As Autumn approaches the Lang Toon Times’ resident blogging tandem has come up with a scenic cycle to Errol in rural Perthshire – which has the added advantage of taking in a winery and a fab café!
The route described is an easy gently undulating 34 mile there and back trip from the Tay Road Bridge – just a short drive from Auchterarder.
Park across the Tay from Dundee in the large car park, and start by pedalling ‘downhill’ across the cycle lane which is safely boxed in between the two carriageways of the Tay Road Bridge.
It can be a bit disconcerting the first time – but it is good fun. A lift brings cyclists down to ground level near the new V&A Dundee design museum which has been built to look like a giant ship.
Head south out of Dundee along Riverside Drive at the start of the NCN Rt77 – passing Dundee Airport and on into Invergowrie. Cycle past the railway station before the path comes out beside the Tay giving impressive views of the river which is 4.5 km wide at this point.
On out into the Carse of Gowrie – one of the country’s prime growing areas for strawberries and raspberries. You pass the old Errol airfield before an uphill stretch into the village of Errol itself.
If you want a scenic picnic spot cycle on for another mile to Port Allen – which was one of the principal local harbours in Victorian times. Given how quiet and tranquil it was on our visit, and its rural location, it is hard to imagine it as a bustling port area.
Cycle back thru Errol and follow the brown tourist signs for a detour to the Cairn o’Mhor fruit winery. The cycle-conscious owners have even created their own cycle path off NCN Rt77 to their farm base to make it easier for visitors to get there.
The winery has been producing its well-known brand of Scottish fruit wines since 1987 and is a key visitor attraction in the area – offering various tours and tastings. While there, the highly recommended AliBob Cafe offers a huge range of memorable treats – including sizzled fruit scones! – and of course the opportunity to sample the produce.
Head back thru Invergowrie and past the airport back into Dundee via Riverside Drive where you can stop at the impressive Tay Bridge Disaster Memorial.
Don’t forget to leave a bit of energy for the last part of the ride – the ‘uphill’ crossing of the Tay Road Bridge back to the car park!