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Cycling Ullapool to Lairg – Best Cycle Routes Scotland

Posted on Jan 19, 2017 by Tim Francis

A sense of timelessness and wild beauty pervades this part of Scotland. Cycling Ullapool to Lairg traverses the ancient and geologically fascinating landscape of the North West Highlands.

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Wilderness Guide and cycling fanatic Tim Francis shares the second of his Best Cycle Routes in Scotland.

Route: Ullapool to Lairg, North West Highlands


Route data

  • Distance: 44.6 miles (71.8 km)
  • Duration: Approx 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Minimum Elevation: 4 m
  • Maximum Elevation: 264 m
  • Total climb: 899 m (3100 ft)

This day I had been looking forward to for quite a while. Earlier in the year I had a sublime walk in the mountains of Inverpolly.

“This remote landscape is a wealth of mind-boggling 360 degree views and astounding geology. The prospect of cycling Ullapool to Lairg through it all gave me tingles.”

After the climb up out of Ullapool the views generally start to open up. The tea stop in Elphin allowed us to shed some of the water that had been hiding the inselbergs from view. After the warmth of a hot chocolate in Elphin we continued the ride. The rain had stopped and the day brightened.

Trip Date Name Price Availability Book
15th May - 26th May 2017 Road Cycling - The Five Countries £2,6951 place(s) leftBook Now
11th Sep - 22nd Sep 2017 Road Cycling - The Five Countries £2,695Places availableBook Now
14th May - 25th May 2018 Road Cycling - The Five Countries £2,695Places availableBook Now
18th Jun - 29th Jun 2018 Road Cycling - The Five Countries £2,695Places availableBook Now
10th Sep - 21st Sep 2018 Road Cycling - The Five Countries £2,6953 place(s) leftBook Now

It became a different place as the views stretched away and the grandeur was revealed. The route ahead was stunning in its quiet isolation and lack of any vehicle what so ever. The road became mostly single track sweeping through sublime Glen Oykle. For some time we wondered if the world had been subjected to some catastrophe. Were we the only souls left to survive?

The route just cried out for cadence as we swept along amidst the flowing beauty. To top the day off I got a climb in after Rosehall leaving the A837 on the A839 towards Lairg. A memorable day indeed.

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GPX Cucling Ullapool to Lairg route

About the author

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Tim Francis

Tim's a passionate biker and hill-walker, who was a business development manager in a former life and spent 4 amazing years working in South America. Lucky for us he's returned to the Highlands to live and become a mountain biking and walking guide.

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