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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Scotland's Lochs & Glens Cycling Holiday
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Highlights

  • Lochs, glens and bens of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
  • Easy cycling on quiet roads and cycle paths
  • Castles, whisky and history at almost every turn of the road
  • Charming accommodation in authentic Scottish B&B’s, guesthouses and country inns

Explore Scotland’s lochs and glens by bike, soaking in the unique landscape of the Scottish Highlands whilst savouring the clean, fresh Scottish air. Immerse yourself in rich clan history as you cycle past castles through the rugged Trossachs hills and then on into Highland Perthshire. Great cycling complemented by welcoming Scottish hospitality, world class whisky and the produce from Scotland’s natural larder.

Your cycling adventure begins in the bustling holiday town of Callander, known as the gateway to the highlands, which lies beneath wooded crags. Learn the story of Rob Roy at the visitor centre before you pedal east to Loch Katrine. Here you can enjoy a fine cycle along the tranquil Loch Katrine and perhaps a trip on the 100 year Sir Walter Scott steamship.

Your route continues north past Loch Lubnaig and through Glen Ogle to the village of Killin, which lies at the southern end of Loch Tay and is bisected by The Falls Of Dochart. The scenery just gets even better with every turn of the pedals as you follow the southern shore of Loch Tay past the Scottish Crannog Centre, Dewar’s World of Whisky and Taymouth Castle. Aberfeldy is next, famous for the ‘Birks of Aberfeldy’ a poem by Robert Burns.

The Victorian spa town of Pitlochry is your base for the final three nights. Choose from several routes which visit Dunkeld Cathedral, Blair Castle, Queen’s View, Moulin, Killiecranckie as they wind Big Tree Country.

Day 1: Arrive In Callander

Callander sits on the eastern edge of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and is a good starting point for the Scotland’s Lochs & Glens Cycle Tour. Arriving in Callander allows you to brush up on your knowledge of Scottish History with a visit to the Rob Roy visitor centre. Callander is easily reached by car from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, the town is also served by a frequent rail service.


Overnight: Callander


Day 2: Callander to Loch Katrine

A pleasant days cycling alongside the southern shore of Loch Venacher to the Trossachs Pier at Loch Katrine. Situated in the heart of Rob Roy country lies the pristine Loch Katrine, famous following the success of Sir Walter Scott’s narrative poem Lady of the Lake and novel Rob Roy. On arrival at the pier you have the option to step aboard the 100 year old steamer boat for the morning sailing to Stronachlachar, (booking in advance essential). You will enjoy the gentle cycle back along quiet forest tracks and lochside paths, with commanding views across the peaceful loch and Queen Elizabeth Forests and of course not forgetting a stop at Glen Ogle at the head of the loch, birth place of the notorious 18th century outlaw, Rob Roy.


Cycle 35 miles/56 km


Overnight: Callander


Day 3: Callander to Killin

Your journey today continues deeper into the southern highlands where you will be surrounded by stunning scenery. Your cycle will mainly be on cycle tracks and quiet roads passing by the impressive Falls of Leny, Loch Lubnaig and Loch Oich. A stop in the village of Balqhuidder at the head of Loch Voil will bring you to the final resting place of folk hero Rob Roy. Your final leg of today’s cycling, a gentle climb over Glen Ogle which offers rewarding views back over Loch Earn, then a pleasant descent to reach the charming village of Killin nestled beneath Tarmachan Ridge, where you will be greeted by the grandeur of ‘The Falls of Dochart’.


Cycle 25 miles/40 km


Overnight: Killin


Day 4: Killin to Aberfeldy

Your companions for much of today's journey will be the mighty Loch Tay and Ben Lawers as you travel eastwards towards Aberfeldy. Pedal along shadowed by idyllic tree’s before approaching a prehistoric loch dwelling known as a Crannog. Step back in time and experience the authentic recreation of ‘Iron Age Life’ on the Loch. Enjoy the remainder of your cycle to Aberfeldy following the River Tay stopping at the pretty 16th century conservation village of Kenmore, nestled on the banks of the Tay. An optional 3.4 mile (one way) detour to the village of Fortingall, at the entrance of Glen Lyon, is worth a visit to admire the Fortingall Yew, an ancient Yew, known as the oldest tree in Europe.


