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Highlands and Islands

Highlands and IslandsNo Fly Tour

June 2021

A wonderful tour of the Scottish highlands and islands with a new breathtaking view around every corner in this area well known for its natural beauty. The terrain is manageable to all, with gradual climbs and longer flat sections through glens with towering moutains to the sides or along waterfront roads. Some of our route incorporates sections of the North Coast 500 but we have mostly avoided this due to the amount of non human-powered traffic on it. Instead, we have concentrated on quieter areas which have stunning views and great Scottish hospitality. This tour is a wonderful opportunity for friends and family of mixed abilities to enjoy a cycling tour together, with two days having a choice of distance, and an optional climb of the Bealach na Bà (Applecross Pass) - surely one of the most beautiful roads in Britain with stupendous views at the top over to Skye. Five ferry crossings are included as we pass from mainland to island back and forth several times; not only an excuse for a rest but also a fine opportunity to partake in some dolphin, seal or bird watching, to take some photographs or to begin to understand the remote communities we visit.

In common with our other UK tours this tour is on a bed and breakfast basis in our hotels leaving you free to choose your own evening meal - we will of course let you know the options. Most people opt to eat with the other riders but this arrangement allows you the flexibility to have as much or as little as you choose.

A real feast of cycling and countryside in an area which should be experienced at least once by every cyclist.

Your Next Adventure Awaits

What you need to know...


Start Location
Glasgow / Ardrossan


Finish Location
Glasgow / Ardrossan


Region of France
United Kingdon


Grading
Moderate


Shortest Day
35 miles


Longest Day
65 miles


Total Days
7


Total Miles
365

Departure Dates & Prices

MonthDatesTour PriceSingle Supplement*Bike Hire FromEnquireBook
June 202112th to 19th June 202112/6/21 to 19/6/21£1,495£300Check AvailabilityBook Now

*A single supplement is only payable if you would like a guaranteed room to yourself. If you are happy to share with another traveller of the same gender, no supplement is payable.

Itinerary

Day 1

Meet at Ardrossan on the west coast, west of Glasgow, and take the ferry to Arran at 16h30. There's nothing like a boat journey to get you in the holiday mood as you head out into the Firth of Clyde, and you can look at your destination for the next 36 hours and wonder which route you will take the next day! Transfer to our seafront hotel for the next two nights.

Day 2

A choice of 3 routes today (35 / 45 / 55 miles) ranging from a full circuit of the island or a 'half tour' of the north or south halves. The really keen could take on a figure of eight! Arran is beautiful, with most of the traffic confined to the main town, Brodick. The routes along the coastline are sublime, with a mixture of beaches, tiny harbours, interesting rock formations and cliffs, all with views of the interior mountains and offshore islands to take your breath away. There is a fab cycling cafe roughly half way around this very special island - an island that has a wonderful atmosphere that is hard to describe - but you won't be disappointed. We stay in the same hotel again tonight.

Day 3

After a good breakfast we ride the 7 miles to the ferry back to the mainland and enjoy the ride around the Kintyre peninsular. Again, the roads are quiet and you will enjoy sea views for the majority of the day, with Islay and Jura in the distance on one side, and Arran on the other. A really great day's ride and one that will have you reaching for the camera often - but then this is not a route to be rushed but to be savoured as one view unfolds into the next. Our hotel is in a small fishing town. (65 miles).

Day 4

Heading north towards Oban, we take a pretty route with wonderful views of the majestic Loch Awe. It is not flat but the hills are small with most allowing you to get most of the way up on the freewheel down from the last one. The last dozen miles are just as delightful, along a very quiet road through pastures where Highland cattle graze and with glen, burn and mountain all around. It would not be unusual to see Golden Eagles and all manner of other wildlife that most are not fortunate enough to see. Oban is the 'gateway to the islands' and is a bustling port with a great atmosphere. Our hotel is right in the centre to allow you to make the most of it. (64 miles).

Day 5

A ferry after breakfast takes us onto Mull. What a splendid isle this is! Such variety of landscape with the ride commencing over a moor and then turning to follow the coast with ever-so-pretty views of offshore islands, including Iona, and in the background, the Outer Hebrides. There is the opportunity for a shorter or longer ride today - 45 or 65 miles - before an evening in the delightful town of Tobermory with its multi-coloured houses lining the quay. The full island circumnavigation is perfectly achievable for most people and whilst the hardest part is the last 15 miles, the section before is relatively straightfoward meaning you should well be able to tackle it successfully.

Day 6

From Mull we cross again to the mainland and enjoy a simply wonderful singletrack road, which hugs the coastline most of the way to the Acharacle forest.  There is a great cafe here for lunch with the best coffee in Scotland (in our opinion!). It is then on to Mallaig, with more seaward views of Rum, Eigg and Skye, which can also be enjoyed from the hotel as the sun goes down behind them - not a bad place for a 'sundowner'! (57 miles).

Day 7

Once more we take a ferry after breakfast to ride across the southeastern tip of Skye. The island, of undoubted natural beauty, is alas not ideal for cyclists due the large amount of traffic coming over for free on the bridge, making it very popular with those on a motoring holiday. However, our direction of travel manages to avoid this and we exit via the road bridge back onto the mainland. After coffee looking back at Skye there is a decent climb followed by its descent (with a couple of short ups included) to stop for a lochside lunchtime sandwich, after which we are then into the Wester Ross peninsular, one of the last and largest wild places on mainland Britain. There is some great cycling to be had including the famous (optional) Applecross pass for the energetic, or the more leisurely route to our wonderful small hotel for the night to sit and watch the sun go down. There is a special atmosphere here which we love. (59 miles)

Day 8

After breakfast we depart and transfer you and your bikes to either Strathcarron station (for Inverness) or to Glasgow / Ardrossan for the train or to collect your car (arrival approximately noon).

Some Tour Photos...

Travel Information

We meet at Ardrossan ferry port which is next to the train station (direct from Glasgow or Ayr). Parking is available nearby if driving. At the end of the tour we take you back to the start or to Glasgow station for the train.

Click here for our Travel Information page.