Scotland: West Coast Bike
The quiet single-track roads of Western Scotland follow glens, lochs, rivers, seashores, and across wide open moors, and are so quiet you will often feel like the sky and the ever-changing view are all yours. We pick you up in Glasgow, and start cycling near Oban with a warm-up on the Crinan Canal towpath. Your imagination will reel as you explore the Druid and Stone Age ruins around Dunadd. Ancient rites performed here included the crowning of kings as they sat upon the Stone of Destiny. You will ride north along the shore of Loch Awe, then ferry past the Lady's Rock to the fair Isle of Mull. Magical views of the outer isles will enhance your memories of the bens and glens of this quintessentially Scottish Island. Lord Ullin's daughter fled her father's ire here, and it's where the headless horseman rode. You may visit Iona, where the Book of Kells was written, and Scottish kings buried. After visiting Tobermory, the remote Ardnamurchan Peninsula will be your avenue eastward. On the return to Glasgow, you will pass through battle-bloodied Glencoe and along the shores of Loch Lomond. You will learn about Scotland's rich and savage history, which often sounds more like imaginative myth than fact, while you visit country estates, gardens, pubs, distilleries, and castles. The lodging on this adventure is exceptionally charming and hospitable, and the varied terrain will inspire all levels of cyclist.
Day 1: Glasgow to Kilmartin. Ride to Crinan. 15-50miles/24km-80km
~09:30 pickup in Glasgow. Begin cycling in Kilmartin, near Lochgilphead. Ride through level countryside and along the canal towpath near the ancient capital of Dalriada, seeing castles, gardens, and Neolithic & Bronze Age ceremonial sites. Tonight’s elegant dinner at the Crinan Hotel is a demonstration of culinary flair. LD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips normally include breakfast only, but today’s dinner is included with both versions).
Crinan Hotel, Crinan
Day 2: Crinan to Oban. 44miles/71km
Magnificent views over the waters of Loch Awe, as you ride the shore through the Inverliever and Eredine Forests, inspire songs, poetry, and a rich appreciation for this land and its history. The final stretch downstream to Taynuilt and through Glen Lonan is a beautiful ride. Finish in Oban, where waterfront walks lead to many shops, restaurants, and the distillery. BL
Oban Bay Hotel; or
Upgrade to Manor House, Oban ( $125 per room extra)
Day 3: Oban to Iona. 40-53miles/64km-85km
Take the ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull. Visit Duart and Torosay Castles, and then ride up through Glen More and down where the headless horseman rode to Pennyghael. Finish in Bunessan, near the ferry to Iona. BLD
Ardachy House Hotel, Bunessan
Day 4: Iona to Tobemory. 35-65miles/56km-104km
Visit Iona (burial place of ancient kings, such as MacBeth, and where the Book of Kells was discovered lying in the heather) or cycle along the dramatic, hilly western coast of Mull, passing the Ulva ferry, site of Campbell's poem "Lord Ullin's Daughter", and stopping at Calgary Bay for, perhaps, a swim. Finish in Tobermory. BLD
Strongarbh House; or
Tobermory Hotel; or
Western Isles Hotel, Tobermory
Day 5: Tobermory Loop Ride. Variable distance, optional hike
A hilly loop ride around the Northern half of Mull, including a side trip to see Glengorm Castle in its magnificent setting overlooking the Sound of Mull and the Ardnamurchan, and a climb to where another view of the Outer Hebrides will enchant you. Return to Tobermory, where shopping along the quaint waterfront, at one end of which is the Tobermory distillery, will occupy a pleasant couple of hours. Choose from many dinner options in Tobermory. B
Day 6: Calgary to Strontian. 30-50miles/48km-80km
Early morning ferry to Kilchoan (don't pronounce the "c"). Ride along the fantastically beautiful and remote Ardnamurchan peninsula, visiting an ancient castle in ruins, and a baronial mansion awash in Victorian opulence. Follow the shore of Loch Sunart to Salen, and then choose between short and long afternoon options. Cycle the quiet hills of Moidart to visit the ruins of Castle Tioram in its magnificent setting on Loch Sheil Estate then take a ride you'll never forget along the shore of Loch Shiel to the fabulous Kilcamb Lodge in Strontian. BLD
Kilcamb Lodge Hotel, Strontian
Day 7: Strontian to Fort William; transfer to Glasgow. 25miles/40km
A beautiful, peaceful ride this morning will take you by coastline, cows, and sheep to Corran Ferry, close to the finish point in Fort William – an ideal base for exploring Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, and the historically infamous Glencoe. This is on the train line known as the most beautiful in the world, and you can choose to travel back to Glasgow with us, or to take the train on your own. Either way, you will enjoy fabulous views of Glencoe and across Rannoch Moor before following the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. If you choose to extend your trip by doing our Loch Ness to the Summer Isles tour in Northern Scotland, you can take advantage of our complimentary transport between adventures. BL
|Start:||Glasgow at ~09:30 on day one. Glasgow can be reached by train from Edinburgh. See www.firstgroup.com/scotrail/index.php for schedule.|
|Finish:||Fort William, 14:00; or Glasgow 17:00, day seven.|
|Guided Cost:||$3195 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 4 dinners, ferries, luggage handling, full-time guide, support van, maps and route notes, taxes).|
|Self-Guided Cost:||$2895 (per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, essential transfers, emergency support, taxes).|
|Bicycle Rental:||Hybrid $195|
|2014 Guided Dates:||May 18-24; Jun 15-21; Aug 10-16; Sep 14-20.
Add your own dates (learn more)
|Self-Guided Dates:||You choose! Best months are late June, July, August, and early September. We confirm within 48 hours.|
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.