March 17, 2023 3 min read
Scotland is known among many things for its amazing scenery. Certainly one of the best ways to meander your way through is by bicycle. You can pick from what seems like an infinite amount of routes depending on your experience, time and frankly by how muddy you’re willing to get. To help you begin, we have put together a shortlist for you to kickstart your next adventure.
Photo from @hebrideanway
The Hebridean Way is a beautiful 180 mile cycle across 10 islands, spanning the full length of the Outer Hebrides. Most cyclists take between 2 and 6 days to complete the trail, but it depends how much exploring you choose to do! The islands of the Outer Hebrides are known for being sparsely populated making it a peaceful haven for road cyclists. The roads on the majority of the 10 islands are pretty flat, however Harris and Lewis, the last two Islands, are famed for their hills. There is plenty of accommodation for cyclists along the trail as well as lots of great places to wild camp.
Image from @tweedlovefest
The countryside in the Scottish Borders is hard to beat. It’s the perfect place to set up and spend some time exploring quiet villages and country lanes or getting an adrenaline rush mountain biking through the hills. The Tweed Valley Cycle Route is one of the most popular routes across the Scottish Borders from Biggar to Berwick Upon Tweed. The route spans across 95 miles of forest and hills and can take 3-5 days to complete. Another cycle route through the Borders is the Border Loop, which is a 250 mile loop around the Borders. The route can be broken down into 4 shorter sections perfect for leisurely exploring different areas of the borders. If you’re unsure of where to stay Peebles is well known for its cycling and has been the starting point for the Tour of Britain many times as well as hosting the Tweedlove Bike Festivalin Spring.
Gleneagles Hotel is known for its luxury accommodation and food. There are many adventures to be had in and around the grounds of the Perthshire hotel including cycling. You can bring your own bike or hire one for the day. Enjoy the countryside with a guided tour or get off the beaten track mountain biking. If you don’t fancy a tough cycle there are electric bikes available to hire. Shand Cycles, a local Scottish brand based in Livingston whose bikes we’ve been lucky to have in our stores, have partnered with Gleneagles for a Shand Adventure using their Stoater bikes. With a choice of 3 cycle routes - 43 km Glendevon Gravel ride, a 56 km Drummond Castle and the 92 km Loch Earn Loop - followed by a massage in the spa and a night spent in the stunning Gleneagles Hotel. Talk about a luxury cycling break!
Image from Visit Cairngorms
The Cairngorms make a great base for a family cycling holiday. There are so many trails to explore for every skill level, cyclist friendly accommodation and all types of bike hire are readily available - even electric bikes! Aviemore, Kinglassie and Lagan all boast fantastic family friendly cycling routes with bike hire available nearby. Aviemore is one of the most popular destinations to explore from in the Cairngorms, It boasts accommodation from luxury hotels to camping sites and plenty to see and do! One trail that comes highly recommended is a 5 mile section of the Speyside Way starting from Aviemore and ending at the Boat of Garten taking you through moors and woodland on off-road gravel trails.
Image From Mountain Biking UK
Thanks to the huge number of forest trials Scotland has become a world class hub for mountain biking. Fort William is probably the most well known area in Scotland as the Mountain Biking World Cup has been hosted at the Nevis Range on Ben Nevis, Scotland's Highest Mountain for the last 10 years. The Nevis Range Mountain Experience is open to the public year round so you can ride the same routes as world champions. Don’t worry if you are just starting out as there are some beginner trails too and even classes you can book. There are 14 trails at the Nevis Range, 11 in the lower forest and 3 that you can access by gondola. As well as mountain biking at the Nevis Range there are lots of cycling routes throughout Fort William if you are needing a slower pace after the adrenaline rush of the Nevis Range.
Image From Markus Stitz - Bikepacking Scotland
Hopefully you've got some inspiration for your next staycation and some great ideas on where to explore on your bike!
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