A 26 mile circuit around the Beauly Firth
This route has been a popular local ride ever since the Kessock Bridge was opened and it includes one of the most pleasant cycles in the area on the north shore of the Firth. However the A862 on the southern shore has become much busier in recent years so this route is best for confident cyclists - or as an evening or Sunday ride when the road is quite quiet.
Start from the railway station in Inverness and proceed along Academy Street to the junction with Friars Lane. Turn left into Friars Lane and almost immediately right into Friars Street where you will pick up signs for National Cycle Network Route 1 (NCN1). Turn left at the end of Friars Street and continue to follow the NCN1 signs out past the harbour and marina to the Kessock Bridge. Cross the bridge and shortly afterwards turn left down a steep lane to reach the shore road in North Kessock (cycle signs to Muir of Ord). Keep an eye out for dolphins which can often be seen from the bridge and the shore road. Continue through North Kessock, past the hotel to a left turn by the village hall. Continue along the shore and the houses are soon left behind and a very pleasant 4 mile section to Redcastle follows. Just after the road swings right away from the shore, take a left turn and climb slightly uphill through the trees and out to the A832.
Follow the A832 to the left to Muir of Ord, ignoring the signs to Beauly at the start of Muir of Ord which take you through the industrial estate and instead continue to the junction in the village centre. Turn left here and follow this road out of Muir of Ord and along a long straight to reach Beauly. Continue through Beauly swinging left at the junction for the road to Cannich and cross the river Beauly at Lovat Bridge. Shortly after the bridge follow the signs to the left to Kirkhill which take you off the main road for a much quieter 4 mile detour through Kirkhill. Rejoin the A862 at Inchmore and follow it back to Inverness. After coming into Inverness through Clachnaharry, the most pleasant route back to the centre is to continue across the canal bridge and along Telford Street to filter left onto Telford Road. Art the first junction on Telford Road turn right and continue straight on until the river is reached. Pass under the Friars Bridge and follow the riverside to the main bridge beneath the castle.