Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Biking Tour
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Highlights

  • Whooping and hollering down the 900m descent of Mount Keen.
  • Riding the wide open spaces and natural singletrack of the Cairngorms National Park.
  • Challenging yourself on the technical trails of the man made Laggan Wolftrax and Witches Trails.
  • Discovering Scotland’s whisky, culture and people in lively local pubs.

The Scottish Coast to Coast is the iconic mountain bike journey through the highlands of Scotland and quite simply an awesome mountain biking holiday. Our independent self-guided mountain bike holidays on the Scottish Coast to Coast allow you to travel at your own pace, enjoy Scotland’s best mountain biking whilst experiencing our fascinating culture and landscapes.

Your adventure starts in Fort William and after 200 miles of grin-inducing riding in the Scottish Highlands finishes in Montrose on the East Coast. You will enjoy outstanding single track, endless descents and the best off-road riding you have ever experienced. This mountain bike journey through the highlands of Scotland is unbeatable in the quality of riding it delivers. Everything from the finest man-made trails to smooth natural single-track combine to make for an unforgettable mountain bike holiday.

Every holiday we offer features hand-picked overnight accommodation in high quality B&B’s, country inns, and guesthouses, each is unique and offers the highest levels of biker friendly welcome, atmosphere and outstanding local cuisine. Also included are transfers for you and your bike from Glasgow to the start and back from the finish, daily door to door baggage transfer, comprehensive route notes, detailed maps with the route marked on, downloadable GPX tracks, an information pack and emergency telephone support.

DAY 1:
Fort William to Spean Bridge - 13 Miles


We collect you and your bikes in Glasgow at 9:00AM and transfer you to Fort William (3 hours) where your Scottish Coast to Coast starts with a truly world class day of biking.
After a couple of miles of gentle canal side riding we throw ourselves into glorious singletrack behind the distillery and make our way to The Nevis Range and the man-made delights of “The Witches Trails” this man made forestry centre has miles of challenging singletrack and most riders will spend at least a couple of hours riding these fantastic trails.


Alternatively gravity addicts may wish to tackle the awesome Nevis Range Downhill Track which has gondola uplift and red and black graded downhill trails.
After a few hours of fun you can enjoy a 15km spin on forest roads and singletrack to your overnight accommodation in Spean Bridge.


Overnight: Distant Hills Guest House, Spean Bridge


DAY 2:
Spean Bridge to Laggan - 35 Miles

The day’s riding starts gently with some delightful tracks along the River Spean and then a short road section from Roy Bridge. The trail quickly changes to a mix of technical natural singletrack and Landrover tracks as we head east into the highlands. The quality of the riding is matched only by the spectacular views over Loch Laggan and The Grey Corries.


A sustained climb leads up to the white sandy beaches or Lochan an Hearba and then a fast descent pops you out at the magnificent Ardverikie Castle, set of the TV series Monarch of the Glen.
The day finishes at Laggan Wolftrax, one of the Forestry Commission’s best trail centres.


Those who want to test themselves further can play for as long as they like on the challenging singletrack, fun park and raised timber sections.


Overnight: Monadhliath Hotel, Laggan


DAY 3:
Laggan to Aviemore - 34 Miles

An awesome day of riding which has everything the highlands can throw at us. Epic scenery as we climb to the Head of Glen Banchor followed by river crossings, a remote bothy and one of the best sections of singletrack descent we have ridden down into Newtonmore, and that is just the first section.


A brief road section follows before we dive into Glen Feshie and Rothiemurchus Forests, a challenging mix of forest tracks, secret singletrack, romantic castles and all with the Cairngorms looming ahead of us. After a truly unforgettable day of riding we finish in Aviemore.


Overnight: Ravenscraig Guesthouse, Aviemore


DAY 4:
Aviemore to Tomintoul - 28 Miles

We get excited even thinking about today’s riding, almost 100% off road, truly remote and with an awesome mix of epic climbs, technical singletrack and truly breathtaking views. The highlights include the climb from Glenmore past the fairy lake and up over Ryvoan Pass as well as the descent down into Tomintoul. It really is one of the best days you will ever have on your bike.


Overnight: Argyle House B&B, Tomintoul


DAY 5:
Tomintoul to Ballater - 28 Miles

After a few tough days, day five is a slightly more relaxed day riding mainly on Landrover tracks as you skirt the northern edge of the Cairngorms. The good news is that there are some sweet sections of singletrack to keep the mind occupied, awesome views and plenty of river crossings to keep you on your toes.
A seemingly endless descent in the latter part of the day brings us to Ballater. There is plenty to keep you occupied for the afternoon, even if it is just catching up on some shut eye.


