Crianlarich to: Glencoe
This is one of many absolutely brilliant runs for those of us lucky enough to live about the middle of Scotland. It's a favourite circular run for locals, but can be done one way if you're touring or visiting. Best to avoid the main summer months, since it can get a bit busy with cars & coaches, and watch for Mr Plod (unmarked cars & bikes). Total distance as described below is about 120 miles I think. The route's all single carriageway A-roads, mainly good surfaces, with decent grip - not too many muckspreaders around, but watch for loose gravel at farm exits.
Starting at Crianlarich, the A85 to Tyndrum is a fairly quick, wide, road with some good open bends. Tyndrum has a couple of decent eateries, plus what's reputed to be the most expensive petrol in the universe. Take the A82 to go over Rannoch Moor and on through Glen Coe itself - if you don't have to stop and look at these hills, you're not human! Do watch out for hillwalkers wandering about on the road, though. Once through Glen Coe, there's food and fuel at Ballachulish. Take the A828, which is an interesting twisty road along the side of Loch Linnhe. Last time through (November 98), the surface was starting to break up in parts, so a bit of care was needed with cornering lines. At Connel, take the A85 along the side of Loch Etive and Loch Awe to return to Tyndrum & Crianlarich - again, a decent bit of road with a mix of tight corners in the first half or so, followed by more open straights and bends later.
Newbury to: Swindon
Starting from Newbury take the A4 to Hungerford. The road can be busy but there are many wonderful overtaking opportunities, wide and with good vision. Leave Hungerford on the A4 towards Marlborough but quickly turn right onto the B4192. I did this on a Saturday at 11am and there was very little traffic, just some great straights, a couple of very pretty villages and enough bends to satisfy those much braver than me. The only trouble is you end up in Swindon but you can then go up to Faringdon on the A420, to Wantage on the A417 and then back to Newbury via the B4494, a great road. The whole journey is about 45 miles with lots of stopping off places.
Thatcham to: Theale
Not a great road but a useful alternative to the A4 when its busy (which is to say most of the time). Start from Harts Hill Road at the east end of Thatcham then follow road through Upper Bucklebury, Chapel Row and Southend. After about 8 miles you come to a T-junction. Turn right, then right again at the A340 to take you back on to the A4. Although unclassified, its fast and has many overtaking opportunities. But beware animals and hidden side turnings - take care.
A30 Nr Staines to: Staines Lap
A30 / M25 Junction. Anyone attempting 90 MPH around the A30 M25 Junction is going to get thmeselves killed, it is suicide. the junction is extremly busy and traffic often backs up around the blind corner. There is also a favourite police hiding place in the middle of the roundabout and traffic lights. Fortunatly the police and firestation are only 1/2 mile away.
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