Mostly a gentle climb into wonderful scenery.
The start of this route overlaps with the National Cycle Network. The National Route heads north then east towards John o' Groats, while this route turns west towards the mountains. The scenery on the west coast is more dramatic but the pedalling effort is greater too!
As mentioned in the overview description you can get a train to Culrain, or for that matter drive, but it's also possible to cycle from Inverness using the National Cycle Network. Route 1 goes via the Black Isle and is also part of the wider international North Sea Cycle Route.
Culrain might be wee but there are two train stations close by, Culrain and Invershin the other side of the Kyle of Sutherland. There wasn't any way for people to get over other than on the train, hence the need for two stations. Flag the train down incidentally.
The road begins a steady climb with the river tumbling by on the right hand side. After another couple of miles the road leaves the river climbing more steeply for three miles towards Loch Craggie. From this point you start to get distant views of the magic mountains of Assynt. Most obvious of these is Suilven which rises steeply from a glacier-scoured plateau of gneiss. From this distance it looks nearly impossible to climb, but really it's just a scramble. By now the road is narrow with passing places. It runs through forest at times, but at Loch Borralan it opens out again and you get closer views of the hills. Turn left at Ledmore Junction, signed Ullapool. There is a tea room three miles further west on the A835 at Elphin.
For other parts of this route, click Related above.