© 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. It takes us about 1 hour to drive the 11 mile track to Cape Wrath, which can be bumpy in places. Can you take mountain bikes over on the ferry and cycle into cape wrath. That evening we scanned the cliffs for puffins, Arctic skua, white-tailed eagles and sea eagles that nest and breed in the area. Returned the next day and after a long wait for the ferry crossing we had a great cycle to Cape Wrath in warm sunshine with a very welcome coffee and cake (but no toilets) at the lighthouse cafe. I'm not sure about getting bikes on the very tiny boat, you'd be better to contact the ferryman and ask if you could do this. Completed in 1829, the lighthouse, like many around the UK, was built by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of author Robert Louis Stevenson. The Cape Wrath Ferry Service runs 7 days per week May to September allowing visitors to go to Cape Wrath Lighthouse and see the natural beauty of north west Sutherland. The ferry service is tide and weather dependent, and details can be found on www.capewrathferry.co.uk. Once off the boat the way is obvious – there is only one road which continues for 11 miles to the lighthouse. Malcolm, only the fourth ferryman in the ferry’s history, took us over the Kyle of Durness, which remains a stubbornly fearsome obstacle to admission into the fellowship. Located in Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland, Cape Wrath is the most northwestern point of the UK. To get easily to Cape Wrath, Scotland, it is necessary to take a ferry, then a mini bus. Qualification for the Cape Wrath Fellowship was simple but not straightforward. Here is a video of the short ferry crossing, 4 Aug 06 The Cape Wrath Trail is one of the world's finest long distance walks. It was about self-understanding and self-reliance. Please note that due to unpredictable winds and tides, it is not possible to book in advance - and crossing times are decided by the (very accommodating) ferryman on the day. Banner Cape Wrath. There is a lighthouse there, and (improbably) a small café, which claims to be open 365 days of the year – all the more impressive since the Cape is to all intents and purposes inaccessible for most of the winter. It would otherwise have gone unnoticed were it not for an adventurous bike enthusiast who founded one of Britain’s oldest ongoing cycling challenges here in 1949. Qualification into the Fellowship was simple in theory – all you needed to do originally was reach the lighthouse, gain the signature of the lighthouse keeper and then send this evidence to Coley. I suspect it may be wise to make prior arrangements with the ferry man. The Visit Cape Wrath website sets the scene matter-of-factly: “Its remote location and difficult and challenging terrain, combined with weather conditions which can be extremely fierce, make an excellent environment to test someone’s ability to survive.”, Its difficult terrain, combined with weather conditions that can be extremely fierce, tests your ability to survive. I think you should be safe if you stick to the tried and trusted tracks. Photo courtesy of Richard Holliday. Qualification for the Cape Wrath Fellowship was straightforward but not easy. I think you should be safe if you stick to the tried and trusted tracks. Our drivers provide an informative commentry so you learn about the places & landmarks en route. Thank you all for replies, we were just intending sticking to the road that the bus uses. We were there recently and an organised party of mountain bikers were taken across as part of the Cape Wrath Marathon events. About Cape Wrath. The Cape Wrath Fellowship was started by Rex Coley, a cycling journalist who wrote under the pseudonym “Ragged Staff’ - in honour of the crest of his native Warwickshire. A selfie at the lighthouse will be considered sufficient proof of your daring and guile. Cape Wrath. Somebody mentioned the firing range - this is only at certain times of the year and mainly avoids the key holiday periods. Find Us on Facebook. Be aware though there's pretty much zero facilities. Journey’s end: waiting for the ferry to return to the mainland, Following Coley’s death in 1985, the fellowship passed into the care of Peter Knottley – a member of the Cyclists Touring Club, the forebear of the Cycling UK charity who have cared for the Cape Wrath Fellowship since 1992. Complete Bikes » Hardtail Claud Butler Cape Wrath XC. Search for: Pages . Map updates are paused. Now the only full-time residents on this side of the Cape are the family who operate the Ozone cafe and bunkhouse out of the lighthouse. Crossing time 10 minutes. Cape Wrath: Bike ride to Cape Wrath - See 322 traveler reviews, 275 candid photos, and great deals for Durness, UK, at Tripadvisor. The Cape Wrath name is synonymous in the world of mountain biking for years. The buses don't go over 15 mph, making your journey as comfortable as possible. Ring them up and check the details or visit a TI office in one of the nearby towns. And agree with the comment that the road is extremely rough. Yellow and black chequered pillboxes dot the roadside with stark warnings: “Do not touch any military debris, it may explode and kill you.”, The road passes through wild