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Scottish roads to avoid?


multiplamum

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Following on from a thread about avoiding the road around Loch Lomond and a query about the width of French roads I wondered if you knowledgeable lot could help me. We are off to travel the west coast of Scotland next week but I am a) terrified of heights and b) a very nervous motorhome passenger. Therefore the idea of precipitous narrow roads sends me into a spin.

Should we be avoiding Scotland all together or is it possible to avoid the tricky bits and if so where are they?

 

Thanks

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It depends on what you want to see and how big your van is but if you only use the main A trunk roads, are prepared to drive cautiously on the twisty bits and are competent using reverse gear the coaches, buses, caravans, tractors and artics should be able to avoid you!

 

For some folks challenging roads are all part of the fun and it is difficult to imagine going to the West Coast of Scotland without using minor roads with all their twists, turns, hills and precipices because that is where the best beaches, views and wildlife can often be found.

 

Not a road for the faint hearted is the Pass of the Cattle but for us it is one of the best roads up there and a definite favourite of mine!

 

http://www.scotlandinfo.eu/applecross-bealach-na-ba-shieldaig/

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Tracker - 2015-06-13 12:01 PM

 

It depends on what you want to see and how big your van is but if you only use the main A trunk roads, are prepared to drive cautiously on the twisty bits and are competent using reverse gear the coaches, buses, caravans, tractors and artics should be able to avoid you!

 

For some folks challenging roads are all part of the fun and it is difficult to imagine going to the West Coast of Scotland without using minor roads with all their twists, turns, hills and precipices because that is where the best beaches, views and wildlife can often be found.

 

Not a road for the faint hearted is the Pass of the Cattle but for us it is one of the best roads up there and a definite favourite of mine!

 

http://www.scotlandinfo.eu/applecross-bealach-na-ba-shieldaig/

 

Hi Tracker. I have been over the Bealach-na-ba a few times, we used to stay in a cottage near Applecriss, but that was in a car and when I was much younger before my fear if heights got so bad.

Trouble is if I am worrying about what's coming up then it spoils the holiday for me and my long suffering husband who has to put up with a whimpering wreck sitting in the passenger seat

 

Perhaps we should go to Norfolk!!

 

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....the road around Loch Lomond is unpleasant in a motorhome because it is only just two lanes wide, is busy with large vehicles, and is encroached on by rocks on one side, and the lochside on the other. People treat it as a normal main road, and as a result, problems, often involving door mirrors, occur. It is quite driveable, but, as per all the advice above, there are more "relaxed" routes to use.

 

As far as further North and West is concerned, IMO, things are generally very much easier.

 

Traffic is lighter; In many ways single-track roads are easier to use in a big vehicle, since there isn't an opportunity for anything to squeeze past (simply plan ahead and judge for the passing places - most have clear line of sight to allow you to let people past, or vice versa). Many of the single-track roads have been widened over the years anyway.

 

Most of the obvious routes from A to B on a general tour around the West Coast are quite passable (enjoyable even) if driven "conservatively" - which is what everyone expects.

 

Tracker has highlighted Bealach Na Ba, which is high and has hairpins, so may not suit you. (I see you know it). The other one I wouldn't fancy in a motorcaravan is the stretch around the coast North from Achnahaird through Inverkirkaig to Lochinver. A stretch of this is very tight, with no line of sight to passing places, and can be quite daunting (even in a car). Unfortunately, if you're doing the coast, it's quite a detour inland to avoid this. The turning does have warnings on it! (see Google Streetview):

 

https://goo.gl/maps/zNnxI

 

....the road out to Achiltibuie, off which this turning is, is a prime example of a very driveable single track road - it looks narrow, but is reasonably graded, with clear line of sight on almost every passing place, and wonderful views (There's also a very good campsite at Altandhu, out on the coast!).

 

Don't be put off - it is very rewarding, and you should enjoy it (midges allowing ;-) ).

