This guidebook describes 37 day rides for all abilities, and 22 linking routes for more experienced cycle tourists, allow riders to visit all the essential sights in over 20 islands of the Hebrides and of the Firth of Clyde. Routes range from those suitable for short weekend breaks to a challenging 600-mile tour. Whether you're putting together a fortnight's tour or just enjoying a few day rides from a single base, this guide is packed with useful information to help you make the most of your trip.
The Hebridean islands offer a wealth of wonderful scenery: the majestic Cuillin mountains on Skye; the otherworldly palm trees on Bute; the
marvellous white shell sands on Tiree and Harris. This guidebook features detailed custom mapping and elevation profiles for all routes, and comprehensive information of ferry and transport routes, accommodation, food and drink, supplies, cycle spares and repairs.
Island hopping in these islands is a magical experience. The guide visits over 20 of them and each has its own interesting history and wildlife. Reasonably fit cyclists can enjoy these routes at their own pace; experienced cycle tourists will eat up the miles.
Richard Barrett spent his working life as a professional marketer, but still found time for climbing, winter mountaineering and sea kayaking. He first visited the Harris hills as a teenager and was a regular visitor for years. He has now relocated to Maraig in North Harris, where he and his wife run a guest house.
CONTENTS Map key Overview map INTRODUCTION Terrain Wildlife and plants History and culture Getting there Getting around The weather and when to go Where to stay Preparing your bike Preparing yourself Planning your trip What and how to pack Riding comfortably Riding in a group Using this guide Maps and itineraries 1 CLYDE AND KINTYRE Introduction LINK ROUTES 1A Gourock to Ardrossan 1B Dunoon to Portavadie 1C Auchenbreck to Rothesay 1D Brodick to Lochranza 1E Claonaig to Tayinloan 1F Kennacraig to Oban DAY ROUTES 1.1 Circuit of south Arran 1.2 Circuit of north Arran 1.3 Circuit of Great Cumbrae 1.4 Circuit of Bute 1.5 Gigha 2 COLONSAY, ISLAY AND JURA Introduction LINK ROUTES 2A Port Ellen to Port Askaig DAY ROUTES 2.1 South coast of Islay 2.2 Circuit of northwest Islay from Bridgend 2.3 Circuit of central Islay from Bowmore 2.4 Circuit of southwest Islay (The Rhinns) 2.5 Craighouse and back from Feolin Ferry 2.6 Circuit of Colonsay 3 MULL, COLL AND TIREE Introduction LINK ROUTES 3A Craignure to Tobermory 3B Lochaline to Salen 3C Salen to Kilchoan 3D Salen to Mallaig DAY ROUTES 3.1 Slate Islands 3.2 Kerrera 3.3 Circuit across Lismore from Oban 3.4 Circuit of central Mull 3.5 Circuit of northern Mull 3.6 Out to Iona 3.7 Coll 3.8 Circuit of west Tiree 3.9 Fishbone ride in east Tiree 4 SKYE AND RAASAY Introduction LINK ROUTES 4A Ullapool to Armadale 4B Stromeferry to Uig DAY ROUTES 4.1 Across the Sleat Peninsula from Armadale 4.2 Elgol and back from Broadford 4.3 A three-legged ride from Carbost. 4.4 Around the Duirinish Peninsula 4.5 Circuit of the Trotternish Peninsula 4.6 Circuit of central Skye 4.7 Skye Bridge/Glenelg circuit from Kyle of Lochalsh 4.8 Raasay 5 BARRA AND THE UISTS Introduction LINK ROUTES 5A Castlebay to Lochboisdale 5B Dalabrog to Clachan 5C Clachan to Berneray 5D Clachan to Berneray Junction DAY ROUTES 5.1 Circuit of Barra and Vatersay 5.2 South Uist machair from Tobha Mor 5.3 Circuit of North Uist 6 HARRIS AND LEWIS Introduction LINK ROUTES 6A Leverburgh to Tarbert (west) 6B Leverburgh to Tarbert (east) 6C Tarbert to Stornoway 6D Liurbost to Barvas 6E Stornoway to Butt of Lewis DAY ROUTES 6.1 Circuit of south Harris 6.2 Huisinis from Tarbert 6.3 Scalpay from Tarbert 6.4 Callanish by the Pentland Road 6.5 West Lewis from Gearraidh na h'Aibhne 6.6 The Bridge to Nowhere from Stornoway APPENDICES APPENDIX A Link route summary table APPENDIX B Day route summary table APPENDIX C Ferry routes APPENDIX D Suggested tours APPENDIX E Day trips to islands APPENDIX F Cycle shops and cycle hire APPENDIX G Hostels APPENDIX H Tourist information APPENDIX I Further reading