MY SPECIAL RIDE
Scotlandõs west coast
‘At the end you’ll want to ride it again - go for it, there’s still enough time’
An early start will make the most of this epic route, but be sure to down a full Scottish before setting off – you’ll need it. Head northwest from Crianlarich on the A82, fuel up at The Green Welly, then enjoy the first of many grins as you chase a glorious ribbon of tarmac across open moorland to ride the spectacular Glen Coe pass. Push on to Invergarry, via Fort William and Spean Bridge.
Take the A87 from Invergarry and surf the curves between loch and glen, beckoned onward by a flowing road set against a truly breathtaking backdrop. Fill up at the Jet station along Loch Duich (108 miles from the Green Welly), then six miles further turn right for the A890. From hereon the roads get narrower (for a while at least) and down to a single track in places. The going may be slower, but the incredible landscape doesn’t let up.
At the T-junction turn left and follow the A896 for nine miles to Tornapress, where you’ll find the start of Scotland’s third highest road, the famous Bealach na Bà. This twisted cornucopia of steep gradients and tight turns snakes its way up and over the Applecross peninsula in true Alpine style and must be tackled with caution. The wind can gust with abandon so take it easy – any run-off is littered with unforgiving rocks and boulders. Stop at the viewpoint for an obligatory selfie before descending to Applecross and a well-deserved lunch at the Inn.
Once fed and watered, follow the coast road north. This rugged and remote route, though narrow and twisty, should not be too taxing and makes for some sensational vistas. Turn left at the junction with the A896 and follow the road to Kinlochewe – this whole section should take about an hour and 40 minutes. Stop here to top up your tank and you can forget about fuel for the rest of the ride.
The A832 from Kinlochewe via Gairloch is nothing short of motorcycling nirvana. There are 60 miles of rolling, winding (mostly) twolane tarmac that loops out to the coast, around and back, revealing ever more awesomeness at every twist and turn. At the end you’ll want to ride it again and on a long summer’s day there’s still time – believe me, I’ve done just that. The final stretch along the A835 is best taken at a relaxed cruise and there’ll be no small feeling of accomplishment as you park up at your digs in Ullapool. A last, lingering look at the beast that brought you here and then it’s off to the pub to celebrate a truly satisfying ride in fine style.
The Scottish scenery is breathtaking, so relax and take your time on this trip