BBC – Kerry is Kirsty Scotland’s Best Cycling Routes (2018)

BBC – Kerry is Kirsty: Scotland’s Best Cycling Routes (2018)
English | Size: 2.27 GB
Category: Documentary

Cycling sisters Kerry and Kirsty MacPhee from South Uist take to social media to find out the nation’s favourite cycle routes.

1. A’Chomraich
They are in Applecross in Wester Ross and accompanied by wild swimmer Calum MacLean, who has chosen a route there because of his family ties to the area and his fond memories of holidaying there. Calum is avoiding the world renowned Bealach na B? though in favour of a lesser-known off-road route. Starting at Kenmore on Loch Torridon, they mountain bike through Applecross Glen to reach the west coast of the peninsula before finishing the cycle route off with a cooling dip in Applecross River – Calum’s recommendation of course!

2. Stafainn
They are in north east Skye in the Trotternish peninsula with local Kerr Gibb, who is lucky enough to count this route as his commute to work. Starting at Portree harbour they cycle past some of Skye’s most famous landmarks. They admire the strange rock formations of the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock before tackling the steep climb up the winding road to the Quiraing. The girls also hear about Skye’s reputation as the Jurassic Isle and visit the dinosaur footprints on Staffin beach which have made the island so famous in recent years.

3. Morar gu Arasaig
They are in Morar and Arisaig – also known as the rough bounds – with local cyclist Lisa Annette, who has rediscovered the beauty of her her home turf through trips on the bike. Starting at Bracorina they follow the banks of Loch Morar, Britain’s deepest fresh water loch and hear about its legendary resident, Morag the monster. They stop for a break just in time to see famous steam train the Jacobite, a train made more famous in recent years thanks to its appearance in the Harry Potter films. Continuing on they pass white west coast beaches with stunning views out to the Small Isles and Skye.

4. Coigeach
They are in Coigeach in Scotland’s north west with Seonaidh Charity, who first got to know his chosen route as he’d often travel the road to visit his now fiancee. Starting at the foot of a mist-shrouded Stac Polly they head off round the Coigeach peninsula. Before long the bracing wind clears the clouds to open up fantastic views of the Summer Isles and the hill tops of Assynt. Seonaidh tells the girls about the fairy folklore in the area and they meet his future father-in-law to find out more about the place names in the area.

5. Caol Reatha gu Drochaid Sheile
They take on big hill climbs in the south of Skye and the mainland with Fiona Grant, a cycling aficionado who lives in Skye. The first steep climb starts at Ashaig before a swift descent with sharp alpine bends to Kylerhea. Here they catch the world’s only hand-operated turntable ferry, the Glenachulish, across the water to the mainland to reach the picturesque village of Glenelg. From here they carry on to another gruelling climb up to the summit of Mam Ratagan with its rewarding views of the Five Sisters of Kintail.

6. Asainnte
They are in Assynt on the north west coast with Ruairidh MacKay who has fond memories of coming to the area when he was a young boy and now brings his own family here. The girls and Ruairidh start off on the Clachtoll peat road once used by locals to reach remote peat banks. They are greeted with dazzling sunshine which, despite its best attempts, hasn’t dried out all of the bogs and Ruairidh takes the plunge headfirst into one. Luckily for him he isn’t long drying off in this heat. They carry rejoin the main road and continue up the coast, stopping at Clachtoll beach, which seems Mediterranean on a day like this, before finishing their day’s cycling at the dramatic seascapes of Stoer Lighthouse.

7. Srath Narann
They are in Strath Nairn south east of Loch Ness exploring the areas lochs with Raghnaid Sandilands, a self-confessed map boffin, who began using her bike to explore the places she sees while researching maps and place names of the area. They start their cycle in Farr and head straight for a community project Raghnaid has been involved in where they are growing their own fruit and vegetables. Continuing on to Loch Duntelchaig, Raghnaid explains her theory why this is where her and her children believe the real Nessie lives. The cyclists plough on to Loch Ashie, with its own stories of sightings of a ghostly battling Norse warrior and Fionn.

8. Beinn Dobhrain gu Loch Liomhann
They are just north of Tyndrum at Loch Lyon with hill-walker Colin MacLeod, whose bike is a means to an end for reaching more summits. Starting their route at the foot of Beinn Dorain, Colin has a slalom of rivers crossings lined up for the girls and they battle across fjords flowing down from the surrounding hills. Unfortunately for Colin and Kirsty, they don’t manage to stay dry – and Kerry isn’t sympathetic for their wet feet. They pass over the West Highland Way, which attracts walkers all year round, before then also passing under the West Highland Railway Line. Colin and the girls then stop at the fank where famed Gaelic poet Duncan b? n MacIntyre once lived and worked.

Further Information


Related Documentaries

Kerry is Kirsty: Rothan gu Robhanais
Kerry’s Year
Bealach Mor
Bailtean Fraoich
The Strathpuffer (BBC 2018)
The Strathpuffer (BBC)
Scotland: Coast to Coast
The Great Climb
Roads Less Travelled: Atlantic Way (BBC)
San Fhuil: It’s in the Blood

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