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Thoughts on a Trip To Scotland in the Mid 2021 ?

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GettinBetter
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PostPosted: 20:44 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Thoughts on a Trip To Scotland in the Mid 2021 ? Reply with quote

As Scotland is one of my favourite places to visit, I have thoughts on popping up there in the summer (june'ish).

750 odd miles for me to John O'groats, so taking it easy... say 4 days each way, & taking time to peruse and chill, plus a couple of days there... say 10 days, mainly non- motorways with the option to use them occassionally. Make it up as I go along, rough it unless it's raining.

Pros & Cons?
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Riejufixing
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PostPosted: 20:59 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Re: Thoughts on a Trip To Scotland in the Mid 2021 ? Reply with quote

GettinBetter wrote:
Pros & Cons?

1) It's Scotland.
2) It's Scotland.


You are upon the horns of a dilemma. Only you can work it out.
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doggone
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PostPosted: 21:25 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

John o Groats is a point on a map with little else going for it.
Several hours ride to nothing much.
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pepperami
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PostPosted: 21:48 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like a few on here , I’ve been to Scotland a few times.

Mr Doggone is right John-O’groats doesn’t have a lot there.
However it is the furthest point on the mainland you can get from Lands End.
Commercial as it is (loads of tourists) if you go through Glen Coe early in the morning before they are out of bed, Glen Coe is very Nice.
I went through it in July a few years back, the sun was shining on a bright cool morning.
In bright sunshine and there was still snow high up on the north sides of the mountains.
I liked Perth , it’s come a long way since I was there in the 1970’s
Dunfermline was not very friendly towards the English and the only friendly Scottish accent I heard in Dunfermline was from an Indian in the local Indian restaurant.
I got bad weather when I did the Forth Road Bridge crossing, scary as f*ck Shocked !
I found that once you’re north of Perth , the landscape changes for the better imho
Fort William is very much a tourist town, however it is a good launch point to explore the east and some of the isles.

Lastly , it rains a LOT in Jockland.
If you get lucky with the weather, I can’t think of a place i more like to be than in Scotland with my motorbike.
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GettinBetter
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PostPosted: 21:48 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

doggone wrote:
John o Groats is a point on a map with little else going for it.
Several hours ride to nothing much.


Ah, but it's the getting there, not the destination. The trip will always make a better conversation than the place.
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Riejufixing
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PostPosted: 21:51 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

GettinBetter wrote:
Ah, but it's the getting there, not the destination. The trip will always make a better conversation than the place.

Oh, I say, jolly well said.
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pepperami
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PostPosted: 21:59 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

GettinBetter wrote:


Ah, but it's the getting there, not the destination. The trip will always make a better conversation than the place.


You’re right to a degree.
I’ve always felt that I’ve accomplished something when I get there.
It’s the same with all my trips.
But then most of my trip are done on a 250 , so yes it’s an accomplishment Very Happy .
Yes the journey is important to me as well.

Still we all want something worth getting to when we take a journey.
I wouldn’t ride 860 miles just to buy an over priced skanky burger from a van , I want more than that.
Still , I got my picture taken while I was at John-O’groats , so I have photographic evidence that I’ve been there Thumbs Up .
One off the tick list.
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Last edited by pepperami on 09:04 - 11 Dec 2020; edited 1 time in total
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Skudd
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PostPosted: 23:07 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scotland is a nice place to visit, ride around and then go home.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 23:32 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

GettinBetter wrote:
doggone wrote:
John o Groats is a point on a map with little else going for it.
Several hours ride to nothing much.


Ah, but it's the getting there, not the destination. The trip will always make a better conversation than the place.


But some trips lead to longer and more interesting converations than others.

So make your destination Durness instead. You can thank me later.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 23:34 - 10 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skudd wrote:
Scotland is a nice place to visit, ride around and then go home.


You forgot spend money. Add that to your mission statement and Nikki will appoint you to her cabinet as tourism minister.
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 09:26 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

The world's your lobster when it comes to Scotland; there are loads of beautiful places. Central belt, less so, but once north of that it's all pretty nice.

Your plan is sound enough, although as mentioned above, not a great deal at JOG. Better to maybe do 3 on, 1 off, 3 on, 1 off, 2 on or something. In an ideal world I'd use the rest days as "float" for rubbish weather so I could spend a rainy day exploring local stuff rather than covering miles, but accommodation plans might not be so flexible.

Which brings me to the last point (and one I'm wrangling with); whether to commit myself to a UK tour next year and get the days booked in but hope the COVID won't interfere (vaccine is no guarantee things will be normal by middle of next year), or wing it but risk availability as staycations are likely to be more popular, particularly if the whole Brexit fiasco continues to mess with travel plans.
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pepperami
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PostPosted: 10:26 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say, there’s no way I’d go to Scotland without having some form of accommodation booked.
Even in the height of summer, it’s not a place I like to be out overnight without somewhere to shelter/sleep.

It’s not like one of the warmer countries down Southern Europe where a night sleeping under the stars next to your bike is not to much of an ordeal.

