Daytrips in Central - Scotland.


For tours in the Highlands, visit this page


For 2- 5 days tours in Scotland, visit this page



The list of tours from Scotland on this page.



Tour # 6. Dunoon - Dumbarton. 95 km.
Tour # 7. Balloch - Callander - Balloch. 120 km.
Tour # 8. Dumbarton - Loch Awe - Dumbarton190 km.
Tour # 9. Stirling - Dumbarton. 60 km.
Tour # 10. Edinburgh - Dumbarton through the Campsie Fells. 100 km.
Tour # 13. Dumbarton- Arrochar - Dumbarton. 85 km.
Tour # 14. Isle Of Arran (clockwise) 90 km.
Tour # 22. Balloch - Fintry - Lennoxtown- Carbeth- Queens View - Balloch. 75 km.
Tour # 23. Dumbarton - Kilcreggan - Glen Fruin - Dumbarton. 75 km.
Tour # 25. Balloch - Callander - Crianlarich- Balloch (The Trossachs). 165 km.
Tour # 26. Dunoon - Loch Striven- Strachur - Dumbarton (The Cowal Peninsula). 130 km.
Tour # 35. Milngavie - Aberfoyle - Callander – Fintry - Milngavie. 115 km.
Tour # 36. Lanark - Wanlochhead – Kilmarnock - Paisley. 145 km.
Tour # 37. Rothesay – Strachur – Arrochar - Dumbarton. 130 km.
Tour # 38. Greenock – Bridge Of Weir -Paisley. 45 km.
Tour # 39. Rothesay – Loch Striven - Dunoon. 50 km.



All maps has been taken from Multimap


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Tour # 6.
Dunoon - Strachur (Loch Fyne) - Rest And Be Thankful - Arrochar - Loch Lomond - Dumbarton
95 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 325 meters.
Highest point: Rest and be Thankful: 282 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: **
Fun rating: **


How to get to Dunoon: Train from Glasgow Central Station to Gourock. Ferry from Gourock to Dunoon.

This cycling trip is not particular interesting, but I have done it and I therefore have to include it. It is a nice early spring tour with a serious mountain thrown in for good measure.

The first thirty km. runs along Holy Loch and through a narrow valley. The road is flat as a pancake. After you have left this lake, a very small hill brings you over to Strachur at Loch Fyne.
Strachur is the last shop before the steep climbs up to Rest And Be Thankful. Fill up with soft drinks and food. Approx. ten kilometers after the flat (and scenic) road along Loch Fyne, you start the climb up to Rest And Be Thankful. The climb is moderate steep along Loch Fyne until you meet the road from Inveraray (A83). The first hill from that crossroad is steep. But it flattens out before the road sharply takes off up a valley to the right. This steep climb is about 1 kilometres long. Then the road goes along a small lake for some hundred meters until you are on the top of Rest And Be Thankful.
The view is worth all the sweat and pain. The descent down to Loch Long is approx. 4 km long. The upper part is very bumpy due to frequent stone-falls hitting the road. Take care !! The road goes in Loch Long to Arrochar (shops, WC). An alternative 10 km. longer route is to take the road along Loch Long to Helensburgh and Dumbarton. The downside is that it contains three hills, including one major hill just before Helensburgh (train to Dumbarton/Glasgow/Edinburgh/the rest of the world). But the road has very moderate traffic and it is very scenic.
The route takes us over a small hill to Tarbet at Loch Lomond. The road down to Dumbarton is relative flat with only a small hill right after Tarbet. There is a cycle path from Tarbet to Luss, but it is off a very poor standard. If you can live with the traffic, I recommend the road to Luss (shops). This small village is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from the pier towards Ben Lomond is one of the most famous views from Scotland. You find postcards with this view everywhere in Scotland. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet), please follow the well maintained cycle road. The road from Luss to Dumbarton through Balloch and Alexandria is flat and reasonable interesting. Train from Dumbarton back to Glasgow four times an hour.

Tour # 7.
Balloch - Drymen- Aberfoyle - Loch Katrine - Callander - Lake of Menteith- Bucklyvie- Drymen - Balloch
120 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 500 meters.
Highest point: The Duke 250 meters above sea.
Traffic: Minimal to Moderate.
Severity Rating: ****
Fun rating: *****


How to get to Balloch:
Train from Glasgow Queen Street two times an hour. Situated on the southern shore of Loch Lomond, Balloch have some excellent B & B's, hotels, campsite and a youth hostel. Balloch is an excellent base camp for your stay in West of Scotland.

