Tour the Hebrides by bike with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Cycling in the Hebrides
4 Feb 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.7cm
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Cycling in the Hebrides

by Richard Barrett
Book published by Cicerone Press

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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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.7cm
Weight: 330g

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37 day rides for all abilities, and 22 linking routes for more experienced cycle tourists, allow riders to visit all the essential sights in the Hebrides and the islands of the Firth of Clyde. The guidebook visits over 20, each with its own interesting history, character and wildlife: the cycling routes are as varied as the islands, ranging from short day rides suitable for weekend breaks to a challenging 600-mile tour. Whether you're putting together a fortnight's tour or just enjoying a few day rides from a single base, this guide is packed with useful information to help you make the most of your trip.

The best time to go is April–October, when the days are longer and the weather is at its best, but even be prepared for wet and blustery days. The Hebridean islands offer a wealth of wonderful scenery: the majestic Cuillin mountains on Skye; the otherworldly palm trees on Bute; the marvellous white shell sands on Tiree and Harris. This guidebook features detailed custom mapping and elevation profiles for all routes, and comprehensive information of ferry and transport routes, accommodation, food and drink, supplies, cycle spares and repairs.

Island hopping in these islands is a magical experience. The guide visits over 20 of them and each has its own interesting history and wildlife. Reasonably fit cyclists can enjoy these routes at their own pace; experienced cycle tourists will eat up the miles.

  • Activities
    cycle touring; day cycling; island-hopping
  • Seasons
    the best time to go touring in the Hebrides is between April and October, when the days are longer and the weather is at its best, but even then wet and blustery days are inevitable, so be prepared for them
  • Centres
    Clyde and Kintyre; Colonsay, Islay and Jura; Mull, Coll and Tiree; Skye and Raasay; Barra and the Uists; Harris and Lewis
  • Difficulty
    catering not just for those who are cycle touring but also for those who simply want to get in a few rides while they are on holiday, the rides described in this guidebook range from a 12-mile (19km) day ride to a 600-mile (970km) tour
  • Must See
    covers routes throughout the Inner and Outer Hebridean islands routes for all abilities and levels of fitness: numerous itineraries are possible island hopping in these islands is a magical experience: the guidebook visits over 20, each with its own interesting history, character and wildlife
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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
Getting there
Getting around
The weather and when to go
Where to stay
Preparing your bike
Preparing yourself
Planning your trip
What and how to pack
Riding comfortably
Riding in a group
Using this guide
Maps and itineraries
Link Routes
1A Gourock to Ardrossan
1B Dunoon to Portavadie
1C Auchenbreck to Rothesay
1D Brodick to Lochranza
1E Claonaig to Tayinloan
1F Kennacraig to Oban
Day Routes
1.1 Circuit of south Arran
1.2 Circuit of north Arran
1.3 Circuit of Great Cumbrae
1.4 Circuit of Bute
1.5 Gigha
Link Routes
2A Port Ellen to Port Askaig
Day Routes
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
Link Routes
3A Craignure to Tobermory
3B Lochaline to Salen
3C Salen to Kilchoan
3D Salen to Mallaig
Day Routes
3.1 Slate Islands
3.2 Kerrera
3.3 Circuit across Lismore from Oban
3.4 Circuit of central Mull
3.5 Circuit of northern Mull
3.6 Out to Iona
3.7 Coll
3.8 Circuit of west Tiree
3.9 Fishbone ride in east Tiree
Link Routes
4A Ullapool to Armadale
4B Stromeferry to Uig
Day Routes
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
4.8 Raasay
Link Routes
5A Castlebay to Lochboisdale
5B Dalabrog to Clachan
5C Clachan to Berneray
5D Clachan to Berneray Junction
Day Routes
5.1 Circuit of Barra and Vatersay
5.2 South Uist machair from Tobha Mor
5.3 Circuit of North Uist
Link Routes
6A Leverburgh to Tarbert (west)
6B Leverburgh to Tarbert (east)
6C Tarbert to Stornoway
6D Liurbost to Barabhas
6E Stornoway to Butt of Lewis
Day Routes
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 Suggested tours
Appendix E Day trips to islands
Appendix F Cycle shops and cycle hire
Appendix G Hostels
Appendix H Tourist information
Appendix I Further reading
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