Cycling West Coast Scotland Oban - Campbeltown
Single / Double
Any Start Date from February to November
A six centre self-guided cycling tour of Scotland’s West Coast Oban to Campbeltown and finishing in Glasgow. Includes 7 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite (wherever possible) guesthouse accommodation, 6 days cycling, route guide and maps. An additional night in Glasgow or hire of a 21 speed all-terrain bike would be extra. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
This 120 mile cycle route offers the more adventurous cyclist the chance to explore the spectacular West coast of Scotland and the opportunity to do some island-hopping of the western islands too. Starting in Oban, ‘Gateway to the Isles’, the route uses minor roads to Campbeltown situated on the beautiful Mull of Kintyre peninsula. Along the way there is an extensive network of forest trails providing you with extra exhilarating excursions. Following loch side and coastal roads you’ll experience fantastic views across to the islands of Jura and Arran, with pretty harbours, castles, abbeys and ancient stone circles to visit as you go. The tour finishes in the city of Glasgow giving you the choice of continuing your journey or enjoying a night in this vibrant city of culture.
START of TOUR: Oban on the Northwest Coast of Scotland.
ARRIVAL DAY: Oban. Your 1st night’s accommodation will be in Oban near the start of the route. There are many places to eat in this town from fish and chip shops to traditional pubs and hotel restaurants. Overnight: Oban, Scotland.
DAY ONE: Bike Ride from Oban to Ford. Distance approx. 36 miles (58 km). Leaving Oban the route climbs gently on a quiet road through delightful Glen Lonan to the town of Taynuilt. Heading south via Glen Naut you can see red deer as you ride through ancient woodland. Then a wonderful downhill takes you into Kilchrenan. There are opportunities here to stop to have a pub lunch or sandwiches and a cup of tea. The rest of the day’s ride runs parallel with Loch Awe including some steep climbs that are rewarded by spectacular views over the loch and surrounding area. Also on this section are some optional challenging routes into the forest on fantastic cycle trails. At the end of Loch Awe is the town of Ford. This will be your next overnight stop. Overnight: Ford, Scotland.
DAY TWO: Bike Ride from Ford to Lochgilphead. Distance approx. 24 miles (39 km). This is a much easier day with no hills which allows you plenty of time to visit the many sites of historical interest in and around the village of Kilmartin. This part of the route includes: Carnassarie Castle, various stone circles and standing stones plus a fascinating museum with services for the traveller to obtain refreshments. After spending most of the day in Kilmartin a flat area known as Moine Mhor Nature Reserve leads onto a splendid towpath alongside the Crinan Canal. A short detour to the coast at Crinan with views over to the Isle of Jura is a well worth it option. This traffic-free towpath then takes you to Lochgilphead and your next overnight accommodation. Overnight: Lochgilphead, Scotland.
DAY THREE: Bike Ride from Lochgilphead to Tarbet. Distance approx. 32 miles (51 km). Today is the most challenging section of the tour known as the ‘Kilberry Loop’. It is also the most rewarding and bonniest. The entire route is on minor country roads quite remote in parts, especially between Achahoish and Tarbert. The spectacular scenery makes the climbs a distant memory and on the right day this is a never to be forgotten bike ride. There are superb views over the Sound of Jura before heading inland to the banks of West Loch Tarbert that takes you to your destination for today the town of Tarbert. A busy ferry port and yachting centre this town has many places to obtain an evening meal. Overnight: Lochgilphead, Scotland.
DAY FOUR: Bike Ride from Tarbet to Campbeltown. Distance approx. 37 miles (59 km). Today is the toughest section of the ride with many steep hills to climb. There is an option at the start of the day of catching a bus (for cyclists) that runs between Tarbert and Claonaig. A rollercoaster of a road follows the coast providing fantastic views over Kilbarran Sound to the Isle of Arran before reaching Carradale and a good opportunity for a lunch stop. Continuing along the coastal road the final hill gives way to an impressive view over Campbeltown. Set in a sweeping arc around the Loch this is your destination for today. Overnight: Campbeltown, Scotland.
DAY FIVE: Bike Ride from Campbeltown to Ardrossan. Optional Distances. Heading back along the coast road to Claonaig, there is again the option of catching a bus to the ferry port. This can help save you time. A regular ferry service runs from Claonaig to Lochranza on the Isle of Arran. Often referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, Arran is only 10 miles wide and 19 miles long, but captures many aspects of Scotland’s beauty in this small area. There are excellent services on the island for the traveller to perhaps have lunch while admiring this beautiful island. After spending the day on Arran you will then need to catch another ferry to the mainland at Ardrossan, your final night’s accommodation. Overnight: Ardrossan, Scotland.
DAY SIX: Bike Ride from Ardrossan to Glasgow. Distance approx. 36 miles (58 km). A nice cycle trail takes you round the seafront and quiet country roads head inland to Kilbirnie. There are many sites of interest to see on this section of the route: Collegiate Church, Castle Semple and William Wallace Memorial. As you ride through a lush green river valley on a traffic-free cycle way there are many opportunities to stop to have a pub lunch or buy sandwiches from towns on route like Lochwinoch and Paisley. The route is very flat riding through Pollok Country Park on the outskirts of Glasgow. A cyclist friendly section allows you plenty of time to take in the sights as you go. The cycle route meets the river Clyde at Bells Bridge next to the National Science Centre in the centre of Glasgow. An overnight in Glasgow can be arranged at an extra charge.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to GLASGOW and OBAN (NOT included in tour price): Oban is the nearest rail station, with about 3 trains a day from Glasgow.
RAIL TRAVEL from GLASGOW to LONDON and EDINBURGH (NOT included in tour price): Glasgow is the nearest rail station. There are very frequent trains from Glasgow to London and Edinburgh.
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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GRADE B (cycling): Between 23 - 37miles (37 - 58kms) a day. The route is principally hilly with moderate climbs. We recommend that clients bring their own bicycle and equipment but we can arrange hire, but this will be extra. We suggest starting cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your fitness.