This is a very varied cycle trip with some serious climbs, interrupted with some scenic light cycling along small country lanes. It is one of my favourite cycle trips in Scotland.

The trip starts with a moderate one kilometre long climb from Balloch (shops) over a hill to Drymen. The road down from the top of the hill to Drymen offers some excellent views towards the mountains surrounding Loch Lomond.
At the crossroad, take the road to the left towards Drymen (shops). A one kilometre constant climb through Drymen follows. After three kilometres, you come to a crossroad between the road to Glasgow, Stirling and Aberfoyle. Take the road to the left to Aberfoyle. The road down and over the plains to Aberfoyle is quite bad. Be alert if you want to avoid punctures and personal injuries. Aberfoyle (shops) the official gate to the Trossachs. Follow the road signs very carefully when entering Aberfoyle because the road goes very steep to the right from the main street in Aberfoyle towards the Duke. The views along this vertical two kilometres climb is breath taking.
On the top of the Duke, you also have a splendid view over the Trossachs forest. Be very careful on the descent down from the Duke. Some of the turns are quite dusty and sharp. At one kilometre at the end of the descent, you are at the crossroad between Loch Katrine and Callander. Take the moderate undulating road to the right towards Callander. The town of Callander has every shop you need, including some cycle repair shops. After a well deserved break, take the road (A 81) towards Glasgow.
The unnamed hill between Callander and Lake Menteith is on approx 200 meters above sea level. The climb is medium steep. The vertical drop down from this mountain, will be a severe test of your brakes and nerves. At the end of the descent, take the road to the right towards Aberfoyle and Glasgow. After a kilometre, take the road towards Port Of Menteith and Bucklyvie. This small road is moderate undulating. After 10 kilometres, you are at the main road between Stirling and Glasgow/Balloch. The road climbs slowly up to a small hill before it drops down to the crossroad between Balloch, Aberfoyle and Glasgow. You are now back at the crossroad where you cycled up to Aberfoyle. Take the road down past Drymen and over the hill to Balloch. The hill over to Balloch is on this side very steep and brutal over half a kilometre.
Train back to Glasgow twice an hour.

Tour # 8.
Dumbarton - Arrochar - Rest And Be Thankful - Inveraray - Loch Awe - Crianlarich - Loch Lomond - Dumbarton
190 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 700 meters.
Highest point: Rest and be Thankful: 282 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate to Busy.
Severity Rating: ******
Fun rating: ***



How to get to Dumbarton:
Train from Glasgow Queen Street four times an hour.

This is a very long cycle trip and I have therefore rated it as a six pointer on the severity scale. But most of this cycle trip is moderate undulating or flat. But there are three major hills on this cycle trip. Thankfully, these hills comes within the first 120 km of this cycle trip. The cycling is not particular interesting. But it is a nice cycle trip for those who want to do a 180 km + + daytrip in Scotland.

Take the road on the west of River Leven from Dumbarton to Balloch through Renton and Alexandria. The road is flat, with a small hill just after Balloch. Follow the cycle path to Luss and then follow the trunk road to Tarbet. Take the road in the direction of Campbeltown (A 83) over the small hill to Arrochar (shops), and along Loch Long to the foot of the climb up to Rest And Be Thankful. The first climb is moderate, the second climb is very steep before you comes to the main climb (2.5 km) up to the top of Rest And Be Thankful. The scenery is breath taking. A rapid descent follows to Loch Fyne. The road follows Loch Fyne for 30 km before you come to Inveraray (shops). Take the road (A 819) to the left towards Oban. The first climb is very steep, but the rest of this hill is relative flat with some moderate climbing towards the end. The top of the hill is around 200 metres above sea level. The view over Loch Awe is worth all the sweat and pain. The vertical drop to Loch Awe is a test of nerves and brakes. The 10 km. up through the forest along Loch Awe is moderate undulating. Just after the crossroad between Oban and Glasgow (follow the road to Glasgow) is the small village of Dalmally. It has some shops, but they are never open. You may be luckier than I was last time. Just after Dalmally, is the climb to the valley leading to Tyndrum. In my view; this is the most uninteresting part of Scotland. The valley up to Tyndrum is without any interesting details. The climb is almost flat, but it takes it's toll. After twenty kilometres of dull cycling, you are in Tyndrum. The shops and newsagents offer a welcome rest. The road down the valley to Crianlarich (shops) is moderate undulating with a short, nasty climb when crossing the railway line. From Crianlarich, take the road (A 82) to the right under the railway bridge up a short, sharp climb to a small moor. From this moor, the road falls down the valley to Loch Lomond. The road along Loch Lomond down to Tarbet is relative flat, with some potholes now and then. Be careful. There is a short climb after the hydro electric station, but that is all.
The traffic is normally very busy on this narrow road. Tarbet (hotel and shops) is normally very busy. There is a cycle path from Tarbet to Luss, but it is off a very poor standard. If you can live with the traffic, I recommend the road to Luss. Luss (shops) is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from the pier to Ben Lomond is world class. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet), please follow the designated, quite scenic cycle road. The road from Luss to Dumbarton through Balloch and Alexandria is flat and reasonable interesting.
Train from Dumbarton back to Glasgow four times an hour.

