Cycling near Lochinver, Assynt

80 miles, 7700+ feet of ascent

Dave Barter’s Best British Bike Ride…

Last weekend we were in the right place at the right time to take on the ultimate route in Dave Barter’s excellent Great British Bike Rides guidebook.

This is an amazingly scenic 80 mile loop around Lochinver and the hills of Assynt – you get to see Sulivan from 360 degrees (literally). Photos courtesy Rob T of ARCC…

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Some of Britain’s best mountains too… Stac Pollaidh, Cul Mor and Sulivan, Canisp and Quinag behind.

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Looking across to the Summer Isles

The roads are fantastically quiet and predominantly singletrack, except for a fair pitch in the middle along the deserted and very wide A837. The route has a respectable amount of ascent – 7,700 feet – but there are no classic climbs, just a never-ending rollercoaster of sharp coastal grades, topping out at 25% or so.

All things considered the riding is absolutely world-class, and easily justifies the monstrous 5+ hour drive from central Scotland.

We took a leisurely six hours on this circuit, stopping off for toasties and a bitter shandy opposite the Summer Isles. I managed to sneak a KOM in, which topped off a perfect day.

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The Drumbeg road: Scotland’s hilliest?

I deliberately haven’t broken this route down as I have most of my others, since you should support Dave Barter by buying his excellent guidebook instead.

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Route map / elevation profile

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Beside Loch Osgaig

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The highly deserted A837 “main road”

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A 25% pitch on the Drumbeg road – mile after mile of hairpins, blind bends… perfect terrain!

What are you waiting for? It’s only three hours drive north of Inverness! 😉

2 Comments

  1. michael brough

    Hi Dave, I did the route, minus the loop to Altandhu, on the May day weekend. I know the area fairly well having walked there on several occasions but to cycle the deserted roads gave a whole new perspective, it was one stunning vista after another. I described it to friends as the most beautiful road in the world. I can see myself coming back to do it again but will include the loop next time. Well worth the drive form Leeds to Ullapool. Maybe I should cycle from Leeds next time.

  2. Dave

    Thanks Michael, I agree it’s definitely worth a repeat visit!

    Might be a bit of a contrast cycling up from Leeds though 😉

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