Weekly Cycle: Scotland’s Castle Trail
Scotland is home to hundreds of castles, set amid a beautiful landscape. Travelling by bike on this six-day Castle Trail Tour in Perthshire you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds, viewing the countryside at cycling pace and visiting some of the country’s finest historic attractions.
Where is Perthshire?
The region of Perthshire is located at the heart of Scotland and within easy access of the two larger cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the smaller cities of Stirling and Perth. It is part of the wider Scottish Highlands but also borders the Lowlands of Scotland.
Why visit Perthshire?
Perthshire offers a beautiful and diverse landscape with mountains, hills, valleys, glens, rivers and lochs. It is also known as Big Tree Country thanks to many fine forests and woodlands. The region is an attractive place to walk and cycle with many quiet trails and roads. Perthshire is also one of the most popular places in the UK to enjoy outdoor and adventure activities, such as mountain biking, white water rafting and canyoning. For history fans there is plenty to see including castles, stately homes and iconic heritage hotspots. If you like the idea of combining historical attractions with cycling take a look at Macs Adventure Scotland’s Castle Trail.
In a nutshell
Four days of cycling over a six-day tour of castles and other historic highlights in Perthshire. A total of 135 km over fours days.
What is the cycling like?
The cycling is generally flat, although there are a few hillier sections. You will ride on cycle paths, country lanes and a few busier roads closer to more urban areas. Macs Adventure will arrange to transport your luggage each day so you only need to carry the bits and pieces that you will need during the day.
The tour is graded easy to moderate. There are a few hills and the longest days cycling is 44 km.
Tell me more
The trip starts in the historic city of Perth on the banks of the River Tay. Enjoy the opportunity to stroll or cycle around the beautiful city. The first day of cycling takes you 35km – and 210m of ascent – from the heritage attraction of Scone Palace to the town of Dunkeld. Before setting out, you can explore the palace, which has been the crowning place of 42 Scottish kings, including Robert the Bruce and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and wander around the beautiful gardens. Your day's ride heads along the National Cycle Route 77, on the banks of the River Tay and through the rolling countryside of Perthshire to the Victorian settlement of Dunkeld. From Dunkeld, day 2 is 33 km of cycling on the 3 Lochs Cycle route. You’ll ride between the small lochs of Drumellie, Clunie and Lowes.
Before, or after, the day’s cycling you can explore Dunkeld and visit the Beatrix Potter Exhibition, a 13th century cathedral or take a trip to the nearby Menzies Castle, which has been the seat of the Menzies clan for 400 years. (Private transfers can be arranged.) On day three you’ll cycle 26 km to the larger town of Pitlochry. Once again you’ll follow the cycle route 77 through glorious Perthshire along the River Tay, via the villages of Dalguise and Logierait and the pine forest of Ballechin Wood. After a night in Pitlochry, Blair Castle awaits on the longest cycling day (44 km and 190 m ascent). The loop ride heads around Loch Tummel and leads to Queen’s View, one of Scotland’s most famous viewpoints. You can visit Blair Castle, which reveals 700 years of Scottish history across 30 rooms. Other attractions are the battle site of Killicrankie and the delicious food hall at The House of Bruaur. A tour of the Edradour Distillery – and a wee dram – is also recommended so you might want to arrange another night in Pitlochry so you have time to do this as well. The final day of the trip is reserved for onward travel. If you are heading for Perth, Stirling, Glasgow or Edinburgh, why not plan to take a couple of days in these cities to look around?
Planning & Preparation
Bike hire: You can arrange to bring your own bike or hire a bike. We can arrange for GT Transeo, 24-gear hybrid bikes or if you’re only just getting into cycling or need a little assistance we can also arrange e-bike rental.
Where will I stay? Overnights will be spent in hand-picked B&Bs or guesthouses, of 3 or 4 star standard. We carefully select small and friendly accommodation that offers great value, good food and friendly welcomes. If you would like to upgrade to higher grade accommodation, please just ask us.
How do I get there? Perth is an easy train journey from Edinburgh (1h20), Glasgow (1h10) or Inverness (2h05), all of which have airports. Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are the best option if travelling from outside the UK. Private transfers from Edinburgh or Glasgow can easily be arranged. This trip is available to start on any day, from April to October in 2017.