Where is the windiest place in the UK? According to the Guinness Book of Records it is the Butt of Lewis. Not exactly enticing for a sunset cycle, but I have fond memories of this place.
The Butt of Lewis is at the very top of the Isle of Lewis. There is a lighthouse and plenty of rocks for the sea to crash over. Cycling up here brought me a feeling of great achievement and I regarded coming here as an adventure. Not that the road here is difficult, it is more the remote location and the sense of having reached the end of the land that brought those feelings.
I stayed the night in the nearby Loch Beag Bed and Breakfast. I had reserved a table at Café Sonas in Port of Ness, which was one mile away. I considered walking, but then thought ‘why not use the bike?’ Cycling to go out for a meal is something that I would simply never consider in the city, but here it seemed like the perfect thing to do.
There was none of that wind promised by the Guinness Book of Records and I could hear birdsong, baaing sheep and the occasional dog barking. All the people were likely inside having their dinner, so I had chosen the perfect time to cycle. I had it all to myself. The fields looked golden because the sun was lighting them with that special glow that only comes just before sunset.
Over a meal of hake stuffed with shrimps in a parsley sauce I watched the sun set from the big picture windows that looked over the harbor and the beach.
After a walk on the beach I cycled back to the bed and breakfast. It was after 9pm, but still light. I imagined a utopian city of people jumping on their bikes to go out to dinner or to the theatre. There were no cars in this city, only bicycles. Everyone else at the restaurant had a vehicle in the car park and had travelled from other parts of the island to enjoy the very good food. I was the only one who had travelled by bicycle.
I could think of no better way to spend an evening. This was better than anything you could watch on television. Everything was so still and I felt so peaceful. Cycling at sunset in Scotland has to be one of the greatest travel experiences.
Read more about my cycle to the Butt of Lewis. Includes map, photos and route guide.
Read about my sunset cycle from Mallaig to Morar.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.