Adventure Motorcycle Travel Information

 

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Scotland Circular Adventure Motorcycle Tour

This tour is circular from Edinburgh to the North West Tip of Scotland. Details were correct in the summer of 2014. 

Day 1 - Edinburgh to Grantown on Spey
Start Point: Premier Inn Dalkeith

 

Day one takes you out of the city of Edinburgh and over the impressive Forth Road Bridge. After the first real bends of the tour, arriving at Knockhill Race Circuit. Which is an ideal spot for the first tea break of the day. Soon after the roads narrow and weave on mainly good road surfaces until passing the world renowned Gleneagles Golf course and soon reaching Loch Tay.  Where the route Navigates the Loch to the North. If time permits there is a narrow route on the South side of the Loch. Following on to some low land country roads Pitlochry is reached, after a quick stop at Edradour, the smallest whiskey distillery in Scotland, things start to get more exciting. The road now undulates and Narrows through moorland, beneath the gaze if Ben Vrachie rewarding the rider with the first real taste of what is to come. Eventually the A93 is reached, this climbs to Glenshee Ski Resort and the landscape become more bare and mountainous, soon to summit at the highest public road in Scotland. After passing the Ski Resort The road descends to the Queen’s Balmoral estate. From here the real riding begins along narrow and occasionally poor surface roads that rise and fall through sparsely populate country, with cars few and far between. Soon day 1 concludes at Grantown on Spey. 

 

Points of Interest: 
Scottish Bus Museum http://www.svbm.org.uk/index.html 
Knockhill race circuit www.knockhill.com 
Gleneagles Golf Course http://www.gleneagles.com/golf 
Dewers World of Whiskey  www.dewars.com/global3/en/our-place/dewars-world-of-whisky.aspx 
Edradour  Distilliary http://www.edradour.com/ 
Balmoral Castle http://www.balmoralcastle.com/ 
A93 – Highest Road in UK  http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=A93 

 

Distance: 205 miles (328Km)


Hotel Details:
The Garth Hotel
Castle Road
Grantown-On-Spey
Morayshire
PH26 3HN
http://www.garthhotel.com/ 

 

Day 2 - Grantown on Spey to Tongue
 

Day two begins with mostly narrow lanes, with a brief spell on the Inverness Main road the A9. Turning off this at the earliest opportunity to wind through forests to get the first sight of Loch Ness’s Northern Tip. Our route takes on the East side of the Loch where the road narrows with plenty of passing places and layby’s to stop and take pictures. Twisty forest sections give way to the more sweeping roads of the B862 as you enter the picturesque village of Fort Agustus.  Northward on the A82 the road hugs the bank of Loch Ness until reaching Drumnadrochit, where the Loch Ness Monster Visitor centre is certainly worth a visit. Heading North through Inverness is mainly uninteresting, so it is with relief you will reach the often blustery Cromarty Bridge and shortly after turn away from the Estuary and head for the quieter and twisty B9176. After a pleasant ride climbing gently upwards you will be rewarded with the impressive views of Dornoch firth. After dropping down to Boner Bridge, look out for the fork onto the A837 leading to the B864. If following this route, you will no doubt arrive here by late afternoon, and get to enjoy the Falls of Shin without the usual crowds, which are worthy of a break. After a long ride the final section to Tongue is a highlight. At last remote Scotland beckons and the A836 delivers a sense of wilderness and remoteness that is seldom available further south. 

 

Points of Interest: 
Loch ness museum http://www.lochness.com/loch-ness-monster-exhibition.htm 
Black Isle Brewery http://www.blackislebrewery.com/ 
Glenmorangie Distillery https://glenmorangie.com/en/experiences 
Falls of Shin www.fallsofshin.co.uk/ 

 

Distance: 200 miles (320Km)

 

Hotel Details:
The Tongue Hotel
Tongue
By Lairg
Sutherland
IV27 4XD
http://www.tonguehotel.co.uk/theHotel.php     

 

Day 3 – Tongue to Sheildaig
 

Day three rails the Northern Coast of Scotland. There are few points of interest from now on, well that is, touristic ones. But in every direction for the most part of this day the scenery is breath-taking. Have a fully charged camera and set off early to give yourself time to enjoy this amazing part of the world. Soon Smoo Cave is revealed as part of a rocky inlet. This is certainly worth a walk down the steps to see this historic natural cave. Durness is a good spot to re-supply, but save yourself for the cakes and coffees served at Balnakeil Craft Village. After some time, the B869 is reached, with views of the Majestic Quinag Mountain. The B869 is a joy, most traffic passes south, missing this narrow, winding and undulating B road. This road is a real skill tester and a most worthy detour. Finally passing through the populated town of Ullapool, which after the last 24 hours now seems like a city, we continue South turning right onto the mountainous A832. At times a fast road it quickly gets the rider to the Highland junction of Kinlochewe to travel the A896 towards Shieldaig, this highly photographic and marvellous end to the day is framed by the Torridon Mountain Range, beautiful white washed houses and harbour. 

