Cycling on Arran is very popular. We give you information on cycling on the road and on the tracks. We are also popular with cyclists riding from Lands End to John O'Groats
Cycling on Arran
Lochranza Youth Hostel makes a great base for cycling on the island, with National Route 73 going straight past the hostel. We have a secure cycle store for up to around 12 bikes, a drying room and a laundry.
We have a long background in touring cycling having cycled in New Zealand, Australia, Holland, Italy, Ireland and much of Scotland. I have also completed the ride from Lands End to John O'Groats.
" Stayed here in June 2008 when we were cycling around the the Southern Hebridean Islands. We were made very welcome and had a great night. We would thoroughly recommend it. Steve, Karen Phil and Krystyna."
Road CyclingCycling on Arran roads is a pleasure. There are only 3 main roads to choose from.
This allows a number of loops to be enjoyed. The full lap of the island is a 57 mile ride and with a few long climbs is a great challenge.
For a shorter loop from Lochranza, the Northern route follows the coastal road and 'The String'. This route is 32 miles and has 2 big hills.
National cycle route 73 runs from Brodick to Lochranza. Following this route through Arran is fast becoming a popular choice for cyclists undertaking the Lands End to John O'Groats ride. It avoids having to cycle through Glasgow and uses much quieter roads. Many people, myself included, decide it is worth the extra 50 miles.
Insider Tip.Which direction is the best way to go round the island ?
Cycling anti-clockwise the hills seem to be longer, whilst going clockwise they are shorter but steeper.
The wind direction can also be a major influence on choice of you want to avoid finishing into a head wind.
From Lochranza the decision is whether you want to do the climb to the top of the 200 metre high Boguillie pass at the start or the end of your ride
The leading site on Arran cycling is the Arran Bike Club. Their website has lots of information on the various routes and events, you can even buy club jerseys.
Cycling on Arran is not just limited to the roads, we also have some great mountain biking.
Arran's 'Natural Mountain Bike Trails' are a series of routes that are very different from the man made colour coded routes found at many mountain bike centres.
Our routes are a great mix of paths tracks and trails which can be joined together to create some wonderful rides for a whole range of abilities.
For much more information you can download route descriptions and maps from the Arran Bike Club website.
For many cycle tourists, cycling on Arran is a stepping stone for a tour of the west of Scotland. Leaving the island on the Lochranza ferry takes you to the Mull of Kintyre. From here it is just a few miles to Kennacraig and the ferry to Islay, then why not head on to Jura.
The Youth Hostel at Islay has a beautiful location on the beach at Port Charlotte and is an excellent base to tour the island
For details of a cycle tour of the Southern Hebrides take a look at Steve Coulson's website My Bicycling Adventure.
For Steve and Karen this was the start of something bigger, as they are now cycling around the world. You can follow their adventures on their website