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Cycling in the Hebrides is a comprehensive guidebook of routes, day rides and suggested island cycle tours throughout the Inner and Outer Hebrides and the Firth of Clyde with ferry schedules and timings. Routes range from rides suitable for a weekend break to a challenging 600-mile tour covering the entire region.
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Island hopping through the Hebrides and the islands in the Firth of Clyde by bike is a magical and varied experience.
The islands give a range of riding conditions that vary from the steep hills of Arran and Skye to the windswept peat moors of the Western Isles. Coll and Tiree barely rise above sea level and provide easy rides as long as there is little wind, rides on Mull are challenging whatever the weather, while visitors to a compact island like Great Cumbrae will find a surprising variety of cycling in a small area.
Strictly speaking the Hebrides run from Islay in the south to Lewis in the north. However Arran and the other islands in the Firth of Clyde are included here to maximise island hopping possibilities. As a result this guidebook includes routes on all the major islands served from the ferry ports on the west coast of Scotland.
This guidebook caters for those who are cycle touring and those who simply want to get in a few rides while they are on holiday in the Hebrides. So, whether you’re putting together a fortnight’s tour or just enjoying a few day rides from a single base, this comprehensive guidebook is packed with useful information to make the most of your trip.
If you are cycle touring, you can use this guidebook to plan your own tour through the islands in the Forth of Clyde and the Hebrides. Routes are numbered by chapter with certain routes tagged as 'link routes'. These intersect with other link routes, ferry ports and railway stations giving you complete flexibility and lots of alternatives.
We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).
|Wildlife and plants|
|History and culture|
|The weather and when to go|
|Where to stay|
|Preparing your bike|
|Planning your trip|
|What and how to pack|
|Riding in a group|
|Using this guide|
|Maps and itineraries|
|1 CLYDE AND KINTYRE|
|1A Gourock to Ardrossan|
|1B Dunoon to Portavadie|
|1C Auchenbreck to Rothesay|
|1D Brodick to Lochranza|
|1E Claonaig to Tayinloan|
|1F Kennacraig to Oban|
|1.1 Circuit of south Arran|
|1.2 Circuit of north Arran|
|1.3 Circuit of Great Cumbrae|
|1.4 Circuit of Bute|
|2 COLONSAY, ISLAY AND JURA|
|2A Port Ellen to Port Askaig|
|2.1 South coast of Islay|
|2.2 Circuit of northwest Islay from Bridgend|
|2.3 Circuit of central Islay from Bowmore|
|2.4 Circuit of southwest Islay (The Rhinns)|
|2.5 Craighouse and back from Feolin Ferry|
|2.6 Circuit of Colonsay|
|3 MULL, COLL AND TIREE|
|3A Craignure to Tobermory|
|3B Lochaline to Salen|
|3C Salen to Kilchoan|
|3D Salen to Mallaig|
|3.1 Slate Islands|
|3.3 Circuit across Lismore from Oban|
|3.4 Circuit of central Mull|
|3.5 Circuit of northern Mull|
|3.6 Out to Iona|
|3.8 Circuit of west Tiree|
|3.9 Fishbone ride in east Tiree|
|4 SKYE AND RAASAY|
|4A Ullapool to Armadale|
|4B Stromeferry to Uig|
|4.1 Across the Sleat Peninsula from Armadale|
|4.2 Elgol and back from Broadford|
|4.3 A three-legged ride from Carbost|
|4.4 Around the Duirinish Peninsula|
|4.5 Circuit of the Trotternish Peninsula|
|4.6 Circuit of central Skye|
|4.7 Skye Bridge/Glenelg circuit from Kyle of Lochalsh|
|5 BARRA AND THE UISTS|
|5A Castlebay to Lochboisdale|
|5B Dalabrog to Clachan|
|5C Clachan to Berneray|
|5D Clachan to Berneray Junction|
|5.1 Circuit of Barra and Vatersay|
|5.2 South Uist machair from Tobha Mor|
|5.3 Circuit of North Uist|
|6 HARRIS AND LEWIS|
|6A Leverburgh to Tarbert (west)|
|6B Leverburgh to Tarbert (east)|
|6C Tarbert to Stornoway|
|6D Liurbost to Barabhas|
|6E Stornoway to Butt of Lewis|
|6.1 Circuit of south Harris|
|6.2 Huisinis from Tarbert|
|6.3 Scalpay from Tarbert|
|6.4 Callanish by the Pentland Road|
|6.5 West Lewis from Gearraidh na h’Aibhne|
|6.6 The Bridge to Nowhere from Stornoway|
|Appendix A Link route summary table|
|Appendix B Day route summary table|
|Appendix C Ferry routes|
|Appendix D Day trips to islands|
|Appendix E Cycle shops and cycle hire|
|Appendix F Hostels|
|Appendix G Tourist information|
|Appendix H Further reading|