Cycling Climbs of Scotland


Cycling Climbs of Scotland is the sixth in a series of eight regional books on the 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs series by Simon Warren and published by Frances Lincoln.

It’s fascinating to an old cyclist how things change with time – and age. Years ago I’d seek out hill climbs to challenge my friends on who could get to the top first.

Now, after a day’s cycle tour, I’ve been known to select a route home, which might add a bit to the distance, but avoids particular hilly ascents!

So it’s impressive to see that Simon Warren has not only put together another in his series of Cycling Climbs books, but has personally ridden them, measured and rated them, and often photographed them as well.

Cycling Climb Rated as 11 out of 10

His Holy Grail of Scottish Cycling Climbs is Bealach Na Nà at Applecross, Ross and Cromarty. This cycling climb he rates as 11/10! Over a length of 8980m, there is a height gain of 623m which he puts at a 37-minute ride.

To put that in a totally different context, I rode a 102 km sportive in Suffolk last year which had a total ascent of 650 metres.

One of the few things that would now tempt me to ride this collection of cycling climbs is the author’s mention that he and his father “insisted on sampling the local tipple in every town they stopped in”.

I think he earned every dram!

If you’re younger and fitter than I am, this book – indeed the whole series of Cycling Climbs books – would be a great addition to your library and route planning. The different cycling climbs are sorted by region of Scotland, so put them in geographic proximity, so you can plan to do several of these climbs while based in one particular area.


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