300 mile cycle route north of Glasgow

Twilkes

Veteran
I'm looking for a 300 mile ish route starting from Glasgow, heading north/north-east to make the most of the winds, that ends up vaguely near a train station. Don't fancy the Loch Lomond/Glen Coe roads, nor the A9, and don't really like the look of the big climb going through the Cairngorms/Aviemore.

I realise that's most of the main arteries north but are there any roads/areas I should visit/avoid? Is there much through the centre of the country?

I don't mind hills but the Cairngorms looked like a 25 mile climb and I had enough of that malarkey when I was in my twenties. :smile:
 

Baldy

Regular
Location
ALVA
There's not much on road but plenty of options if you go off road/gravel bike type terrain.

P.S.
Or, you could get the ferry to Campbelltown, and go up Kintyre and the west coast.
 
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Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
No, road routes only, although I love single track roads, that probably doesn't start until much further north though.
 

bruce1530

Veteran
Location
Ayrshire
Loads of single track roads, even south of Glasgow.

If you’re doing the Campbeltown trip - 40 miles from Glasgow to Ardrossan via NCN7 and NCN73 - be aware that it’s a summer-only sailing, and the season ends at the end of September. but you could also get over to the top of Kintyre via Arran. Makes the trip a few miles shorter, but plenty of ferries every day, rather than 3 a week!

Once at Campbeltown, it’s about 230 miles to Inverness, mostly on NCN78. https://www.sustrans.org.uk/find-a-route-on-the-national-cycle-network/route-78-the-caledonia-way/
 

Slick

Veteran
Campbeltown to Fort William is by far some of the most scenic cycling route you are likely to see in this country but it's also a very busy timber route and not one to take on lightly. I hate being the voice of doom, especially as I plan to cycle from Glasgow to campbeltown next year. What's wrong with loch lomond and Glen Coe? A brilliant route as I've done it in chunks but never in one ride. Glen Coe through the night is spectacular.
 
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Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
Yeah it has to start from Glasgow so Campbeltown isn't an option.

I remember the Loch Lomond road not being particularly enjoyable, thin and winding with continuous cars. Might still go for Glen Coe, although Rannoch Moor with a headwind is putting me off. :smile:

I guess I'm looking at ending up near the Inverness train lines in the east or Strathcarron in the west so should maybe play around with those two routes, maybe up through Callendar and then west to Crianlarich or north to Inverness somehow.
 

snorri

Legendary Member
Don't fancy the Loch Lomond/Glen Coe roads, nor the A9, and don't really like the look of the big climb going through the Cairngorms/Aviemore.
I don't mind hills but the Cairngorms looked like a 25 mile climb and I had enough of that malarkey when I was in my twenties. :smile:
The A9 is 273 miles in length, do you really not like any of it?
There are no serious steep hills between Perth and Inverness northbound, it's just a case of dropping a gear or two and proceeding a little slower than usual to get over Drumochter and the Slochd. There is no need to be on the A9 at any stage between Perth and Inverness, there are loops of the old main road which are still maintained for local traffic, and sections of segregated joint user paths which see few pedestrians.
 
Or, you could get the ferry to Campbelltown, and go up Kintyre and the west coast.
Do this, far better. Finish in Inverness and get the train back.
 

Baldy

Regular
Location
ALVA
From Glasgow you could follow NCN7 to Callander, on back roads. From there to Killin it is on gravel, it runs parallel to the A85 but that wouldn't be nice to ride. Killin to Pitlochry is again back roads and from there onwards it's on the cycle path which follows the A9 to Inverness.
 

slow scot

Senior Member
Location
Aberdeen
From Glasgow you could follow NCN7 to Callander, on back roads. From there to Killin it is on gravel, it runs parallel to the A85 but that wouldn't be nice to ride. Killin to Pitlochry is again back roads and from there onwards it's on the cycle path which follows the A9 to Inverness.
This would be my route. Callander to Killin is a fabulous ride with only one minor rough bit from the top of Glen Ogle to Killin; easily avoided by keeping to the main road for that bit.
 
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Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
This would be my route. Callander to Killin is a fabulous ride with only one minor rough bit from the top of Glen Ogle to Killin; easily avoided by keeping to the main road for that bit.
I'm randomly staying in Strathyre this weekend, and NCN7 looks like a single track rough-but-tarmacced road - is it like that all the way to Killin or are there loose gravel/dirt track sections anywhere?

Realising that while I love fast/long rides, I should also schedule some more scenic rides where I can look around me once in a while. :smile:
 

slow scot

Senior Member
Location
Aberdeen
I'm randomly staying in Strathyre this weekend, and NCN7 looks like a single track rough-but-tarmacced road - is it like that all the way to Killin or are there loose gravel/dirt track sections anywhere?

Realising that while I love fast/long rides, I should also schedule some more scenic rides where I can look around me once in a while. :smile:
The only rough bit is when you get to the top of Glen Ogle. After the route takes you across the road you have fairly rough tracks to Killin, which you can avoid by descending by the road until the t-junction at Lix Toll garage. Then turn right for Killin. From Killin the route takes the road on the south bank of Loch Tay to Kenmore. Although the north bank is an A road it's pretty quiet, so a nice loop of the Loch is in order!
From Strathyre to the top of Glen Ogle is Tarmac to start and then dirt, but easily ridden on a road bike. The old railway line over the viaduct up Glen Ogle is one of the jewels in the Sustrans crown and shouldn't be missed.
From Strathyre south to Callendar is mixed tarmac and dirt, but, again very good on a road bike.
 

Baldy

Regular
Location
ALVA
There's a short section of hair-pin bends on gravel just north of Lochearnhead. After Glen Ogle summit going down to Killin is also rough gravel.
 
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Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
The only rough bit is when you get to the top of Glen Ogle. After the route takes you across the road you have fairly rough tracks to Killin, which you can avoid by descending by the road until the t-junction at Lix Toll garage. Then turn right for Killin. From Killin the route takes the road on the south bank of Loch Tay to Kenmore. Although the north bank is an A road it's pretty quiet, so a nice loop of the Loch is in order!
From Strathyre to the top of Glen Ogle is Tarmac to start and then dirt, but easily ridden on a road bike. The old railway line over the viaduct up Glen Ogle is one of the jewels in the Sustrans crown and shouldn't be missed.
From Strathyre south to Callendar is mixed tarmac and dirt, but, again very good on a road bike.
Thank you. From Wester Lix is there a fun way to get to the western point of Loch Katrine, or even any way, even if it goes via Crianlarich or somewhere like that?
 
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