Touring Scotland

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  • Question about the Lochs and Glens Way mentioned above, would it make much difference if you travelled north > south versus south > north?

  • Okay, plans slowly progressing with ticket to Inverness booked. Looking at three different options to get to Glasgow

    Caledonia Way albeit leaving the route at Portavadie
    Lochs and Glens Way
    Starting with the Caledonia Way then diverting on the Great North Trail
    Figure the latter option could be hard work on gravel bike

  • could use sections of this?

    https://ridewithgps.com/trips/34219321

  • What about the Badger Divide?

    When are you going?

  • have you done this? anyone done this?

  • done the first section to glasgow, two of my pals rode the whole thing - can put you in touch if you have any questions

  • I did the first section to glasgow - it's class if you get the weather. I was supposed to do the rest but I gubbed my shoulder on the first few days

  • Booked my train to Inverness for the end of May and currently planning a 2 weeks route linking parts of the following:

    HT550
    NC500
    Badger Divide
    Two City Divide

    And currently adding some bits around the Lake District and thinking whether including a loop in Cairngorms or not, also need to check the routes @hollow__legs recently rode.

    Any input is mega welcome!

    The route link - WIP - is here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35789379

  • Nice!

    Be careful with parts of the HT550 as it gets real radical even for a mountain bike and there’s some large sections of hike-a-bike. I’ve not done it so not sure exactly where that is I’m afraid.

    If you’re going to Corrour Station for lunch/ dinner (which I highly recommend) then it’s best to book. Last time I did the Badger Divide it was fully booked out with walkers and the kitchen would only offer me chips. And that was mid-week!

    To be honest, the section of your route from Kinloch Laggan to Killin takes in pretty much everything amazing in that area so I wouldn’t bother adding anything from the routes we did (the friend I was riding with created the Badger Divide).

  • Oft. Inverness to Glasgow think you've nailed that route, a few sections of fast touristy roads but unavoidable really. Some of the offroad sections you've got there in sutherland and South are hard work, like 10 miles might be a 4 to 5 hours job, lots of carrying and super rough bit really rideable terrain. But a lot is totally fine just farm tracks with a bit of course Gravel.

    Glasgow South to Hexham area, you've got some pretty boring areas to traverse, not really a lot around there, could go way deeper se into dumfries and Galloway forests, quite a few very long sections of forest roads (super low use), but does add quite a bit of distance to get down to them. Then from actual town of dumfries east there's near 50 miles of flat nothing until you get into the nicer bit again (borders hills).

  • Thanks both! Would you be able to pinpoint the gnarliest sections of the HT550? 4/5h for 10miles doesn't sound crazy, until you're there.

    @BrickMan I will look into Dumfries and Galloway forests, but will probably skip reaching out there, I still want to add some fun stuff around the Lakes at the end of the route.

  • I did inverness > manchester last year, it's class. I did get caught out for food, the glen cafe @st marys was closed on a Tuesday, had a slog to kielder without food which was abit annoying as the route was really good.

    Corrour station - I didn't book a table and maybe just got lucky. If doing it again I wouldn't risk it though as the food is great.

    Would like to do similar ht550 / nc500 mash up this year, looking forward to reviews!

  • seriously, don't sleep on the galloway forest area - beautiful BEAUTIFUL riding round there. unfairly slept on part of the country imo


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  • hey gio,

    rode ht550 last year. it's very challenging in every regard. as a rule of thumb if it's on that route and offroad, it will be impassable or horrible if you're not on a MTB.
    e.g. the section from ullapool to poolewe through fisherfield - coffin road, shenavall etc - scary even for experienced riders on very capable bikes. the exposure on the -25% grade permanently wet rock descent into carnmore is lethal if you put a foot down in the wrong place. it might not look like much on the map, but...

    nc500 is quite touristy, lots of cars and motorbikes being ragged too fast, I avoided for those reasons.
    cairngorms loop is also best avoided if not riding a MTB.
    the two divides are great routes and probably very suitable for a trip like this.

  • rode ht550 last year. it's very challenging in every regard. as a rule of thumb if it's on that route and offroad, it will be impassable or horrible if you're not on a MTB.

    e.g. the section from ullapool to poolewe through fisherfield - coffin road, shenavall etc - scary even for experienced riders on very capable bikes. the exposure on the -25% grade permanently wet rock descent into carnmore is lethal if you put a foot down in the wrong place. it might not look like much on the map, but...

    Noted, thanks for the input.

    I am happy to follow the NC500 for that branch of the route as I heard the West side is the prettiest one. What about the bit going north from Inverness, the first 250km of the route? Would that be as bad? I assumed becase it was on the GB divide it would not be "impassable", albeit I am prepared for a good amount of hike a bike.

    Re NC500 being busy, if you rule out the HT550, there are not many other options to go round the West side of the Highlands, are there? :)

    the two divides are great routes and probably very suitable for a trip like this.

    Have you done the 2 city divide?

  • Strong case there, particularly interested in that last photo. Do you have any routes?

  • I did inverness > manchester last year, it's class.

    Did you follow the 2 city divide or another route?

  • I did inverness > manchester last year, it's class

    Yes! I would like to know what you think if you did the two divides - I am thinking about doing this real slow this year.

  • What about the bit going north from Inverness

    This is the most busy part of it as there is only one road all the way to John o groats. I always suggest people take the Tongue -Lairg- Alness route from the top as its quiet and nice cycling

  • Yeah badger then second city.
    3 days for badger and 5 for second city.

    Badger is by far the best as the route is all off road just about and the scenery is smashing. Second city is still great but has a few road sections but I quite enjoyed them for abit of variety and gets you to the good stuff that bit quicker.

    Outdoor provisions guys did a write up of it with some nice pics. I'm on the arkhorse. They put the 2nd city route together.

    https://www.outdoorprovisions.co.uk/ramb­lings/the-badger-divide

  • Sorry, I was referring to the bit of my route, rather than of the NC500. Namely speaking, the section from km200 to km400 of the HT550 below (from Inverness to Achfary):

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35712394?­highlight=2983-4185
    ?highlight=2983-4185

  • You could maybe do the an turas mor route from Inverness to Cape wrath. Nc500 down west coast and at some point schlep back over to Inverness from Applecross to fort Augustus then start the badger.

  • turas mor route from Inverness to Cape wrath

    That is in great part the same as the branch of the HT550 I was referring to above.

  • From an turas mor page"A non technical ride through the very wild heart of the Highlands"

    https://www.anturasmor.co.uk/

    Should be fine. I enjoyed this ride report which mad me want to give it a go.

    https://www.weirdosonbikes.com/2020/09/0­3/an-turas-mor-2020/

  • near oykel bridge, the doubletrack is fairly easy riding. don't miss the schoolhouse bothy.
    the northernmost 40k, def avoid unless you have a real love for hike-a-bike.
    glenddhu bothy, worth a ride over the incredibly steep hill north of it.
    kylesku to lochinver - beautiful, quiet. i'd then continue south to badnagyle and follow the roads into ullapool. great hostel there.

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Touring Scotland

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