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Oban to Stonehaven

Alpina007Alpina007 Posts: 106
edited December 2014 in Tour & expedition
Hi All, Im planning on cycling from Oban to Stonehaven early next year and am looking on advice on the roads to take or avoid. There will be four of us cycling.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated


  • Not too sure about the start or middle but you have to come over Cairn O' Mount near the finish :-)
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 12,337
    Do you want to hit the hills or avoid them? There is that big lumpy bit in the centre of Scotland with just a few routes over. Or you need to go around.

    You won't have much issue with traffic if you avoid the main drags, the A9, A90, A82 etc.

    If you like the slopes, could try Oban to Fort William, over to Newtonmore, Grantown up and over via Tomintoul to River Don valley, over to River Dee, then could head down to Aberdeen, alt up to Braemar, over the hump to Blairgowrie then to the coast at say Montrose then up to Stonehaven.

    I plan to do the Deeside / Blairgowrie / coast loop next summer as part of a Scottish tour.

    Depends how long you have. There are flatter options, going south around the Cairngorms, or even up the Great Glen to Inverness, lovely ride, and say follow Sustrans route NCN1 from Inverness to Aberdeen and on to Stonehaven. The lower level options have more towns and villages for stop offs.
  • Cheers for the reply, Im not to fussed about avoiding hills, more concerned about the main roads around Oban. I have read some pretty nasty stories about them.

    Looking to do the run in a weekend and I will go and look at the map with your suggestions in mind.
  • The A85 and A82 can be busy. From Ballachullish all the way up the Great Glen was pretty horrible when we did it in September as part of LEJOG. If it was me I'd take NCN route 78 from Oban to Taynuilt then A85/A82 to Killin. Along north side of Loch Tay to Kenmore then pick up NCN 7 to Pitlochry. A924 to Kirkmichael then B road to A93. On to Braemear then B roads from Crathie to Strachan then either directly east to Stonehaven or south via the Cairn O'Mount. I've never been over this hill and its on my to do list but not sure if I'd want to do it at the end of a circa 200 miles weekend.
  • Does it have to be those two places? As there's a lot better cycling in Scotland than that.
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 12,337
    Check the Sustrans NCN route options as alts to the A82 and the like. Agree that one in partic can be no fun at all, too many HGVs and especially noddy caravan-towers putting on the squeeze. E.g. Uses East side of Loch Ness to avoid the heavy traffic A82, good route, going north has a good climb up out of Fort Augustus over the Drum followed by long downhill cruise back to water level. Further down Great Glen, NCN uses W side of Loch Lochy for same reason, combo of tarmac and Forestry Commission gravel though. Depends how you're kitted.

    On the suggestion posted above, NCN takes South side of Loch Tay on tarmac local road avoiding the A route other side.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 11,178
    You'd be doing Cairn o Mount from the North side which isn't so bad, it's a long relatively gradual ascent (compared to the south side!), with a few flat/downhill sections for recovery (although this gives a couple of false summits which can be demoralising). The South side climb is the one featured in 100 Climbs and is steeper and more sustained. The descent of the South side is extremely rapid with some tight bends, which caught me out first time so take it easy. It's a good climb.

    Alternatively you could continue along the B974 and take the Slug Rd over to Stonehaven which is much easier, and it's a fun downhill into Stonehaven - but the road is kinda dull compared to going over the Cairn.

    You could skip the whole lot and go after Loch Tay go via Kirriemuir and Dunkeld to Montrose and then up the National Route 1, but it wouldn't be as good.

    The easiest way to get between the two would probably be to come across via Crieff and Perth then go up the National Cycle Route 1. Again nowhere near as good.
  • a4ndypa4ndyp Posts: 16
    Have a look at my blog - we rode Fort William to Aberdeen in April. ... nings.html

    If you wanted to do the lecht from inverness you can take the deeside way (old railway line) from Ballater right to Aberdeen and pick up the NCN1 to Stonehaven. alternatively Swing a right at Strachan and go south over the cairn o mount (i live on this road right at the snowgates and the previous comments re the north side being easier are spot on). at clatterin brig take a left and head for Auchenblae along drumtochty glen and then on to Stonehaven..... a truly beautiful part of our country. (cairn o mount and drumtochty glen that is - not stonehaven)
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