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United Kingdom

Scotland - Celtic Crossing

Guided Mountain Bike Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,575 P.P.
United Kingdom

Scotland - Celtic Crossing

Guided Mountain Bike Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,575 P.P.
BOOK NOW
This ultimate place-to-place MTB trip is aimed squarely at fit and experienced riders. A mountain bike holiday of the very highest calibre, a truly epic Scottish Highlands journey stretching from the extreme north coast through glens and over mountain passes to arrive in the heart of Scotland at the Wallace monument in Stirling. You need to be comfortable riding difficult terrain in remote areas and spending long days in the saddle. If this sounds like you, this adventure will be a highlight of your mountain biking career!
This trip builds on years of experience guiding mountain bike groups in Scotland, so you can relax and concentrate on enjoying the scenery and biking. Our route stretches over 300 miles in total and uses a wide variety of trails. There will be challenging singletrack winding through the mountains, old drove roads following the valley floors and easy rolling forest tracks. This is wilderness riding at its very best, but wherever possible our support vehicle will be close by to provide snacks and drinks as well as our renowned picnic lunches.
On our first day's riding we work our way up from the coast to get to some proper mountain riding as we skirt the majestic munro Ben Klibreck. For our second day we head south through the forests of Strath Tirry and along Loch Shin to reach Bonar Bridge on the Dornoch Firth.
Once we are in to the swing of things the days and trails come thick and fast. We pedal further into the Highlands around Loch Ness and the Great Glen before tackling the spectacular Corrieyairack Pass. From this high point we drop down to the banks of the River Spey famous for salmon fishing and whisky distilleries.
We use some stunning tracks running around Loch Ericht and Loch Rannoch to get us through to our last overnight stop at Killin where we can celebrate with a dram or two. The last day is a relatively flat gentle spin along Glen Earn to reach the monument to William Wallace just outside Stirling.
The arrival point for the trip is Stirling train station and from there we transfer to your initial accommodation at Bettyhill. We'll ride all the way back to Stirling at the end of the trip where you can clean up before jumping on the train back home or collecting your car.

Holiday Highlights

  • Challenging trails and epic riding through the Highlands
  • Relaxing at the end of each day whisky in hand
  • Following in the footsteps of Viking settlers
  • Riding mountain passes few bikers ever visit
  • Ascending the Corrieyairack Pass with views down to the Great Glen
  • Arriving tired but truimphant in the historic city of Stirling

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How Skedaddle have found some of these trails to put this trip together is beyond me. A great team that ensures everything is taken care of!

Mike, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Saturday - Arrival into Stirling and transfer to Bettyhill
Non Cycling Day

With easy access by train or car, the meet-up point for this Skedaddle trip is at Stirling in central Scotland. Our meeting time of 11am provides us with plenty of time to transfer you to our first night’s accommodation at Bettyhill, where we start tomorrow’s riding.

After a quick lunch break at Inverness, we arrive on the north coast of Scotland late in the afternoon leaving plenty of time to get our bikes out and check they are ready for the adventure ahead of us. Tonight’s evening meal provides a chance to chat with the Skedaddle guides in a little more depth about the schedule for the days ahead.

Day 2
Sunday - Bettyhill to the Crask Inn
47 Miles / 76 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1050 Metres

A superb riding day to start our journey off in style. Our route initially follows in the path of Viking settlers up Strath Naver away from their coastal raiding bases and off into the hills around the mountain of Ben Kilbreck.

The terrain is fairly gentle riverside trail to start off, moving on to some harder moorland singletrack riding after lunch. It may look and feel like a true wilderness but look around and there is evidence of human habitation dating back to neolithic times and deserted farmsteads from the Highland clearances.

We finish off today at the wonderfully remote Crask Inn, where you can relax with a well earned drink while your guides load up the vehicle ready for a short transfer to your overnight accommodation.

Day 3
Monday - Altnaharra to Invershin
39 Miles / 62 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 670 Metres

After our breakfast we cycle off through the forests of Strath Tirry, using sections of singletrack and forestry road we soon find ourselves riding along the shoreline of Loch Shin heading for Lairg.

After Lairg we are off into the forests again passing the Shin Falls and Carbisdale Castle before heading for our overnight stop at Invershin.

Day 4
Tuesday - Invershin to Beauly
59 Miles / 95 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1550 Metres

Leaving Invershin we have a gentle start to the day heading along the Dornoch Firth before we tackle our first big climb of the day to get ourselves up and over the Easter Ross peninsula. Initially following a good hard surfaced track up the valley of Wester Fearn Burn, we have a short moorland section before we meet Strath Rusdale and head downhill to the village of Boath. Eventually we descend all the way back down to sea level at the Cromarty Firth at Evanton.

The afternoon although not as wild as this morning contains plenty of ups and downs as we pedal our way through the woods around Strathpeffer and Loch Ussie before reaching our evening stop at beautiful Beauly.

Day 5
Wednesday - Beauly to Fort Augustus
45 Miles / 73 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1400 Metres

This morning after a hearty breakfast we head away from the east coast and off into the heart of the Highlands. We climb up through Black Wood forest to the area called The Aird where we join the Great Glen Way overlooking Loch Ness.

At Drumnadrochit we have a couple of options depending upon trail and weather conditions: we can join the Great Glen Cycleway for an easy and fast stretch of track leading all the way to Fort Augustus, or we can take in an adventurous detour up to Loch ma Stac deep in the heart of the mountains.

Either way we can celebrate reaching our halfway point at the head of the Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus.

