Scotland West Coast Bike Tour
Six nights; seven days of bicycle touring on very quiet one-lane paved roads of western Scotland.
“This was the best trip of my life, and I loved every minute of it. The location was heavenly…The cuisine far exceeded our expectations. Honestly, I would sign up for this very same trip again!” – Sue & Linda
Start: Glasgow Central railway station, 09:30, day one. Glasgow can be reached by train from Edinburgh. Click here for schedule & fares. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Fort William, 14:00; or Glasgow 17:00, day seven.
Glasgow to Kilmartin. Ride to Crinan. 15-50miles
~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
Crinan to Oban. 44 miles
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
Glenburnie House Inn, or
Upgrade to Manor House; Oban ($125pp)
Oban to Iona. 40-53 miles
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
Staffa House B&B, Fionnphort; or
Ardachy House Hotel, Bunessan
Iona to Tobemory. 35-65 miles
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
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
Calgary to Strontian. 30-50 miles
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 Shiel 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
Strontian to Fort William; transfer to Glasgow. 25miles
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
Note about the route:
30-50 miles/50-80km of moderate cycling on quiet paved roads with only one lane. The route follows many shorelines and rivers, and is not as hilly as one might expect. Advanced cyclists may pursue longer options; relaxed cyclists may ride shorter distances and use the support vehicle as required.
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 your bike tour 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.
Maps & Elevations
Glasgow Central railway station, 09:30, day one. Glasgow can be reached by train from Edinburgh. Click here for schedule. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Fort William, 14:00; or Glasgow 17:00, day seven.
US 3095 C 3695(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).
US 3095 C 3295(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, essential transfers, emergency support, taxes).
US 795 C 945
Hybrid: US 225 C 265
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.