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Broadford to Dunvegan

Bicycle Ride · Scotland
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
Map / Broadford to Dunvegan
m 150 100 50 -50 60 50 40 30 20 10 km
Leave Broadford behind and pedal north towards Sligachn with epic views of the Cuillin ridge, before turning onto quieter roads to head for the village of Dunvegan on Skye's west coast. 
moderate
Distance 63.3 km
4:30 h
516 m
515 m

Begin where you left off yesterday in Brodford's town centre and cycle north on the A87 towards Sligachan with grea views to Scalpay, Raasay and across the Inner Sound. You will be faced with a tough climb to Sconser, made worthwhile by the surrounding scenery and views of the imposing Red Cuillin up ahead. This road can be busy with tourist traffic in the summer so take care. 

Sligachan provides the perfect oppurtunity to stop and catch your breath while taking in the majestic Cuillin mountain range from the popular view point at Sligachan Old Bridge. Continue on a quieter road, putting the mountains behind you, to head for the west coast. Before reaching Drynoch you have the option to extend your day and visit the Fairy Pools down Glenbrittle or Talisker Distillery (est. 1830) at Carbost on the Minginish peninsula.

From Drynoch the road undulates along the coast with views across Loch Bracadale bringing you to the village of Dunvegan and the unique, flat-topped Macleod's Tables hills on the horizon. 

Author’s recommendation

Don't miss the chance to stop and take in the view (and possibly a few photographs!) at the Cuillin viewpoint from the Sligachan Old Bridge around 25 km into the ride.  
Profile picture of Grace Brammer
Author
Grace Brammer
Update: September 14, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
152 m
Lowest point
0 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Take extra care when riding on the A87 between Broadford and Sligachan as this is the main road through Skye and can be busy at times, particularly during the summer months when there is a lot of tourist traffic (buses and campervans) on 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

Cuillin Brewery, Sligachan
A small brewery attached to Sligachan Hotel offering craft beers, ales and an insight into their brewing process in one of the most scenic locations on Skye!
http://www.cuillinbrewery.com/

Talisker Distillery (9 km Detour)
The oldest distillery on the Skye established in 1830.  The distillery offers tours and whisky tastings, check out their website for more information. Leave the standard route at 35 km in and follow the B8009 road to Cabost village.  You'll also find a cafe serving tea, coffee, cakes and light lunches near the distillery. 
https://www.malts.com/en-row/distilleries/talisker/

Fairy Pools, Glenbrittle (19 km Detour)

The Fairy Pools are the renowned crystal clear pools - popular for a bit of wild swimming (if you can bear the cold water!) - in the shadow of the Cuillin ridge. Leave the standard route at 35 km in and follow the B8009 road towards Carbost but turn off onto the C1237 road from Bracadale. 

At a 19 km return detour from the route only do the detour if you feel you have the legs for it.  Take care on the narrow road to the Fairy Pools, and try to arrive in the morning as it can be busy with tourist traffic during the afternoon. Make sure to lock your bikes up at the car park when you arrive.

https://www.isleofskye.com/skye-guide/top-ten-skye-walks/fairy-pools

Dunvegan Castle & Gardens
The home of clan Macleod for 800 continuous years the castle is perched on the shores of Loch Dunvegan and possessing beautiful gardens in the grounds. Check out their website below for visiting times and tickets, there's also Macleod's Cafe where you can pop in for some well earned refreshment at the end of your ride.  
https://www.dunvegancastle.com/

 

Food & Drink

There are a few options for lunch and snacks on today's route, or you can buy everything you need for the day from the Co-Op supermarket or some takeaway sandwiches from the Deli Gasta in Broadford. Make sure to bring plenty of water (1.5-2 litres) and some snacks if you intend to stop for lunch en route. On reaching Sligachan Hotel you pop into the Sligachan Hotel's Seamus Bar offering tea, coffee, and a full lunch menu throughout the summer months. If you take the Talisker detour then why not pop into Caora Dhubh cafe selling tea, coffee and delicious home-baked cakes with outdoor seating. Alternatively, if you continue straight on towards Dunvegan you'll pass through the little village of Struan where you'll find the unique Bog Myrtle cafe and bookstore. 

Start

Co-Op Supermarket, Broadford (10 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NG 64394 23483
DD
57.241196, -5.906491
DMS
57°14'28.3"N 5°54'23.4"W
UTM
30V 324611 6347977
w3w 
///shadows.snowmen.masks

Destination

Junction opposite the war memorial at the north end of Dunvegan village

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - In Broadford with the Co-Op supermarket on your right-hand side continue STRAIGHT ON the A87 road through Broadford and following the signpost for Portree continue on the road for 25 km. Take care on the road as it can be busy with tourist traffic during thesummer months. 

26.35 km - After passing the Cuillin viewpoint with the arched stone bridge on your left-hand side, cross the road bridge and TURN LEFT (signal here and take care to cross when safe) at the Sligachan Hotel onto the A863 following the signpost to Dunvegan.

35.00 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON here ignoring the signpost for Carbost and Glenbrittle on the B8009 unless you intend to take the detours to Talisker Distillery or the Fairy Pools. 

46.65 km - BEAR LEFT to continue on the A863 ignoring the right turn signed for Portree. Cross the bridge over Loch Beag and pedal through Struan village. 

60.00 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON the A863 ignoring the right-hand turn signposted for Portree. 

Check your accommodation sheet to make sure you don't cycle past your accommodation as you pass through Dunvegan. 

63.30 km - End the day's ride at the north end of Dunvegan village opposite the war memorial. If you wish to continue to Dunvegan Castle & Gardens continue straight on folliwng the A850 for a short distance until you come across the castle on your left0hand side. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NG 64394 23483
DD
57.241196, -5.906491
DMS
57°14'28.3"N 5°54'23.4"W
UTM
30V 324611 6347977
w3w 
///shadows.snowmen.masks
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, and 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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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
63.3 km
Duration
4:30 h
Ascent
516 m
Descent
515 m

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