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Wymess Bay to Ardrossan via Ferries Cycle Route

Scotland > North Ayrshire > Wymess Bay
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Cycle Route Details
Route NameWymess Bay to Ardrossan via Ferries
Distance : miles (km)71.28  (114.71)
Posted Bya ewing
Calories Burned kcal
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Cycle Route Location
Town/CityWymess Bay
County/RegionNorth Ayrshire
Start LocationShore Rd, Wymess Bay
End LocationHarbour Rd, Ardrossan
Cycle Steps
Using 5 ferries, you need to buy 2 Hopscotch tickets. Hopscotch 4 (£7.95) and 5 (£9.40)
You can get a timetable from the Cal Mac website to plan your ferry crossings. The hardest part of the route is from Colintraive to Portavadie which is about 20 mls and pretty hilly. Other than that the route is not overly steep but the key is to give yourself time to meet your crossings. This route can only be tackled in the summer as the Cloanaig to Lochranza ferry only runs from end March to end Sept.
Route summary:
Wymess Bay to Rothesay ferry 40 mins
Rothesay to Rhubodach 8.5mls
Rhubodach to Colintraive ferry 10 mins
Colintraive to Portavadie 18.5mls
Portavadie to Tarbert ferry 30 mins
Tarbert to Claonaig 10.5mls
Claonaig to Lochranza ferry 30 mins
Lochranza to Brodick 14mls
Brodick to Ardrossan ferry 60 mins

Cycle miles: 56 miles
Landmarks/Pubs for lunch/Sites to see?
There are plenty of shops and cafes in most of the ferry port towns.

Your comments?
posted by:Mark CanningRating : difficult :
I would recommend doing this route in a clockwise direction (Ardrossan first) as the ferries are more frequent towards the end of the run and also less likely to be cancelled by inclement weather due to them being further inland if the weather turns during the day.

great cycle though!

posted by:alex brooksRating : difficult :
Stunning scenery. be prepared for a LONG steep climb as soon as you leave Portavadie ferry. it just keeps going for about 3 miles!!!
found myself stiffening up on the ferries.
otherwise its all worth it.

posted by:AlanSRating : difficult :
Done this one a couple of times and found it a wonderful day out. Start early from Wemyss Bay and Cycle down to Ardrossan to catch the 09:45 and have breakfast on the boat. Enjoy!!

posted by:Bobby BRating : difficult :
As a complete novice to road riding, I tackled this route with some trepidation. I was accompanied by my son, Martin, fresh from his 300 mile charity cycle from Luton to Leuven in Belgium. Starting and finishing at Ardrossan and going "clockwise", we did 74 miles in 5 hrs 20 mins saddle time.

On the first leg, the climb up North Glen Sannox on Arran was evil. It seemed to go on for ever, but once tackled, the descent down Glen Chalmadale into Lochranza was fast, furious and a chance to catch my breath.

The second leg from Claonaig to Tarbert was relatively straightforward with a small climb and some good smooth roads.

The third leg from Portavadie to Colintraive was very much a journey in two parts. Portavadie to Tighnabruaich and a couple of miles beyond was very hilly and quite challenging for an ageing novice like myself. This was by far the hardest part of the circuit. The rewards, however, were some spectacular views down the Kyles of Bute. What a great excuse to stop and catch my breath again. The second part of this leg was quite flat and easy going. Once heading south to Colintraive, there is a choice of two routes. We took the low, coastal route as opposed to the main road. This was perhaps not our best decision as this lesser road is in a dreadful condition. Stick to the main road.

The 4th leg on Bute should have been a relaxing 10 miles into Rothesay as it barely rises above sea level. The wind however, decided to freshen up a bit and was directly into our face for the whole distance. It became quite tedious, but still didn't spoil the trip. Lunch in Zavaroni's Cafe in Rothesay consisted of Mac n Cheese with chips for me and Cheeseburger and chips for Martin with two large mugs of tea each. Lunch was not only eagerly anticipated, but bloody lovely too. I recommend Zavaroni's.

The final leg from Wemyss Bay to Ardrossan was again rendered laborious by the relentless wind. Relief came in the form of a puncture in Largs (I didn't see the bloody big pot-hole until it was too late), and a very necessary stop to check out the new motorbike shop "Route 78" in Seamill. (Motorised bicycling is one of my passions)

All in all, as a novice to pedal power, I found the whole circuit challenging in places, but on the whole, quite manageable. Martin unsurprisingly found it quite easy but did suffer a wee bout of cramp between Fairlie and Seamill. I would strongly recommend this route to those who haven't tried it and I look forward to the anti-clockwise 'rematch' at the earliest opportunity.

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