Cycle 25 miles/40 km


Overnight: Aberfeldy


Day 5: Aberfeldy to Pitlochry

A splendid cycle towards the Victorian town of Pitlochry where you will spend the remaining three nights. Meander by the quaint hamlet of Strathtay towards the Logierat Bridge, a listed railway viaduct where you will commence a steep climb, saying good bye to the Tay whilst welcoming the River Tummel. A final run to the heart of Scotland will bring you to Pitlochry allowing you to spend the remainder of the day discovering the abundance of attractions that this enchanting holiday town has to offer.


Cycle 16 miles/26 km


Overnight: Pitlochry


Day 6: Loch Tummel Circuit

A truly unforgettable ride through Highland Perthshire's ‘Big Tree Country’ await s you. Follow the Loch Tummel loop from Pitlochry to experience Scotland’s most majestic and prestigious scenery. Set high above Loch Tummel enjoy the panoramic view from Queens View (named after Queen Isabel, first wife of Robert the Bruce), with the seasonal woodland colours, combined with the tranquillity of Loch Tummel it is easy to understand why it is voted Scotland’s most outstanding beauty spot!


Cycle 28 miles/45km


Overnight: Pitlochry


Day 7: By the River Garry to Blair Castle

Set off for a relaxed and delightful ride by the River Garry as you head towards the 13th century Blair Atholl Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. Today's cycle will be combined with two historic attractions. As you leave from Pitlochry you will cycle towards the dramatic pass of Killicranckie, a beautiful gorge steeped in history before spending the day at Blair Atholl Estate exploring the fascinating castle and wildness of the countryside. Cycle back to Pitlochry and what better way to complete your trip than the charm and intimacy of Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery, Edradour. Enjoy the smooth, creamy texture of this malt known as the jewel in the Highland Crown whilst reflecting on your weeks' adventure through Scotland's Lochs and Glens.


Cycle 16 miles/26 km


Overnight: Pitlochry


Day 8: Depart Pitlochry

Your holiday ends after breakfast.

Single Rooms and Solo cyclists

This independent cycling holiday is available to solo cyclists though a single supplement would be applied. Any single rooms booked also incur a single supplement.


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 and your guide book will have details.


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, with cycle storage, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. Below you will find a list of the accommodation we regularly use which will give you a good idea of the standard of accommodation we use:



 

 

 




Abbotsford Lodge - Callander

Abbotsford Lodge is a small friendly hotel that enjoys an excellent location.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Dall Lodge - Killin

Dall Lodge is a family run B&B located in a large Victorian House where you are assured a warm welcome. A perfect spot to rest after a day cycling.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Balnearn House - Aberfeldy

Balnearn is a family run B&B located in Aberfeldy in the heart of the beautiful Tay Valley in Perthshire.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Acarsaid Hotel- Pitlochry

Acarsaid Hotel will ensure you a welcoming, comfortable and relaxed stay in the centre of Pitlochry.


 

 

 

Availability

The Scotland's Lochs & Glens holiday is available from April to October. You can start your holiday on any date in the season. Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Bikes & Equipment

Either a hybrid or mountain bike with semi slick tyres would be fine. You will need a helmet, cycling clothes, waterproofs and warm clothes as well as casual clothes for the evenings. Your info pack will have a detailed equipment list.


Bike Hire

We offer bike hire for this holiday. Collect your bike from Callander. We organise the collection from Pitlochry to return your bikes. We use excellent quality mountain bikes with slick tyres or hybrid bikes equipped with a rear pannier rack, repair kit, pump and lock.


Bike Hire





































































Question


Answer


Brand 


Trek / Scott


Bike Type


Hybrid


Frame types 


ladies, unisex


Sizes 


Gents - 15,17.5, 20, 22.5, 25 in


Ladies - WSD -15, 17 ,19 in/ Traditional - 17.5, 20 in


Front suspension  


No


Stand 


No


Mud guards 


No


Luggage rack Rear/Front 


No


Paniers


Yes


Handle bar Bag/ map holder


Optional Extra


Bottle holder/Water bottle 


Yes


Computer meter 


Yes


Interchangeable pedals 


Yes


Front gear set 



Back gear set 



Brakes 


V-brake


Helmet included


Yes


Puncture repair kit


Yes


Spare inner tubes/ how many


Yes/1


Pump


Yes


Lock


Yes


Additional Nights

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.

Getting to Callander

Callander is located on the A84, which is accessible by car from both Glasgow (50 minutes) and Edinburgh (1 hour 10 minutes).  If you do plan to leave your car then Callander offers several free car parking options (which are subject to availability).


