Scottish Coast to Coast Mountain Bike7 Days & 6 Nights 4.7 Read 12 reviews
- Traverse Scotland's legendary highlands from west to east
- Enjoy descending Mount Keen - the most easterly Munro
- Ride through the wild heather-clad landscape of the Cairngorms on natural single-track
- Challenge yourself on the technical man-made trails at Laggan Wolftrax
- Enjoy Scotland’s whisky, and lively local pub culture
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Mountain Biking | A more specialist category of cycling tour, expect ascent, descent, and tougher terrain with mountain bikes essential
This trip is suitable for:
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- National Parks & Trails
Activity Level & Terrain
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 trailside repairs or emergencies as these do happen.
The route is not waymarked. We will supply you with access to our Macs app for your smartphone which has your daily routes shown on detailed maps using GPX tracks and a route description. This is not a substitute for sound navigation skills and at least two of your party should have good navigation skills.
This trip can only be booked from west to east due to restrictions with the baggage carriers.
One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of 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.
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.
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.
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
- 6 Nights in hand-picked B&B’s, small hotels and guesthouses
- 6 Breakfasts
- Transfers from Glasgow to Fort William and from Montrose to Glasgow
- Baggage transfers
- Information pack
- Access to detailed maps and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- Travel to / from Glasgow
- Bike hire
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Personal equipment
- Travel insurance (required)
- Additional nights along the route
- Bike hire
- Transfers from Glasgow to Edinburgh
When To Go
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.
Getting to the Start
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.
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.
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.
A mountain bike in good condition is essential. Most riders prefer riding an 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 daypack.
Most riders prefer to bring their own bikes though bike rental is available should you require.
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.
Travel InsuranceIt 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The summer months are best as the weather tend to be better and the daylight hours are longer.
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.
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.
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
ItineraryDay 1 Fort William to Spean Bridge 13 miles / 20 km
We collect you and your bikes in Glasgow at 9am 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 throw yourself 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 15 km spin on forest roads and singletrack to your overnight accommodation in Spean Bridge.
Morven and Simon look forward to offering you a warm welcome. Coire Glas is situated in one acre of grounds facing south looking over the spectacular Grey Corries, home to the Nevis Range Ski Resort.
Distant Hills has a peaceful setting amidst some of the most spectacular scenery in the Highlands with uninterrupted mountain views. They have seven individually designed comfortable rooms with en-suite shower rooms. Rooms are furnished in contemporary quality furniture with 24 hour individually controlled heating. There is also a drying room and WIFI access.
Old Pines is a very special place to stay. Experience the beauty of their picturesque location, cosy yet luxurious rooms and the indulgence of organic, home-cooked food. On arrival, you will be greeted with fresh tea and home-made scones then you can settle into your luxury room to unwind.
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 you 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.
Simon and Fiona look forward to welcoming you to their home, they provide luxury organic and eco-friendly accommodation in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The Rumblie experience is about good food and service in a relaxed highland home. Their focus is on good locally produced produce and on many occasions this would be Rumblie grown. The Rumblie has free Wi-Fi around the house, licensed bar offering beers, wines and whisky (limited other sprits).
The Laggan Hotel (formerly known as the Laggan Country Hotel), is situated near the village of Laggan in the Cairngorm National Park in the Scottish Highlands. Its unique location offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding Cairngorm and Monadhliath mountains and the wildlife that inhabits them.
An awesome day of riding which has everything the highlands can throw at you. Epic scenery as you 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 reaching 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 you'll finish in the bustling outdoors town of Aviemore.
Ravenscraig has 14 bedrooms providing 4 star bed and breakfast accommodation in Aviemore. It is ideally situated on the main street just a short stroll from the town centre with its numerous shops, bars and restaurants. All rooms have bathrooms, TV, complimentary toiletries, en-suite showers and tea/coffee facilities.
Perfectly located this independently-owned hotel is found in the heart of Aviemore, in the Cairngorms. Set in its own wooded grounds on Aviemore's main street, the hotel is central to all your needs. All the shops and facilities of this bustling Highland resort are within a few minute’s easy stroll. All bedrooms are en-suite, offering colour television, direct-dial telephone and hospitality tray. All rooms are comfortably furnished and decorated to a superior standard it would be hard to equal, whilst most have stunning views across the Spey Valley to the Cairngorm Mountains or to the great rock of Craigellachie.
Cairngorm Guest House is a 12 bedroom Victorian house located in the centre of Aviemore. All rooms are en-suite with all the facilities you would expect from a great guest house along with amazing views across Cairngorm Mountains. They also have a guest lounge where you can relax in the evening next to the real log burning fire.
Today's ride is 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.
Argyle House dates back to 1891, it is a stone built, cottage-style building of one and a half stories. Your hosts will be Steven and Dianne during your stay. Both are South African born and delighted to have settled in Scotland, a place they have always loved and frequently visited from their former base in London.
Dianne comes from a hotel background having worked as a Guest Relations Manager in a 4-star hotel in London. She will ensure that you will have a great experience at the Argyle Guest House.
Steven, has an Architectural background. His love for the outdoors and all it has to offer will provide you with the information you need in the local area, and what exciting things there are to do. He has a passion for cooking and will ensure that you leave for the day feeling satiated with a wonderful breakfast.
The Richmond Arms is a magnificent 25-bedroom hotel nestling centrally in the tranquil village of Tomintoul which claims to be the highest village in the Highlands. You will be guaranteed a warm welcome when you check into the hotel and your room will have all the amenities you require for a great overnight stay. They have two well stocked bars and have an extensive choice of 35 individual malt whisky’s, with many from the Speyside area, and others from the lowlands, Islay and highland regions, plus 4 Glenlivet and 3 Tomintoul varieties.
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 you to Ballater. There is plenty to keep you occupied for the afternoon, even if it is just catching up on some shut eye.
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 seem 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! A short section of tarmac brings you to the village of Edzell - your last overnight stop.
A short and sweet final ride along quiet country roads brings you to the sea at Montrose and the end of an unforgettable mountain bike journey through the Scottish Highlands.
We collect you at approx. 11am transfer you back to Glasgow (for approx. 2pm). You can opt to be dropped off at your accommodation, airport or bus/rail stations.
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