We Brits, or so the stereotype goes, like talking about the weather. And that’s how this weekend trip to Hadrian’s Wall begins. When we left Edinburgh, it was raining: fat raindrops filling the windscreen, no matter how fast the wipers tried to clear them. On the bypass, it felt as though the tarmac was going to disappear beneath swimming pool-esque puddles, as the clouds continued to empty themselves. And when we hit Northumberland National Park, it was still pelting it down.Continue reading “A Wet Weekend at Hadrian’s Wall, Part I: Exploring Housesteads Roman Fort”
When we woke, it was blowing a gale. Packing the tent away proved somewhat challenging, as it felt as though at any moment the parts we hadn’t yet rolled up would take flight. On the plus side, the pesky midges had all been blown away.Continue reading “Farewell Islands, Hello Highlands: Loch Ainort to Fort William, via Glenfinnan Viaduct”
The Isle of Skye is one of those rare places that’s as magical as everyone says it is. It’s stunning, dramatic, other-worldly. Skye is everything everyone says it is – and then some.Continue reading “A Wheelie Good Day on the Magical Isle of Skye”
If you’re contemplating cycling the Hebridean Way from north to south, you’re either bonkers or caught between a rock and a hard place.Continue reading “Hebridean Way #4: Shawbost to the Butt of Lewis (and Back to Tarbert via Stornoway)”
We woke to grey skies, a few droplets on the flysheet the only trace of the rain that had fallen overnight. Fog hung over the hills we’d crossed the previous evening. We ate a banana each, took the tent down, and hit the road.
Just up the road a small sign announced that we were now entering the Isle of Lewis. A light drizzle set in as we pedalled along Loch Seaforth. We’d gone from cycling in shorts and t-shirts and being roasted to a crisp by the sun to cycling in fleeces and coats and getting a free shower from the clouds in the space of twelve hours.Continue reading “Hebridean Way #3: Ardvourlie to Shawbost (Plus a Detour to Uig)”
If I had to pick a favourite day on the Hebridean Way, this would probably be it. Why? We had glorious weather (always a plus), and some of the best views – of both beaches and mountains – from the saddle yet.Continue reading “Hebridean Way #2: Claddach Kirkibost to Ardvourlie”
Created in 2016, the Hebridean Way traverses the length of the Outer Hebrides, all the way from Vatersay, in the south, to the Butt of Lewis, at the northern tip. In a nutshell, it’s:
10 ISLANDS. 6 CAUSEWAYS. 2 FERRIES. 1 EPIC ADVENTURE.
It’s 297km/185 miles of pristine beaches, rugged mountains and open moorland. In many ways, it’s the perfect introduction to bikepacking: a relatively modest distance; stunning scenery; and not too remote if things go pear-shaped.Continue reading “Hebridean Way #1: Vatersay to Claddach Kirkibost”
We arrived on the outskirts of Fort William late the previous evening, the last flickers of daylight fading as we pitched the tent by Loch Linnhe. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that water plus woodland means only one thing: being eaten alive by midges in the summer months. And so it was here: the ferocious little blighters were out in force. We slathered ourselves in Smidge, and retreated into the tent as quickly as possible. Time to catch a few hours’ shut eye ahead of our first day in the saddle.Continue reading “Cycling the Highlands and Islands: Fort William to Vatersay”
Sunshine? On a bank holiday? Well, it would’ve been rude not to head up to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs for a spot of Munro-bagging. Our targets: Ben Vorlich and Stùc a’ Chroin. (Confusingly, there are two Ben Vorlichs in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Here, I’m talking about the one located due south of Loch Earn.)Continue reading “Two More Munros: Ben Vorlich and Stùc a’ Chroin”
Stretching from Helensburgh to Dunbar, the John Muir Way traverses countryside, cities and coastal towns. It’s 215km/134 miles in all, but with train stations at regular intervals along the route it’s easy to split up into shorter stretches if you only fancy a day in the saddle. We did just that, and cycled a small segment of the route from Edinburgh to North Berwick a couple of weekends ago.Continue reading “John Muir Way: Edinburgh to North Berwick”