Tour # 9.
Stirling - Dumbarton.
60 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 150 meters.
Highest point: The hill 4 km. after Bucklyvie 100 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Busy
Severity Rating: *
Fun rating: **


How to get to Stirling:
Train from Aberdeen, Perth, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The scenery along this route is impressive, but that is all there is to this cycle trip. A good spring tour or late autumn tour. The road is dead flat, with some small climbs through Bucklyvie and before Balloch.

Follow A 811 just under Stirling Castle towards Balloch. The road is dead flat for the first 20 kilometres. It starts to climb a bit before Bucklyvie (shops) and it continues to climb for the best part of 10 kilometres. But the climb is very gentle and is normally taken in heavy gears. The view across the valley towards Ben Lomond and the Trossachs are fantastic. The road climbs slowly up to a small hill (the highest point on this trip) before it drops down to the crossroad between Balloch, Aberfoyle and Glasgow. Take the road down past Drymen (shops) and over the hill to Balloch. The hill over to Balloch is on this side very steep and brutal over half a kilometre. Down in Balloch, take the first road to the left through Jamestown and Bonhill, past the Ballantines distillery and down to Dumbarton.
Train back to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling four times an hour.

Tour # 10.
Edinburgh - Dumbarton through the Campsie Fells.
100 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 300 meters.
Highest point: Carron Valley Reservoir 250 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ***
Fun rating: **



How to get to Edinburgh:
Trains and planes from the rest of the world.

On the map; this cycle trip sounds like a very exiting prospect. It crosses Scotland from East to West. In reality, this cycle trip is not particular interesting. The road from Edinburgh to Denny via Queensferry takes you through some very busy traffic. The remaining part of the cycle trip is on quiet country lanes, with the exception from the Drymen- Balloch road.

Follow the road-signs to Queensferry (shops) through some very busy roads. The Forth Bridges is most impressive from a designated viewpoint after the short and sharp climb out of Queensferry on the road to Grangemouth. The road is medium undulating. Take the road to Falkirk (town) and up to Denny. The road through the Campsie hills to Fintry can be difficult to find, so your best bet is to ask for directions in the local garage or in a shop.
This road steeply rises up the Carron Valley from Denny for the first three kilometres. Then the road goes in the valley in a gentle climb for the next five kilometres until the dam at Carron Valley Reservoir. The road along Carron Valley Reservoir is gentle and fine. The descent down to Fintry (shops) from Carron Valley Reservoir is done in two stages, interrupted by a short steep climb. The last descend down to Fintry is done on a very bad road, with plenty of potholes. Take care !! Fintry is a nice village with some shops. The road down the valley to Killearn is undulating with an excellent view towards the Trossachs. When reaching Killearn, take the road down the hillside, over the A 81 and over the river. The climb from the river up to A 809 is moderate steep. It only last for 1 kilometre. After reaching the A 809, take the road to the right towards Drymen. After two kilometres, you are on the Balloch - Drymen crossroad. Take the road to Balloch.
The road over to Balloch is very gentle for the first ten kilometres. The view towards the mountains surrounding Loch Lomond is superb. The climb up the hill over to Balloch is very steep and brutal over half a kilometre. Down in Balloch, take the first road to the left through Jamestown and Bonhill, past the Ballantines distillery and down to Dumbarton.
Train back to Glasgow and Edinburgh four times an hour.

Tour # 13.
Dumbarton- Helensburgh - Arrochar - Tarbet - Luss - Dumbarton.
85 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 150 meters.
Highest point: The hill 2 km. after Garelochhead 75 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Moderate
Severity Rating: **
Fun rating: *****


How to get to Dumbarton:
Train from Glasgow and Edinburgh four times an hour.

A very enjoyable cycle trip along the Clyde, Loch Long and Loch Lomond. An ideal first cycle trip of the year. The cycling is never hard and the speed is high with the minimum of effort. The scenery is also very good along the whole route. This cycle trip is a should-do for all Glasgow based cyclists.

