Our group of riders on Goldwings were based in Pitlochry in Perthshire, and we had
ride-outs on Saturday and Sunday, travelling to Loch Ness and the Great Glen, and
then Glencoe and Fort William.
(See also www.appywanderers.co.uk - click on the archive for May)
The long weekend commenced on Thursday when I left Maidstone at about 10am, and travelled
up the M20 and onto the M25 for the Dartford Crossing. Then via the M11 before hitting
the A1 for the journey ‘up north’.
Cutting across on the A59 above Harrogate travelling west, I then took the A65 and
turned towards the pretty village of Settle - one of the stations on the Settle to
Carlisle railway line, much used by Heritage railways. The photos below show the
(Click on any picture to enlarge)
You can see my Wing parked in the car park at the station.....
Then on towards the famous Ribblehead viaduct, again on the Settle to Carlisle line.
Pictures show the Wing parked while a couple of photo’s were taken, just as the rain
started to fall........
An overnight stop in a Travelodge near Lancaster, and then on to Scotland!!
Arrived mid-afternoon at the hotel (Acarsaid Hotel & Lodge) in Pitlochry, and once
unpacked and greeted fellow riders, took an afternoon constitutional down to the
Dam and Fish Ladder, the River Tummel providing the water for the Hydro-Electric
We found an excellent pub in Pitlochry near the river, and in fact used it every
evening for our evening meal! Some enjoyed the Karaoke - others suffered in silence....!!
The following day was the first run-out; 14 Goldwings and a Valkyrie made an impressive
sight, travelling through towns and villages, people stopped to stare and wave as
we went through!!
From Pitlochry we travelled on the A9 up to Aviemore for a tea and coffee break,
all bikes parked easily in the large car park opposite.
Then onwards via Inverness to take the A82 road which skirts Loch Ness! Beautiful
weather meant easy and pleasant riding, and we soon reached the Loch Ness Visitors
Centre in Drumnadrochit. A pleasant hour to recharge the batteries and take on some
questionable Scotch Broth and tea!
Plenty of tourists looked over the bikes at the Visitors Centre!!
Onward down the length of Loch Ness to Invermoriston, Fort Augustus, Spean Bridge
and along the length of Loch Laggan where another short break occurred for a bit
of sightseeing and photos!
Then back to the hotel for dinner!
The following day turned out to be very pleasant, and we decided to ride west again,
as it was forecast to be rainy in the east. We rode south from Pitlochry along the
A9 to Ballinluig, and then down the A827 towards Aberfeldy (via diversion!) and along
the beautiful Loch Tay. Through Crianlarich and up to Tyndrum for our first stop
of the day - at the Green Welly, a famous bikers stop.
Tea and cakes later, our leader suggested that we go our own way up to the bridge
at Ballachulish via Glencoe on the way towards Fort William for lunch.
A slight confusion on the suggested order of riding meant me racing off after leader
and no2, but not being able to get on the road for about a minute meant that when
I got round the first corner, there were no riders in sight!! And just round the
corner was a fork in the road! Which way to go? Help? No-one else had arrived, and
so sat-nav seemed to suggest take the left towards Oban and up the coast. So off
I went. After about 20 miles, I thought I would stop and take photo’s of the rest
of the bikes coming through. So stopping at Cruachan Power Station, I waited, camera
in hand to take impressive shots of the Wings whizzing through.
And waited, and waited. And then I thought - perhaps I went the wrong way? Checking
the map proved that, yes, I had gone the pretty way! Instead of heading north to
Glencoe, I had taken the westerly route heading towards Oban. I then thought it would
be as quick to continue on that road, rather than turn back. So that’s what I did!!
Good roads meant fairly decent speed for a while, and 30 minutes later I arrived
at Ballachulish bridge - to the assembled ranks of Wingers wondering what had happened!
Dave had even turned back some 20 miles to find out - for which I was most thankful.
Back in convoy, we travelled on to Fort William and parked near the harbour, and
wandered into town to find refreshments!
Once refuelled, we set off north to Spean Bridge to see the Commando Monument. A
most impressive site, accompanied by genuine Scottish Piper in full dress.
It was then back to the Green Welly for ice-creams before heading back to Pitlochry
via Loch Tay for our final evening. Having made good friends with the proprietor,
we promised to return the following morning after breakfast to show him the bikes
- in return for free teas and coffees!!
So ended the main part of the holiday, as we all then took to our separate ways.
Some to parts of Scotland, others to Yorkshire, and me back ‘darn sauth’ via Perth
to visit relatives.
I took a break just over the Forth Bridge, and went into South Queensferry for lunch.
Some pics of the bridges later, I then continued south.
A petrol stop in Tow Law on the A68 gave me an opportunity to chat to a group of
people who had been doing a similar tour of Scotland. But they were driving AC Cobra
sports cars - most impressive!! One was a 7 litre lump, the other 4.5 litre. Wider
tyres even than the Wing!
I stopped at the Scotch Corner Travelodge for the evening, and up early in the morning
for the final part of my journey. The forecast was for rain - and it did!! I reached
home just in time for lunch.
And there concluded a smashing trip, excellent company from some very nice people,
good food, good riding, good weather - what else could you want!!