West is best
Stunning Scottish blast
‘Surf the curves between loch and glen, beckoned onward by a flowing road’
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 Stop (see page 38), then enjoy the first of many grins as you chase a glorious thread of tarmac across open moorland to ride the spectacular Glencoe pass. Push on to Invergarry, via the town of 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. 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. The A832 from Kinlochewe via Gairloch is nothing short of motorcycling nirvana. At the end you’ll want to ride it again and on a long summer’s day there’s all the time in the world.