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 Scotland North Coast 500

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Crustycrutch
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PostSubject: Scotland North Coast 500   Wed May 18, 2016 1:08 am

For those planning a trip to the Scottish Highlands I can recommend taking a glance at the North Coast 500 website. A complete 500 mile circular route taking in awesome scenery with information on food, accomodation, events etc.

I did a very similar circuit 5 years ago and can honestly say it was one of the best trips I've done. I can particularly recommend the Lynver Guest House in Inverness - bike friendly, great grub and damned nice people.
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Wed May 18, 2016 1:51 am

The north west of Scotland is awesome.
But if your going up thataway it's worth checking out the alternative routes through Northumberland and the Borders.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Wed May 18, 2016 5:34 am

I use to go on a lot of weekend rides, rallies, and the odd tour up to the North of Scotland in my BMW Club days. Living in Cumbria was only a couple of hours away from the border at Gretna. While riding up to places like Durness, John O'Groats, Ullapool, Plockton, and Applecross was fine, and I have fond memories of those times, it was often tedious riding all the way up to places like Blair Atholl just to meet up with others. Then it was GAFA country all the way up the A9 up to Inverness etc. Also while group riding can be fun, it's more often a pain in in the arse, and I usually got that anyway from the BMW’s seat.

Then when hammering up the M74 to get North of the Central Belt and up into Perthside and beyond lost it's appeal, I found Dumfries and Galloway, and the Borders offered great relaxed riding and roads a lot nearer to home. There's great scenery just riding to up to Stranraer or Cairnryan for the ferries to Belfast, and Larne.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Wed May 18, 2016 8:33 am

GAFA country?
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Wed May 18, 2016 6:43 pm

Cosmic_Jumper wrote:
GAFA country?

GAF = Great Areas of **** All. Roads where there's a road with empty barren moorland, heathland, highland, or fells either side for miles with nothing much to look at except the road in front, the pole markers either side to keep you on the road when it snows.

On some of these mindnumbingly boring roads, the only visual distractions are (a) keeping an eye out for unmarked police vehicles and speed camera vans, and (b) counting plastic Coke bottles of urine flung onto the roadside by passing truck drivers.   Wink
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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Thu May 19, 2016 1:25 am

The GAFA referred is the A9... and it is aliving hell that road.
Thankfully it csn be avoided.
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Seadog
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Fri May 20, 2016 5:46 pm

Meldrew wrote:
Cosmic_Jumper wrote:
GAFA country?

GAF = Great Areas of **** All. Roads where there's a road with empty barren moorland, heathland, highland, or fells either side for miles with nothing much to look at . . .

I dream of roads like that, and spend ridiculous amounts of money and my precious little time off work to get to them! What could be better than moors, hills and mountains to look at while you're cruising along?

There are plenty of roads round here (and across the rest of crowded Britain) that are full of stuff either side (and traffic in front) - that's what I look forward to getting away from.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Fri May 20, 2016 6:47 pm

I rode roads like that from my twenties to my sixties when I I lived in Cumbria, I had fell roads with sheep and ponies wandering around on them just a couple of miles from my house, plus lakes and passes all within easy distance. All very scenic and a fell walkers wet dream, but believe me the novelty soon wears off and they're just narrow roads with their own set of hazards.

Now living in North Yorkshire, I find the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors are pretty much the same.



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steve_h80
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Sat May 21, 2016 1:35 am

The A9 is not a quiet, happy road. It's a traffic clogged nightmare, albeit quite a pretty one.
Just about every other road up the is wonderful. bounce
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phils a winger
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Sat May 21, 2016 2:56 pm

my 20 mile ride to work is mostly gafa country, 2 towns and 1 village to break up the monotony, currently being diverted for another 3 months(done 3 months) while network rail replace a railway bridge, this road is even more barren, part runs on the edge of a windfarm. I noticed the other morning that the turbine nearest the road only had 2 blades, the missing one was on the deck bent in two. Gonna need a big roll of gaffa tape to fix that !
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sandancroy5
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Sat May 21, 2016 3:06 pm

A9 is much better with the average speed cameras on it now, a lot less suicidal nutters on it. relax and enjoy the ride
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Seadog
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PostSubject: Re: Scotland North Coast 500   Sun May 22, 2016 5:30 pm

Meldrew wrote:
Cumbria . . . All very scenic and a fell walkers wet dream, but . . . . they're just narrow roads with their own set of hazards.

Now living in North Yorkshire, I find the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors are pretty much the same.


And there's me planning to slog half way across the country (and one of the busiest, most tedious bits, too), just so I can ride in the North York Moors, and across the Dales to Cumbria!

Different strokes for different folks.Smile
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