The road starts with a small climb out of Dumbarton. The road goes over a very small hill and rejoins the Clyde coast after three kilometres. Then the road climbs again over a small hill after Cardross (shops) before it falls again down to the small town of Helensburgh (shops). The road follows the seafront of Helensburgh, Rhu and the Faslane naval base until the road sharply climbs up to the hill above Garelochhead. The view in all directions is breath taking. The road follow the hill above Loch Long before it sharply falls down to Loch Long. The brakes get some severe pounding during this descent. Beware !! The road along Loch Long is moderate undulating and very funny. The view across Loch Long towards the mountains is very good. Beware of anglers, rabbits, foxes, eagles, red deer and sheep. At the end of Loch Long, Arrochar (shops) is situated. The view towards the Cobbler (a mountain) is superb.
The road goes over a small hill to Tarbet at Loch Lomond. The road down to Dumbarton is relative flat with only a small hill right after Tarbet. There is a cycle path from Tarbet to Luss, but it is off a very poor standard. If you can live with the traffic, I recommend the road to Luss (shops). This small village is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from the pier towards Ben Lomond is one of the most famous views in Scotland. You find postcards with this view everywhere in Scotland. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet), please follow the well maintained cycle road. The road from Luss to Dumbarton through Balloch and Alexandria is flat and reasonable interesting. Train from Dumbarton back to Glasgow four times an hour.

Tour # 14.
Isle Of Arran (clockwise)
90 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 500 meters.
Highest point: Lochranza - Corrie 200 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Minimal.
Severity Rating: *****
Fun rating: ******

(map taken from http://www.arran.uk.com/index.html)

How to get to Isle Of Arran:
Train from Glasgow to Ardrossan (1 hour). Ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick (50 minutes).

This is one of the best tours in the West Of Scotland / Glasgow area. Both on bike and by bus. It is a fantastic tour and a much feared one. This cycle trip has got this reputation mainly due to the south coast of Arran. This is one of the most desperate undulating stretches of road anywhere in Scotland. The road around Arran is quite bad and ideal for a bike. The road itself is quite dirty and bumpy and demand the utmost respect. The landscape on a sunny day is simply breathtaking and alone worth the whole trip. This cycle trip is highly, highly recommended. The train from Glasgow to Ardrossan and the ferry to Arran also makes this a very special experience.

Take the road to the left (south) when you have left the ferry quay in Brodick (shops). The road is steep and sets the tone for the rest of the tour. The road goes over a hill to Lamlash (shops). Then the road goes up over a small hill again to Whiting Bay (shops). The views are breath taking and the same is the gradient of the road. But the real extreme road comes after leaving Whiting Bay. This 20 km. long stretch is one of the most desperate undulating stretches of road anywhere in Scotland. The road goes steep up from Whiting Bay and around the corner to the south coast of Arran. The road follows a terrace high above the sea. The cycling is very technical difficult with a lot of short, very sharp climbs and descents. The worst descent comes at Kilmory (shops) where your brakes will be severely tested. The road from Kilmory rises again to it reaches the west coast of Arran. The road from the corner between the south and the west coast to Blackwaterfoot (shops) is medium undulating. The road from Blackwaterfoot up the west coast starts with a moderate climb, but it then flattens out and most of the road is flat. The view across to the Kintyre peninsula is interesting. If you are lucky, you will see seals in the sea along the road up to Lochranza (shops). This small village is scenic. The Isle Of Arran whisky distillery 2 kilometers further up the road is at the foot at the desperate steep mountain going over to Sannox and Corrie. The views along this climb is good and include the odd red dear and sheep. The descent down the other side is fast and furious. The road rises again for a while (after a crossing a bridge) just before it goes down into a vertical drop to Sannox. The road down past Corrie (shops) to Brodick is flat and a fantastic view towards the Clyde coast. If you have time to spare before the ferry, the beach and the shops in Brodick is worthy a visit.

Tour # 22.
Balloch - Fintry - Lennoxtown- Carbeth- Queens View - Balloch
75 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 500 meters.
Highest point: Campsie Fells 333 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ****
Fun rating: *****


How to get to Balloch:
Train from Glasgow two times an hour.

A medium hard, technical cycle tour with plenty of small hill climbs along the road. One big hill after Fintry. This is an interesting tour on small roads in the Campsie Fells area. The road from Balloch through Fintry and over to Lennoxtown is brilliant. The rest is OK. This tour is recommended.

