cycling

Argyll's Secret Coast has become a popular destination for the serious cyclist. The quiet country roads and off-road forest tracks and trails  offer fantastic cycling and mountain biking opportunities. Coupled with outstanding views and challenging terrain it is a winning combination.  This is recognised by the 5 Ferry Challenge that incorporates 4 cycle sections (a total of 52 miles) and 5 ferry crossings in and around North Kintyre and the Firth of Clyde, passing through Tighnabruaich before heading towards Colintraive.

Of course you do not have to be a serious cyclist to enjoy the activity. Carry Farm is 2 miles away from the village of Kames on a quiet and flat single track road that follows the shoreline, a perfect cycle for all the family. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, the ten mile Ardlamont loop starting and finishing at Carry Farm, taking in fantastic views across to Arran and Kintyre would be an excellent choice. On the way you could stop for a picnic at the stunning Ostel Bay.

Going a little further afield and covering more miles, the cycle up to Otter Ferry (stopping at the Oystercatcher for lunch) and over the Bealach towards Glendaruel, then taking the B8003 back towards Tighnabruaich will challenge the fittest of cyclists and is not for the faint hearted. The Bealach climbs from 16m to 321m in 4.6km at an average of 6% and is “arguably the 2nd toughest climb in Scotland, with sections at 20%". However, if you can do it, there is no doubt it is worth it. On a good day you can see straight out through the Corryvreckan, with Jura to the south and Scarba to the north.

There are some great mountain biking trails in the forests in and around Argyll’s Secret Coast. Explore the forest between Portavadie and Kilfinan or go further afield to Glenbranter, Ardentinny and Glenfinnart and Ardgarten. The Forestry Commission website is a great online resource for finding cycling trails in the area.