On the 23rd of May, early in the morning, I will cycle down to London to catch a train to Glasgow. I'm quite excited!
On arrival, I'll head north and make my way over to Oban over the next couple of days. Then I'll get a ferry over to Barra to start the Hebridian Way. I'll ride that over a few days before getting the ferry back - probably via Skye. As luck would have it, CalMac are having all sorts of problems with their ferries at the moment, but hopefully I'll avoid all that and it will be plain sailing, as it were.
Once back on the mainland it would be rude not ride Bealach na Bà, seeing as it's right there once I come off Skye. I'll then make my way over to The Cairngorms, ride around there for a bit, then head south all the way back into England. I'll probably follow NCN1 down the east coast. I've done this section before, but in the other direction, but that was quite some time ago now and I'd like to revisit some of the places I passed through.
My route in Scotland will look something like this:
That's not set in stone - I will be finalising the route nearer the time.
There may be little in the way of PACs and Croissants, but I'll more than make up for it with Tunnock's tea cakes and Tablet all washed down with Irn Brew, of course!
It is going to be epic!
CalMac Ferries really are in a mess at the moment. I've just been trying to book a ticket from Oban to Barra, but they're down to only a couple of sailings a week. Neither of them leaving on the Thursday. So I could either bimble around until Saturday or get a ferry to South Uist instead.
The best option I think is South Uist. I can then get a ferry from Eriskay to Barra the next day, ride around and come back a few hours later, or just miss out Barra and head on up South Uist.
It would seem the two ferries within the Hebrides (Barra - Eriskay and North Uist - Harris) are running fine, it's just the Oban to Castlebay (Barra) that's taken a hit.
Annoyingly, I can't book the Oban to South Uist ferry yet. It seems you can only book a couple of days in advance. So I'll have to keep an eye on that. I may also get the ferry from Stornaway to Ullapool rather than going via Skye as I may well be sick of islands by then and just want to get back to the mainland as soon as possible!
When I first thought about doing this, I just assumed there would be ferries all the time that you could just rock up to whenever you liked!