Overnight: Glenlui Hotel, Ballater


DAY 6:
Ballater to Edzell - 39 Miles

Day six is the highpoint of your week's riding in every sense of the word. The first few miles of gentle riverside riding don’t even begin to hint at what is to come but once you start climbing Glen Tanar and then the Mounth Road you will need every last bit of energy to get you to the top of Mount Keen, Scotland’s most easterly Munro.


The descent into Glen Esk is worth every bit of effort and you will be grinning for months at the very thought of it. A short section of Tarmac brings us to the village of Edzell which is our last overnight stop.


Overnight: Alexandra Lodge B&B, Edzell


DAY 7:
Edzell to Montrose - 13 Miles

A final whoop along quiet country roads brings us to the sea at Montrose and the end of an unforgettable mountain bike journey through the Scottish Highlands. We pick you up (Approx 11:00) and head back to Glasgow and aim to be back in Glasgow by 14:00 dropping you off at your accommodation, the airport or bus and rail stations.

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. All offer a warm welcome to cyclists, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.


The accommodation listed in the itinerary are the providers we sue most often. If they do not have availability we may use other accommodation of the same or better standard.


Single Rooms

This trip is unfortunately not available to solo bikers, but if you require single rooms within your party we will of course accommodate your request. As all our holidays are priced per person based on two sharing there is a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs we incur.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.

Availability

The Scottish Coast to Coast by MTB is available from March to October. You can start your holiday on any date in the season. Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20 kg per person.


Equipment

A mountain bike in good condition is essential. Most riders prefer riding a XC type bike although everything from a hardtail to all mountain will be fine.


Your information pack has a detailed suggested equipment list which includes standard mountain biking gear such as helmet, cycling clothes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.


Bike Hire

Most riders prefer to bring their own bikes but we can arrange bike hire if required, which include hardtail, full suspension and E-MTB full suspension. Please ask our team for more details.


Bike Box/Bag Storage

We can store your bike bag/box at our office in Glasgow for the duration of your trip. Alternatively ask your hotel in Glasgow/Edinburgh if they can store it for you. Most will be happy to. Please request this service in advance.


Grade

This holiday is graded moderate to challenging and goes through remote and demanding terrain so you should be a regular and fit mountain biker who relishes the thought of a long day in the saddle.


You should also be comfortable with dealing with trail side repairs or emergencies as these do happen.


Navigation

The route is not waymarked. We will supply you with a route description, detailed maps with the route marked and downloadable GPX tracks. This is not a substitute for sound navigation skills and at least two of your party should have good navigation skills.


Cycling Direction

This trip can only be booked from west to east due to restrictions with the baggage carriers.


Additional Nights

We can book additional nights for you before, after or during the ride. Your pickup in Glasgow is at 9:00 am on day 1 so most people will need to spend the previous night in Glasgow.


Aviemore is a good location to add an extra night during the trip as there is lots to do and some great riding.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Pickup/Drop-off

Our standard pickup is at 9:00am on day 1 of your trip at Glasgow Airport or your hotel in central Glasgow. We will drop you off at 14:00 on day 7 of your trip at Glasgow Airport, your hotel in Central Glasgow or the train station.


We are able to pickup/dropoff at other locations such as Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Edinburgh or Edinburgh Airport for an additional charge.


Getting to/from Glasgow

Glasgow is well served by public transport including bus, train and plane.


Parking in Glasgow


If you are driving to Glasgow the best option is generally to book a stay and park deal at one of the Glasgow Airport Hotels. You can then overnight, leave your car at the secure airport parking and we will collect you from your airport hotel. Dropping you back at the end of your trip.

Pickup/Drop-off

Our standard pickup is at 9:00am on day 1 of your trip at Glasgow Airport or your hotel in central Glasgow.
We will drop you off at 14:00 on day 7 of your trip at Glasgow Airport, your hotel in Central Glasgow or the train station.


We are able to pickup/dropoff at other locations such as Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Edinburgh or Edinburgh Airport for an additional charge.


Getting to/from Glasgow

Glasgow is well served by public transport including bus, train and plane.


Parking in Glasgow


If you are driving to Glasgow the best option is generally to book a stay and park deal at one of the Glasgow Airport Hotels. You can then overnight, leave your car at the secure airport parking and we will collect you from your airport hotel. Dropping you back at the end of your trip.

