So here’s the route we plan on taking –
Day 0 – Thursday 14th May 2015. We’ll be setting off from Nottingham around 7-8pm to begin the loooong drive (438 miles or so!) to Inverness. As there are 3 of us, we’ll be driving straight through the night and expect to land around 3-4am (so we avoid the traffic)! We’ll find our car drop off point and get some shut eye before the first leg.
Day 1- Friday 15th May 2015 – Departing form Inveness, we head west towards Loch Ness riding the southern shore around the Loch. We will pass through Fort Augustus and aim for Loch Cluanie as the stop point for the night. 55.5 miles & 3,819ft
Day 2 – Saturday 16th May – Setting off from Loch Cluanie our aim is to reach Applecross via Bealach na Ba. We will be following Loch Cluanie before picking up Loch Duich and passing through Dornie. We follow the road towards Skye but turn north off the A87 towards Plockton where we will head for some food at around 38miles. Then it back out, and around Loch Carron. We then take the A896 before the turn off to Bealach na Ba and start the climb. The climb is rated as one of (if not THE) toughest climbs in the UK and is a bucket list climb i’ve wanted to do! A descent into Applecross ends the day where we will look for a wildcamp spot / utilise the campsite and one of the camping huts. 74 miles & 7,493ft
Day 3 – Sunday 17th May – Applecross to Camusnagaul – Departing Applecross we follow the coast north and around to Loch Torridon and head inland towards Kinlochewe and will be heading for the Whistle Stop Cafe at around 40 miles for lunch. North again past Loch Maree towards Poolewe, past Loch Ewe we are aiming for Little Loch Broom around to Camusnagaul and we will either find a wildcamp spot or a Hostel to spend the night. 88 miles & 7060ft
Day 4 – Monday 18th May – Camusnagaul to Drumbeg via Lochinver. The longest day (on paper) – after breakfast in Maggies Tearoom in Camusnagaul we’ll head & uphill, during the first 10 miles we gain 1000ft in climbing before descending for a further 10 miles rounding Loch Broom before turning north to into Ullapool (27 miles) Another coffee stop here no doubt (& second breakfast @ Frigate cafe). Then back north on the A835 we turn off to Loch Lurgainn, pass Loch Bad a’ Ghaill, Loch Osgaig – Loop around a few more Lochs and through Altanhdu (and head to Achiltibuie store for supplies at 57 miles) – back completing the loop and up and through Inverkirkaig. Back out and head north to Lochinver on the A837, we turn off on the B869 following the coast around to Drumbeg ideally will stop in the B&B. 89 miles & 7151ft
Day 5 – Tuesday 19th May – Drumbeg to Durness. Today sees us contunue to head north to Durness. A direct route along the A838 (if legs are tired / weather closes in) is 45.5 miles so will be a nice quiet day. However, this is a tour so all being well we’ll be taking the longer route that takes us off the main road and into the little villages on the way. The plan for today is to find a B&B / Hostel but failing that there is a campsite in Durness we will use. 84 miles & 7,453ft (detour route) or 45.5 miles & 4,324ft (direct route)
Day 6 – Wednesday 20th May – Durness to Lairg. Another day that can be cut shorter by going the direct route but the plan is for 86.5 miles today. We head south out of Durness around Loch Eriboll. Then east to Tongue and out again to the A836 turning left to Bettyhill where we’re heading for “The Cafe”. After the stop here we turn around and follow the A836 back before picking us the B871 and following the River Naver south, picking up where it flows into Loch Naver and re-picks up the A836. We carry on following this south until Loch Shin and eventually Lairg where we will find a campsite / wildcamp. 86.5 miles & 5,407ft
Day 7 – Thursday 21st May
– Lairg to Inverness. A short day now sees us head back into Inverness. We leave Lairg and head south through Bonar Bridge and follow the south side of the Dornoch Firth and follow this to Tain. South West past the Cromarty firth, through Alness, Evanton, Dingwall and Canon Bridge. South East now to North Kessock, over the Beauly Firth and into Inverness where we have a Hostel for the night and will celebrate with a few drinks! 62 miles – http://connect.garmin.com/course/8342082
Day 8 – Friday 22nd May –
Drive the 438 miles back to Nottingham. Depending on how tired the Legs are and the time we leave, we may stop en route home at Aviemore and cycle from here to Cairn Gorm Mountain. 20 Miles – http://connect.garmin.com/course/8342801
***Originally we had planned the route from 21st May to 28th May but decided to push it back a week and are now looking at 14th May to 21st May as the dates.