Hugging the attractive coast of the Rosneath peninsula, this trip is mainly an easy cycle on relatively flat roads however for those prepared to cycle all the way around it can be a real fitness tester due to two major climbs.
Starting from Knockderry, we recommend that you go right, up the Loch Long towards the roundabout by Coulport's Royal Naval Armament Depot. Go around the roundabout and right up the hill on a road built for the MoD. It is a considerable deterrent as it is a 1km-long straight incline, followed by a further 1.5km before any real respite. It's a killer!
By the time your reach the summit there's a great level stretch high above Gare Loch which will reward you with lovely views. Continue to the Whistlefield roundabout and go right downhill to Garelochhead - with a memorably steep descent at the very end.
Once in Garelochhead, follow the B872 west and then the B833 to head south, towards Kilcreggan. Outside of commuter times, traffic shouldn't be a problem. But by ‘commuter traffic’ we often mean a bus, two cars and a flock of escaped sheep!
There's a rise before the village of Rosneath (which derives its name from the Gaelic "rosneimhidh", meaning a sanctuary) and on the far side a much bigger hill where the road leaves the coast to climb by the edge of the wooded Gallow Hill. From the top, you can see right down the Firth of Clyde to Arran. Descend steeply to Kilcreggan – a fine spot for a rest on a sunny day.
The road back along the coastline from Kicreggan to Cove is fine and flat, and passes a couple of likely spots to stop for a picnic if that is appropriate. In addition, you will pass some fine Victorian architecture and some stunning views of the Loch as you head home.
Map: OS Landranger 56, 63
Distance: 18 miles (25km)
Time: 2-2.5 hours