moorland, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an MoD firing range. Alternatively, you can take a vehicle from Cape Wrath to Stornoway via Kinlochbervie, Manse Road, Ullapool, Ferry Terminal, and Ullapool Ferry Terminal in around 6h 1m. View as map; View as list Cape Wrath trail route. Cape Wrath is an intermediate bike ride: 22.8 km and takes 01:33 h. View this route or plan your own! Hi guys, Please follow the link: www.visitcapewrath.com . You can do it in the UK; we’ve got it here and now’s the time to be exploring our own backyard.”, Certificate postdated for a ride completed before Coley had set up the challenge. The only way to access the road without hiking over moorland is by the Cape Wrath Ferry, a foot passenger only boat, which crosses the Kyle. Arriving late in the evening, I met up with my biking buddy, Jack Kirkbride. In addition, much of the moorland known as the Parph is used as a testing range for military exercises. The first day we turned up to do this ride we found that the road was closed to cyclists due to MOD exercises. We used a small ferry to carry us and our bikes across to the Cape Wrath Head land and track leading to the light house that marks the most North Westerly point on the UK mainland. Local Costs: x2 muffets of tea in Ozone Cafe £6; Total: £6. Somebody mentioned the firing range - this is only at certain times of the year and mainly avoids the key holiday periods. Little Rhino had to be put away for this day as the road was too rough and pot holed for its little wheels. Passenger service across the Kyle of Durness between May and September. “He flags down the ferryman with a handkerchief. It's not just the problem of getting the bikes over the road itself is terrible !!! The ferry is literally a rowing boat with an outboard motor. Coley decided to set the ride as the Cape Wrath challenge in 1949, with a simple set of rules: cycle to the lighthouse, get the signature of the lighthouse keeper, send it in, and you would enter into an illustrious fellowship of true adventurers. We only cycled the 2.5 miles from Durness to the pier for the Cape Wrath ferry. Zoom in to see updated info. Share this: Twitter; Facebook; Find Us on Facebook. Last modified on Wed 24 Jun 2020 08.50 BST. Il y a 5 façons d’aller de Édimbourg à Cap Wrath en train, bus, train de nuit, avion ou ferry. It is possible to reach the trail by heading north from Sandwood Bay, but we didn’t fancy this challenging “hike-a-bike” through difficult terrain. I suspect (i.e. At the north-western tip of Scotland, cut off from the mainland by a tidal inlet that can be treacherous to cross, is a single-track road that winds for 11 miles through desolate moorland to a squat Victorian lighthouse at the edge of Cape Wrath. The road itself is not connected to the main public road network so access is by the Cape Wrath Ferry, a foot passenger boat from Keoldale a mile south of Durness (make sure you arrange a return time as there’s no other way back). Three years later in 1949, the Cape Wrath Fellowship was officially announced in “The Bicycle Magazine”. Each successful participant would receive a certificate and admission into the fellowship. There is a possibility of people walking onto Cape Wrath from the south side, roughly parallel with the coast - so you could probably bike it that way. All rights reserved. This will be fine as the main issue with getting an early boat is to get a seat on the bus at the other side. After work on the Friday evening I chucked my bike on the roof of my car and took the long drive up to Durness. It typically takes between two and three weeks to walk. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in United Kingdom. To join, a rider would set out from Keoldale, cross the Kyle of Durness on the rowing boat ferry, and then set off out-and-back along the loneliest road in Britain. This rugged, windswept headland is renown for its natural beauty and challenging coastal path. Day 16: Loch Merkland to Cape Wrath - Great North Trail is an expert mountain bike ride: 80.4 km and takes 05:42 h. View this route or plan your own! It is breathtakingly remote. The riders we saw seemed to be coping fine. Join us for 3 hours & enjoy this unique experience! The Cape Wrath Fellowship was started by Rex Coley, a cycling journalist who wrote under the pseudonym “Ragged Staff’ - in honour of the crest of his native Warwickshire. We passed through an uninhabited settlement at Achiemore, including a school that had up to 10 pupils in the 1930s. The weather was a little overcast, but the water was still. Cape Wrath / ˈ r æ θ / (Scottish Gaelic: Am Parbh, known as An Carbh in Lewis) is a cape in the Durness parish of the county of Sutherland in the Highlands of Scotland.It is the most north-westerly point in mainland Britain. Description. Early the next morning we were up and brewing a nice cuppa ready for the day ahead. Sam Jones, the current custodian, says: “The ferryman said that every day when the ferry is running he would be taking cyclists over – a couple a day … we estimate that we have about 2,000 on the roll of honour – but many names have been lost through time, office moves and the changing of keepers. I'll phone the ferryman. Durness to Cape Wrath: 24 miles on Mountain