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Perth, Dundee, Arbroath, Montrose, Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Scotland.
(3 day bike-pack)
Mon 17 Aug - Wed 19 Aug 2015

Mon 17 Aug 2015

Mon 17 Aug 2015
Tue 18 Aug 2015
Wed 19 Aug 2015
Last Friday Iíd tried to buy an advance rail ticket for me and my bike to Edinburgh. It was 11:30am when I called at Chorley Railway Station to buy a ticket but the ticket office was shut so I drove to Leyland but the man in the ticket office didnít seem to know what he was doing saying the first three trains on Monday didnít have a bike space. I had to buy a ticket for the 09:58am, which was much later than I wanted. I cycled in to Preston and the Virgin train arrived on time.

Haymarket Station

The journey went well until the final approach to Haymarket, the station just before Edinburgh Waverley. My next train to Perth leaves Edinburgh at 12:35 and we were delayed so long I wouldíve missed it. When we did eventually get moving again I got off at Haymarket as the Perth train called here.

Over the Forth Rail bridge

The train arrived at 12:40 and fortunately there were no other bikes on it. Unfortunately it was one of those carriages with a box compartment which can only take one bike. It was so narrow I had to take my panniers off to get the bike in. It was a pleasant ride and we reached Perth in warm sunshine just before 14:00.

Perth Railway Station

Perth Railway Station

By the River Tay

I cycled through Perth to the bank of the River Tay then over the bridge that was designed by John Smeaton and opened in 1771 though the bridge plaque said 1866. Straight across the bridge the road started up a steep hill and the climb continued for about 2 miles over Kinnoull Hill.

Smeaton's Bridge over the Tay

Smeaton's Bridge over the Tay

Smeaton's Bridge over the Tay

Over the top the lane took a winding route but still had nice views across to the River Tay. Eventually I descended to the A90 which I crossed by a bridge. Although on roads I was on the number 77 cycle route but there was no cycle lane and the road was a succession of long straight stretched with fast traffic. It was uncomfortable riding with the cars and trucks.

Tay valley

Glencarse House

Road feature

The weather was warm and sunny but I had a slight head wind. I crossed the railway crossings a few times on my way to Invergowrie.

Errol

Thankfully I reached the cycle track which mostly followed the pavements. I passed Dundee Airport then followed the river bank where I had good views of the Tay Railway Bridge. It was nice to ride along the River Tay then under the bridge and its impressive curve out into the wide estuary as it then straightened up. Then ahead was the road bridge which looks very dull in comparison.

Tay Rail Bridge

Tay Rail Bridge

Tay Road Bridge

I soon reached the Tesco store where I bought 2*2lt of water at 17p per bottle.

Sweep of the Tay Rail Bridge

I rode to the RRS Discovery ship in dry dock then continued along the path and cycle track then under the road bridge. I followed the roads for a while then the cycle track went through the dock area. Way marking was poor and it would have been easy to miss it. At a secure area the track went through secure metal gate that opened automatically. At the far end of the track was another secure gate which was shut. A sign said it opened automatically but it didnít. I found a button to press to open it then continued along the coast
Claypotts Castle looked impressive up ahead and I made a short detour to have a closer look. It was built around 1570. The followed urban roads for a while then along by sand dunes and then inland by the railway. It was now a dedicated cycle track between the railway and Ministry of Defence firing range and army camp. Wen the track widened with a grassy area wide enough for a tent I stopped and set up camp. The trains were very noisy and I could also hear the shouts of marching instructions in the army camp.