Cycling the North Coast 500
A cyclist-friendly guide to Scotland's NC500
By Mike Wells
Pre-order - Publishing 15 January 2024This book is available to pre-order. Payment will be taken upfront and your book will be dispatched from our warehouse as soon as it becomes available around the 15 January 2024.
Guidebook to cycling the 528 mile NC500 circular cycle tour around northern Scotland, starting and finishing in Inverness. The route follows quiet main roads and minor country roads, and is easily accessed and well provisioned. It can be comfortably completed within a fortnight and boasts stunning scenery and rich historical interest.
SeasonsBest cycled between May and September
CentresA circular ride starting and ending in the highland capital Inverness. Small towns are passed at Ullapool, Thurso and Tain
DifficultyA challenging cycle route due to frequent undulations, with ascent totalling nearly 8000m. Climbs vary from steady climbs over low mountain passes to short steep hills. The road surface is asphalt throughout, presenting no problem. Suitable for all types of bike with a wide range of gears and appropriate tyres. Lights and high-vis jackets essential due to the possibility of misty conditions on narrow roads.
Must SeeThe beautiful and varied landscapes of the far north of Scotland. Major mountains are passed at Torridon, An Teallach and in Assynt. The route reaches both Durness and John o' Groats, near to the northwestern and northeastern extremities of Scotland.
This guidebook describes a 528-mile cycling route in northern Scotland. Starting and finishing in the highland capital Inverness, the circular route passes through the ancient counties and districts of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross and the Black Isle and is suitable for all types of bike: the going is entirely on asphalt-surfaced roads, though many are quiet with little traffic. The circuit can be comfortably completed in a fortnight.
Featuring clear and concise route description, together with 1:150,000 mapping, gradient profiles, suggested schedules and invaluable practical information - including complete lists of all hostel/bunkhouse accommodation, official campsites and services for cyclists and advice on other accommodation and refreshment opportunities, this guidebook provides all the information needed to plan and execute a terrific cycle tour. Alternative routes are provided in case you should wish to avoid the steep ascent of Bealach na Bà or the undulating Assynt peninsula, or to include the busier A9 east coast road.
The route boasts stunning scenery and rich historical interest and cyclists will be treated to mile upon mile of unspoilt wilderness. The journey takes in varied landscapes of craggy mountains, verdant glens, rolling peat moorland dotted with lochs and wild rugged coastlines - and if the scenery isn't enough, there are many distilleries and micro-breweries on or near the route guaranteed to entice. With notes on history, geology, wildlife and local points of interest, the guide offers a perfect way to get to know Scotland's captivating far north.
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Mike Wells has been a keen long-distance walker and cyclist for over 25 years. He has walked all the major British trails, the GR5 through the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean and has explored the Italian Dolomites’ Alta Via routes. He has also walked in Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway and Chilean Patagonia.
Mike has cycled the C2C route across northern England and Lon Las Cymru in Wales, as well as the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela. He has completed an end to end traverse of Cuba, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape.