Cycle Scotland 2018 or 1934?


August 2018 and it’s time to pack up B1 & B2 with M1 & M2 for another cycling adventure. The cast of players: Jen & Greg with road bikes M1 & M2 in the bike bags B1 & B2 and some family history to discover.

The idea of cycling in Scotland was hatched 2 years ago in 2016 following our journey through the Pyrenees with M1 & M2. Finish one journey and start planning the next. We were at the beginning of developing our cycling clothing brand called Connal Kit. The brand name was inspired by the discovery of a photo of my mother (Katharine Connal) taken in 1934 whilst doing a cycling trip in the Scottish Highlands with a girlfriend. Two University of Leeds students on their summer holidays. I also found several postcards she had written to her parents and posted along the way. With this I’ve attempted to plot their route using Ride with GPS.

With this 1934 route as a guide we then planned our own tour of the Scottish Highlands. With family connections to the Macdonald Clan on the Connal side (Jenny) and the Crawford Clan on the Banfield side (Greg); plus a connection to Arisaig & Mallaig as the SOE training area during WWII for the Czech Special Operations Exectuive where my father was based from 1942-1945; we had plenty of intersting sites to add to our tour.

I’ve added the 1934 photos and postcards to this post. Also the route I endeavoured to plot from the information I had. I believe they trained from Leeds to Edinburgh. Then either train or rode to Stirling. I have started Kate & Mabel’s tour in Stirling. I have shown lodging’s where I knew they stayed but am missing a couple of nights.

Stats 1934 Cycle Tour:
Date: 31/7/1934 to 9/8/1934
12 Days 660 km
Katharine Connal aged 22, University Student Leeds University.
Mabel Howat University Student Leeds University.
Stayed: Hostels and friendly farmers.

Connal Kit Cycling in Scotland 1934

Katharine Connal August 1934 Cycle Tour

1934 Scotland Cycle Tour Kate Connal

1934 Scottish Highland Cycle Tour Katharine Connal


1934 Postcard from Glen Shee

Postcard from Connal Kit 1934

1934 Postcard Glen Shee


1934 Postcard from Culloden

Postcard from Connal Kit 1934

1934 Postcard Culloden


1934 Postcard from Loch Ness

Postcard from Connal Kit 1934

1934 Postcard Loch Ness


1934 Postcard from Loch Ness 2

Postcard from Connal Kit 1934

1934 Postcard Loch Ness 2

Katharine Connal Cycling Inverness 1934

Katharine Connal 1934 near Inverness


Katharine Connal 1934 Loch Creran

Scotland flag