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Glasgow to Inverness

mouflonmouflon Posts: 11
edited September 2007 in Tour & expedition
anyone got experience of cycling from Glasgow to Inverness ?
I can see 3 choices, west side using mostly the A82, the official sustrans route which goes via Pitlochry and presumably the A9, or go further east through the Cairngorms on the A93. Any opinions on their relative stunningness and safety etc would be appreciated as its new territory for me ...

Posts

  • jibijibi Posts: 857
    I have followed the Loch Lomond , Glen Coe, Fort Bill. Loch Ness route, great scenery but can be a bit busy.

    It is absolutely stunning in places, and if its your first time this is my route of choice.Rannoch Moor with the views of the Buichaille Etive Mor then Glen Coe

    I have also gone through the Trossachs , Aberfoyle up to Callander and then to Lochearn, Crianlarich,Glen Coe.etc. This saves the busy bit up Loch Lomond and Dumbarton, its a bit longer but gets you into the countryside quicker.

    The A9 , I did that too but a long long time ago, in the 70's and have never wanted to go that way again.

    enjoy

    george
  • KeithGKeithG Posts: 1,010
    The A82 is a pretty and pretty busy road unfortunately.
    The A82 through Rannoch Moor and Crianlarich and Glencoe is very attatractive but imho hellish on a bike the road is narrow and there will be loads of buses and lorries- not recommended unfortunately.
    A better coastal choice would be the A814 up alongside Loch Long to Arrochar over the "Rest and be Thankful" (has a rough cycle track alongside- haven't done it recently but not recommended) to Inverarayand then a scenic detour on the coastal A816 to Oban via L. Fyne or more directly by L.Awe then cross at Connel on the Appin road to Ballachulish and Ft Wm then up the Great Glen Cylce way alongside the canal to Ft Augustus and then up the East side of L.Ness to Inversneckie, sorry Inverness.
    If you have a MTB you could continue along the Great Glen Cycle Way on the West side of L Ness.
    It's a nice tour, enjoy![/list]
  • Hairy JockHairy Jock Posts: 558
    Try National Cycle Route 7, the Sustrans map is here and there is a very good pocket guide by Fergal MacErlean.
    **************
    Best advice I ever got was "better get a bike then"
    Cycle commuting since 1994. Blog with cycle bits.
    Also with the old C+ crowd at Cycle Chat.
  • chasctcchasctc Posts: 52
    Virtually impossible to answer your question. In terms of scenery, it's A82 (prettiest) followed by A93 and by some way A9 (Sustrans route). In terms of safety, it's A9 (safest) followed by A93 and by some way A82. In terms of difficulty, it's A9 (easiest), followed by A82 and by some way A93. No doubt others will disagree.

    For what it's worth, I'd go A9 if in a rush (maybe going Aberfeldy direct to Dalnacardoch for extra 'scenery') but otherwise A93 (on a loaded bike, the Spittal of Glenshee climb is hard; the Lecht (A939) probably a push, and there is more!)
  • mouflonmouflon Posts: 11
    Thanks for these insights. I've ordered the sustrans map having been impressed with their edinburgh to inverness route, although i have seen some less optimistic articles on the state of it and might end up hopping on and off the A9.
    After inverness i'm heading up to Durness then back down the western side to take in Lochinver, Gairloch, Beelach-na-ba etc and end up on the A82 for a while before getting back to the more peaceful looking Glen Orchy and Glen Aray and 'back roads'' to Glasgow .
  • A few of us cycled from Inverness to Glasgow on the N7 route in June 2007 - apart from the section between Glasgow and Balloch the route is excellent. I've seen various posts complaining about the conditions etc but I can only assume it was superb in the past. It's better than the main roads too as some of the sections go past completely secluded lochs, places you'd never see in a car.
    If you're looking for places to stay, "Wheels" outside Callendar is terrific and is geared towards cyclists. Decent breakfast too.
    There's a sign on the Drumochter past along the lines of "this route is mental, even in summer, do so at your own risk" but to be honest it was just another long hill when we were there.
    There are a few optional off-road sections too which are well worth it. We cycled on hard tails with commuting wheels and panniers.
  • PeasoupPeasoup Posts: 63
    I did the loch lomond, rannoch moor, glen coe route on a LEJOG and thoroughly enjoyed it - i think you need good weather though, guess it can get pretty bleak up there.
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    Peasoup wrote:
    I did the loch lomond, rannoch moor, glen coe route on a LEJOG and thoroughly enjoyed it - i think you need good weather though, guess it can get pretty bleak up there.