bikes. I’d... is it possible to complete this trip with a friend who walks with a stick. “He tells the story of how he arrives at the ferry [at East Keoldale] almost by accident,” says Hanlon. A few months earlier, persistently strong winds had forced us to abandon at this very spot and cycle the 55 miles south to Lairg train station. ), with rain and gales hovering, knowing that the nearest proper road is a dozen miles away and the closest railway station 70 miles, can feel very remote indeed!”, Sunset at Kearvaig Bay on the return journey. There is no direct connection from Cape Wrath to Stornoway. First, a delayed start pushed us to rethink and turn the route on its head, starting at Cape Wrath itself to remove the unknown of a return home from the far north on the final day. For 2020 we hit the drawing board to create this high performing mountain bike which is ideal for UK trail centres, at our most competitive price yet. All successful applicants will be issued with a certificate free of charge, and in the coming weeks a patch will be available. The start of the 11-mile single-track ride to the lighthouse, The road to the lighthouse is deeply rutted and winds above white sandy bays, over stone causeways and through wild moorland, parts of which are designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. When travel returns, check the Visit Cape Wrath website for information on military firing times and ferry crossings. The only inhabitants on the headland are those who live in lighthouse buildings including the proprietor of the café, John Ure, and his wife Kay. Cycling for pleasure. Alternatively, you can join a trip from Durness, a short journey on the Cape Wrath Ferry to meet the minibus that will take you through the challenging landscape of the MOD training area to the very edge; Cape Wrath itself, and boy is it worth the trip! If you’ve travelled to Cape Wrath by bike, we would love to hear from you.”, In a challenging postwar landscape, Coley produced “a fantastic gift to the British cycling public, and the world,” according to Jones. Cyclists Welcome. Cape Wrath is the most North Westerly point of the British mainland. He wanted to rekindle that sense of freedom and adventure, and often spoke of a ride he had taken in 1946 in remote Cape Wrath as an example. Northern Scotland. With mounting excitement, we clambered on to a ferry only modestly upgraded from the rowing boat of Coley’s day – the Beulah, a small boat with an outboard motor. Lots of pot holes and uneven surface !! Again the ferryman would be able to advise but I wouldn't advise cycling off road as it is a firing range and there could be dangers off road. When we went some of the people got the mini bus up to the light house and then walked out. The above budget is for x2 people. Food and alcohol prices are likely to vary. Glynn Davies, writing in the Cycle Touring Gazette in May 1965, said of the Cape: “I pondered on the title given to this spot, which at the moment was pleasant, quiet and calm. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Me and my 6 year old son are hoping to make the trip to Kervaig Bothy this summer. One of the most challenging treks in the UK, this 101 mile trek is not to be missed taking you through the spectacular far north of Scotland. Remember, Cape Wrath Mini Bus is the only vehicular option available to the public on Cape Wrath Peninsula! Sea life Cape Wrath . As Hanlon puts it: “The Cape Wrath Fellowship was about individuality, personal challenge, escape, and building character against an unforgiving backdrop of rugged natural beauty. Attractions: n/a; Total: n/a. By 1965, more than 600 people had written to Coley with stories of hard-won success, or failed crossings and untimely punctures. Long before the mountain bike was invented, adventurous cyclists would ride the 22 miles of rough track to Cape Wrath, Northern Scotland and back to become part of the Cape Wrath Fellowship. Rex wrote for a magazine called Cycling (the predecessor to Cycling Weekly) and edited The Bicycle at a time when, like now, cycling was enjoying a period of widespread popularity. Total for 1D/1N: £47. Accommodation: Kearvaig Bothy x1N; free; Total: n/a. • If you have cycled to Cape Wrath Lighthouse, click here to join the fellowship. Yes but the boat doesn't allow too many at the same time. Telephone J. Morrison 01971 511246 . From the ferry end, a minibus runs to the Cape. Our buses will meet you at the ferry point on the west side where you get off the ferry. Then, on arrival, the weather scuppering our chance of a ferry crossing from Durness (the only means to reach Cape Wrath) meant I would be starting, not from one end, but with 20km unridden and unrideable by me. I honestly wouldn't recommen riding on it ! Get quick answers from Cape Wrath staff and past visitors. As has been said, the boat is small and limited to 11 or 12 people. Our bus service provides a tour along the 11 mile track. This 7 day walk covers the Cape Wrath Trail from Ullapool to Cape Wrath. Cape Wrath – 31/08/18 to 02/09/19. The road to the Kyle of Durness, a stubbornly fearsome obstacle to admission into the fellowship. The Cape Wrath Challenge at the northern tip of Scotland was dreamed up by a postwar cycling enthusiast who