Camchain and tensioner seen up close in a cutaway bike engine

Home Travel StoriesAndy's Scottish Expedition

Mulling Around To The Mainland

By Andy Gray

Day 7: Fidden Farm to Strontian 110 miles

Just got off to sleep around 23:30 after returning from dinner at the pub and then sat star gazing for a while when a van arrived, doors slam and voices start. A couple proceed to set up their tent 50 yards from me which takes around 3/4 hour until it all goes quiet again. A huge almost empty campsite and they choose to set up close to me at this unsociable time WTF?

Bad night's sleep as shortly after it went quiet there was the sound of munching & snorting next to my tent. The herd of highland cattle had arrived and when they moved off the sheep followed!

A few showers during the night meant the tent was a bit wet in the morning and a slow pack up meant I didn’t leave until 10am.

Headed on a clockwise circuit of Mull mainly following the coastal single track road. This is all pretty spectacular with great views. The satnav was saying for a while “leave road in X miles” which worries me as the road itself was often not what I’d class as a road. Luckily it was only the turning for Calgary Beach that I’d programmed in! Just before the beach was a small council run campsite which is only for tents. The only facilities are a public toilet just across the road.

Blue skies, white fluffy clouds, calm waters and hardy grasses form a scene on Mull
Highland cows with shaggy fur and long horns lie on the pebble beach right beside the calm shore

Kept on heading round the island where I stopped for lunch in Tobermory which is the biggest place I’ve been in a few days. Very pretty little town with plenty of pubs, restaurants, cafes & gift shops.

Brightly painted houses beside the harbour in the village of Tobermory

Leaving Tobermory I was pulled into a false sense of security by the two lane national speed limit road. Normal service was resumed after a couple of miles with single track almost all the way to the Fishnish to Lochilane ferry (£6.20).

Despite being stuck behind several cars on the single track road from the ferry to Strontian, this was a great road that just makes you think Scotland with the high bare looking hills all around you.

Arrived at the Sunart campsite run by fellow biker Tim and his wife to discover they are holding an event tonight entertaining 100 people from the village. There was a whole pig that had been cooking since 7am.

Luckily there was plenty of space on the campsite and there is a washer dryer to clean my smelly clothes.

The campsite with Andy's tent, a pod and lots of trees at Strontian

Went for a wander once everything was sorted to take a look at Loch Sunart which is one of the longest sea lochs. Ended up in the hotel for a quick drink which turned into dinner.


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Llangollen Andy starts his trip to Scotland... by going to Wales! It is a long way from London Village to The Highlands though, give the man a break.
Friends And Finally Scotland Day 2 and 3 of Andy's Scottish expedition - and he's only just reached the borders. He's having way too much fun and should be focused on heading North.
Bad Weather, Brilliant Roads Andy's first proper ride into Scotland is proving to be a cracker even if the weather is dire.
Exploring Arran and The Mull Of Kintyre There's wildlife and scenery aplenty for Andy as he explores Arran and The Kintyre Peninsula. "Mixed" weather is keeping him on his toes though.
Easy Onto Mull Andy is taking in the splendid West Coast of Scotland at a sensible pace. From the Kintyre Peninsula to the Isle Of Mull there's a lot to take in.
Walking On Iona Andy is using Shank's Pony to get himself around the small island of Iona. Thing is the island isn't quite as small as Andy's feet had hoped for.
Mulling Around To The Mainland When Tobermory is a major town you know you've been somewhere remote. Andy is making his way up the West Coast of Scotland now.
Bealach na Bà Ain't So Bad Andy is making his excuses for a late start today, but it's all self-inflicted. It's time to be overwhelmed by the not really scary Applecross road.
The Wonder Of The West Coast Andy is up on the West Coast of The Scottish Highlands now, and it shows with his achingly beautiful pictures.
The Wonder Of Even More West Coast Andy is exploring the remote and lonesome shores of the North West of Scotland. Geology, beauty and single track, all in another day's ride in The Highlands.
Out Of The Good Stuff, Into The Weather After The splendour of The Highlands and West Coast of Scotland Andy is now at the top of the country. Is there much to report?
The Scottish North East Coast Andy after reaching the tip of the UK is now meandering his way south along the east coast. Being back in civilisation means proper food in solid buildings.
No Nessie And Wet Cairngorms Andy looks at Loch Ness and The Cairngorms, well, when the weather allows at least.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North. said :-
God Scotland is beautiful. Thanks Andy.
Rode through Strontian in June (?) on the way to Mingarry.
Sunart and Moidart are probably my favourite two areas in the whole of Scotland.
Hope your journey will take us through Glenuig and Lochailort. Fan blummin tastic.
You've made my day, yes I am easily pleased, have you seen the wife?
Upt'North.
10/01/2020 04:33:09 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
People camping next to you? Sorry to drag this back to caravans (tee hee) but we often use a campsite about a mile from the port at Ouistreham for late arrivals / early starts in France. A year or so we pitched up mid afternoon before getting the early morning ferry next day. The site was perhaps 30% occupied. Off we went for an early dinner in the town. When we returned, another caravan had pitched so close to our offside that I could have reached out through our window and touched it. A Brit couple of course - and they didn't even say hello....

My view is that some people are like wildebeest and don't feel comfortable unless huddled up to others of their species. I'm afraid I'm the opposite and if one pitch is occupied (especially by Brit caravanners and even more so if there's any evidence of St George's flags, Daily Mails etc) I try to find a pitch as far as possible from them.

We go to France to get away from people like that and try to spend our time with locals (the Dutch do always turn up of course but are much more aware of personal space).
12/01/2020 12:25:03 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Ian, don't hold back, say what you think man.
Upt'North.
12/01/2020 01:18:43 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I always take care not to ruffle Ren's sensitive nature.....
12/01/2020 02:43:54 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Oh, forgot to say very nice trip report. It's many years since I was up that way but well remember riding the B869 around the coast just south of Kylesku, via Clashnessie and Drumbeg. Absolutely gorgeous looking out over the sea and some testing nadgery to cope with as well. Sheer bliss!
12/01/2020 02:47:08 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes Scotland is achingly lovely and it breaks my heart when I'm putting Andy's posts up and have to trawl through his pictures. It's just not fair. Ian - for a socialist who believes in equality and sharing the world's wealth I find it hard to reconcile that you are "Daily Mail"ist. The Dutch are everywhere and usually very friendly. When you meet a Dutch person be sure to ask for some stroopwaffles, they are so tasty!
13/01/2020 09:15:26 UTC
Andy Gray said :-
Thanks guys.

Come on Ren, stop complaining you live a day nearer to the loveliness of Scotland than me ;)

Ian's views on campsites seem to correspond to mine almost exactly.
13/01/2020 12:59:17 UTC

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