6 The Far North West Badcall and Scourie

Cycle Routes

    Long climbs with impressive views of sea-lochs and mountains.

    These are not quite the biggest mountains in Scotland, but there is no easy option of just following the glen. The Atlantic coast is pierced deeply by the sea with fiord like lochs and the road climbs to get between them.

    The mountains themselves may seem huge and bleak, but between them lurk oases of fertile soil and greenery in places like Durness, Laxford Bridge and Scourie. Local limestone outcrops account for this and these sometimes produce interesting caves like Smoo Cave near Durness.

    There are also some fine beaches. You can walk or possibly mountain bike to Sandwood Bay. This two mile stretch of sand might have perhaps two other people on it. There are other fine beaches too around Durness.

    Even if you never leave your bike you are sure to see plenty of sea birds. The sea cliffs, islands and stacks are filled with birds. A good way to see them might be to cycle to Cape Wrath. The highest sea cliffs in mainland Britain are here: 920 feet.

    Route Description

    Kylesku just off the main road has a hotel doing bar lunches, B&Bs, a toilet, but no food shop. You can take a boat trip up Loch Glencoul to the Eas Coul Aulin Falls, the tallest waterfall in Britain. The road is carried over the loch by the Kylesku Bridge after which it begins a steady climb to the north-west. There are some great views over Loch a' Chairn Bhain towards the mountain Quinag. After this you pass Duartmore Forest, and several lochs. There are intermittent views out to the west towards the Point of Stoer and Oldany Island. After this there's a descent to Scourie. There is a camp site with a tea room here, the Scourie Hotel, and a food shop. Going north from Scourie, you pass a minor road leading to Handa Island Bird Reserve. This is certainly the most spectacular bird reserve in Britain, both from the point of view of the number and variety of birds and the cliff scenery. A regular ferry takes you over. You would need at least four hours on the island. The road to Handa Island is an interesting if hilly bike ride, it could be made into a circular route (6 miles). Just before the junction at Laxford Bridge there is a view of the mountains Arkle and Foinaven. The A838 running south-east from Laxford bridge to Loch Shin is not part of the route described here, it is scenic and reasonably quiet.

    For other parts of this route, click Related above.

    Opening Times
    Open All Year
    2016 Opening Times
    1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2016


    • Hilly


    • Rural

    Type of Ride

    • Road Cycling


    • Miles 16


    • Tarmac

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