The trip starts with a moderate one kilometre long climb from Balloch (shops) over a hill to Drymen. The road down from the top of the hill to Drymen offers some excellent views towards the mountains surrounding Loch Lomond. At the crossroad, take the road (A 809) to the right towards Milngavie. The road through Croftamie climbs steady to a new crossroad after three kilometers. Take the road (B 834) towards Balfron. The road drops down the hill to a river, crosses it and comes to a roundabout. Go straight through this roundabout and up a vertical climb to Killearn. Take the road to the left (A 875) for some hundred meters before you take the first road to the right towards Fintry. The road climbs steadily up the valley to Fintry (shops). The hardest climb of the day starts just after Fintry. The road flattens out a bit before it drops vertically down to Lennoxtown. Brilliant views towards Glasgow along the descent. Take the road (A 891)to the right to Strathblane. After two hundred meters, take the road over the valley and up the hill to a new crossroad. Take the road (A 809) to the right back to Croftamie and the crossroad to Balloch. Take the road to the left towards Balloch. The hill over to Balloch is on this side very steep and brutal over half a kilometre. Train back to Glasgow twice an hour.

Tour # 23.
Dumbarton - Kilcreggan - Glen Fruin - Dumbarton
75 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 300 meters.
Highest point: Fruin 200 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ***
Fun rating: ***


How to get to Dumbarton:
Train from Glasgow four times an hour.

An interesting tour along hidden lochs and glens west of Glasgow. This tour does not include any star attractions, but both the Kilcreggan peninsula and Glen Fruin has their subtle attractions. This tour should be done for the pleasure of cycling and nothing more than that. This tour include three medium steep hills. There are plenty of shops and pubs along the way. The views along this route are also surprisingly superb. Enjoy !!!

Take the road towards Helensburgh from Dumbarton station. The road climbs over Westhill and Cardross before entering Helensburgh. Take the road through this village and over the small hills over Rhu and Faslane to Garelochhead. At the naval base, take the road to the left to Garelochhead village. Take B 833 past Clynder and Rosneath. A medium steep hill takes the road over to Kilcreggan. This village has a superb view towards Gourock and Dunoon. The village in itself is very beautiful. The road continues along the seafront in Loch Long to Coulport. A sharp, tedious climb takes you up to a mountain. The views from the top of this mountain in all directions cannot be praised highly enough. The road drops down for a while before a new, small climb takes you over to the a roundabout. Cycle straight through the roundabout and take A 814 over a moor. After a kilometer, take the road up the hill towards Loch Lomond to the highest hill of the day. The views is superb in all directions. When you are standing on the top of this hill, please note a two hundred meters strip of asphalt going towards a single track road on the right side of the road. Take this strip of asphalt over to the single track road. But don't do it in the front of a policeman ! The descent down to Glen Fruin is vertical on this small road. The single track road along the fields in Glen Fruin is flat before it goes over a hill and down towards a crossroad. Cycle straight through this crossroad and down to Balloch. Follow the flat road through Alexandria and Renton to Dumbarton again.

Tour # 25.
Balloch - Callander - Crianlarich- Balloch (The Trossachs)
165 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 500 meters.
Highest point: Lochearnhead- Crianlarich 288 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ****
Fun rating: ******


How to get to Balloch:
Train from Glasgow.

This brilliant tour around The Trossachs and Loch Lomond is a true classic. Being 165 km long, it is also a serious tour. This tour is not particular hilly, with the last sixty-five kilometers from Crianlarich to Balloch being mostly flat. A views are very good all the way. This is a highly enjoyable tour into the heart of Scotland. The tour is not particular exposed and it is suitable in all kind of weather. This tour only include two major climbs. This tour is highly recommended.

