Scotland?



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  1. #1
    N3WMAN's Avatar
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    Scotland?

    I have a wedding to attend in Scotland in August. Figured myself and the missus would go for a week(9 days possibly) and make a trip of it. Was thinking about renting some bikes for 3-4 days and do some touring.

    Anyone been and can recommend a rental/hire place for motorcycles?
    Any routes to suggest?

    We will be flying into Glasgow which is also where the wedding is happening so closer to there would be nice. I was looking at the North Coast 500 loop which looks like a great time but not sure I'd have the time to do it all.

    Will be doing my own research over the next while just looking for anyone with personal experience. Any help and insight is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by N3WMAN; 03-09-2018 at 09:32 PM.
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    Re: Scotland?

    North Coast 500 is the typical route.

    Zoom through the east coast of the NC500, the real action starts west of John O'Groats.

    If you're short on time, you don't have to do the whole 500 miles. The area around Applecross is beautiful, as well as the road south out of Glencoe. It's all on the western side of the NC500. So maybe do a NC250...
    Last edited by Lightcycle; 03-09-2018 at 09:13 PM.

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    Re: Scotland?

    paging Lightcycle.....


    edit***oops slow page refresh

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    Re: Scotland?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightcycle View Post
    North Coast 500 is the typical route.

    Zoom through the east coast of the NC500, the real action starts west of John O'Groats.

    If you're short on time, you don't have to do the whole 500 miles. The area around Applecross is beautiful, as well as the road south out of Glencoe. It's all on the western side of the NC500. So maybe do a NC250...
    Thanks for the insight!
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    Re: Scotland?

    Envious of anyone who can do a bike trip in Scotland. Spent a short time there and loved it. Love all of the UK for that matter. I follow a Brit who vlogs and he did a 3 or 4 day trip (cannot remember length) going up to John O'Groats. Looked amazing!


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    Re: Scotland?

    What Lightcycle said. Be prepared for short riding distances especially on the west coast....single lane with pull offs.
    Also rain and many sheepies



    https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries/scotland-uk-2017

    We did by car as 1/3 of a UK loop.

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    Re: Scotland?

    Double post.

    There were lots of riders in the area ....clearly popular.

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    Re: Scotland?

    Was there in 2010 and back again last July for 2 weeks. Glen Coe, Isle Of Sky, Fort William and everywhere in between. Lots of bikes (we were in a car) on the roads. Roads are incredible. On my bucket list to go again but on two wheels.
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    Re: Scotland?

    I'm from Edinburgh and I've been all over Scotland. Was just there last year. What is it you want to see? Mountains? Castles? Scotch distillery? Highland cows?

    LMK what your thinking and I'll try to give you some areas of interest.
    Can't we settle this over a pint?

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    Re: Scotland?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJM View Post
    I'm from Edinburgh and I've been all over Scotland. Was just there last year. What is it you want to see? Mountains? Castles? Scotch distillery? Highland cows?

    LMK what your thinking and I'll try to give you some areas of interest.
    No real interest in distillery/brewery type stuff. We are not really drinkers.

    Mostly just wanna ride some nice scenic roads and see some interesting sights. If there are any must see things let me know.

    At this point we're thinking 5 days on the bikes and whatever else time in Glasgow. Looking at doing a North Coast 500 style loop starting from Glasgow(or wherever we rent the bikes from) heading up the west coast and looping around to John O'Groats. That way if we need to cut time we can just ride the bit from John O'Groats to Inverness at the end without missing a ton of stuff.

    Not really sure how to budget time though. Around here 6-700km a day with stops is pretty easy to do comfortably. I'm imagining with the small winding roads the achievable mileage will be a lot less.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by N3WMAN; 03-15-2018 at 08:24 PM.
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    Re: Scotland?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJM View Post
    I'm from Edinburgh and I've been all over Scotland. Was just there last year. What is it you want to see? Mountains? Castles? Scotch distillery? Highland cows?

    LMK what your thinking and I'll try to give you some areas of interest.
    I'm envious. Oban is my heritage and absolutely loved our visit to Edinburgh.
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    Re: Scotland?

    Quote Originally Posted by N3WMAN View Post
    Not really sure how to budget time though. Around here 6-700km a day with stops is pretty easy to do comfortably. I'm imagining with the small winding roads the achievable mileage will be a lot less.[/COLOR]
    We tend to travel very very slowly and we did the whole NC500 + Isle of Skye in 8 riding days, starting in Edinburgh and ending up in Glasgow (start and endpoint are negligible since those two cities are only an hour away on the highway). I think you could definitely do the NC500 in the time you have allotted if you rode everyday.

    Our friends who live in Edinburgh go to Applecross for weekend rides just like Toronto riders go to PA for the weekend. The passes and the Isle of Skye get very busy on the weekends and holidays, so you'll be fighting a lot of tourist traffic (RVs and such). North of Ullapool to John O'Groats there's very little traffic, but it goes down to single lane in a lot of places, so you might have to stop and pull over to let opposing traffic by.