Day 6
Thursday - Fort Augustus to Dalwhinnie
33 Miles / 53 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1280 Metres

Setting off from Fort Augustus we get a few miles under our wheels before the challenge of the day unfurls in the shape of the awesome Corrieyairack Pass. Situated on General Wade’s old Military Road, at a height of 772 metres this is the highest point on the whole route. The climb up the Corrieairack is a tough and long climb followed by a technical and exhilarating descent and showcases mountain biking in Scotland at its wildest and dramatic best.

Once over the pass our route picks up the River Spey at Melgrave from where we follow the river downhill to Garva bridge and then a country road to Laggan. The final section for the day picks through Laggan Forest.

Day 7
Friday - Dalwhinnie to Killin
54 Miles / 87 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1530 Metres

Make sure you have a substantial breakfast to fuel up for one of the longest days of the trip. We start gently with a short section of road before heading off along the banks of Loch Ericht.

Initially we are on good doubletrack forest road but soon that narrows down to some challenging singletrack with numerous little burns to negotiate. From the dam at the foot of Ericht it’s a blast down to shores of Loch Rannoch for lunch at Tay Forest Park.

This afternoon’s exertions start by working through a narrow glen to passing between the Grampian Mountains in the West and the Schiehallion in the east.

You may be thankful for the tarmac on our final climb up to Lochan na Lairinge nestled below mountainous Ben Lawers. From this high point it’s downhill all the way to Killin for a well deserved evening’s rest.

Day 8
Saturday - Killin to Stirling Castle
40 Miles / 63 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 750 Metres

Compared to yesterday’s challenges it would be easy to underestimate today’s ride, but we still have 40 miles to go on some wonderful tracks, through ancient wooded valleys and along quiet coutry lanes. You’ll have the chance to relax a little and reflect on how far you’ve come over the course of the last 7 days’ riding. From the North Sea coast to the heart of the country, we finish today in Stirling below the monument to Scottish hero William Wallace.

After a quick freshen up we return to Stirling train station to pick up cars or to jump on trains, heading home with a head full of memories and a camera’s worth of pictures to impress your friends with.

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The Cycling

Terrain

This epic adventure crosses the Scottish Highlands on mixed trails, ranging from tough and gnarly singletrack and stalkers paths, to long winding Land Rover tracks.

On a good day there is no better place to be than the Scottish Highlands! This trip crosses some high mountains and with that comes the inevitable weather changes, and the potential for wet, cold and windy conditions, which all add to the challenge of this trip.

Being the Highlands there are, of course, some serious climbs to tackle and some long, rough descents – so a good level of fitness as well as bike handling skills and off-road mountain biking experience are all required.

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Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 4 - 5: Challenging/ Demanding

Aspects of both our grade 4 and 5 holidays

Distances of 25-55 miles / 40-90 kms per day

For experienced mountain bikers who enjoy difficult technical sections and physical challenges

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Holidays that are graded as a 4-5, will have aspects of both our grade 4 and 5 holidays. As well as keeping a good level of fitness you are also an experienced biker and enjoy riding more challenging trails. You usually ride most weekends and can cover between 30 and 50 miles over a full 8-9 hour day (with breaks). The routes you choose include challenging climbs perhaps with sharp switchbacks and sections of large and loose rocks. You are comfortable riding most trails including sections of technical or exposed singletrack with obstacles such as drop offs and rock gardens. Our grade 4-5 trips should suit you.

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A fabulous holiday as always! I only go with Skedaddle as I know that I’m getting the best cycling holidays available.

Simon, Hereford

Dates & Prices

*

Late Availability

We want you to know which holidays are coming up soon, so you don’t miss out! If a trip has this symbol beside it, it means you don’t have long to snap up your place.

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
* 03/07/2021
Contact Us
Return Date
10/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,575.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Shared twin (or double) room in B&B’s or hotels (usually en suite)

B) Full tour service including guides qualified in First Aid, and back up vehicle(s) carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike

C) Breakfast, full buffet style picnic lunches, en route refreshments including a selection of hot and cold drinks

D) Pick up and drop off at Stirling train station

What's not Included Cross

A) Personal clothing and equipment.

B) Travel insurance

C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

D) Bike & helmet hire (available if required).

E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable).

F) Single room option (may be available if required).

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The Essentials

Travel Options

The start point of your holiday is Stirling train station. For those arriving by train we offer a free pick up and drop off service from here.

Similarly the train station is also the meet-up point for those arriving by car. We will send you information about the best arrival and departure times, but please feel free to contact us any time for confirmation of times.

Please contact us before making any travel arrangements

Accommodation

In the UK we use small, good quality 3 or 4 star hotels, B&Bs, inns and small family-run hotels. Our trips are operated on a twin-share basis but single rooms can be provided, subject to availability, for a supplement if requested at the time of booking.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are Giant Talon models, very good mountain bikes featuring front suspension, disc brakes and quality components.

On higher grade holidays full-suspension bikes are available. These are Giant Trance models, great XC/trail bikes with 140mm travel.

If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets before your trip.

If you choose to rent a bike from us you are welcome to bring your own saddle with you, and if you would like to use clip in pedals you will need to bring these with you.

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News, Reviews & Stories

Meet our partners and hosts

Hear from a few of the people that help make our Skedaddle tours so special!

Biking the Scottish Highlands

Hear from our experienced guide Steve Woods on biking through the Scottish Highlandsā€¦

Scotland: Recommended by Danny MacAskill

Reviews

6

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