The trip starts with a moderate one kilometre long climb from Balloch (shops) over a hill to Drymen. The road down from the top of the hill to Drymen offers some excellent views towards the mountains surrounding Loch Lomond. At the crossroad, take the road to the left towards Drymen (shops). A one kilometre constant climb through Drymen follows. After three kilometres, you come to a crossroad between the road to Glasgow, Stirling and Aberfoyle. Take the road to the left to Aberfoyle. The road down and over the plains to Aberfoyle is quite bad. Be alert if you want to avoid punctures and personal injuries. Just before Aberfoyle, you come to a crossroad. Take A 81 to the right towards Callander. The road along the hill and Lake Of Menteith is medium undulating. Follow A 81 towards Callander up an obscene vertical climb (the views are brilliant) and over the hill to Callander (shops and cycle repairs). Take A 84 towards Crianlarich. The first part of the road follows a small gorge with some superb waterfalls (Falls Of Leny). The climb is almost flat. The road then follows Loch Lubnaig for a while before entering the village of Strathyre (shops). From this village, the road climbs a bit past Rob Roy's grave at Kingshouse Hotel. The view towards Balquidder is superb. The road drops down to Lochearnhead (shops) at the foot of the big climb of the day. The road (A 85) climbs steady for five kilometers until reaching the top of the mountain. The climb is not steep and it contains some great views towards the mountains and a disused railway track on the other side of the valley. The road drops down to Glen Dochart again. The mostly flat road now follows this valley to Crianlarich.
From Crianlarich, take the road (A 82) to the right under the railway bridge up a short, sharp climb to a small moor. From this moor, the road falls down the valley to Loch Lomond. The road along Loch Lomond down to Tarbet is relative flat, with some potholes now and then. Be careful. There is a short climb after the hydro electric station, but that is all. The traffic is normally very busy on this narrow road. Tarbet (hotel and shops) is normally very busy. There is a cycle path from Tarbet to Luss, but it is off a very poor standard. If you can live with the traffic, I recommend the road to Luss. Luss (shops) is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from the pier to Ben Lomond is world class. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet), please follow the designated, quite scenic cycle road to Balloch. Train from Balloch back to Glasgow two times an hour.

Tour # 26.
Dunoon - Loch Striven- Strachur - Dumbarton (The Cowal Peninsula)
130 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 600 meters.
Highest point: Rest And Be Thankful 280 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: *****
Fun rating: ***

How to get to Dunoon:
Ferry from Gourock.

If you want a real vertical hill climber on small roads in the Glasgow area, this tour will satisfy your needs. This tour really has some steep hills. This tour maybe a bit obscure and it does not contains the big views. But it should be taken into consideration if you want to venture out of the beaten track and do something different. There is no real reliable shops on this tour between Dunoon and Strachur. Bring plenty of water and food.

Heading out of Dunoon, take the road along the seafront. At the end of Holy Loch, take the single track road towards Stronafian (B 836). It starts with some moderate climbs, going over to a vertical climb after two kilometers. The road falls down to Clachaig before it climbs steady up Glen Lean to Loch Tarsan. The road drops vertically down to Loch Striven. This loch is really beautiful. The two climbs up from this loch is vertical. The drop down to Stronafian is also vertical. The mostly flat road now follows A 886 up Glen Druel. This glen is high on my ranking over the most uninteresting places in Scotland (I call it Glen Dull). The follow tedious climb over the mountain to Strachur starts when the road crosses River Druel. The view from this 250 meters above sea level top towards Loch Fyne is great. The descent down to Strachur (shops) at Loch Fyne is great too. Fill up with soft drinks and food at Strachur. Approx. ten kilometers after the flat and scenic road along Loch Fyne (at St. Cathrine), you start the climb up to Rest And Be Thankful. The climb is moderate steep along Loch Fyne and the road (souldestroying) falls down again until you meet A83. The first hill from that crossroad is steep. But it flattens out before the road sharply takes off up a valley to the right. This steep climb is about 1 kilometres long. Then the road goes along a small lake for some hundred meters until you are on the top of Rest And Be Thankful.
The view is worth all the sweat and pain. The descent down to Loch Long is approx. 4 km long. The upper part is very bumpy due to frequent stone-falls hitting the road. Take care !! The road goes in Loch Long to Arrochar (shops, WC). An alternative 10 km. longer route is to take the road along Loch Long to Helensburgh and Dumbarton. The downside is that it contains three hills, including one major hill just before Helensburgh (train to Dumbarton/Glasgow/Edinburgh/the rest of the world). But the road has very moderate traffic and it is very scenic. The route takes us over a small hill to Tarbet at Loch Lomond. The road down to Dumbarton is relative flat with only a small hill right after Tarbet. There is a cycle path from Tarbet to Balloch, which I highly recommend (new from 2005). Visit the shops at Luss. This small village is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from the pier towards Ben Lomond is one of the most famous views from Scotland. You find postcards with this view everywhere in Scotland. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet), please follow the well maintained cycle road. The road from Luss to Dumbarton through Balloch and Alexandria is flat and reasonable interesting. Train from Dumbarton back to Glasgow four times an hour or follow Glasgow Road through Clydebank to Glasgow.

Tour # 35.
Milngavie - Aberfoyle - Callander – Fintry - Milngavie.
115 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 800 meters.
Highest point: Campsie Fells: 333 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ****(*)
Fun rating: ******


How to get to Milngavie:
Train from Glasgow two times an hour.