Scotrail offer direct trains from Glasgow (30 minutes) and Edinburgh (50 minutes) to Stirling where you can catch the bus to Callander. The journey time is 45 minutes and is operated by First Buses.  Timetables can be viewed at First Group


Getting back from Pitlochry 

Pitlochry is located close to the A9 which is accessible by car Glasgow (1 hour 40 minutes) and Edinburgh (1 hour 26 minutes)  


Scotrail offer direct trains from Pitlochry to both Glasgow and Edinburgh (both 1 hour 50 minutes).  


Rail tickets can be purchased directly with Scotrail  Scot Rail . If you are taking your own bike then reservations must be made in advance with Scotrail on 08457 55 00 33


For detailed public transport information see Traveline Scotland


 




Included

  • 7 nights B&B/Guesthouse accommodation.
  • 7 Breakfasts.
  • Baggage Transfer.
  • A detailed info pack and route map for the group leader.
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support.

Excluded

  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Bike Hire
  • Boat crossing of Loch Katrine
  • Any misc expenditure

Extras

  • Bike Hire
  • Single room supplement.
  • Extra nights before, after or during your cycle.

Planning a cycling holiday can be daunting, especially if this is your first cycling holiday. We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Scotland's Lochs & Glens is extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans. 

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your 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 15kg per person.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need a bike in good condition, we would recommend a hybrid or a mountain bike with semi slick tyres.  Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as helmet, cycling clothes warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.

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 adventureScotland's Lochs & Glens
 
4.8

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (8)
  • Fun (7)
  • Great accommodations (5)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (7)
  • Trying something new (7)
  • Relaxation (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid adventurer (4), World traveller (3)

Reviewed by 8 customers

Displaying reviews 1-8

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5.0

Best way to see a piece of rural Scotland

By Sunray36D

from Johannesburg, South Africa

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

    The Scottish weather is something you need to contend with. It was overcast for the whole of my trip and rained on most days. Still, despite the wet it was an awesome adventure! The countryside is stunning, the cycle paths well maintained, and the routes easy to follow. A bit of time in the saddle before you arrive helps :)

     
    5.0

    Great trip to The Lochs and Glens of Scotland

    By Jan

    from Washington State, USA

    About Me Occasional Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Beautiful scenery
    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Plenty of time to relax and enjoy each stop
    • Well Organised

    Cons

    • Cool and possibly wet trip.

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

    We choose Macs Adventure for our first ever bicycle tour ride. Traveling with our friends who are avid bicyclists, we opted to rent E-bikes, while our friends reserved hybrid mountain/ tour bikes. Although in hind-sight I know that I could have completed the tour using a regular touring bike the E-bike provided me with confidence and allowed me to get exercise but not arrive exhausted to our destinations. The bikes were all of very high quality and Macs Adventure had everything planned out as expected. The routes each day were clearly marked and the overall level (2-3) of the trip was as promised. Although we never actually spoke to or met a Macs Adventure employee on the trip, all the sub-contractors, the hotels, the bike rental shop and the luggage/transport people, all knew exactly what to do and what was expected. Overall, we have a great time and I would do this again!

     
    4.0

    Wonderful trip

    By Chris

    from Switzerland

    About Me World Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

    • Poor Accommodations

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

    It was a wonderful experience. We loved the landscape, the friendly people, the food. MacAdventure did a great job organizing everthing. The provided bicycles were in top shape. The only drawback: The hotes in Callander and Killin did not meet the expected standard.

     
    4.0

    NA

    By NA

    from Melbourne

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

        A number of errors in directions such as returning to Callendar on the last day. Turn left with right arrow indicated etc. A simple map for each day would have been better.

         
        5.0

        Our Best Trip Yet!

        By Ashlea

        from Mauritius

        About Me A couple looking to reconnect, Avid Adventurer, Quality time away from the kids, World Traveller

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Amazing Customer Service from Macs Adventures
        • An Easy Challenge
        • Escape
        • Fantastic Bikes
        • Fun
        • Great Route
        • Magnificent Views of Lochs and fields
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

          This trip was everything we expected and more. We had such fun and the route was really varied and enjoyable. The accommodation was fantastic, family-run B&Bs (bar one, which we alerted Macs Adventures of, and their customer service was amazing, we were in a more suitable hotel within a few hours!). While we had the opportunity to enjoy our adventure as just the two of us, we knew Macs Adventures was just a phone call away, and their customer service was top notch! Wheels Cycling Hire, which Macs used to hire our bicycles, were really informative and helpful, and our bikes were fantastic. We had one small issue along the way, and they drove out to assist us within the hour! After riding on such a great touring bike, I don't know how I am going to go back to my big old mountain bike!