    Yea too right i have cycled through Glen Coe/ Rannoch Moor in both directions and both times i thought id caught the tail end of a hurricane :-) Rain wind and hail no fun, yet every time i drive through it it seems to be sunny............sods law :-). Get the weather and its spectacular though.

    cheers
    MG
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Mouflon

    I'd also recommend the Feargal McErlean book (though haven't had the chance to road test it yet). Check the publisher's website for more info:

    http://www.pocketmountains.com/

    Here's a pdf sample from the book:

    http://www.pocketmountains.com/pdf/LOCHS_GLENS.pdf
  • Ashley_RAshley_R Posts: 408
    Moray Gub wrote:
    Peasoup wrote:
    I did the loch lomond, rannoch moor, glen coe route on a LEJOG and thoroughly enjoyed it - i think you need good weather though, guess it can get pretty bleak up there.

    Yea too right i have cycled through Glen Coe/ Rannoch Moor in both directions and both times i thought id caught the tail end of a hurricane :-) Rain wind and hail no fun, yet every time i drive through it it seems to be sunny............sods law :-). Get the weather and its spectacular though.

    cheers
    MG

    Did that route as well last year, hideous headwind and rain all day, made totally tolerable by the amazing scenery

    The A82 is treacheraous in places by Loch Lomond, complete lack of tarmac plus lack of consideration by coach drivers!!
    You can lead an elephant to water but a pencil must be lead
  • I've just got back from my little tour and ended up more or less doing all 3 routes and more!
    I thought the sustrans route was really rather good, although i did add in the more spectacular extras of Glen Lyon, the road to Dalnacaradoch, and Findhorn Bridge to Farr. The cycle paths over Drumochter and Slocht are life savers and despite comments elsewhere i thought were in good condition, even on 23mm tyres i didnt puncture.
    From Aviemore I rode a tailwind down the A93 over the Lecht and Glenshee ski stations and back, sure enough they are hard climbs with luggage but with virtually no traffic and good weather it was a jaw dropping day and half. I think the Lecht from Corgarff (with paniers and headwind) is a contender for the 'hardest climb in the uk'.
    I was spoiled with more incredible roads round Wester Ross, finishing with the Beelach in 100% cloud then sunny Glen Sheil (with a tailwind) and Glen Garry. After all that I wasnt so impressed with the A82 when I joined it at Fort William as there was a LOT of traffic. The mountain bike world championships wouldnt have helped! nor the fact it was a weekend with packs of motorbikes and everyone else. Thankfully the views are captivating and a tailwind made it more passable but i was very relieved to turn off at Glen Orchy. Then a neat route to Glasgow via the Arrochar Alps and the peace of Glen Fruin gets back to the sustrans route 7 and nearly traffic free right into the centre of glasgow. What a week, what a country!
    Thanks for the route recommendations , and also the one for 'wheels' - i agree! in return i recommend Shieldaig for amazing seafood and tranquility.
  • bigal.bigal. Posts: 479
    In terms of safety, it's A9 (safest) followed by A93 and by some way A82.

    A9 the safest route.!!!!!
    ARE YOU MAD.
  • KeithGKeithG Posts: 1,010
    Bigal
    he meant the Sustrans route alongside (ish) the A9 which is a good route albeit not the most direct way North
  • bigal.bigal. Posts: 479
    Ooops. Sorry about that. :oops:

    I had an image of some poor sod trying to cycle up the A9 alongside all the Lorries and suicidle drivers heading for Inverness. It's bad enough in a car.
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