thought that bike touring clubs were turning soft, Wed 17 Jun 2020 06.30 BST almost sure) you can take bikes over (an empty boat is certainly big enough) but you might have to wait for the "rush" to go. Things to See and Do Cape Wrath is all about scenery and nature. The route leads you across most of the north west coast of Scotland via Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, winding through its most beautiful glens and mountains. Great ride to and from Cape Wrath from the Kyle of Durness ferry in June 2014. If you do cycle on Cape Wrath it is 11 miles to the lighthouse and the road is in a rough state and more suited to mountain bikes. Cape Wrath Ferry Cape Wrath is inaccessible by direct road – to reach it you must take a passenger ferry (which operates from May to September) at Keodale. It was more to see if we would get the bikes on the ferry. The road has barely been touched since it was first built in 1826 to bring in the materials to build the lighthouse. We have a new website! It is an astonishing piece of engineering; built to weather fierce winds on this exposed headland, its 20-metre-high whitewashed walls jut into the sky from the highest sea cliffs on the UK mainland at Clò Mòr. According to cycling historian Sheila Hanlon: “When safety bicycles became more affordable after the turn of the [20th] century, touring the countryside served as a means of escape from the polluted city air and stress of modern life for working-class men and women.” Club rides saw hundreds of cyclists take to the roads to enjoy “the socially transformative power of an open-air experience in the countryside”. You start out by getting a ferry across the Kyle of Durness. As previously pointed out the road is 11miles and a rocky gravel surface with lots of potholes and steep sections but if you are experienced off road riders you should be OK . The ride to the Cape Wrath lighthouse may have been difficult, but it was also joyous.”, Malcolm the ferryman making the crossing from East Keoldale, In 2018, a year before the Fellowship’s 70th anniversary, my girlfriend Harriet and I found ourselves standing on that same wind-battered jetty at East Keoldale, watching the small ferry make its way across the water. Sélectionnez une option ci-dessous pour visualiser l’itinéraire étape par étape et comparer le prix des billets et les temps de trajet sur votre calculateur d’itinéraire Rome2rio. Unrivalled Scenery. “It is one of those quirks of British cycling history, and that makes it so interesting.” He adds: “Looking at the situation we are in at the moment, you don’t need to travel to the Himalayas or to far-flung parts of the world to have a cracking adventure. To the Norseman who had called it “Wrath”, the name meant simply “turning point” - but I was fully prepared to believe that it could, in other conditions, equally merit the English meaning of the word.” Coley described it in different conditions: “It can be said that a cyclist gazing out to a turbulent ocean (fog permitting! A cyclist gazing out to a turbulent ocean, knowing the nearest proper road is a dozen miles away, can feel very remote! The Most North Westerly Extreme in Mainland Scotland. There is a possibility of people walking onto Cape Wrath from the south side, roughly parallel with the coast - so you could probably bike it that way. return Cape Wrath ferry £15; Cape Wrath van return £26; Total: £41. You can arrive on foot from Kinlochbervie perhaps having having completed the 200 mile long Cape Wrath Trail or take a boat across the Kyle of Durness before hopping on the minibus up to the lighthouse. Available for everyone, funded by readers. However, you can take the travel to Ullapool Ferry Terminal then take the ferry to Stornoway Lewis Ferry Terminal. Join the Cape Wrath Fellowship For 70 years Cycling UK’s Cape Wrath Fellowship has put cyclists to the test. £649.99 Buy! We turned around, safe in the knowledge we had reached the point where the land runs out, and spent the night in Kearvaig Bothy, maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association. I am sure that you can although the track from the ferry to the Cape is very rough. Some of Britain's highest cliffs, seabirds, wildlife, seals and the spectacular Cape Wrath Lighthouse can be experienced here. Child Return~ £4.50 Bicycle ~ £8.50 The Cape Wrath Ferry Service runs 7 days per week May to September allowing visitors to go to Cape Wrath … Some big days allow you to see magnificent mountains and stunning coastlines as well as everything in between before finishing at Cape Wrath the north westerly point of the UK mainland. Rex 'Ragged Staff' Coley wanted to rekindle cycling's sense of freedom and adventure in remote places like Cape Wrath, However, Coley felt that the cycling clubs were dulling the derring-do of life behind handlebars. Come With Us To “The Edge”… by ferry and minibus. £541.66 Ex. more. Cape Wrath - A guide to the most north-westerly point of the UK mainland, detailing the excursion, lighthouse, Ozone Cafe, bus/ferry times, maps, and history. He jumps off the row boat with his bicycle and gets dropped off at the pier at the west side of the Kyle of Durness … then doing this amazing solo ride to get to the lighthouse, and, of course, riding back.”.