Five great long-distance cycle routes in Scotland
Scotland is a great place for cycling and if you are looking for ideas for a longer-distance route these might just fit the bill. You could ride them in one big day or over several days, staying in accommodation en route. The cycle routes could also be tagged on to a trip to Scotland for a self-guided walking or cycling holiday. So, without further ado, here are 5 superb long distance bike trails to enjoy in Scotland:
Scottish Coast to Coast
Start: Fort William
Distance: 190 miles
A new way marked long-distance route for Scotland, the coast-to-coast is perfect for avid mountain bikers. The Scottish C2C takes cyclists through the highlands of Scotland and is quite simply an awesome mountain biking holiday. It starts in Fort William and after 200 miles of grin-inducing riding in the Scottish Highlands, finishes in Montrose on the East Coast. It boasts outstanding single track, endless descents and unforgettable off-road riding cycling. Expect everything from the finest man-made trails to smooth natural single-track combine to make for an unforgettable mountain bike holiday. You can find more details of the route here.
Great Glen Cycleway
Start: Fort William
Distance: 79 miles
The Great Glen is an amazing geographical fault line that splits Scotland in two, forming dramatic Lochs and Glens and one of the most famous bodies of water in the world; Loch Ness. Travelling from Coast to Coast is an amazing experience, expect to be immersed in the iconic scenery of the Great Glen. It has challenging climbs which reveal magnificent views and stunning, high speed downhills, the trip really does have a little bit of everything. The long stretches of tow-path make for relaxed riding while the single track and fire road provides more of a challenge. With such stunning views and scenery the challenge is always a worthwhile one.
Great Glen Cycle Way
Ring of Breadalbane Road Cycle, Perthshire
Start/finish: Crieff, Perth & Kinross
Distance: 100 miles (160km)
The Breadalbane “High Ground” area of Perthshire boasts breath-taking scenery and lots of lovely quiet roads. The full 100 mile route is a big undertaking in a single day but it’s easy to split it into two or three days. In the summer, an Explorer Bus allows cyclists to access different start and finish points, such as Crieff, Comrie, Killin and Aberfeldy. See Breadalbane Road Cycling.
The Falls at Killin
North Coast 500
Start/finish: Inverness Distance: 500 miles (or so!)
Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66, the NC500 follows a route of just over 500 miles in the stunning north-west of Scotland. First created for drivers, the route has become a popular goal for cyclists. Most will take a week to ride it, although Scottish adventurer Mark Beaumont holds a record for the route of just 38 hours. The circular route can be completed clockwise or anti-clockwise and meanders through the counties of Caithness, Sutherland and Ross-shire. There is some debate as to the exact distance. It is between 500 and 519 miles apparently! See NC500. Check out our drive & hike NC 500 holiday.
Scotland's Lochs & Glens
Distance: 99 miles 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. The trail 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. The trip finishes in the Victorian spa town of Pitlochry, the perfect base to relax and enjoy a well-earned dram!
To organise your next cycling adventure, Contact Us at Macs Adventure!
This is an updated blog post, which was originally posted on 08 January 2016