          The route was so enjoyable and well marked.

          Our luggage was always at the next hotel on our arrival.

          Cycling through Scotland allowed us to see things we would never see from a car or train. We absolutely love our trip and have been recommending it to all our friends. We are fairly fit and active, but we didn't find the trip that challenging. There were two occasions we felt rather challenged, but I do feel most people would enjoy this route.

          An absolutely unforgettable holiday! Our favorite spot was Aberfeldy and also Killin. We will definitely be doing future trips with Macs!

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A fantastic way to experience the highlands

          By John

          from Australia

          About Me Avid Adventurer, Occasional Traveller

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Fulfilling and exciting
          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

            I did the Lochs and Glens ride in mid October. The weather was turning cooler but still mild enough to be enjoyable. With a number of days available to explore Callander and Pitlochry, I was able to add my own side trips in addition to the recommended rides. For starters I would recommend an additional leg to Dunblane to see Doune castle which has been used in Monty Python, Games of Thrones and Outlander series - it's only 10 miles from Callander so it's an easy trip.

            Most of the ride follows the National Cycle Network 7 (NCN7) route which is really well signposted so very easy to follow. It takes you through some amazing countryside with a combination of farming and old forests along the sides of the Glens with running water everywhere adding to the atmosphere along the way.

            I also chose to ride the length of Loch Katrine rather than taking the steamer - the road around the Loch is very peaceful and takes you through a mixture of local farming country and old forests. Lunch at the restaurant at Stronachlachar is a good mid-point stop for the day as well.

            The accommodation was great throughout the trip and the bag transfer service worked perfectly. The accommodation rate was actually better value than I could have achieved if booking independently.

            There are plenty of opportunities to explore hiking trails along the way the walks in Aberfeldy and Pitlochry a real destination in their own rite.

            Make sure you stop off at Mhor 84 for a great pub lunch near Balquhidder. This stop was recommended by some local cyclists who I met on the track and it was spot on for great food and atmosphere on a cool day.

            The towns along the way all had excellent facilities and are well established for tourist needs. Most of them had great outdoor clothing stores as well so it's easy to pick up anything you might need along the way but make sure you have good wet weather gear because at some stage along the way you're sure to get some rain.

             
            5.0

            Excellent Experience & Great Vacation

            By Meghan

            from San Francisco, CA

            About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

            Pros

            • Excellent Bike Hire
            • Fun
            • Great Accommodations
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Professional
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Holiday
              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

              This trip was great. The self guided bike tour was easy to follow. The accommodations were clean, friendly, and all had character. My family of four did this together. We had 2 late twenty year-olds and 2 sixty year-olds, all of us had a fantastic time. The bike terrain was easy to moderate, at times there were some hills, but was never too challenging. Working with Macs Adventure was an excellent experience. We found each person and service to be very professional and accommodating. Their response time in answering questions from an out of country participant, the chosen accommodations, the handling of our luggage, were all more than satisfactory, in fact they were superb.The bike rental company Macs partnered with in Callander, Scotland, called "Wheels Cycling Centre", was incredible. The people, the service and the recommendations they gave us were nothing short of extraordinary. We would recommend working with Macs Adventure and Wheels to anybody.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Brilliant!

              By Mary

              from Australia

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Holiday
                • Thrill Seeking
                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure Scotland's Lochs & Glens:

                This cycling trip was excellent. From beginning to end, everything was well organised and as we anticipated. We chose an easy to moderate cycle trip, and it was that..easy in some parts and moderately challenging in other parts. The scenery through The Trossack National park was breath taking. Our bikes did the job well, and the bicycle suppliers, Wheelz, were incredibly helpful. Our accommodations were hit and miss, but that is simple rectification working with Macs. We had a brilliant holiday, and are now planning our second trip with Macs. We are 57 and 71 years and a married couple. We would encourage anyone to get off the sofa and do this trip. Just wonderful. Thank you Macs for professional service all the way through and a terrific holiday.

                Displaying reviews 1-8

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