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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 17 Jun 2009
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West Coast of England and Highlands of Scotland

Hope it doesn't rain.

I'm leaving the UK for good in a month or two and wanted to see some of it before I go. Have lived here for twenty years now and haven't seen nearly enough of it!

Here's the first three days:

Nottingham, UK to Callander, UK - Google Maps

And the second three to five, depending on how much fun I am having and how wet it gets:

Callander, United Kingdom to Callander, UK - Google Maps

I am booked in at Callander camp site .. £10 a night! The thieving fetchers!

Going to wild camp the rest of the (Highland) trip if I can .. since 2005 its been legal apparently and where it isn't, I don't care. Pop-up tent at the ready.

Any of you northers recommend places to see on or near to the route?

I'm purposefully avoiding Mull and Skye, saving them for a more thorough exploration next time. I want to get over to Islay and Lewis at some point as well, although ideally sailing up there!

If anyone's interested, costings:

Lowland Leg:

Morecambe
£9 per night

Callander
£9 per night

467 miles approx.

Highland Leg:

Ullapool - Wild Camp
Looks like an old quarry on there near the town, plenty of open space behind it.

Achavanich - Wild Camp
Sod all there. Shouldn't be a problem.

Lossiemouth OR Peterhead - Wild Camp
Plenty of beach outside town and down the coast.

Callander Return (I think I'm gonna stink by this point. So w00t for showers!)
£9 per night

775 miles approx

+ £80 fuel (125cc baby!)

+ £15 food + drink ( money, rest in tins!)

-----------------------
Total inc. £110 ~ £125

If you have a bike and want to get stuck in, welcome! Prospect of a nice BBQ or a few tins along the route is appealing!

Aiming to leave Nottingham depot at 6 am on the 22nd of June
Will reach Callander no later than the 24th. Will do about 200 miles a day, or less if I find stuff to visit or see. I have taken two weeks off being unemployed for this little trek, so no rush.

NB: All bets are off if I get raped to death in Morecambe.

Last edited by smudge; 18 Jun 2009 at 16:10.
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  #2  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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You know dude, I'm from Notts (tho I live in Cheshire atm) and am visiting relatives in north Leics right now. I've no job, no money, nothing to do and quite fancy seeing scotland again. Not giving a definite but you never know.

I was thinking of looking at a bike thats for sale up that way. Could this be fate beckoning to me.....?
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  #3  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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Oh yeah, the M6 is one depressingly boring road, why not head into derbyshire and take the cat and fiddle through to macclesfield? Waaaaaaaaay better than the A50, got done at well over 100mph on that road a few years ago, bad memories...
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  #4  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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Thumbs up

Where in Leicester? I lived there for years ..
If you don't have a bike, buying one in 5 days and then taking it 1300 miles sounds risky bordering on nuts.

I'm riding a 2008 CG125 btw .. so slow and steady wins the race. 55 mph cruising speed and 100mpg.

Cash is extremely tight for me. Hence the wild camping. I think I have £77 in my bank account and the same again left on my one remaining credit card. If I had a few notes stuffed away I'd definitely be doing this one on an ER5 or a Sportster. But needs must.

Not being able to buy pub meals or go drinking (more than a pint) might sound like hell, but I like the thrifty stuff. Just as happy with a can of beans on the campsite and a few tins of 1664 and a sausage on a stick over the fire. You can do whatever you like of course! Likewise camping and when you set off, we don't have to travel together all of the way or anything.

This is a semi-working trip too, I'm hoping to punt the write up to various magazines to pay the petrol down to Marseille next month! So expect lots of photo stops and local interest (standing stones, park n hike etc) if you do decide to tag along. I favour early starts to beat the traffic and the tourists and won't be up for drinking or mucking around in pubs. This is going to be a personal journey so having someone to chat to would be great but I'm not looking for a lads holiday etc.

Oh and being a working trip, I wouldn't be able to hang around too long if you broke down or had an accident. Just a heads up! Apart from that, some company for some or all of the way would be great ..

