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Armadale to Broadford

Bicycle Ride · Scotland
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Map / Armadale to Broadford
m 200 150 100 50 -50 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 km
A short, challenging ride from Armadale, on the Sleat Peninsula, offering exceptional views across to the Black Cuillin before continuing north to the small town of Broadford.
moderate
Distance 41.9 km
3:30 h
650 m
535 m
Begin from Armadale and ride past the castle and gardens before tackling a challenging climb to Tarskavaig. The climb is fairly long and steep in places, but you will soon enjoy an exhillirating descent and be rewarded with excellent views ahead of the Cuillin mountains and behind you across the Sound of Sleat. From Tarskavaig the route follows a singletrack road over some short punchy climbs and technical descents until it rejoins the main A851 road. Once back on the A851 the going gets a bit easier as you follow the relatively quiet road north, passing some beautiful scenery before you arrive in the small town of Broadford in the shadow of Beinn na Caillich.

Author’s recommendation

It is possible to shorten today's ride and avoid the challenging climbing by ignoring the left turn taking you to Tarskavaig and simply continuing on the A851 to Broadford. However, the effort expelled to get to Tarskavaig is rewarded with some wild landscapes and beautiful views along the way and you must be a confident rider comfortable with the traffic levels on the busier A851. 
Profile picture of Grace Brammer
Author
Grace Brammer
Update: September 14, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
195 m
Lowest point
4 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Take care on the descents on today's route particularly on the Tarskavaig road where there are several steep descents with blind corners and occasionally loose gravel in the middle of the road. 

Beware of traffic particular when entering and leaving towns where traffic flow tends to be the highest. Remember to stay on the left hand side of the road. Be mindful of other road users. Obey local road signs and look out for any change in road conditions.

 

***Before starting your ride it's always worth inspecting your bike for damage. Check for damage to the frame, components and wheels. Ensure that there are no loose cables, tyres are properly inflated and the brakes are working. Bear in mind the brakes may work the opposite way to which you are used to.

If you are hiring a bike it is worthwhile taking a quick test ride when you collect your bike to familiarise yourself with the gears, brakes and to check your bike is setup correctly for you.

Always wear a helmet when cycling and if you have any concerns over the condition of your rental bike please call the office or your bike hire shop using the number provided in your information pack.***

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Aramdale Castle & Gardens
An 18th century castle ruins surrounded by stunning gardens and woodlands with an on site café:
https://www.armadalecastle.com/

Torabhaig Distillery
A recently opened whisky distillery (one of only two in Skye) offering tours with a café. Slightly off the route on the A851:
https://torabhaig.com

 

Food & Drink

Make sure to bring either a packed lunch from your accommodation and some snacks along with plenty of water in water bottles or a hydration pack if you prefer. Alternatively, there are a few options along the route today to stop for a quick tea/coffee or a more considerable lunch if you prefer. At the start of the route you'll pass Gasta resturant & cafe at Armadale Castle, then at 26 km you'll reach An Crùbh, a modern cafe in beautiful space serving tea, coffee, cake and light snacks.  

When you arrive in Broadford you'll pass a few restaurants and cafes on the way into the town centre.  The ride finishes outside the Co-Op supermarket where you can buy snacks and provisions for your packed lunch tomorrow.  

Start

Armadale Post Office & Garage (25 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NG 63633 03924
DD
57.065514, -5.900543
DMS
57°03'55.9"N 5°54'02.0"W
UTM
30V 324138 6328416
w3w 

Destination

Co-Op Supermarket, Broadford

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - Begin with your back to the Post Office & Garage the TURN RIGHT to ride along the A851 road. Continue STRAIGHT ON following the  road for 2.80 km.

2.75 km - Reach a junction signposted for Tarskavaig (6 miles) with a bus stop directly ahead of you and TURN LEFT to continue ascending. Follow the road as it climbs and descends towards Tarskavaig and Loch Eishort.

10.65 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON the road as it curves to the right at the shores of Loch Eishort. After 1 km ignore the left turn at the junction signposted for Tarskavaig. Continue on the road as it twists it's way along the coast before turning back inland at Ord.

24.25 km - At the junction TURN LEFT to rejoin the A851 following signs for Broadford as you reach the end of the minor road. Continue STRAIGHT ON this road for approximately 15 km. Take care of traffic and make sure to signal if you'd like to pull over and take photographs.

39.65 km - When you reach the T-junction with the A87 TURN LEFT following the signpost for Portree. Follow the road for 2 km to pass through Harrapool then the outskirts of Broadford.

Check your accommodation sheet to make sure you don't cycle past it on the way into Broadford to finish the day's ride. 

41.95 km - End the day's ride in the centre of Broadford with the Co-Op supermarket on your right-hand side. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Regular ferries from Mallaig to Armadale which links with the trains to Glasgow and central Scotland. 

Coordinates

OS Grid
NG 63633 03924
DD
57.065514, -5.900543
DMS
57°03'55.9"N 5°54'02.0"W
UTM
30V 324138 6328416
w3w 
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Always be prepared to cycle through a change of weather conditions and check the local weather forecast before leaving. Remember to bring a waterproof jacket and a warm layer particularly as conditions in Scotland are never guaranteed! Gloves (fingerless mitts in summer) are popular to provide some extra warmth and handlebar padding when riding.

Don't forget a battery pack to provide an emergency charge to any navigation equipment you may be using.

Basic Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass

Technical Equipment for Bike Riding

  • Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Replacement inner tube
  • Tire levers
  • Chain tool
  • Hex keys
  • Phone / device holder as required  
  • Bike lock as required
  • Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Photos from others


Difficulty
moderate
Distance
41.9 km
Duration
3:30 h
Ascent
650 m
Descent
535 m
Scenic

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