it into your SatNav as per the manufacturers instructions and get riding!

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ScotlandDay2.gpx
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ScotlandDay2.JPG
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BartBSS
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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by BartBSS » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:46 pm

Hi Bryn,

I'm going to Scotland on Tuesday and would like to follow your route but can't see the attachement... any chance you could send it to me?

Thanks

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by Treadtrader » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:59 pm

BartBSS wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:46 pm
Hi Bryn,

I'm going to Scotland on Tuesday and would like to follow your route but can't see the attachement... any chance you could send it to me?

Thanks
It seems the GPX files haven't transferred to the new forum, the ABR team will be on to it soon.
Contact email dave@adventurebikerider.com or pm.

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by Bryn » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:36 am

BartBSS wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:46 pm
Hi Bryn,

I'm going to Scotland on Tuesday and would like to follow your route but can't see the attachement... any chance you could send it to me?

Thanks
Routes have been reuploaded to the OP. Have a great ride!

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by BartBSS » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:43 am

amazing!

thanks guys

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by Tatty » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:43 pm

Hi Bryn - just planning this route for myself! How long did it actually take you to ride the two legs in reality. First the Fort William to Torridon leg, and then the Torridon to Tongue leg? Basecamp and Google maps are coming up with very different timings for me! Cheers

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by Bryn » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:27 pm

Tatty wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:43 pm
Hi Bryn - just planning this route for myself! How long did it actually take you to ride the two legs in reality. First the Fort William to Torridon leg, and then the Torridon to Tongue leg? Basecamp and Google maps are coming up with very different timings for me! Cheers
Hi Tatty. Good stuff, you'll love it! Not including getting up to Fort William and back from Tongue, it was two days of riding at a fairly leisurely pace. If you're going to be doing it in the winter when the days are super short, to make sure you can actually see the incredible areas you're riding through, I'd probably allow three days, four if you fancy venturing off-route to explore a bit.

For me, living in Stratford upon Avon, it was a day up to Fort William as well, and then I managed to do Tongue back to Stratford in a day also, which was a bloody long ride!

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Re: ABR Issue 40 Route Files: Discover Britain, North West Scotland Weekender

Post by Sanqhar » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:46 am

Back in the nineties we did many of the roads that come up here. My main memory is the road from Durness down to Ullapool, stunning.

My other memory is when travelling in spring beware of lambs. They run to their mothers who are often on the other side of the road, we had a couple of near misses.

Tom
... and today was a good day in the life of...

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