THE ULTIMATE SCOTTISH C2C GUIDE
By Richard Peace
Published by Excellent Books
116 pages, plus some advertising pages
A guide covering yet another C2C, but this time from Dumfries and Galloway to Edinburgh? Well, sounds good to me.
When Richard Peace, author of this guide and publisher of Excellent Books, popped this one in the post for me, my mind was immediately thrown back to the last time I filed guides away. Somewhere under "Scotland" I was sure I'd find a coast to coast bike route. And I did; Tim Woodcock's 1995 "Scotland Trail" a wild MTB route from Kyle of Lochalsh to Montrose, via many of the wildest parts of the Highlands, from Knoydart onward. The new guide covers a new route, from Annan to the Forth Bridge.
Like Woodcock's, Richard Peace's guide is eminently jersy-pocket-packable, easy to use and concise enough to take you all the way without weighing you down.
The routes are not similar. The Ultimate Scottish C2C Guide describes a 125 mile-long (many of them hilly miles) south to north route across the Southern Uplands. There's remote territory along the way, but this is a route suitable for any cyclist. And there's also cosmopolitan Edinburgh.
With tempting colour photos and full mapping included, combined with information about what to see, thorough route description and accommodation and refreshment detail, I always find it remarkable how much Richard Peace manages to fit into his books.
Spiral binding is a good format for a field guide - though there's no need to consider extracting individual pages and spoiling the whole - and the neat front cover flap acts as a a bookmark and has the map key handily printed for easy consultation.
The route is relatively new and there will be further developments. The guide pre-empts some of these, covering road and traffic-free alternative routes. Very usefully there is a chart covering the traffic-free sections with guidance on surfaces. Telling people what type of bike is suitable for any particular section tends to make one a hostage to fortune - there's always someone who, at least, claims to have ridden the Black Route on a Brommie - but, in my experience, the author's judgements are pretty sound.
This is a route for C2Cers and for cyclists looking for a challenge; also for those who want a roll through beautiful and accessible countryside. A real all rounder. With the help of this guide you won't go wrong. An excellent guide from Excellent Books.
Reviewed by Steve Dyster
Also from Excellent Books .... reviewed on Seven Day Cyclist ....
REVIEW FIRST PUBLISHED MARCH 2016