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Kerry and Kirsty’s wild and wonderful crowd-sourced cycle routes around the roads and pathways of rural Scotland

3 May 2018

Cycling around Scotland can be so much fun. And it gets even better when you know where to go. Elite riders Kerry and Kirsty MacPhee tackled these eight fantastic routes for BBC ALBA’s Kerry is Kirsty.

Selected from the original Gaelic programme, these are the routes that viewers suggested. They’re not extensive routes for days out, but they do show the way to some amazing stretches along Scotland’s roads and paths.

Safety first!

Elements of these adventures require good knowledge of both cycling and mountain skills. We advise you to be familiar with both these disciplines before heading out there. Here is some more detailed information:-

Things to pack and do

  • Map
  • Phone, charged
  • Spares and repairs: tubes, pump, patches, a bike tool
  • Money
  • Spare clothing
  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back
  • Take your rubbish home with you

Disclaimer

All care has been taken to make the route descriptions and other information on this webpage as accurate as possible, but use of any of the information is entirely at the user’s risk.
The BBC accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury, damage, mishap or inconvenience sustained by anyone pursuing any of the activities described on this webpage.
Personal safety is the responsibility of each rider. You must exercise your own independent judgment as to whether the routes suggested on this site are safe for you in the context of your fitness, training, skills and experience.
Geographical information provided for each ride on this webpage is for a suggested route only and it is up to every rider to evaluate for themselves the best and safest way to actually proceed.
The BBC makes no representation or warranty that any material on the webpage, inclusive of GPS data and maps, will be accurate, reliable or complete.
All outdoor activities involve some risk of injury or death, and cycling in remote parts of Scotland is no exception.
Links to other websites on this page do not imply endorsement of those websites by the BBC.

Off-road to Applecross

Tha Kerry is Kirsty sa Chomraich cuide ri Calum MacIlleathain

Calum MacLean joins Kerry and Kirsty in Applecross.

Details and downloads

This route is in Applecross, in Wester Ross, and avoids the world-renowned Bealach na Bà road climb in favour of a lesser-known off-road route.

Starting at Kenmore on Loch Torridon, this is a mountain bike route through Applecross Glen to reach the west coast of the peninsula. If the weather’s nice, you can even finish the ride off with a cooling dip in Applecross River.

Kerry and Kirsty rode this route with Calum Maclean who’s more commonly known as the Wild Swimmer.

View and download Kenmore to Applecross:-

Skye: Portree to Staffin, in the footprints of the dinosaurs

Tha Kerry is Kirsty air aon de na slighean baidhsagail as fheàrr le Kerr Gibb

Kerry and Kirsty cycle one of Kerr Gibb's favourite routes.

Details and downloads

In north east Skye in the Trotternish peninsula.

Starting at Portree harbour, you cycle past some of Skye’s most famous landmarks. Admire the strange rock formations of the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock before tackling the steep climb up the winding road to the Quiraing.

Skye’s reputation as the Jurassic Isle is also clear to see as you pass dinosaur footprints on Staffin beach, which have made the island so famous in recent years.

Kerry and Kirsty ride with with local Kerr Gibb, who is lucky enough to count this route as his commute to work.

View and download Portree to Staffin:-

The rough bounds: Morar and Arasaig

Aon de na slighean baidhsagail as fheàrr le Lisa Annette

Kerry and Kirsty cycle one of Lisa Annette's favourite routes.

Details and downloads

Morar and Arisaig are known as the rough bounds, so you have some idea what to expect. Starting at Bracora, follow the banks of Loch Morar – Britain’s deepest fresh water loch – and keep an eye out for the legendary resident, Morag the monster.

Then stop for a break to see the famous steam train the Jacobite, made more famous in recent years thanks to its appearance in the Harry Potter films. Continue on past the white west coast beaches, with stunning views out to the Small Isles and Skye.

