Planning is underway for the next Tour – this time the Western Isles of Scotland, in
April and May
Which islands to visit? It’s not as easy as it sounds – but for various reasons I decided that I would include all those that were inhabited and accessible by a scheduled ferry service, or directly by road (like Skye, or Great Berneray). Uninhabited islands, like
Staffa, aren’t included. After all, if there are no roads at all then
it’s not really worth it on a bike tour!
As always there are exceptions. Ulva, off the west coast of
doesn’t have a scheduled ferry service, but the man there will come
across the narrow sound as soon as you send a signal, so it would be a shame to
So I have 39 islands on the list, starting with
in the Firth of Clyde on 29th April, and finishing with Colonsay
(and Oronsay) on 24/25 May. The mileage isn’t massive but there are a few other
changes this time:
I’ve got company: seasoned touring cyclist
is coming with me. Richard
leads a number of CTC Tours at home and
abroad (including ).
He also has a genuine pennyfarthing, which takes some riding. You can find his
blog at http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Pennyfarthing/ China
I’m not travelling light – it’s the touring bike with panniers this time, carrying everything I need for four weeks.
I will be fund-raising for Cancer Research
of course, but perhaps not as ‘full-on’ as last time – after all, there are
only so many times I can persuade all my friends to part with their hard-earned
cash. But of course, if anyone wants to make a donation they can still follow
the link to http://www.justgiving.com/Bill-Honeywell UK
This took some sorting out! You can’t just go from one island to the next, because the ferry timetables don’t allow it. Still, after a few evenings of poring over the timetables and head-scratching, I’ve managed a roughly South-North route which goes roughly Bute – Arran – Islay – Coll & Tiree, Small Isles, Skye, Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Mull, Colonsay. I’ll work out the mileage some time and let you know.
This is now the BIG challenge! A motorhome is totally impracticable because of ferry costs. Camping is out of the question because I’m too soft (I can’t stand cold and my back isn’t up to hard ground) and 28 nights’ B&B is too expensive. So…. We’re looking for local people to offer us a bed for a night (well, two beds actually!) – we’re not bad company, honest, and anyhow we’ll probably be in bed by !
So far we’ve got one night’s accommodation arranged on Mull – with thanks to Tony and Jean Wagstaff – and we’ve got people coming back to us for a couple of other locations, but we’re looking for volunteers elsewhere – can you help? Do you live near one of our overnight stops or know someone who does? Here’s the list:-
Bute), Brodick ( Arran),
Kennacraig, near West Tarbert (3 nights total), Port
Askaig ( Islay), Oban (2 nights), Coll, Tiree,
Onich/Ballachulish, Mallaig (2 nights), Broadford (Skye), Portree (Skye),
Tarbert ( Harris), Lewis,
Lochmaddy (N Uist), Barra, Uig (Skye) Mallaig again, Oban (another 2 nights)
and Scalsaig (Colonsay).
Any help would be VERY much appreciated!
That’s enough for now! I’ll post some more information on how the preparations are going soon. In the meantime if you have any comments or suggestions, DO let me know!