 

 

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multiplamum - 2015-06-13 12:32 PM

 

Hi Tracker. I have been over the Bealach-na-ba a few times, we used to stay in a cottage near Applecross, but that was in a car and when I was much younger before my fear if heights got so bad.

Trouble is if I am worrying about what's coming up then it spoils the holiday for me and my long suffering husband who has to put up with a whimpering wreck sitting in the passenger seat

 

Perhaps we should go to Norfolk!!

 

Norfolk's back roads can be interesting too believe me!!

 

I do understand that if you don't enjoy the narrow roads the holiday will not be much fun but there are plenty of places to see that are on or close to main roads and the larger towns and it does sound as if you know your way around Scotland's West Coast so why not just take it easy and avoid the temptation of unclassified and unknown B & C roads - as well as a few A roads in the more remote parts!

 

Tourist information offices might be able to help steer you away from unsuitable roads in each area with their local knowledge.

 

 

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multiplamum - 2015-06-13 11:43 AM

 

Following on from a thread about avoiding the road around Loch Lomond and a query about the width of French roads I wondered if you knowledgeable lot could help me. We are off to travel the west coast of Scotland next week but I am a) terrified of heights and b) a very nervous motorhome passenger. Therefore the idea of precipitous narrow roads sends me into a spin.

Should we be avoiding Scotland all together or is it possible to avoid the tricky bits and if so where are they?

 

Thanks

 

The road around Loch Lomond has been significantly improved, check http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/a82-pulpit-rock

for details. Most main routes up here are straightforward and no worse than anywhere else in the UK. Like the rest of Britain, if you venture off the beaten track or into towns and villages, roads may be narrower. The Applecross road is pretty exceptional, offhand I can't think of another anything like it in Scotland. Come up and enjoy yourself :-D

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For many years, I (along with many others) towed a caravan to Achmelvich in Sutherland - it's on the coast just north of Lochinver.

It's a relatively short bit of road, but I reckon if I could do that, there isn't a road in Scotland I can't get my motorhome along. Carefully.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was on the B842 on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula, heading for Carradale Bay. I thought it was a bit scary. Then I met an Argos delivery truck, and thought, if he can do it, I can do it more easily. Then I drove past the upside down crane which had gone over the edge earlier that day. OH insisted on doing the rest of the journey very slowly indeed. I was happy to oblige.

PS, at Carradale, we met a couple with a 7.5 metre van (ours is 6m) who towed a boat, used the road regulalrly with no problems at all.

Just go for it, you'll be fine. Enjoy, but try to avoid all the places with Tory, Labour or LibDem MP's. :D

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The A830 from Fort William to Mallaig can prove "interesting". Begins easy enough but around 2/3rds in is narrow, twisting bends. However the scenery is stunning and it's a mistake to pass up the opportunity of a visit. Around 40 miles long once you get to Mallaig.....that's it. The road ends there! But Mallaig is a lovely little fishing harbour and seeing that trucks like this; http://oi57.tinypic.com/2uejuqd.jpg negotiate the road, makes even the largest motorhomes look like a micro car!

 

Cracking camp site at Arisaig too, just before you reach Mallaig.

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candapack - 2015-06-13 9:43 PM

 

For many years, I (along with many others) towed a caravan to Achmelvich in Sutherland - it's on the coast just north of Lochinver.

It's a relatively short bit of road, but I reckon if I could do that, there isn't a road in Scotland I can't get my motorhome along. Carefully.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was on the B842 on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula, heading for Carradale Bay. I thought it was a bit scary. Then I met an Argos delivery truck, and thought, if he can do it, I can do it more easily. Then I drove past the upside down crane which had gone over the edge earlier that day. OH insisted on doing the rest of the journey very slowly indeed. I was happy to oblige.

PS, at Carradale, we met a couple with a 7.5 metre van (ours is 6m) who towed a boat, used the road regulalrly with no problems at all.

Just go for it, you'll be fine. Enjoy, but try to avoid all the places with Tory, Labour or LibDem MP's. :D

. shame to miss out Orkney ! Hasn't he resigned anyway?
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