The start of this (which I did this summer) https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31552965?
gives you a pretty good road/'gravel' loop of Arran covering best part of the island. But it'd be pretty hard to take more than a day over it.
Personally I'd do that loop of Arran, get ferry across from Lochranza, then cycle to Tarbert (bit rougher offroad but road option too), ferry over to Portavadie from Tarbert, then various nice options for touring round that peninusla (some amazing camping spots at Southern end), then maybe back via Isle of Bute via Rhubodach ferry and on to mainland from there.
But depends where you want to start/finish/how far you want to ride, etc.
Highly reccommend that whole area for cycling though. Much more accessible than further North in Scotland, but still with great scenery.
That's really helpful and more comprehensive than I expected, cheers. I think I'll try a road loop. Like the idea of doing it in a day on unloaded bike and getting a return ferry. The ferry said something like £8 which seemed suspiciously cheap! Maybe it's right.
Badger mirrors a lot of An Turas Mor route and Great North Bike Trail. @platypus and @hippy may help?
That sounds right for ferry - Calmac fares are capped at something reasonable as they're a lifeline for the islands. Plus taking bikes on generally very easy.
Could easily go into more detail - it's one of my favourite areas to cycle. There's a cycle cafe half way round Arran + lots of other good food options. If you detour down to Blackwaterfoot there's an amazing bakery (check it's open). Unloaded bike would be fun. Though there are also a load of great camping spots and it might be more pleasant to camp on Arran, leave your stuff and come back in the evening.
Alternately for a day ride there's the 5 ferry loop, which I haven't done, but would imagine is great based on having ridden lots of it https://www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk/2020/06/five-ferries-cycle-tour-on-scotlands-west-coast-islands.html
From about here in the thread: https://www.lfgss.com/comments/16218751/
We met a guy on the train on the way back who'd just done https://www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk/2020/06/five-ferries-cycle-tour-on-scotlands-west-coast-islands.html so I took note of it for later. He'd cycled across Africa and wrote a blog about it which I read later.
Here it is: https://barrettsafricansafari.blogspot.com/
Only got as far as Helensburgh this time. Would like to do west coast of Scotland next time/year and so I'll add Arran in to that. How you described it has sold it, and I know a bit more about the ability to get there now cheers :)
Getting ready for the Caledonian Way this weekend. Just need to change the chainset to a triple and then I’m all set! Defo aiming for touring pace and going to take it easy, prioritising breaks for whisky and photos over super high mileage days
If anyone here has done it I’d love to hear some tips for camping spots
Are you wild camping or using camp sites? Finishing in Inverness?
Finishing in Inverness. Ideally looking to wild camp as much as possible but might try and find a campsite halfway to freshen up
Balachulish quarry was class. Right next to the coop for handy cans/scran/public toilet. Very atmospheric.
Camped literally next to the view point at the end of loch Ness in Fort Augustus. Tucked round the side to the left is a little clearing on a stony beach.
Definitely stop at the fish food shack by Oban ferry terminal.
throw up a ride report please - I would be keen to read!
Oh amazing! This is exactly what I want to see. Have you done the whole route?
@Thrasher definitely will!
Pretty much the whole route, we changed a few bits I think, mainly the start as we wanted to get Ferry to Rothesay for convenience and joined route up at Tarbet.
Have a look at the ferry times for the Corran / Fort William section. It was a lovely day when we went and don't regret it all as the riding was lovely. We just chilled by the ferry pick up point as had to wait for a while (90mins or so). You can just add an extra road section on around Loch Eil if you're in a rush. Alternatively skip the ferries and just take the road to Fort William it but it looked like a busy road for cycling and unsure if there is a decent path along that bit.
Depending on the weather you may or may not want to move to Scotland. Fair warning.
Made it to Inverness! Will post a more detailed report soon but overall it’s been an amazing ride. It’s my first tour (and solo) and I’ve been very happy with the route. The monster climb up General Wade’s military road out of Fort Augustus was worth it for the endless descent towards a double rainbow, and was easily the best days riding I’ve ever had
nice, well done.
A few pics from my Badgers Divide trip this week: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ecjjmt1M5zzUP2jb6
I got very lucky with the weather as apart from the final 20 miles on day 1 it was really good. I did it on a gravel bike and it was fine but given the ratio of technical / rocky bits to road I think MTB would be the best bike for it. There were also a few bits of the route I'd change if / when I do it again.
Splendid and tremendous. Great time of year for it if it's no pissing down right enough.
How many days?
I did it South to North in 3 days. Weather was grim tail-end of day 1 but really good Tuesday and Wednesday.
I didn't see a single other cyclist or walker on the trails the entirity of days 2 and 3, it was gloriously empty.
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