When I think of travelling the islands in the Southern Hebrides my first thoughts go out to ships, yachts, boats, walking, cars you name it. I assume yours will too? That’s why it’s all the more interesting that I found a website today called my bicycling adventure which has a section about cycling in the Souther Hebrides and no it’s not on a water bike. The website and people I talk about are Steve and Karen and they have discovered some of the islands of the Southern Hebrides by bike, a great and rewarding way to get to know the islands. Being a cycling fan myself I can fully understand that they have done the island on their bike but this is not the only adventure they undertook. Earlier they cycled coast to coast in England, from the Mediterannean to the Atlantic over the Pyrenees and they have done the Outer Hebrides as well. I however will stick with my story to the Southern Hebrides and I happen to know an island which is becoming more and more popular for it’s cycling opportunities which is Islay, but more about that later!
Like I said earlier, Steven and Karen and another couple decided to ‘do’ some of the Argyll islands in 2008. Their journey started in Ardrossan on the Scottish Mainland where they took the ferry to Brodick on the Isle of Arran. From there they crossed the Isle of Arran and visited the islands of Islay, Jura and Bute and covered the Kintyre Peninsula as well. In total they have done 201 miles in 11 days and covered one of Scotland’s most beautiful areas. To give you an idea of their whereabouts I have a quote from their website.
About Jura they wrote: ‘When we had gone as far as we could go we headed back and stopped on the way at Tarbet. Tarbet used to be a port until a few years ago with a regular ferry coming over from the mainland, but it has long since stopped. We sat on the side of the harbour in total peace and quite. A solitary seal swept into the bay and bobbed its head up to see what we were up to. After a few minutes of curiosity he dived down and headed off. For us, Jura was the prettiest and most enjoyable part of our Southern Hebrides ride.’
It was interesting to read their report and if you start thinking of doing such trips yourself you might have a look at their website, it contains many useful tips including information on bikes and camping equipment and another very interesting detail. Apparently they are so keen on cycling that they decided to sell their house and make a round the World bicycling trip from their home in Inverurie, Scotland starting on August 28th 2009. I can only wish them good luck on this epic journey and I really hope they manage to fulfil their dream and return home safe. You can read more about their adventures on their blog