Unusually stormy weather put pay to a planned sea kayaking weekend on the North West coast at Plockton and so, looking for an alternative activity, I settled on a cycle ride around Loch Rannoch.
On a weekend when all of Scotland was being blown about, the weather forecast for Loch Rannoch – right in the middle of the country – looked marginally less windy. But only just. Strong gusts howled along the loch from the west creating waves at the eastern shore near Kinloch Rannoch. Dark, brooding skies hung over the loch with the sun only managing to poke through every so often.
From a cycling point of view it seemed a game of two halves. I decided to get the worst bit over first, cycling into a strong headwind first before getting blown back to Kinloch Rannoch. In fact, many stretches were pretty sheltered and so it wasn’t the masochistic afternoon it might have been. But the winds did drive many visitors away and it seemed pretty quiet for a Saturday in late June.
I decided to try something new and have a go at making a little video of the cycle around the loch. It’s a first effort, taken on a hand-held iPhone (all except the last few scenes when I used my tripod) – I’ll get my excuses in first! – so please bear this in mind …
It’s a great, easy cycle. It’s 20-something miles around the loch on flat, single-track roads and there’s a very good café in Kinloch Rannoch to quench your thirst. You can also stay at a good campsite (Kilvrecht) run by the Forestry Commission about 3 miles west of Kinloch Rannoch on the southern shore.
There are some lovely little spots around the loch and even a few little beaches. While there were a number of people camping beside the loch, I’m hoping that some of the antisocial wild camping issues in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park aren’t displaced northwards owing to the introduction of their new camping byelaws. However, I did see one nice spot beside the water colonised a group of fishermen with 4 or 5 caravans, various vehicles and a campfire. Clearly they weren’t there just for an overnight stay …..
In spite of this, it’s a great place for a scenic cycle ride.