Ardgay to Ullapool Cycle Weekend

Well the weekend begins with a stop at Dunkeld Railway Station as I wait for a couple of friends, Vince & Dougie to appear and transfer the bikes over to one car. As railway stations go it’s not a bad one to start the adventure. So we have 3 bikes on the roof. Well see how many we have on our return!!

Bike at Dunkleld Railway Station
Dunkeld Railway Station
That’s the transport sorted for the trip

Next stage is a journey up to Invershin for the night. Might have a wee beer or 2 to catch up with the chat.

As promised reached the accommodation and straight to the bar. Cheers from the Invershin Bunkhouse.

Invershin Hotel & Bunkhouse
1st beer at the Invershin Hotel

Wonderful entertainment in the Invershin Hotel. It’s great to relax in a local bar with an open-mic folk session, real ales and nice food…….and it’s still light outside

Day 2 and now the hard work begins.

Time to leave the comfort of the Invershin Hotel to begin our 40ml overland cycle to Ullapool. Thanks to Cheryl, Angus and the 2 kids for their fine hospitality. Wish us luck!!

What about the bad ass super cool Scotland cycling top.

At Ardgay Railway Station ready to start cycle


First point of interest was reached after 10mls. The lovely Croick Church hides a sad hidden secret in Scotlands past when in 1845 it was the scene of Highland Clearances where 18 families and 90 people came to seek some refuge in the grounds of the church. They didn’t venture in as they thought if would be sacrilegious. There are a number of etchings on the windows done by the families.

Croick Church

A wee bit further along at the end of the tarmac road is this ominous sign…..eeeks!!!

Another 30mls. As if we needed reminding

The track leads us through Strath Cuileannach for a number of miles before the 1st serious ascents take place and the track gets more rough.

A wee rest stop and a photo opportunity
Lubachoinnich Cottage

About 20mls in and roughly the half way mark we reached the Duag Bridge Schoolhouse mountain bothy where it was time for a well earned rest and some food.

Pit stop at the Duag Bridge Schoolhouse Bothy
Duag Bridge Schoolhouse Bothy

From the bothy the path soon get rough again and the going is slow. We decided to take the route down the north west side of Loch an Diamh where we came across the Knockdamph mountain bothy. Not as good nick as the last one but i’m sure it provides comfort for many a weary hillwalker.

Knockdamph Bothy
Dougie cycling alongside Loch an Diamh

Well that was a fantastic days cycle. A well deserved pint in the Seaforth was had but first we had to dip our wheels in Loch Broom at Ullapool.

I made it. The wheels touch the water in Ullapool
Dougie & Vince dip their wheels in the water

It was time for a wash at the Youth Hostel and a curry but not before a couple of photos of Ullapool Harbour.

Ullapool Pier
Ullapool Harbour Front

Day 3
Well, after our excersions the day before reality hit that we had it all to do again in reverse.
After a big breakfast to fuel ourselves up we headed off about 10am.

This time we decided to take the south east route back up Loch an Diamh but that required us to carry the bike up a big hill as the track wasn’t suitable for mountain biking (at least for us amateurs). It wasn’t as bad as it looked though and we soon got on a level on the Allt nan Caorach.

Photo opportunity at the Allt nan Coarcah

After a wee bit of rough ground we got back on the track and this proved to be better ground than yesterdays and we got the mileage back up again. Near the Corriemulzie Lodge we got this great view back to Seana Braigh.

Seana Braigh from near Colliemulzie Lodge

Before we knew it we were back at the schoolhouse bothy for a bit of shade from the soaring heat and some refuelling.

Dougie at the Duag Bridge Schoolhouse
Time to get the feet up. These saltire socks will never be the same again!!!
Time for some lessons at the 2 desks in the bothy

We had a long climb out of the forest to get back to the track and it was a great feeling to get on some decent surface and then the tarmac. The end was in sight. Would the bikes survive the last few miles.

Looking back from the bridge over the River Carron to where we had been

We cycled out together and we cycled back in. We had done it. Mission accomplished.
Time for a last week pic from the Railway Station.

Pointing to the railway sign.