A brilliant tour with not a single dull moment. Most of it hilly though and it is a demanding tour with very technical cycling. Plenty of shops along the route and the roads are good too. Two big mountains; The Duke and the Campsie Fells + two medium mountains (Callander-Thornhill and Kippen-Fintry). This tour also have some great views. This tour is highly recommended and high on my list of the best tours in Scotland.

The tour starts with a small hill over to Strathblane. The descent to this village is vertical and demands your respect. The road falls down to the valley at the Glengoyne distillery before is flattens out and then goes into a small climb up to the Stirling/Balloch crossroad. Take the road to Aberfoyle over the flat valley floor and to this village. The climb up The Duke is vertical (10 – 25 degrees) for the first two kilometers. It then flattens out before the last hill. The views in all directions is breathtaking. The descent down the other side is technical and with some sharp, neckbreaking turns. Be very careful !
The cycling along the lochs towards Callander past a castle and a village is very funny and technical. The fun costs sweat and efforts. Stock up with food and drink at Callander (town) because the next three hills is murderous. The first hill over to Thornhill is not too bad. The views are stunning though. The road drops down to Thornhill and the dead flat road at the valley floor. Cross the valley over to the climbs to Kippen. The road up and past Kippen (nice village with shops !!) is narrow and vertical. This village also have a nice park (superb views) some hundred meters after the village and I recommend a break here. The climb is unrelenting until you are at a mountain top and looks down towards Fintry. Again, breathtaking views. The road drops down towards Fintry (shops). The worst climbs of the day starts 2 km after this village. They are vertical. After 2 km, the road flattens out but still climbs for 3 kilometers. The road falls down a canyon and then vertical on a very, very bad road to Lennoxtown. This descent is really dangerous and death is certain for those who are not careful. The road over Torrance to Milngavie is quite busy, slightly hilly and narrow. But still funny. This is the end of a superb roundtrip.

Tour # 36.
Lanark - Wanlockhead – Kilmarnock - Glasgow.
145 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 700 meters.
Highest point: Wanlochhead: 500 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ****
Fun rating: ***


How to get to Lanark:
Train from Glasgow one - two times an hour.

The main attraction and the only reason this tour should be attempted is the lure of having climbed to the highest village in United Kingdom; Wanlockhead. This is a strange village which reminds me about mining villages in the USA. The rest of the tour is pretty forgettable and rather bland. Shops at Lanark, Abington, Sanquhar and Kilmarnock. One big mountain at Wanlochhead + three medium hills after Lanark, Sanquhar and Kilmarnock. This tour have some OK views. This tour is OK.

The tour starts with a vertical drop to the upper part of the Clyde River at Hyndford Bridge. The A70 climbs over a small village before it drops down at Uddington. Take the B 7078 towards Abington. This road was the main Glasgow-London road until fifteen years ago and is the best B road in the land. The road is up and down after the first vertical climb until Abington. Take the B 797 up a almost flat, dull valley to Leadhills (village) and the pass leading over to Wanlochhead. The landscape is surreal and impossible to describe. The road goes into a vertical climb after Leadhills. The descent into Wanlockhead is vertical and pretty hairy. Stop at the museum for postcard(s). A truly strange place…….. The road climbs up a small hill again before a vertical drop through a canyon. The views is again surreal..
The road meets up with reality and the A 76 at Mennock. Take the road up the dull valley past Sanquhar (shops etc.). The 50 km over the hill to Kilmarnock is pretty dull (with some steep hills up & down) and not particular inspiring. New Cumnock, Cumnock and Mauchline is welcome breaks from this diet of relentless pedaling. Kilmarnock (shops etc) is OK to get in and out of. Follow the signposts towards Stewarton. The A 735 is a bit hilly over Stewarton and Dunlop. The A 736 from Logton is pretty flat over Barrhead to Glasgow again. A much better alternative from Logton is the Gleniffer Braes route over to Paisley and train back to Glasgow. A long tour is completed.

Tour # 37.
Rothesay – Strachur – Arrochar - Dumbarton.
130 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 700 meters.
Highest point: Rest And Be Thankful: 280 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: *****
Fun rating: ***


How to get to Rothesay:
Train from Glasgow one time an hour to Wemyss Bay. Then ferry to Rothesay (35 minutes). Make sure you buy a through ticket on the ferry which also covers the next ferry crossing.

