Odds and Ends

Out and back

I wanted to minimise the time and mileage we spent getting to and from the start/finish points of each segment of the trip and as a minimum ensure we spent more miles on the coast than on our out and back trips. A cursory glance at this sketch will show the problem


'A' shows the difficulty, we want the coast portion shown in green to be longer than the combined length of out and back route in red. Luckily the road along most of the coast has lots of wiggles and little 'no through roads' down to the coastline that mean you have to retrace your path and luckily there are major straight routes out and back to Salisbury. This means that often the situation is as in diagram 'B'. Of course 'C' is ideal but you need to avoid 'D'. An example of 'D' would be having arrived say at Oban and having a week to spare getting as far as Ullapool and having to come back. Clearly it would be best to do Scotland in one go.



Now is a good as time as any to explain our policy on islands generally.  I am guided by a BBC programme, that I videoed, of the coast of Britain shot from an RAF jet that started and finished at Lands End, it went inside of all the islands.  So, like the jet, we will be sticking close to the coast of mainland Britain, therefore no Isle of Wight or Anglesey (I have lived on both).  Except that in one or two places we will visit an island that we haven't been to before, especially when a long way from home, so for example we intend to go to the Orkneys.  There is also the problem that in some places in Scotland there are no roads on the mainland coast so we might island hop, which paradoxically will be a way of sticking closer to the coast of mainland Britain, if you see what I mean. The picture shows that by going to Skye via the ferry at Mallaig and coming back on the Kylerhea Ferry and using the old military road to the A87 you can pass close to the mainland coast of the inaccessible Knoydart peninsula. The alternative would be a huge detour see the next map 

Popping on and off Skye No roads in Knoydart

The Long Long way round