Dunoon bike ride: Sunshine, hills and fab views
It seemed like only a few years had passed since I was helping my dear and lovely friend Ellen to celebrate her 40th birthday in the Lake District. Yet this weekend we were in Dunoon, on the Cowal Peninsula, for her 50th birthday get-together.
I have no idea how a decade has whizzed by so quickly but I was very happy to join her family and friends for 50th birthday fun.
As well as the drinking, eating, chatting, hot-tubbing, more drinking, eating and chatting over the course of a few days I managed to fit in a bike ride.
I have cycled on the roads near Dunoon a few times before – and each time I return I remember just how brilliant this area is. Generally quiet roads, surprisingly smooth tarmac and beautiful scenery make this part of Scotland a true hidden gem for cyclists.
I set off fairly early on a hilly 60-mile route in the hope of avoiding the torrential rain that was forecast for the afternoon. My route:
- Start: Hunter’s Quay in Dunoon.
- Via the B836 Clachaig road (the timber road), around the top of Loch Striven, to Auchenbreck.
- Join the A886.
- South on the A8003 to Ormidale, Tighnabruaich and Kames.
- North on the B8000 through Kilfinan to Otter Ferry.
- Bite to eat at The Oyster Catcher (opens at noon).
- Backtrack half a mile to take the high road east to the A866 and then to the A886.
- Retrace B836 to Dunoon.
60-mile Dunoon circular bike ride
Dunoon can be reached by road or via the frequent ferries from Gourock on the west coast of Scotland. It feels like a real adventure to board a ferry, even if it is only 20 minutes to Dunoon.
Suffice to say there are plenty of ups and some lovely descents on this route. The views are also fantastic.
My Dunoon bike ride in pictures
I loved the mostly smooth tarmac, the quiet roads, the hills, the fabulous views, hours of me-time, meeting other cyclists for a bit of a chat, giving a big smile to every car that I passed, sunshine when it was meant to be raining, the huge biscuit and can of coke at The Oyster Catcher in Otter Ferry and the cheesy group selfie.
Brilliantly, the rain was not as prolonged as forecast and when it did come (for about 10 minutes of my ride) I welcomed the cooling downpour as I climbed a hill. The weather was wonderfully warm and calm.
This 100km Dunoon bike ride is on MapMyRide.