Road trip to Scotland and finding the ‘left road’ – Part 1

Road trip to Scotland and finding the ‘left road’ – Part 1

Although we are not yet fully free of all the restrictions the series of lockdowns have imposed on us over the last 15 months or so, it is fair to say that many areas of daily life have started the gradual return to some form of normality.

After what really has been a heck of a long time I was more than pleased to be able to get a feel for some of that normality when I was able to get away last week on one of my bikes for a short break.

With the weather forecast looking good and with the promise of at least a few days of fairly settled weather I decided at short notice to head off for a few days of riding on decent roads, and not for the first time (or the last) headed north and to Scotland.

Travel plan or not?

Most of my European trips are done without much of a plan, I really like the sense of not quite knowing where I will end up – both in terms of location and accommodation, and in any case the idea of remaining flexible as to where I stay and where I go being based pretty much on how I feel (and sometimes on how the weather forecast is looking) is very much my preferred way of travel.

A couple of examples of that approach can be found at the blog posts of my trip to Spain and Portugal on my own and also the Spain/Portugal trip with my wife. There are plenty more examples of the unplanned approach on the blog, but that weren’t the approach for this short trip to Scotland.

On this occasion I had decided in advance where I would stay (location and accommodation). This was done for a couple of reasons – partly to make the most of my time whilst away and also because I have traveled to Scotland more times than I can recall I was pretty sure of broadly the areas I wanted to travel to on this trip.

What I hadn’t decided was the route I would take each day – that could be left for the evenings that preceded each days travel.

Day 1 – route

My route for the first day of my short break took me up to Shap in Cumbria then onto Dumfries, Hermitage, Castle Douglas and Parton.  After that it was towards New Galloway and the Galloway Forest – an area that I absolutely love and an area that I don’t think that I will ever tire of. I finished my days riding on the west coast in Girvan.

Day 2 – route

My second days riding saw me heading for an overnight stay in Oban and broadly heading (initially) via some enjoyable single track roads for Garvock, Port Glasgow, Old Kirkpatrick, Alexandria and Tarrbet. Then it was the A83 to Cairndow, Claonairigh, Castleton, Baluchraig and a very decent overnight stop in the coastal town of Oban

The riding on both days was excellent as was the weather. Pictures from the two days are below and in separate photo galleries – Photo gallery day 1 and Photo gallery day 2 respectively.

What about the ‘left road’?

Check out Part 2  for the rest of the trip and to find out about the ‘left road

Photo gallery – day 1

Clicking on any of the pictures below will open a gallery that you can scroll or click through (scroll down for pictures from day 2)

Photo gallery – day 2

Clicking on any of the pictures below will open a gallery that you can scroll or click through.