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United Kingdom

Scotland - Highlands Coast to Coast

Guided Mountain Bike Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£1,335 P.P.
United Kingdom

Scotland - Highlands Coast to Coast

Guided Mountain Bike Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£1,335 P.P.
BOOK NOW
A classic wilderness journey through the remote and beautiful Scottish Highlands. This route dives into the very heart of the Highlands on a series of ancient drove roads, loch-side routes, forest tracks and twisting singletrack.
 
Over six days of riding the route takes us 235 miles from Loch Hourn on the west coast to Montrose on the east coast. This is a route that is varied throughout and, while achievable for fit intermediate riders, there are plenty of technical sections which will challenge more experienced riders and is perfect for those up for a mountain biking challenge.
 
We start in style with day one’s major climb rewarded with great views back over the dramatic Cullins on the Isle of Skye, which paints the picture for the rugged Scottish landscapes that follow.
 
On reaching the Great Glen we follow the Caledonian Canal, have the opportunity for some monster spotting at Loch Ness and as the miles and days pile up, we cross the Monadhliath Mountains dropping into the Spey Valley and the Cairngorms.
 
From here on in the trip heads deep into the Glenmore Forest Park, passing through the remote Braes of Abernethy and tackles some river crossings along the way. As we straddle the side of the majestic Cairngorm Mountains, we are rewarded with a night in Tomintoul; a 17th century village and the highest in the Highlands - one of our many chances for a wee dram.
 
We end our off road trails with a superb woodland singletrack to Edzell and then after final night of celebrations, pedal the final few miles the next day to the coast at Montrose.
 
If you've already done this classic ride, and were bitten by the bug - why not have a look at our Highlands Celtic Crossing trip, from Bettyhill to Stirling Castle in the heart of Scotland - different trails, different places and different experiences - even more epic!

Holiday Highlights

  • True wilderness mountain biking in awesome scenery
  • Mix of great biking trails across the Highlands
  • The views from the top of the Corrieyairack Pass
  • Rolling into Fort Augustus along the Caledonian Canal
  • Choosing your daily Highland single malt
  • Blasting down Mount Keen to Glen Esk

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One of the best mountain bike holidays we have done, quality was fantastic. We would certainly consider doing this trip again!

Lisa, Shropshire

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Glasgow
Non Cycling Day

With easy access by plane, train or car, the meet-up point for this Skedaddle trip is at Glasgow International Airport (GLA). The meeting time of 11am provides us with plenty of time to transfer you Invershiel.

After a quick break in Fort William, we arrive on the west coast of Scotland late afternoon. Our first night’s accommodation is beautifully positioned on the shores of Loch Duich and is the perfect place to base ourselves before we start our biking journey the next day.

Following arrival we’ve plenty of time to ensure all the bikes 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 and get to know your fellow Skedaddlers a little better.

Day 2
Corran to Fort Augustus
47 Miles / 74 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1340 Metres

Following an early Scottish breakfast, we start with a 40 minute transfer to Corran where we begin our biking journey. The start couldn’t be better, with great views across to Skye and the dramatic jagged peaks of the Cullin mountain range.

Even at this early stage, you’ll begin to get a real flavour of the amazing scenery to come. A rough track takes us up Glen Arnisdale past Dubh Lochain, over the pass at Gleann Dhubh Lochain, and then down towards Kinlochhourn, where the route joins a quiet country road.

With today’s major off road sections behind us, this road takes us up to and along Loch Quoich, where we meander our way into Glen Garry taking a forest trail to the loch’s southern shore.

At Mandally we follow the famous Great Glen Cycle Route into Invergarry. We turn up the Great Glen to Bridge of Oich and follow the towpath of the Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus at the southern point of Loch Ness.

Day 3
Fort Augustus to Kingussie
36 Miles / 58 Kms Apr.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1020 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 Corrieairack Pass. Situated on General Wade’s old Military Road, at a height of 772m / 2500ft 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.