An obvious route not explored by me until the hot summer of 2006. It is a hard, very demanding tour with two major mountains, but with a 50 km flat end of the tour along Loch Lomond. Maybe not the most spectacular tour in Scotland, but it has it’s attractions and it’s charm. It can also with justice be called the Clyde Circular and was therefore a prestige project for me. It is always great to climb Rest And Be Thankful + visiting Luss. It is an OK tour and a well spent day.

The tour starts with some nice cycling along the sea through a minor village. A small hill just wets the appetite. The Kyle Of Bute ferry is ridiculous short. Two minutes and thirty eight seconds, according to my clock. Build a bridge !..or maybe not…….
The road on the other side starts with a nasty climb. You can avoid the worst by taking the fjord route. I did not. A mistake, I guess. The road falls down to the Glen Druel. Or as I prefer to call it; Glen Dull. Dull cycling is what it is. It only livens up after 10 km when the road crosses the river and starts the climb to this 250 meters above sea level mountain. Nice views. The road falls down to the sea and Strachur. The road is flat for ten kilometers ‘till St Catharines where the climb towards Rest And Be Thankful starts. The climb is moderate steep along Loch Fyne and the road (souldestroying) falls down again until you meet A83. The first hill from that crossroad is steep. But it flattens out before the road sharply takes off up a valley to the right. This steep climb is about 1 kilometres long. Then the road goes along a small lake for some hundred meters until you are on the top of Rest And Be Thankful. The descent down to Loch Long is approx. 4 km long. The upper part is very bumpy due to frequent stone-falls hitting the road. Take care !! The road goes in Loch Long to Arrochar (shops, WC). The route takes us over a small hill to Tarbet at Loch Lomond. The road down to Dumbarton is relative flat with only a small hill right after Tarbet. There is a cycle path from Tarbet to Balloch, which I highly recommend (new from 2005). Visit the shops at Luss. This small village is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from the pier towards Ben Lomond is one of the most famous views from Scotland. You find postcards with this view everywhere in Scotland. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet), please follow the well maintained cycle road. The road from Luss to Dumbarton through Balloch and Alexandria is flat and reasonable interesting.

Tour # 38.
Greenock – Bridge Of Weir -Paisley. 45 km.
45 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 250 meters.
Highest point: Lurg Moor: 210 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ***
Fun rating: ****


How to get to Greenock:
Train from Glasgow two times an hour.

A nice tour home from work in a part of Renfrewshire/Scotland very few has ever visited. The climb and the views is a major attraction here. The views over the Clyde area is breathtaking. The tour down to Paisley technical on a small B road. Bridge Of Weir is an interesting village. A nice tour.

The tour starts with a vertical climb on the B 788. No rest for the next three - four kilometers up the vertical road. The views is a major attraction though. The moor is short before the road falls down the other side of the moor through some turns (be careful) and dips. A small climb just gets the legs going again. The road is twisty and narrow. Just the thing we likes about cycling !!
The road joins A 761 just before Bridge Of Weir (shops etc) and goes mostly down towards Linwood and some nasty traffic machines and roundabouts. Download maps from Multimap. I got lost last time I went here and had to be rescued by the local animal charity. A nice journey.

Tour # 39.
Rothesay – Loch Striven - Dunoon. 50 km.
50 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 250 meters.
Highest point: Loch Tarsan: 110 meters above sea.
Traffic: Moderate.
Severity Rating: ***
Fun rating: ***


How to get to Rothesay:
Train from Glasgow one time an hour to Wemyss Bay. Then ferry to Rothesay (35 minutes). Make sure you buy a through ticket on the ferry which also covers the next ferry crossing.

An obscure, but still an interesting tour on the Cowal Peninsula. It can be a shortened version of tour # 37 if the trek around Rest And Be Thankful is too strenuous or you need a short climbing tour. Climbing is the watchword here with three decent, very steep climbs. With the exception from the first and last ten km, this tour is unrelenting up and down. Some like it “hot”, some would go for something else. Loch Striven is the forgotten Clyde loch and is worthy the visit. The rest of the views are forgettable. It is an OK tour.

The tour starts with some nice cycling along the sea through a minor village. A small hill just wets the appetite. The Kyle Of Bute ferry is ridiculous short. Three minutes short. The road on the other side starts with a nasty climb. You can avoid the worst by taking the fjord route. But this being a climber’s paradise route; take the high road. The road falls down towards Glen Druel. Take the B 836 up the hill to the right and over a hill to Loch Striven. Around this fjord/loch and then up the vertical climb to Loch Tarsan. The road falls down towards the fjord and Dunoon and the ferry. A nice tour is completed.


For maps over all the tours; please click on the link below.