  13. #13

    Re: Scotland?

    I've spent a while in Scotland too as my wife is from there. I didn’t mind it. One thing I will say is that you will come away with a newfound appreciation for the colour grey and all of its tonal variances.

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    Re: Scotland?

    Lightcycle nailed it.

    If you can ...the Orkney's are terrific but we got lucky with weather.

    Skye would be nice to get to and take a boat ride to Fingols cave.

    Weather is soooooo changeable.

    Drivers on the small roads seemed polite and courteous ....city rush hour as annoying as anywhere.

    West Coast is truly beautiful but yeah can be grey. Allow for ferries as well.

    Loads of rainbows with the changeable weather. Do plan lots of stops for pure lovely and the air off the Atlantic is stunning





    We plotted 10 days on the 500 ...Orkney's one and got lucky with the weather.
    West coast is where the best riding is AppleCross etc.
    Last edited by MacDoc; 03-16-2018 at 05:18 PM.

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    Re: Scotland?

    3-4 days isn't a lot of time, and July-August are peak tourism times so roads will be busy. Renting bikes may be difficult and the only businesses that I know of are in Edinburgh. You can try Harley in Glasgow, not sure what else is there.

    Other ride options are up to Uig via Glasgow, Loch Lomand National Park, Ft. William, Glencoe and stopping at Loch Ness and Inverness if so desired. You can then head back through Invermoriston and through Kyle of Lochalsh to Uig.

    Another ride is Glasgow, Sterling, Perth, through the Cairngorms National Park up to Inverness and John O'Groat's if desired. I wouldn't bother with the East side through Aberdeen, not that great compared to the Mid and Highlands.

    You can take the train from Glasgow station right into downtown Edinburgh. Waverly Station is central to Scot Monument, Royal Gardens and Edinburgh Castle. Everything is walking distance. My favorite pub and great fish'n'chips is The Abbey, about a 10 minute walk up the road. Arthurs Seat is a bit farther away and a hell of a climb. Great sunsets there.

    Stirling Castle in Stirling is a great history lesson. Very nice, clean town, I would retire there as a summer home if I could. You can get there by train from Glasgow or Edinburgh or as part of your ride.

    Glasgow has a ton of museums and art galleries if your into that. I prefer Edinburgh myself as it's a bit more old-world.

    Cows and sheep are everywhere once you get into the countryside and they like blocking roads. Highland Cows are dumber than rocks but tasty. If you're a vegetarian than ignore that last part...

    Urquhart Castle overlooks Loch Ness, pretty cool to see. I can't list all the castles and ruins but there's viking settlements, iron age settlements etc. all over the place. Best to do some web research and see what's near your trip route.
    Can't we settle this over a pint?

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    Re: Scotland?

    Thanks for all the advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by DJM View Post
    3-4 days isn't a lot of time, and July-August are peak tourism times so roads will be busy. Renting bikes may be difficult and the only businesses that I know of are in Edinburgh. You can try Harley in Glasgow, not sure what else is there.
    Currently planning 5 days on bikes and the other 3-4 in Glasgow/surround area.

    Seems to be plenty of rental options, quite surprising actually. Just gotta figure out which makes the most sense in terms of location and $$. There was 1 or 2 in Glasgow but pricey compared to the other options.
    Last edited by N3WMAN; 03-16-2018 at 09:52 PM.
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  17. #17

    Re: Scotland?

    If you get fish and chips and they ask you if you want sauce with it make sure you specify ketchup or the weirdos will smother it with brown sauce. No wonder Hadrian built a ****ing wall.

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    Re: Scotland?

    Quote Originally Posted by N3WMAN View Post
    Seems to be plenty of rental options, quite surprising actually. Just gotta figure out which makes the most sense in terms of location and $$. There was 1 or 2 in Glasgow but pricey compared to the other options.
    Edinburgh is only an hour away on the highway if that's an option. Also, it's a much cooler city to explore than Glasgow, IMO. It's got a younger vibe, lots of festivals too in the summer, one almost every week, sometimes two or more concurrently.

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    Re: Scotland?

    Quote Originally Posted by jc100 View Post
    If you get fish and chips and they ask you if you want sauce with it make sure you specify ketchup or the weirdos will smother it with brown sauce. No wonder Hadrian built a ****ing wall.
    Curry sauce is the most popular condiment for fish and chips in the UK. They love that stuff.

  20. #20

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    Re: Scotland?

    Double check the license transfer with rental companies.

    I lived in the Wales for a while and their motorcycle licences are not swappable with Ontario if you're moving. There might be different rules in Scotland and if you're renting vs. permanent transfer. I've heard many stories of people entering the country on their Canadian plated bikes though.

    Also, report back please. I'm visiting England near the Scotland border for a wedding this summer. If I can rent at bike, I might extend the trip by a few days!!

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