CYCLIST star Mark Beaumont has been exploring every corner of Argyll on a mega safari to draw attention to the potential the area has for adventure pursuits.
He took part on an epic challenge involving 12 days and 12 sports including cycling, running, canoeing, sailing, fell running and riding.
Accompanied by keen outdoor man and local hotel proprietor, Niall Colquhoun, the two cyclists called in at the Hill House to meet with John Urquhart of Helensburgh and District Access Trust and launch the trust’s new footpath map which features 14 local walks.
Mr Urquhart said: “The map was financed by “OUR Park”, a visitor giving scheme operated by the conservation charity, The Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
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“Niall Colquhoun of the Lodge at Loch Lomond and the Inn on Loch Lomond hotels and ourselves at Balmillig B&B here in Helensburgh, are both long term supporters of OUR park and our guests are major contributors to the scheme.”
Niall, a keen mountain biker himself, had accompanied Mark from Arrochar to Helensburgh, cycling along the Three Lochs Way.
It is a popular long distance walking and mountain biking route between Balloch and Inveruglas which has been developed by the Helensburgh-based trust with OUR Park support over the last five years.
Mark then headed off with Niall to follow the Three Lochs and John Muir routes over to Loch Lomond’s bonnie banks for a few miles of open water swimming.
James Fraser, chair of The Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, said: ‘’Ensuring good quality maps and information on local walks is available in printed format is a high priority for the Friends and with the help of local businesses and their guests we were pleased to provide HADAT with the funding to print 5,000 copies of this latest map which I am sure will be popular with local residents and visitors.”
The map is on sale for £1 at a number of local outlets and all proceeds will be used to help maintain and improve local paths.
Mark’s Wild About Argyll adventure has been set out on ExploreArgyll.co.uk where a day to day blog from Mark is being uploaded with images of each day’s adventures and the tracker is setting out his journey.
He has been chatting online on @mrmarkbeaumont and using #wildaboutargyll