Monday, 2 August 2010

North Shian Appin - A Family Cycle Route

I love Appin. Well I would having spent chunks of my early childhood there as my uncle had the garage and my cousins and I mucked about together. Also my gran, the blacksmiths wife lived at "Sunset", her house in Tynribbie in Appin.  It's a tight community, although alas many of the old worthies are gone and a pint at Creagan is less likely to lead to acute liver failure and more likely  an overdose of Latte than when it was a great social centre. Like Glencoe many new folk have moved in to the area and it has a blossoming tourist trade. It still retains a rich farming and crofting heritage and it was nice to see and smell the hay getting mown on our cycle around Shian yesterday.
A tired Rebekah who wants juice and a bit of millionaire shortbread more than a picture

We parked at Lettershuna and took advantage of the cycle track along past the old railway platform where I used to get off with my mother, cross the Jubilee bridge and walk down to Tynribbie and Granny Campbells.  I was 7 the last time and the lovely Dr Beeching then wiped it and many other branch lines off the map. What a great assest the cycle track is.  The completed Appin section especially so, as it's more or less flat for all of the 5 miles following the old railway line from Lettershuna to the North Shian road where it ends. Crossing the road to North Shian you are rewarded with more well tarred single track road at a good gradient for the next few miles among a truly stunning landscape. Only one steep hill shortly before Port Appin below Drumneil House, then it's a swoop down to Airds and an Ice Cream at the shop, a beer or juice at the pier, then along the road to the Jubillee Bridge which is a real hoot to cycle over, and back along to Lettershuna and  Lunch at the Castle Stalker restaurant. All in this is 15 miles of good family friendly cycling and must rank as one of the best for able children in North Argyll & Lochaber.  Highly recommended by my daughter Rebekah who is 12 years old. That's a real compliment take it from me!

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