Route

It had to avoid the hills and it had to avoid main roads. These were the first two factors in deciding our route. There were others; we wanted to take in the Tarka and Camel Trails.  We wanted to pass by my sister’s place in the outback of Cumbia and we wanted to pass through Edinburgh – Karon’s birthplace and home to many of her extended family.

With this in mind I used OS Getamap (links below) to plan the routes and I checked out any roads I was unsure about on Google Earth (with the elevation slightly exaggerated) or Google Street View.

Our planned routes are on the OS Getamap site, though we strayed from the planned route occasionally. This was usually to use a main road – on finding it only light with traffic – rather than longer or hillier back road route. The OS site has changed since I planned the route and all the route plans have been removed.

We decided to take in the mainland’s most southerly and northerly points – the Lizard and Dunnet Head. It only added a day, maybe two, to the trip. We also made use of quite a few Sustrans routes along the way – especially ones that follow old railway lines and canals, as they employ very gentle gradients to gain height.

In Scotland there’s not so many options of route choice, but we chose to head up the middle, following the glens, or straths. A little more remote than following the coastal routes but a lot less hilly.

Below is a daily numbered list of places we passed through or close to, with overnight stops in bold. For accurate daily rides, see our posts.

  1. Rail trip from home –
  2. Penzance – to Land’s End and back.
  3. Penzance
  4. Gweek – Lizard and back.
  5. Gweek – Truro –
  6. St Newlyn East – St Columb Minor – St Col umm Major – Padstow – Camel trail – Wadebridge –
  7. Blisland – Camelford – Hallworthy – Week St Mary –
  8. Holsworthy – Sheepwash – Tarka Trail – Bideford –
  9. Fremmington – Barnstable – South Molton –
  10. Oxbridge – Wiveliscombe –
  11. Taunton – Wedmore – Axbridge – Winscombe – Sandford – Yatton –
  12. Weston-Super-Mare – Clapton in Gordano – Easton in Gordano – Avon Bridge – Hallen –
  13. Almondsbury – Oldbury on Severn – Berkeley – Frampton on Severn – Gloucester – Maisemore – Ashleworth –
  14. Tewksbury – Tunnel Hill – Worcester – Stourport on Severn –
  15. Kidderminster – Bridgnorth –
  16. Ironbridge – Leighton – Wroxeter – Shawbury – Wem –
  17. Whitchurch – Wrenbury – Brindley – Spurstow – Chester –
  18. Heswall (on the Wirral) – Birkenhead – Ferry to Liverpool –
  19. Liverpool – Day off to take Magical Mystery Tour
  20. Liverpool – Bootle – Maghull – Southport – Mere Brow –
  21. Preston – Great Eccleston – Stake Pool –
  22. Morecambe – Carnforth – Over Kellet – Arkholme – Newton –
  23. Kirby Lonsdale – Middleton – Sedbergh – Greenholme – Orton –
  24. Appleby – Skirwith – Langwathby – Lazonby – Kirkoswald –
  25. Brampton – Lanercost – Walton – Hethersgill – Boltonfellend –
  26. Sleetbeck (Bob’s sister’s) – Catlowdy – Canonbie –
  27. Langholm – Bentpath – Eskdalemuir – Ettrick –
  28. Tushielaw Inn – Crosslee Rig – Long Grain Rig – Mountbenger Law – Traquair – Peebles –
  29. Penicuik – Bilston –
  30. Edinburgh (Karon’s cousin) – Queensferry – Forth Bridge – Inverkeithing – Dunfirmline – Deanhead Steadings – Watergate –
  31. Kinross – Milnathort – Middleton – Pathstruie – Forteviot – Aberdalgie – Perth –
  32. Bankfoot – Birnam – Balinluig – Pitlochry –
  33. Blair Athol – Killiecrankie – Calvine – Pass of Drumochter – Dahlwhinnie –
  34. Newtonmore – Kingussie – Ruthven – Aviemore –
  35. Carbridge – Tomatin – Auchnahillin – Castleton – Nairnside – 
  36. Inverness – North Kessock – Tore – Canon Bridge – Dingwall – Alness –
  37. Tain– Kincardine – Bonar Bridge – Invershin –
  38. Lairg
  39. Altnaharra – Syre – Bettyhill –
  40. Farr – Lednagullin –  Strathy – Melviche – Reay – Knockglass –
  41. Thurso – Castletown – Dunnet Head –
  42. John O’ Groats!!!!
  43. Day off in JoG
  44. Day trip to The Orkneys
  45. Jog Bike Transport to Inverness – stayed overnight then
  46. Collected hire car from airport, loaded bike and drove home.
Our route

Our route on Google Earth

This plot is slightly different to our exact route, as we made changes in-situ.

To get back home, we took a bike shuttle to Inverness. We stayed overnight then I took a taxi out to the Airport and rented an Avis hire car. Back at the hotel we split the bike, loaded it into the car along with our baggage and drove home.