Starting and ending in Scotland’s capital, my journey involved a clockwise, ten-day loop of the country.
Day 1 – Tuesday April 3 – Edinburgh to Gatehouse of Fleet
My journey began on the steps of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. From here I set off south to Hawick through appalling weather, before continuing to Gretna and eventually arriving in Gatehouse of Fleet.
Day 2 – Wednesday April 4 – Ayrshire & Glasgow
The next stage of the trip was almost the the last as I tried and failed to outrun a snowstorm, eventually taking refuge in Stewarton. I made it to Glasgow in the end – but it was touch and go at points.
Day 3 – Thursay April 5 – The Argyll coast
The third part of A Scottish Journey took me past the south-western tip of Loch Lomond, along the Gare Loch and then on to the Argyll coast road. I passed through Arrochar, Inveraray and Lochgilphead on the way to the coastal town of Oban, where I visited a beautiful outdoor nursery before heading north to Appin.
Day 4 – Friday April 6 – The Road to the Isles, Skye and Plockton
My fourth day on the bike saw me heading north from Oban, along the east of Loch Linnhe before taking the Corran Ferry and continuing up the western coast of the loch. From here I joined the Road to the Isles all the way to Mallaig, followed by a crossing to Skye and a rain-soaked journey to Geary in the far north of the island.
Day 5 – Saturday April 7 – Bealach na Bà & the coast road to Ullapool
On day five of my journey I returned to the mainland and rode over the famous Bealach na Bà into Applecross, where I had lunch with Alison McLeod, before continuing along the rugged coastline of Wester Ross, passing by Loch Maree and Gairloch on my way to Ullapool.
Day 6 – Sunday April 8 – Sutherland, Caithness & the ferry to Orkney
The next morning I left Ullapool and rode all the way to Scotland’s north coast at Durness. From there I headed to Gills Bay, where I caught a ferry to St Margaret’s Hope on Orkney before travelling on to find an old friend in Kirkwall.
Day 7 – Monday April 9 – Orkney
On the seventh day of my journey I completed a loop of mainland Orkney before hopping on the little ferry to the tiny island of Wyre. There I visited an ancient Norse castle and the childhood home of Edwin Muir, then returned to mainland and headed back to Kirkwall.
Day 8 – Tuesday April 10 – Back to the mainland
The journey south began with a ride from Kirkwall back to St Margaret’s Hope and a return ferry trip to Gills Bay. From there I made a brief stop in John O Groats before following the A9 down the coast, passing through Wick, Helmsdale, Golspie and the Cromarty Firth on my way to Inverness.
Day 9 – Wednesday April 11 – The north east, from Inverness to Aberdeen
The penultimate day of the trip took me east from Inverness, along the coast through Banff and Macduff to Peterhead. From there I turned south again, passing by Donald Trump’s controversial golf resort on my way to Aberdeen.
Day 10 – Thursday April 12 – Dundee, the Queensferry Crossing & back to Edinburgh
The final day of A Scottish Journey involved a journey from Aberdeen to Abroath, across the Tay, through Fife, over the new Queensferry Crossing and back into Edinburgh. There the trip ended where it began: on the steps of the Scottish Parliament.