Included

  • Glasgow to Fort William transfer for you, your bike and luggage.
  • Montrose to Glasgow transfer for you, your bike and luggage.
  • 6 Nights hand-picked accommodation in B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses in double/twin rooms.
  • Daily door to door baggage transfer from Fort William to Montrose.
  • A pre-departure information pack including route notes, detailed maps with the route marked, local information, detailed travel information and a recommended kit list.
  • Downloadable GPX tracks.
  • Emergency telephone support from our offices in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Lunches, dinners, snacks or drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.

Extras

  • Bike hire.
  • Additional nights before, during or after the ride.
  • Pickup from Edinburgh/Prestwick or other points.
  • Single room supplement (if applicable).

How fit do I need to be?

The Coast to Coast is a fairly tough trip because you are riding continuously day after day but it is far from an endurance marathon. The itinerary is designed to be enjoyable for a regular rider. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness regular mountain biking supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your trip is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised so that we can secure you the best value-for-money accommodation in each location. Please give us a shout if you have a query.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need a good quality mountain bike and your normal mountain biking gear for a day ride with perhaps some extra warm layers if the weather is cold. You can download a full equipment list from our website downloads page.

What type of mountain bike is suitable?

Bikes of a certain price range are usually a good way to tell if your bike is going to last the pace. Anything from around £600 and up would generally do, but front suspension and hydraulic brakes are another good indicator. You will get away with a slightly less expensive bike as long as you have front suspension and it is well maintained. More expensive full suspension XC bikes are also perfect but you should avoid downhill or "all mountain" bikes which tend to be a bit heavy and have too much travel.

When is the best time of year?

The summer months are best as the weather tend to be better and the daylight hours are longer.

What are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like north American gnats) which are prevalent in the summer months. They are particularly bad on still, overcast days but do not bother you if you are moving, the wind is blowing, sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it they shouldn’t have any impact on your experience.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your own accommodation as per your itinerary and moved on to your next overnight accommodation.  We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What happens if I can't cycle a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureScottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike
 
4.6

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun (9)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (7)
  • Well organised (7)
  • Great accommodations (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Trying something new (6)
  • Holiday (4)
  • Thrill seeking (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid adventurer (4)

Reviewed by 10 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fantastic Holiday

By Polly

from East Yorkshire

About Me Gave, Likes a challenge

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

    A fantastic week! My husband is an experienced mountain biker but I am a little more reserved!! I did find parts of the ride a challenge but as a 50 something year old lady I still found it manageable. The whole trip was well organised and the .gpx files we were supplied with were invaluable. Mac adventures really did give an excellent service and 5 out of 6 b&b's were excellent. Distant Hills in Spean Bridge and The Rumblie in Laggan were fabulous establishments with all the home comforts you could wish for. We were blessed with great weather which obviously added to the holiday but the whole experience was amazing, the scenery, the cycling and the support from Mac Adventures.

     
    4.0

    An Epic Week

    By Dave

    from Cumbria

    About Me Enthusiastic Adventurer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Challenging
    • Fun
    • Great communications
    • Well Organised

    Cons

    • Midges

    Best Uses

    • A challenge
    • Boys Trip
    • Looking for a challenge
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

    We had been let down by another company and Macs Adventure stepped in at the last minute and managed to salvage the week for us. Dan in particular was exceptional, both in the efforts made to get everything organised within 3 days and in his ciommunications during the trip. Accommodation was variable, because we were very late booking, but all was acceptable, if a little quirky in places. The transfer at the beginning and the end was extremely well organised with a friendly and helpful driver (Gordon). There were a couple of small issues with baggage being late (3 hours) to one of the overnights, and with the two GPSs not agreeing with each other and not always on the same track as the map route, but these were easily surmountable problems. Overall we had a great week, we saw parts of Scotland that few people will get to, the route was imaginative and fun, with some challenges along the way - it was more than we could have expected, and would thoroughly recommend the trip and Macs Adventure

     
    4.0

    A Surprise Round Every Corner!

    By Gian

    from Stäfa, Switzerland

    About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Away From It All
    • Challenging Bike Trails
    • Fun
    • Spectacular scenery

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Adventure
      • Escape From It All
      • Relaxation

      Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

      - Great variety of bike tracks/terrain, scenery/landscape
      - Provision of up-to-date maps and literature apart form restaurant information in Laggan
      - Some excellent accommodation and helpful hosts offering extra services, e.g. laundry services
      - One B&B comparatively poor
      - One late and very inconvenient bag delivery

       
      4.0

      Great bikeriding

      By Bikers from Belgium

      from Belgium Antwerp

      About Me Mountainbike travellers

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Super
      • Well Organised

      Cons

      • More tracs where possible

      Best Uses

      • Sport and adventure combi

      Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

      Thanks it was a great bike ride

      Boys from Belgium

       
      5.0

      Incredible experience

      By J, P, J, H

      from Toronto

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Thrill Seeking
        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

        Four of us came from Toronto to tackle the C2C 6-day self-guided tour. The scenery was stunning. The towns and accomodation were perfect for apres-bike. Our bags were always waiting for us at the next town. The riding was great, but there could have been a bit more singletrack. I would highly recommend this adventure to any group of mountain bikers. You will not be disappointed.

