Scotland 2011 

Day 1: Where am I?

Somewhere on the A1 in a Diner waiting for my all day breakfast (this was the first of a series of unhealthy roadside meals that I ate on this trip). It’s lunchtime and the sun is still shining but 2 and 1/2 hours of riding have been tiring. As planned I rode through Stamford instead of taking the ring road but had little sense that I was going in a straight line north. It’s funny how topology is so easily tampered with.

Gallows Hill Campsite, Cumbria

Gallows Hill campsite on the way to Ayr

I finally found this lovely little tents only site. After going up and down this stretch of busy roadand encountering the heavy-motorbike-nightmare of driving down a downhill and narrow dead-end lane, the owner came out to stand by the road and greeted me by name. We are close to Barnard Castle where I rode over to pick up meat, garlic and Ginger and vegetables from a supermarket, parking in the town square, for stirfry.

Approx 205 miles (I forgot to reset the GPS so don't have any proper data.)

Day 2 Cumbria to Ayr

I made it to Ayr on the west coast of Scotland to the house of a colleague and friend. I slept very wellfor being under canvas finally waking up at 8.45 just in time to catch the owner before he left for his work and got off about 10.30. The going was problem free. I even stopped off at Penryth to buy a cup that I forgot to take. Once in Scotland my gps did itself proud for once taking me on a twisty B road most of the way from Dunfries complete with goats wandering across the road.


I stopped by the road in a village and watched a bride and her father driven on the back of a horse drawn carriage off to get wed.

My first site in Scotland

However gps Emily then disgraced herself by taking me on a wild goose chase to some pub car park in the middle of Ayr then could not seem to find the place of this newly built house. ‘now proceed off road’ she tells me when she has completely given up. Even Google street view shows the wrong house. But I made it thankful to see a dim hand waving inside as I pulled up rather trepidously in someone’s drive. Four hours riding with just a couple of short breaks and I feel tired. After today the adventure really begins and I’m mot too hopeful about finding these campsites with postcodes alone.

Mileage: 152 Ave speed: 39mph Max speed: 81mph Riding time: 3.9 hours

Day 3 - the story is rain

The trusty Norwiegian weather site on Ann's TV predicted rain from 3 am which would stop at 10 am. It was right on both counts and I left Ayr in the dry. By the time I cought the short ferry hop, however, it had been raining for quite a while.

Rain on the ferry to who knows where

But it didn’t predict it would start raining again and rain on and off all day necessitating a hasty climb into the rain suit in a carpark just off the ferry at Dunoon.

Rain on the ferry to who knows where


Since then I’ve been wet all day and my spirits flagged, seriously rising again when I reached the stunning and unusual, almost unwordly landscape of Glen Coe. It’s on page 2 of my two page map of Scotland. Driving past a big commercial campsite in Glencoe village because I knew this cool campsite was 4 miles down the road was also very satisfying. This place is stunning and I still haven’t got my head round the amazing scenery here of the loch the mountains and the ever moving clouds. However, clouds mean rain and I jumped inside my just fabricated tent in time to shelter from another shower and write this. I feel I don’t want to linger on this rainy holiday.

Glencoe cloud=rain


I will reach my target of Durness at the top of Scotland but get there tomorrow or the day later. I find the rain very tedious.

Mileage 145.4
Average speed 39.6
Max speed 76.3
Riding time 3.75

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