Kerry and Kirsty met up with local cyclist Lisa Annette, who has rediscovered the beauty of her her home turf through trips on the bike.

View and download Morar and Arasaig:-

Stac Polly and Coigach peninsula

A’ tòiseachadh aig bonn Stac Pollaidh fo cheò

Starting at the foot of a mist-shrouded Stac Polly.

Details and downloads

Coigeach is in Scotland’s north west and this route starts at the foot of the iconic Stac Polly before heading off round the Coigeach peninsula.

Famed for the bracing winds when the cloud clears, you are treated to fantastic views of the Summer Isles and the hilltops of Assynt. Fairy folklore is part of the ancient culture in the area, so keep an eye out for place names that honour these mystical creatures.

Kerry and Kirsty rode with Seonaidh Charity, who first got to know his chosen route as he’d often travel the road to visit his fiancée.

View and download Coigach:-

Big climbs and a handy ferry - Ashaig on Skye to Shiel Bridge

Sìos leathad lùbach gu Caol Reatha anns an uisge

A swift descent to Kylerhea in the rain.

Details and Downloads

Take on big hill climbs in the south of Skye and then onto mainland via the unique Glenachulish ferry.

The first steep climb starts at Ashaig before a swift descent with sharp alpine bends to Kylerhea. Catch the world's only hand-operated turntable ferry, the Glenachulish, across the water to the mainland to reach the picturesque village of Glenelg. From here carry on to another gruelling climb up to the summit of Mam Ratagan with its rewarding views of the Five Sisters of Kintail.

Fiona Grant, a cycling aficionado who lives in Skye, rode this route with Kerry and Kirsty and gave them a run for their money!

View and download Ashaig to Shiel Bridge

Assynt and the Clachtoll peat road

Tha slighe shalach air thoiseach air Kerry is Kirsty

A muddy track awaits Kerry and Kirsty.

Details and downloads

Based in Assynt on the north west coast, start off with an out-and-back on the Clachtoll peat road once used by locals to reach remote peat banks.

Then rejoin the main road and continue up the coast, stopping at Clachtoll beach – which can seem like the Mediterranean on a sunny day – before finishing the day’s cycling at the dramatic seascapes of Stoer Lighthouse.

Kerry and Kirsty met and rode with Ruairidh MacKay, who has fond memories of coming to the area when he was a young boy and now brings his own family here.

View and download Assynt

Strath Nairn, exploring the other lochs

Tha Kerry is Kirsty aig Loch Athasaidh an cuideachd Raghnaid Sandilands

Kerry and Kirsty visit Loch Ashie with Raghnaid Sandilands.

Details and downloads

Beautiful Strath Nairn, south east of Loch Ness, has numerous little lochs to explore.

Start the cycle in Farr and continue on to Loch Duntelchaig. This is where some locals believe the real Nessie lives. Then plough on to Loch Ashie, with its own stories of sightings of a ghostly battling Norse warrior: Fionn.

Kerry and Kirsty rode with Raghnaid Sandilands, a self-confessed map boffin, who began using her bike to explore the places she sees while researching maps and place names of the area.

View and download Strath Nairn

Amongst big mountains in Loch Lyon

Tha Cailean agus na peathraichean a' tadhal air faing chaorach iomraiteach

Colin and the sisters visit a sheep fank with a claim to fame.

Details and downloads

This route takes in the stunning Loch Lyon and Beinn Dorain, just north of Tyndrum.

Starting the route at the foot of Beinn Dorain, the route makes several crossings of the small rivers flowing down from the surrounding hills. Then pass over the West Highland Way, which attracts walkers all year round, before also then passing under the West Highland Railway Line. Along the way, look for a fank (a walled pen for sheep) where famed Gaelic poet Duncan bàn MacIntyre once lived and worked.

Kerry and Kirsty rode with hillwalker Colin MacLeod, whose bike is a means to an end for reaching more summits.

View and download Ben Doran and Loch Lyon

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