         
        5.0

        A great ride! Just do it!!

        By Pommie Pirate

        from Forster, Australia

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Once in a Lifetime Experience

        Cons

        • No cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

          Six days of great riding in very mixed terrain. Although some days were quite a stretch it never reach the stage of discomfort. Last year I did a ride through the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, and although nothing can quite beat that scenary, but the variety of riding on the coast to coast would be even harder to beat. You'll experience highly technical single track, heaps of river crossings, long up hills and even better downhills. Take some good advice, try to wear some quality hiking/rafting sandals (my Keens were excellent) as most of the time we had wet feet and the sandals dried off very quickly.Make sure you get a good handle on the GPS before you leave - and believe in it! [...]

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          I would use road bikes next time

          By Susan

          from North Dakota

          About Me Occasional Traveller

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organised

          Cons

          • Exhausting

          Best Uses

          • Holiday

          Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

          We had especially bad weather on day one of our ride, and very high winds. We received cautions from Mac regarding river floodings for the following day, which were very much appreciated. We were offered road alternatives, which we ended up staying on--no easy task on Mt. Bikes. We were still in the Highlands on very minor roads with very little traffic.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Massive weather escape

          By Nigel

          from Surrey/Sussex

          About Me Avid Adventurer, Keen Mountain biker, World Traveller

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience

          Cons

          • Average accomodation
          • Luggage not always ontime

          Best Uses

          • Test yourself and bike
          • Thrill Seeking
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

          Getting there is painful by train. Make sure you book bike spaces on all legs. Cheaper than flying and the sleeper is ideal.In mid May we got sun rain wind and snow!But no midges. First class accom at Distant Hills Spean Bridge the rest distinctly average with little sign of a bike wash other than the occasional hose pipe and some didnt have undercover storage so take a lock. 6 days was about right, I think we could have done it in 5 easily if the wether held but you take a chance as its not funny in a 60mph wind! The scenerey is nothing short of spectacular with snow tops and often we didnt see anyone person for 6 or 7 hours. Look out for Adders off trail!and herds of mountain Deer. Laggan and Ballater were the nicest places we stayed . The GPS is a must but do take instructions or read up first as its a little confusing to start with. The facility to get your grid reference was invaluable if you find yourself off trail as you can instantly find the position on the map but do practice this if you are not used to navigation as in poor conditions this would be a life saver.Its a long climb up Mt Keen with a bike so keep weight down in the bike and rucksack dept and stay left when the track splits. You then have the option near the top to take the side route as we did as discretion was the better part of valour in the force 9 wind. I wouldnt attempt this on a hardtail or hybrid, full sus is the only way. Having said that there was more road than i expected and less single track. Im sure if you look harder MACS you can find more single track and add optional way points for it?

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Self-Guided 6-day CTC - AWESOME!!

          By The 4 Canucks

          from Toronto, Canada

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organised

          Cons

          • Exhausting

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Thrill Seeking
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

          Amazing trip. Great scenery and riding. You get remote, but there is nothing too scary. Great pubs and the accomodations are just fine. Doing this in 6 days puts the pressure on but makes the evenings all the more rewarding.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A Great Adventure

          By S & G

          from London

          About Me Backyard Adventurer, Thrill seeker

          Pros

          • Beautiful scenery
          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Hassle-Free
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organised

          Cons

          • Expensive for small group

          Best Uses

          • Exertion
          • Exploring
          • Pushing your Limits
          • Thrill Seeking
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike:

          The trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we enjoyed every second of it, even the ones when we were soaking wet, freezing cold or just plain exhausted. The route was well planned to include beautiful scenery, epic views, great climbs and exhilarating single track. The information pack included lots of helpful information that allowed you to tailor the route, making it harder or easier as you wanted. The GPS unit provided was tricky to get the hang of, but with some basic map reading skills, and some patience, it worked perfectly. Make sure you take a few AA batterys with you, just in case they run out. The accommodations were (for the most part) excellent, comfortable and full of character. Bike and clothes washing were always available when you needed them, and the owners were always happy to make you well priced packed lunches. All in all, it was a fantastic trip, and I just wish that there were more biking trips available so I could try them all.

          Displaying reviews 1-10

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