Day 4
Kingussie to Tomintoul
43 Miles / 69 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1180 Metres

Another day of varied mountain biking lies ahead today. A ride through Inshriach Forest provides great riding with some cheeky climbs, flowing singletrack and a ford at Allt Chromhraig to negotiate.

We follow the Spey Valley north-east before turning eastward through the stunning Rothiemurchus Estate. Today we have lunch on the shores of Loch Morlich in the heart of Glenmore Forest Park. After lunch the route takes us along forest tracks and out onto some wild moorland singletracks through the Braes of Abernethy to an afternoon snack stop at Bridge of Avon.

From here the quality riding continues on up to the highest village in the Highlands –Tomintoul. Located in the stunning landscapes of Glenlivet Estate and the Cairngorms National Park it’s a great place to end today’s ride.

Day 5
Tomintoul to Ballater
36 Miles / 58 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 750 Metres

Another amazing off-road day as we skirt the east side of the Cairngorm Mountains. From Tomintoul we head south following a track up the side of the River Avon and into Glen Builg.

With spectacular mountains to the west our route soon takes us up and over the side of Culardoch before descending down to Invercauld House near Braemar.

The final part of the day sees us follow the River Dee down the valley past the Queen’s country house of Balmoral and on to Ballater where we’ll be staying for the evening.

Day 6
Ballater to Edzell
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 850 Metres

Our last full day of riding, and what a day of quality Scottish mountain biking we have in store for you!

Our morning starts with a short flat ride along the River Dee to Dinnet – the eastern gateway to both the Highlands and the Cairngorms National Park, before we turn south up Glen Tanar and through the towering Caledonian Pines of the Forest of Glen Tanar.

The Mounth Road is a technical singletrack route that takes us up and round the side of Mount Keen. From here it’s all downhill to Glen Esk.

Our route then follows the beautiful River Esk along a lovely section of fun woodland singletrack to the picturesque village of Edzell.

With just a few easy miles to do tomorrow, you’ll be more than a little tempted to sample one of the fine malts on offer following a well deserved evening meal.

Day 7
Edzell to Montrose
15 Miles / 24 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 230 Metres

There are no major ups on this final section to Montrose and maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a few more rashers of bacon or an extra portion of haggis during your final Scottish breakfast.

It’s around 15 miles to the coast and all on tarmac, so click off your suspension and enjoy the countryside as we ride from Edzell to Montrose, where your coast to coast journey ends.

Once here it’s time to crack open the fizz and toast your fellow riders and guides as we celebrate completing this epic journey across Scotland.

For the brave a dip in the North Sea is on the cards, before we head to a nearby leisure centre for a warming shower and a change into your civvies.

With a real sense of satisfaction we make the journey back to Glasgow and mid to late afternoon drop you at Glasgow International Airport (GLA) for onward travel connections.

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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.

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 experience are required.

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

great-biking-trails-highlands-coast-to-coast.jpg

Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 4 : Challenging

Distances of 25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day

For regular mountain bikers who have a good level of fitness

Routes with frequent moderate to difficult technical sections

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?

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 generally include more challenging 1-2 hour long 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 some testing obstacles such as drop offs and steep downhills. Our grade 4 trips should suit you.

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Faultless guides and trip and I absolutely loved the riding. Honestly was the best organised trip I have ever been on.

Vicky, Australia

Dates & Prices

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
20/06/2021
Return Date
26/06/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,335.00
Start Date
15/08/2021
Return Date
21/08/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,335.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle

F) Scheduled transfers on arrival and departure days

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)

G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres

H) Other optional activities

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The Essentials

Travel Options

If you decide to drive to the start point of your holiday we will provide you with full directions to the accommodation or meeting point. We will also be able to advise about parking arrangements / options for the duration of your holiday.

If you would prefer to catch the train or intend on flying, then please contact us directly to discuss the best options.

Please do not make any travel arrangements without prior consultation with the Skedaddle office.

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 Highlands…

Our guides favourite trails

We asked our guides about their favourite mountain bike trails...

Reviews

15

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