After the success of their first Explore Your Boundaries film, round the world cyclists Mark Beaumont and Markus Stitz have teamed up with Jenny Graham to explore the boundary of Scotland’s Adventure Coast, Argyll and the Isles, in the coming months.
Their 560-mile (900km) journey is a key feature of Wild About Argyll’s Pedaddling campaign, with funding from VisitScotland and sponsorship from Schwalbe Tyres UK, which is showcasing the wealth of people-powered adventures available to the novice and the enthusiast across the breadth of Argyll and the Isles, easily accessible by public transport. The adventurers will use their gravel bikes as well as ferries, boats, kayaks and packrafts to travel along the boundary of Argyll and explore its rugged coasts and beautiful scenery in May, June and July, producing short films along the way and a longer documentary at the end of the project.
Mark Beaumont and Markus Stitz will kick off their adventures on Friday 6 May in Crinan by taking a Venture West boat to the Isle of Jura. They’ll cross the island from north to south and continue by ferry to Islay. On Saturday they will travel on the CalMac ferry from Port Askaig over Colonsay to Oban, and continue on to Tobermory on Mull. From Tobermory they’ll travel with the IsleGo sea taxi to Coll. After cycling on the island they’ll continue on to Tiree and back to Mull, and finish their journey in Oban.
The second part of the adventure in June will see Jenny Graham and Markus Stitz travelling from Dunoon to Balloch by bike, crossing Loch Lomond by packraft, then cycling around the eastern and northern boundary across to Taynuilt and using Scotrail’s Highland Explorer for the last section to Oban. In July, all three will be joined by photographer and filmmaker Maciek Tomiczek to travel from Crinan around Argyll’s southern boundary and round to Dunoon, using kayaks for the final part of the journey.
Mark Beaumont commented: ‘”I love the idea behind Explore Your Boundaries; you don’t need to go far to find adventure – and that is surprisingly true of Argyll, sitting immediately to the west of Glasgow. This time we have added water-based activities to our concept exploring the rugged Argyll coastline and the Inner Hebridean islands and showcasing opportunities to find new routes to inspire people to get out. We are spoilt for choice in terms of places to go in Scotland, and I want to give people the quiet confidence of getting out there and having adventures themselves, to appreciate wild spaces and get a new understanding of what’s on their doorstep.”
Jenny Graham commented: “I’m really excited to be joining Mark and Markus to explore the boundary of Argyll & The Isles. I think it’s the perfect concept to showcase the adventure potential available from your doorstep. Markus and I will be using Scotrail’s Highland Explorer carriage for part of our journey, making riding in the wild and diverse area of Argyll all the more accessible. Each time I adventure in this area I’m left with the feeling that I’ve only just scratched the surface.”
Cathy Craig, CEO at Wild About Argyll, said: “Appetite for the great outdoors grew massively during lockdown with bike, SUP and wetsuit sales rocketing. Encouraging everyone to leave the car behind and to enjoy people-powered adventures in stunning locations on Scotland’s Adventure Coast is the focus of our Pedaddling campaign for summer 2022. Mark, Jenny and Markus are the perfect people to showcase what is on offer on Glasgow’s doorstep.”
David Adams McGilp, Regional Director VisitScotland, said: “Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to Scotland to explore our country by bike, including the stunning scenery and coastline around Argyll & Isles, and we expect this epic journey will inspire many more. There’s no better time to celebrate the power of the bike, as we countdown to next year’s UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland.”
The journey can be followed on their social media accounts, with the routes and more information being published on wildaboutargyll.co.uk/see-do/