LOCAL CYCLE ROUTES
FOR YOU TO TRY:
ROUTE 1: SEAVIEW TO KINTRA
Fionnphort & Kintra;
Maps: OS Explorer 373 1:25000
Distance: Return trip approximately 6 miles
Fairly flat. Watch out for the buses and cars on
the main road between Fionnphort and the turning for Kintra
Type of Ride: Public road - tarmac surface
Environment: Open farmland and moor land with fine views to
the sea and coast.
Start Point: Seaview
A crofting area of the Ross of Mull
with spectacular seascapes and unusual red Ross of Mull granite outcrops
with views to the Isle of Iona and Treshnish Isles.
From Seaview - cycle east along the main road back towards
Bunessan, leaving the village you pass on your right a little chapel
overlooking Loch Pottie which is a favourite spot for waders and ducks.
In spring the corncrake can sometimes be heard in surrounding fields.
A couple of hundred metres past the chapel turn left at the
Kintra signpost and cycle up past the war memorial and Creich Hall. The road leads across open grazing and moor land and
just after Bogilee Farm, a descending bend opens up wonderful views of
Iona to the west, the Treshnish Isles to the north west, with Coll in
the distance, and Staffa to the north. The tar road turns sharp
right at an unusual looking house to a descending left hand bend which
descends further to a pretty, quiet former fishing village of Kintra. An
ideal place to leave the bikes and wander or hike past the village to
the north. Return the way you came and on your left as you make your way
back up the hill from Kintra village, pop into The Kitchen Garden, run
by Rosie Burgess - a small holding and shop/cafe which produces fresh
produce during the summer months along with home baked produce and
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ROUTE 2: SEAVIEW TO KNOCKVOLOGAN AND POTTIE
Maps: OS Explorer 373 1: 25000
Distance: Return trip 8 miles
Difficulty: Fairly flat with occasional small sharp hill.
Fairly quiet except for last section on the main road to Fionnphort.
Type of Road: Public road tarmac, private track, public road
at end. Stout walking shoes/boots recommended.
Open moor, machair (short coarse coastal grass),
farmland, coastal scenery, white powder beach, woodland, island.
Start Point: Seaview
Finish Point: Seaview
From Seaview - cycle past The Keel Row pub on the main road
and turn immediately right onto the Knockvologan road which is
signposted on the main road. Passing new houses and the Columba
Centre on the left, (stop and have a look at this unique exhibition
on the life of St. Columba); follow on up the wee hill and then
coast down to Fidden Farm, campsite & sands. This is open moor and
machair, and the ducks, wading birds and geese are numerous. It is
worth leaving the bikes at the roadside and walking the Fidden sands
below the campsite, returning along the track to Fidden Farm and the
bikes. Cycling through the farm you turn you turn sharp left -
looking to your right past the Fidden farmhouse you will see the
tidal island of Erraid and it's lighthouse keepers cottages. See
Erraid for further information.
A straight section going inland and eastwards eventually bears right
past the cream & red bungalow on your left. Just past this bungalow
is a 5 bar metal gate on your left - this is where on your return
journey, you take the track round to Pottie. A few bends, twists and
short sharp climbs past a couple or so of houses (watch out for the
black & white sheep dogs on the right usually at the front of the
white house on the sharp bend going down hill), you will come to a
hill with a steep gradient (we have still to cycle up this hill
without getting off and walking up!). At the top of this hill,
continue cycling until you arrive at the 5 bar metal gate for
Knockvologan Farm. At this point, on the left between the two big
barns on your left is the start for the
Tireragan Nature Trail.
(Do not take the cycles down this trail if you are intending to walk
it - leave them locked at the gate).
Continue through the 5 bar gate to Knockvologan Farm (please leave
the gate as you find it), pass the barn on the right and continue up
the gentle rise to the farmhouse on the left at the end of the road.
Do not take the cycles any further but leave them locked up against
the wall on the left and continue on foot down the track in front of
you for approximately 300 metres to Knockvologan sands where you can
sunbath out of the wind and almost have the beach to yourself.
If you bear right along the track and continue round you will be
able to visit the tidal island of
Erraid, if the tides are suitable.
Please ask John or Jane about
this before doing so.