 

Points of Interest: 
Smoo Cave http://new.durness.org/?page_id=1016 
Durness Craft Village http://balnakeil.wordpress.com/balnakeil-craft-village/ 
Handa Island http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserve/handa-island/ 
Ardvech castle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardvreck_Castle 
Falls of Mesach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrieshalloch_Gorge 
Anteallach Ale Co. Brewery. http://www.scottishbrewing.com/breweries/highlands/anteallach.php 
Cape Wrath Ferry port http://www.capewrath.org.uk/09_Links.htm 

 

Distance: 219 miles (349 Km)
Hotel Details: 
Tigh An Eilean Hotel 
Sheildaig
Strathcarron
Ross-shire
IV54 8XN
http://www.tighaneilean.co.uk/default.asp 

 

Day 4 – Sheildaig to Plockton
 

Day Four starts with a remote Peninsula ride on narrow, gravel centred roads to the legendary biker destination of Applecross. Applecross Pass is a Narrow steep sided climb and descent and the 3rd highest road in the British Isles but boasts the highest single ascent.  Although it is tempting to turn around and go back up the Alpinesque pass, the route pushes onwards to the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, then up the Old Military road to Glenelg, where the Ferry will take you to the Isle of Skye. This is the last remaining manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland, and a majestic way to arrive on the famous Isle. From here the roads on Sky are quite fast and major, however this won’t detract from its beauty. The route takes us on a tour of Skye before directing us over the once, but no more, heavily tolled sky Bridge and into the beautifully harboured village of Plockton. 

 

Points of Interest: 
Eilean Donen Castle www.eileandonancastle.com/ 
Duncraig Castle http://www.duncraigcastle.co.uk/
Glenelg Isle of Skye Ferry www.skyeferry.co.uk 
Isle of skye Brewery http://skyeale.com/ 
Duntulm Castle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duntulm_Castle 
Skye Museum of Island life www.skyemuseum.co.uk/ 
Mealt Falls http://www.theskyeguide.com/see-and-do-mainmenu-35/27-natural-wonders/177-kilt-rock 

 

Distance: 220 miles (350Km)

 

Hotel Details:
The Plockton Inn
Innes Street
Plockton
Ross-shire
IV52 8TW
http://plocktoninn.co.uk/the-plockton-inn-plockton/

 

Day 5 – Plockton to Onich
 

Day five takes us back over the bridge to Skye and towards the Mallaig ferry, however leave enough time for the routes detour onto Tokavaig road, this loop is far off the beaten track and a twisty, demanding unclassified road. Although it is surfaced, it will test your riding skills if taken and have you dropping to 1st gear more than once. Watch out for the sea life when crossing to Mallaig, there’s always something to see, and the ferry is a pleasant diversion. Back on the road the terrain softens just a little, but if the weather is good, look out for the numerous white sand beaches along the route, ideal for a break or a wild camp if you so wish. The Glenuig Inn is recommended as a stop, with a handy post box for sending off any postcards. The day concludes with a Corran Ferry Crossing, which takes you from the peaceful side of Loch Linnhe to the highland town of Glencoe, which by now will feel like a Metropolis. 

 

Points of Interest: 
Clan McDonald Visitor centre http://www.clandonald.com/ 
Armadale & Mallaig Ferry http://www.calmac.co.uk/corporate-calmac/Route-Performance-Figures/mallaig---armadale.htm 
Corran Ferry http://www.lochabertransport.org.uk/TransportinLochaber/PublicTransport/Ferries/CorranFerry.aspx 
Corran lighthouse https://www.flickr.com/photos/allanmaciver/6759158295/ 

 

Distance: 101 miles (161Km)

 

Hotel Details: 
The Loch Leven Hotel
Old Ferry Road
North Ballachulish
Onich
PH33 6SA
http://www.lochlevenhotel.co.uk/ 

 

Day 6  -  Onich to Inveraray
 

Day six takes the back road around Glencoe, however the main A82 is soon reached. This exposed road has great views and a stop at the Glencoe Visitor Centre is recommended for a little more information about the area. The next road to loch Etive is famous for its roll in many films, including Skyfall. Although easily overlooked, and effectively a fairly long dead end road, this single track road offers some of the best scenery and riding of the journey and is highly recommended. Now a pleasant but often busy journey South awaits, eventually depositing you at loch Lomond, a great place to restock and take a boat out if you so wish.  Railing down the side of the loch, a sharp right at it’s southern tail takes you over good roads to Loch Fyne (famous stop for Oysters lovers) and concluding the route at Inveraray, with its historic Jail and Castle. 

 

Points of Interest: 
Glencoe Visitor Centre http://www.glencoe-nts.org.uk/Visitor-Centre-g.asp 
Loch Etive http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g656902-d3315620-Reviews-Glen_Etive-Glencoe_Village_Glencoe_Scottish_Highlands_Scotland.html 
Loch Lomond (Tarbet) boat trip http://www.cruiselochlomond.co.uk/cruises/tarbet-cruises/ 
Inveraray Castle and Jail www.inveraray-castle.com/ www.inverarayjail.co.uk/ 

 

Distance: 146 miles (233 Km)

 

Hotel Details:
The George Hotel
Main Street E
Inveraray
Argyll
PA32 8TT
http://www.thegeorgehotel.co.uk/ 

 

Day 7 – Inveraray – Edinburgh
 

Day seven takes a twisty and well paved route around the forested headland to Oban. Crossing back over the previous day’s route to travel over the Trossac Mountains towards Stirling then back onto Edinburgh. Although a notable more lowland route than previous days it is still with its high points and the usual high quality riding for which Scotland is famous. 

 

Points of Interest: 
St Conans Kirk https://plus.google.com/109370114916383062996/about?hl=en&gl=uk 
Green Welly Gift Shop http://www.thegreenwellystop.co.uk/ 
Doune Castle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doune_Castle 
End Point: Premier Inn Dalkeith.

 

Distance: 190 miles (304Km)

 

Hotel Details:
Premier Inn
Melville Dykes Road, 
Dalkeith,
Midlothian 
EH18 1AN
http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/EDIESK/edinburgh-a7-dalkeith 

 

 

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
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The Hotels listed are the ones we used, other Hotels in these areas are available although mostt Northern locations are limited.

NOTE: The .gdb files and .gpx files should be checked once uploaded to mapping software on a PC and route errors corrected, directly loading into a GPS will most likely cause route errors. Narrowlaning.com takes no responsibility for how this data is used or inturpreted. 

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