M6 is only through Preston btw .. some motorway is inevitable, especially when it comes to 'just getting there' stretches of NE England. The Highlands are the real money shot of this trip. The rest is just me not wanting to sit on the M1 all the way to Glasgow.

Cat n fiddle has been castrated, last time I was there (I live 10 miles from Matlock) it had been average speed camera'd to death. But yeah, A50 can be side-stepped. I know Derby well enough .. I only chose the A50 because its straight through and first day its nice to get some miles under your belt quick before the arse goes numb. Its nice to stop off at D&K's and get a cuppa, marvel at the comedy price tags on their used stock for a few hrs .. or drop in at Keele village and have one of the best hamburgers known to man!

-edit- If you are anyone else is serious about participating, drop me a PM?
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  #5  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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Great idea and sure you'll love it. Would only suggest looking to camp closer to Lossiemouth than Peterhead. The beaches around there, especially Burghead are something else!

Like with much of Scotland, the haggis and tartan tourist stops are pretty awful. The real delight is just getting off your bike in the little coastal towns and the roads between them which are just amazing. Also, the Baxters factory nr Focahbers does some mean pancakes.
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  #6  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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Have a good trip.
Worried about being smelly...ditch the campsites exhorbatant fees and buy a campshower from somewhere like decathlon. Fill with water, leave in the hot scottish sun for a couple of hours.......
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Old 18 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveboulder View Post
Have a good trip.
Worried about being smelly...ditch the campsites exhorbatant fees and buy a campshower from somewhere like decathlon. Fill with water, leave in the hot scottish sun for a couple of hours.......
If that's anything like the hot Yorkshire sun, I'll be needing mountain rescue!

I do plan on swimming in Falloch Falls if its not freezing cold nasty.
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  #8  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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John o Groats

You've got a great route planned but if it were me I'd not want to miss out on the north west coast. I went up to Durness last year and the scenery is fantastic.

I rode along the north coast to John o Groats, despite everyone telling me it would be too touristy just because its the thing to do. It was a bit disappointing compared with the highlands, but the road is nice and there are very few people out that way.

Enjoy your trip.

Frank
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  #9  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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I'm saving the west coast and the isles for next time .. I hear you though. The cash is very thin on the ground and I only have 12 days.

I'm googling all the towns on the route now for interesting stuff to go and see. Looking forward to the 'Highlander' castle at Eilean Donan and standing stones at Achavanich and the beach camping at Lossie!
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Old 18 Jun 2009
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Looks overall quite a good route, however on your route between ullapool and fort william I would really suggest the following route - A832 follow coast - a 896 - to Shieldaig, turn towards Fearnmore then follow road to Applecross (Camp on Beach near Applecross) (Brilliant road, brilliant views, Lovely pub in applecross) leave Applecross over Bealach na ba (highest road in UK I Think) wonderful riding head back towards fort william along A896 / A820 / A87. Also if you happen to be in the central area off your route there is some very nice wildcamping spots along Loch Rannoch. Personally I would miss Wick out it is as its name suggests Wick. But sounds like a great trip have a great time. Have you not considered travelling up the east coast of England to Edinburgh - Yorkshire / northumberland is a nice route up there and on a smaller bike the coastal route is really very nice. I would want to avoid the main motorways and fast A roads. Best wishes Jake.
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  #11  
Old 18 Jun 2009
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Hi
I've done most of your trip backpacking & hitching a lot of the way.

Instead of booking into expensive campsites for a shower ect I used the excellent public swimming pools & leisure centres in the bigger towns. If you ask for shower ticket only they often charge peanuts or let you in free.

There is a great campsite near Kyle of Lochalsh run by The Forresty Commission I was charged £2, it's basic but you get a great view of Eilean Donan Castle.

Have a fantastic trip, watch out for the dredded midge, buy a midge net hat as soon as you hit Ardlui

Al a fellow 125 owner with £7.70 in the bank!
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