On returning to your cycles, retrace the route either back to
Fionnphort or if you wish to continue with your adventure via
Pottie, turn right at the 5 bar metal gate just before the cream/red
bungalow mentioned previously. This is a rough track through to
Pottie. Along this track you will pass ruined cottages on your left
and right and eventually will come to a small wooded area and a
small hill. Follow the track all the way until you reach a further
gate (leave as found); follow the track round to the left until you
come to Pottie Farmhouse and then a bungalow. The track will become
a surfaced road again at this point. Follow the road around and
down, through 2 further road gates until you finally descend on to
the main road to Fionnphort at the junction with MacDougall's garage
on your right. Turn left at this junction and cycle along the main
road past Loch Pottie and the small church on your left back into
Fionnphort and Seaview.
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ROUTE 3: SEAVIEW TO IONA
Map: OS Explorer 373 1:25000
Seaview is 2 minutes from the
ferry to Iona. On the walking pages Iona is split into 2 routes, the
north walk and the south & west walk. We suggest that the cycle
routes follow the same routes as the walks. Obviously cycling will
cut down the time it takes to complete these routes and is handy for
the cyclist who has limited time on Iona. The route will be outlined
below - for details of descriptions and what to see and do whilst on
Iona, please go the Iona walks section.
Distance: 4-5 miles
Difficulty: Fairly flat, little traffic
Type of Road: Single track public road, some single track
Environment: Open farmland with spectacular coastal views,
and historic sites, a feeling of peace.
Start Point: Seaview
Finish Point: Seaview
The 2 routes are the North route and the South & West Route. Those
of you who have limited time on Iona will easily see enough of Iona
in a day if they use our cycles.
Time your cycle hire for a
suitable ferry time from Fionnphort, allowing enough time to see
Iona and return no later than the last ferry. Tickets for the ferry
can be purchased either at the Calmac office at the pier head or on
the ferry itself. The return journey is inexpensive.
Seaview - turn left and descend on the main road towards the
pier 300 yards away. Grand seascapes of Iona and its historic Abbey
are in front of you. Buy your ticket and go on to the pier and walk
your cycle on the MV Loch Buie ferry for the 4-5 minute ferry
journey to Iona. Have your camera ready for the wonderful 'sea views'
and the picturesque village of Iona.
The North Route - from the ferry pier head west up the hill
past Iona Cottage, past the Spar shop. Dismount your cycle and
go through the gate on right and enjoy the peaceful gardens of the
ruined Nunnery and its gardens. At the other end of the path there
is a gate - cycle north past the Iona Heritage Centre and the Parish
Church; at MacLeans Cross on your left the road bends up a wee hill
and right along past the Columba Hotel on the right and a craft
centre at The Steadings on the left.
The road continues on to the north end of the island, passing a number
of places including Iona Bookshop, Iona Abbey, Iona Community Gift Shop,
Iona Gallery and Pottery and the way marker for Dun I (trail up to the
highest point on the island). Once you reach the end of the road and
wish to go on to north end beaches, you need to dismount and leave your
cycle at the gates before walking through and across the fields. Please
be mindful of the livestock grazing on the land and respect the
landowners instructions displayed at the gateway.
Your route back is the same way you came.
South Route - from the ferry pier turn left and cycle past Martyrs
Bay Restaurant on the left and follow the road along the front. On your
right you will pass Finlay Ross shop and the wee Fire Station. In the
spring and summer, corncrakes can often be heard along this road and if
you are lucky enough you might spot one in the field pastures behind the
Fire Station. Continue cycling along the front until the road
turns right and starts to head west up a slight ascent as you head for
the west side of Iona.
will eventually come to a metal gate - it is best to dismount here and
leave your cycle secured at the gate. Beyond the gate is the machair
which is grazed by sheep and cattle. The 9 hole golf course is on the
machair and tended to by the sheep(!) and a sandy track down to the
pebbly beach known as The Bay at the Back of the Ocean. Great for
beachcombing and collecting pebbles and multi coloured stones.
Amongst the rocky cliffs to the southwest of the beach there is a blow
hole known as the spouting cave and if the ocean waters are frisky
enough you will often seeing the water spouting up and out of the hole,
blowing water everywhere. If you are feeling really energetic and have
suitable footwear then you can walk south across the machair and pick up
the trail and over the hillocks that take you down to the
Columba's Bay on the south side of Iona. This is where it is reputed
Columba first came across ashore when he sailed across from Ireland in
his coracle. The walk is rough underfoot and will take an hour or so.
Your route is the same way back to pick up your cycle at the gate. On
your way back to Iona village you can turn left at the cross roads about
half a mile from the gate and follow the rough track through the farm
yard and down the hill to the top end of the village coming out at the
village hall and school. It's probably best to walk this stretch.