Tour # 12.
Fort Williams - Glen Coe - Loch Lomond - Dumbarton
160 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 550 meters.
Highest point: Rannoch Moor 320 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Moderate to Busy.
Severity Rating: ******
Fun rating: ******

How to get to Fort Williams:
Train from Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Dumbarton.

Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor. These two historic names strikes fear into a long distance cyclist. These two mountains (each on over 300 meters) offers very hard cycling over a distance over 50 km. The cycling is not particular steep, but it is without any rest or easy parts. The cycling in this very majestic landscape is also very exposed towards wind, rain or sunshine. Whatever weather; these 50 kilometres takes everything out of the cyclist. This tour is by far the toughest cycle trip in the West Of Scotland. But it is also one of Scotland's most beautiful cycle trips. This cycle trip is a classic and a must do.

The road from Fort Williams follows the very busy and flat A 82 along Loch Linnhe. After 20 kilometres, the road leaves Loch Linnhe at the bridge at Ballachulish. The views towards Glen Coe and across Loch Linnhe is superb. The village of Glen Coe (shops) awaits after some kilometres.
The moderate steep climb up to valley to the top of Glen Coe goes through the most dramatic alpine scenery in Scotland. The views along this climb is worthy the whole cycle trip alone. From the top of Glen Coe, there is a rapid descent to Kingshouse Hotel (drinks, food) before the long, arduous climb up to the highest point of the tour: Rannoch Moor. The climb up the moor goes on forever and it is very exposed to the weather. The road drops down from the top of Rannoch Moor to lake and a new climb. This rather flat climb is not hard, but it you have run empty on the climbs up Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor (which I always do), this is quite a nasty sting of the tail. From the top of this climb, the descent to Bridge Of Orchy is vertical. The road now goes along a small lake up a very small hill and down to the Bridge Of Orchy hotel. Although the food and drink in this pub is expensive, I recommend a meal in this pub. Mainly because you will need the strength for the rest of the tour.
The road from Bridge Of Orchy climbs again to a new 300 meters above sea level mountain. The climb does not seems steep, but it is arduous and should be treated with respect. From the top of this climb, the road drops down to 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. 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 interesting.
Train from Dumbarton back to Glasgow four times an hour.