Fort William to: Mallaig
Leave Fort William going through Corpach then on into the great blue yonder. we did this in the sun .Fantastic scenery as the road dips twists and rises through glens, past lochs and along the coast.Stop for refreshments in Arisaig before continuing on to Mallaig.Once there try to stop grinning to much turn the bike round and do it all again.Eyes off the cottage at the end off loch Morar that one is my retirement home.(if only).Enjoy a big mac once back in Fort William and still half a tank left.
Glencoe to: Glencoe
Throughout its length from Glasgow to Inverness the A82 is a joy. An A-road metelled for bikers - it doesn't so much change direction as gracefully sweep with a confident camber and no road furniture. It's almost as if you'd laid the tarmac yourself.
The bonnie bonnie banks of loch Lomond set the tone for the whole route as the road clings to the magnificent landscape. On through the splendour of Glencoe and past loch Ness (an opportunity to spot some of the more elusive wildlife such as Nessiteras rhombopterix) on to Forts William & Augustus - no boring straight Roman road here. Here you can see so far ahead it's unreal. There's nothing, absolutely nothing coming. Just breeze by and smile. During the summer the A82 is littered with Germans and the Scot's old ally the French. They come here in droves - well, cars and bikes. Perhaps they are overawed by the Alps and come here for scenery that's a bit less severe. Even with holiday traffic there's that sense of freedom, a feeling that simply glides you along this ride to remember.
The highpoint of the A82 is the stretch Bridge of Orchy, over Rannoch Moor through Glencoe to Ballachulish. Reverse the trip to double your pleasure. From the Bridge of Orchy the snaking black ribbon climbs rapidly as the Moor opens out before you. 1000 metre peaks fence in the vast, intimidating bog. Don't hang about as it could be Scotland's own Area 51. Lean and flow quicksilver across the elevated expanse of peat and rock. The Three Sisters wait to swallow you into fast approaching valley. As the sides begin to loom now you ease off. The roadside crash barriers give away the vital sign. Find your religon and pray to the great god Michelin as the clear opening bends invite you and your bike to shine. You're bathed in stunning landscape with heather, bracken and conifers partially clothing the huge great lumps of towering rock. Fresh mountain air and that immense feeling that the bike is part of the road. That big grin creeps over your face and sets hard.
This is perfect for that long get-away-from-it-all weekend. A chance to clear the lungs and recharge the head. Whether you're a bumbag or tank bag or full panier kit biker there's no problem finding a place to kip & scoff as the area is dotted with B&Bs, guest houses, hotels and hostels and of course - campsites. Grab petrol at any one of a number of modern or quaint stations. This is where they make Scotch Mist so check with Bill Giles first. The Ballachulish Hotel and The Kingshouse Hotel afford more comfort than most around here - and the Youth Hostel in Glencoe is spot on. The Clachaig Inn serves good food and decent ales - but won't serve Campbells!
In Glencoe stands a stone cross to commemorate the MacDonald's massacre by the Campbells. Down the road in South Ballachulish is a monument to James Stewart who was wrongly hanged for his alleged part in the massacre. If the tales of blood, guts and betrayal in the Visitor Centre don't put you off your food then head for the Fish & Chip caravan or local Spar. The Thunderace's brakes are tested just once as a deer bounded into the road - at least the flat cap in the Volvo is half predictable. After all this is sheep and deer country. It's also skiing country - either the dry or the snowy variety - we could try anything once. Whisky distilleries are scattered here and there to tempt you once the bike is tucked up safely.
Once you head has cleared the A82 has tributaries that each in turn lead to something special. And for my next trip... Wonder up to Ben Nevis or nip over the Corran Ferry to Strontian & Ardnamuchan? Twist down the A828 to Oban and perhaps a ferry to Ireland? Whistle up the A87 over the sea to Skye or catch the A830 to Mallaig? The strange roundabout at Ballachulish could prompt a few circles whilst you decide which way to go. Sod it! Let's go back up the glen just one more time.
Helmsley to: Scarborough
Helmsley is a market town lying on the A170 from Thirsk to Scarborough. The road is mostly 60 limit, quiet and predominantly plod free, road surface is smooth and sticky. Plenty glorious fast sweepers and good straights. Great scenery (if you get time to look). Not too many villages along the way so fairly hazard free. Helmsley market place is a locally renowned gathering point for all walks of biker on summer weekends (mainly sunday afternoons) and theres always loads of bikes on the Scarborough sea front at the other end of the journey. Plenty alternative routes if you fancy a change on the way back. That corner of North Yorkshire is packed with good biking roads other than this, explore!
Laggan to: Spaen Bridge
I was on holiday in Scotland a couple of years ago and this was my trip to the shops. It's abour 30 miles of beautiful scenery fabulous bends and very little traffic.
Laggan is just off the A9: come off on the A889 at Dalwhinnie, (only do the distillery trip on the way back, please!) or Kingussie. At the other end, Spaen Bridge is just a few miles from Fort William.
The stretch alongside Loch Laggan is the best, with rocks on one side and water on the other. But the roads are good quality all along, with plenty of space and a good surface, (last time I was there). And of course bends. There are a few more-or-less straight bits - just enough to catch your breath before the next set of twisties. The first time I did it was in miserable wet weather and it was still brilliant!
The routes on this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.