Tour # 11.
Oban - Dumbarton via Tyndrum.
Approx. total hill climb: 225 meters.
Highest point: The moor 500 meters past Crianlarich 200 meters above
Severity Rating: **
Fun rating: *
How to get to Oban: Train from Glasgow three times a day.
(This trip is best combined with the Isle Of Mull trip.)
This cycle trip is almost a must-do cycle trip for those who lives
in West Of Scotland. It is therefore sad that it is such a boring
cycle trip. The traffic is also quite heavy on this road. Please note
that I have been driving this road on a very regular basis over the
last four years. I know every turn of this road and my familiarity
with this road may colour the view on this cycle trip. But I stand
by my view that this is a boring cycle trip.
Oban is the most beautiful town in United Kingdom. The view over to
Isle Of Mull is brilliant. Oban is also a very important ferry port
with daily ferries to The Western Isles, Isle Of Mull and the small
islands to the south of Isle Of Mull.
The road from Oban goes over a small hill for the first two kilometres
before it follow Loch Etive for the next thirty kilometres. The road
is quite flat, with exception from a short hilly section just after
the railway bridge at Taynult. Beware of red deer, sheep, drunks,
roadkill and rabbits. The road leaves Loch Etive and goes up to Pass
of Brander. A small, almost a non existent climb follows for the next
five kilometres before you are on the top of Pass Of Brander at Loch
Awe. This lake is one of the biggest lakes in Scotland. The road is
flat, with exceptions from some steep sections over the railway some
kilometres before Dalmally. After leaving Loch Awe, the road is flat
An alternative very hilly, 10 km longer route is over Inveraray and
Rest and Be Thankful. The small village of Dalmally has some shops,
but they are never open. Just after Dalmally, is the climb to the
valley leading to Tyndrum. In my view; this is the most uninteresting
part of Scotland. The valley up to Tyndrum is without any interesting
details. After twenty kilometres of dull cycling, you are in Tyndrum.
The shops and newsagents offer a welcome rest. The road down the valley
to Crianlarich (shops) is moderate undulating with a short, nasty
hill when crossing the railway line. From Crianlarich, take the road
(A 82) to the right under the railway bridge up a short, sharp climb
to a small moor (the highest point on this cycle trip). From this
moor, the road falls down the valley to Loch Lomond. The road along
Loch Lomond down to Tarbet is relative flat, with some potholes now
and then. Be careful. There is a short climb after the hydro electric
station, but that is all. The traffic is normally very busy on this
narrow road. Tarbet (hotel and shops) is normally very busy. There
is a cycle path from Tarbet to Luss, but it is off a very poor standard.
If you can live with the traffic, I recommend the road to Luss. Luss
(shops) is one of the most scenic villages in Scotland. The view from
the pier to Ben Lomond is world class. From Luss (15 km. from Tarbet),
please follow the designated, quite scenic cycle road. The road from
Luss to Dumbarton through Balloch and Alexandria is flat and reasonable
Train from Dumbarton back to Glasgow four times an hour.