Over the first two weeks of June my partner and I set off on a tour of Scotland on my Buell Ulysses XB12XT. Scotland has been somewhere I had always wanted to see, especially the much refereed to John O'Groats. Coming from Ireland we decided to travel to Larne and cross to Troon, though coming back we choose the Cairnryan to Larne route since we had a better choice of crossing times.
Parked up outside Doune Castle, fully loaded for 2 weeks in Scotland!
We planned out two routes, one which included us travelling to John O'Groats, and a second which had us just travel West to Isle of Skye after visiting the Loch Ness area. We would decide which route to take once we got up to Loch Ness as much really depended on the weather. On our second night in Scotland, at the Comrie Croft campsite, we met a group of motorcyclists from the Netherlands who had spent two weeks in Scotland in atrocious weather, they decided not to go further than Inverness after two of their tents were badly damaged.
Trotternish, Isle of Skye...the scenery was amazing.
Everything did go to plan for us though and we ended visiting all the locations we had hoped to, and a whole lot more. Below is a rough map of the route we took, starting in Troon and working counter-clockwise around Scotland back to Cairnryan, a journey of some 1,200+ miles / 2,000+ km. Each morning breaking camp and each night making camp at a new location.
Of course we took LOTS of photos along the way and you can follow the route we took by visiting my Scotland photo album, which includes locations such as Doune Castle (of 'Monty Python, The Holy Grail' fame!), Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, camping at John O'Groats, the Glenfinnan viaduct (which has appeared in the Harry Potter movies) and much much more.
All the campsites had their unique personalities, but all were welcoming to motorcycles and friendly
It was a trip that I have been wanting to make for a long time and it was certainly worth the wait. The Scottish Highlands are stunning, and to travel through them on a motorcycle was perfect. The weather was not always perfect, especially when camping, but there is very little I would change. Hopefully I will get a chance to visit again to see a few places we missed, but for now I am more then happy.
Camping at John O'Groats with a view of the Orkney Islands
We did camp the whole time and if you have not done it before then do give it a try at least once. I have been camping since I was a teenager and have seen the good, bad and ugly ways of doing it. Just like everything we all have our own ideas of what is comfortable and acceptable, just find your own comfort zone and you will also find a campsite that is also exactly what you want. Experience can not be beat, but we all have to start somewhere, and some of the views from a tent just can not be matched.
The sun setting over the Orkney's
This was one of those trips one could write a book about with all the little adventures and experiences we had, and hopefully over time I will get to share most of them, but if you have any questions then feel free to ask in the comments below and I will try to get back to you when I can.
For now, peace and keep the rubber side down.