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routes from Carlisle to Ardossan

suzesuze Posts: 302
edited September 2012 in Tour & expedition
Hoping to leave the car with friends in Carlisle and pedal over to Islay via Arran and Kintyre. Does anyone have a good route, nice route between the two.
�3 grand bike...30 Bob legs....Slowing with style

Posts

  • How long do you want to take and what mileage are you ok with ?
  • suzesuze Posts: 302
    We want to take 2-3 days, about 50-60 miles a day.
    �3 grand bike...30 Bob legs....Slowing with style
  • I take the 2-3 days is just to get to Ardrossan

    I live in dumfries, From Carlisle Asda take the road alongside the motorway to Gretna, then the old A75, now B721 to Annan, after leaving annan, over the river left on B724, don't follow cycle route 7 rigidly, it has some daft detours. take the left before clareancefield to bankend where right over the hill to dumfries.

    Two choices from dumfries 1) via Dunscore and Moniaive for overnight stop then on to Ayr through Carsphairn and then A 713. or 2) possibly better option, take minor roads to the side of the A76, kirkton, auldgirth Kier mill (turn right here) past drumlanrig castle and keep to the West of the river up to Sanquhar then catch a train ( need to book the bikes, just get on and pay on the train) to Kilmarnock, or Kilmaurs. This way you could overnight near Ardrossan on your first day and manage Isla by day 2. You also avoid a boring slog into the prevailing wind over the top of the southern uplands.
    Sportives and tours, 100% for charity, http://www.tearfundcycling.btck.co.uk
  • The roads from Ayr to Ardrossan are pretty busy and I don't find them particularly inviting to cycle on. I usually drive to Ardrossan so that I can maximise my time on the west coast and islands. Parking isn't too expensive and is reasonably secure. Either of the opions above combined with trains are probably the best options if you really want to cycle from Carlisle.
    If you are going before the 20th October when the ferry timetables change, you could get to Colonsay from Kennacraig (think it's Wednesday only), also you can get to Jura from Islay. Enjoy!
  • rayboraybo Posts: 86
    I rode from Carlisle to Ardrossan in May, 2011. I mostly followed the route outlined above. It was an OK route, though nothing particularly exciting. It was lots of sheep, cows, and fields. I spent the night in Balmacellan and the terrain got much more interesting as I got closer to Galloway Forest. The ride up to Ayr and then Troon, where I spent the night so I could catch the early boat to Arran, was mostly on busy roads with poor tarmac and little shoulder. The traffic got heavier as I approached Ayr, which I didn't like, and then thinned out as I followed the CTC route up to Troon.

    This ride could have been done in 2 days but not in time to catch the last ferry over to Arran. I started in Carlisle, which is many miles from Dumfries, so you might be able to do it in 2 days and still catch the last ferry. For what it is worth, I liked the short time I spent in Troon.

    I wrote a detailed journal with dozens of photos. The ride above starts on this page.
  • suzesuze Posts: 302
    thanks for the input chaps.
    �3 grand bike...30 Bob legs....Slowing with style
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