Covid is a shit-house and spoiling all our touring plans.
If I couldn’t book my accommodation beforehand , I’d stay at home .
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pepperami
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PostPosted: 10:35 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dunnet Head : the most northerly point on the British mainland you can get to by road.
Great views Thumbs Up
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BigTim
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PostPosted: 13:15 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a campsite at Durness, on cliff top, white sand beaches and blue sea Thumbs Up big cave next door, Smee cave, well worth a look

campsite at JOG, a steady days journey across top of UK, book a tour round Dounreay Nuclear plant, and pop in to Castle of May, Queen mums old gaff on route.

you need pic of you under the signpost at JOG.

you can get nice days in Scotland honest, I've seen blue skies and 25 degrees, it was caught on camera as they filming Antiques Roadshow at Crathes Castle.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 14:44 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

JOG and Dunnet Head are tick list destinations, nothing more. The west coast is always going to be the best thing about touring Scotland. Fantastic if you get good weather, which I have been lucky enough to have every time I've been up there due to being able to go at short notice. Not sure I'd bother planning a trip for set dates well in advance.
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Freddyfruitba...
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PostPosted: 15:16 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under 'Cons', nobody's mentioned the bloody MIDGES, which will be at their peak in June when the OP plans on visiting.

Also - in peak season (not sure when that is? maybe a bit later?) consider the sheer volume of tourist traffic when you get up North to the single-track roads, and you get stuck behind loads of camper vans playing Tetris at the passing-places. Sad (By the way, my top tip for riding on the single-track roads is to travel in a group, as oncoming cars are more likely to perceive you as such when they see you coming, and pull in to a passing place to give way. Yes, I know!)

Like chickenstrip said, if you can plan to go at relatively short notice in the Spring or Autumn, in response to a good weather forecast, that would be my recommendation. I spent 10 days up there during fine weather in October and it was utterly, utterly brilliant.
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Last edited by Freddyfruitbat on 15:27 - 11 Dec 2020; edited 1 time in total
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 15:19 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddyfruitbat wrote:
Under 'Cons', nobody's mentioned the bloody MIDGES, which will be at their peak in June when the OP plans on visiting.

Also - in peak season (not sure when that is? maybe a bit later?) consider the sheer volume of tourist traffic when you get up North to the single-track roads, and you get stuck behind loads of camper vans playing Tetris at the passing-places. Sad

Like chickenstrip said, if you can plan to go at relatively short notice in the Spring or Autumn, in response to a good weather forecast, that would be my recommendation. I spent 10 days up there during fine weather in October and it was utterly, utterly brilliant.


In fairness, best weather is often at the end of May.
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 15:44 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, for me Scotland is a Jan - May destination. I actually really like the highlands in winter, but then again I have a propensity to go climbing up snow and ice while I'm there and the time of year helps in that respect. April / May sees snow capped hills, comfortable-ish temperatures on a bike (they can vary a lot though) and generally better weather, but without the midges and reduced tourists.

Incidentally, midges seem to be creeping further and further south these days; I've had several appalling experiences in Snowdonia and the Yorkshire Dales which rival the highlands and islands.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 16:16 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThunderGuts wrote:
Yep, for me Scotland is a Jan - May destination. I actually really like the highlands in winter, but then again I have a propensity to go climbing up snow and ice while I'm there and the time of year helps in that respect. April / May sees snow capped hills, comfortable-ish temperatures on a bike (they can vary a lot though) and generally better weather, but without the midges and reduced tourists.

Incidentally, midges seem to be creeping further and further south these days; I've had several appalling experiences in Snowdonia and the Yorkshire Dales which rival the highlands and islands.


I've been eaten alive by midgies (English, so probably mere midges) in the Lake District on one occasion.
Agree that spring and autumn are the best times for biking in Scotland assuming you do get the weather. My last two trips encountered very little traffic.
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 16:24 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

All this talk keeps on reminding me of my cancelled NC500+ trip from last May though. Crying or Very sad
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 17:08 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing worth remembering is that the NC500 was intended as a cycling route and is now chock full of camper vans and caravans, running on roads that were not designed for them and being driven by people who can't drive them.

Probably best avoided where possible.
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to v or not to v
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PostPosted: 19:53 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry but youre only allowed out of your home with government permission now, you risk catching a cold.
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woo
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PostPosted: 21:43 - 11 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go up to the highlands for holiday from London almost every year, this year I had some really hot days like 24oc which was nice.
It can rain hard when it does and even then the place still looks beautiful.

Some petrol stations shut early so make sure you check about the petrol stations on your route.

Heres one of my trips and links to good routes to ride: https://www.bikechatforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=4562611&highlight=#4562611


and if you get time go for a long hike: https://www.bikechatforums.com/viewtopic.php?p=4656848&highlight=#4656848
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kgm
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PostPosted: 10:50 - 12 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful places to check out that are not so commonly visited (if you like single track) are Ardnamurchan and Kinloch Hourn. Camping required for Kinloch Hourn and the midges can be bad though.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CE4R6pjnGie/?igshid=h4u9drym7voh

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDwawP6HgGY/?igshid=titkt9of33i6

Nice in the winter too but ice on the road can be an issue, I came across about 20ft of solid ice on the road at Kinloch Hourn last November, would have been impassable if I'd not been on the CRF. No midges though!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4uNmedHDiZ/?igshid=1wk5kjmm7ybe6

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4vEC0AHAvj/?igshid=jyf61sbmh5sx
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GettinBetter
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PostPosted: 11:19 - 13 Dec 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

pepperami wrote:
...If I couldn’t book my accommodation beforehand , I’d stay at home .


Really! ok, I'm sure you have your reasons.

I'm of the "just go and deal with any issues as they come" mentality.
I'd just try to take as many things to assist with comfort with me, plus as many spares as practically possible.

I can't stand planning, it creates too many deadlines, and I have those all year, I'm not adhering to deadlines while I'm on holiday. I don't care whether I get there or not, no preplanned route, and the destination may change altogether.
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