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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

£1,795 P.P.

OPTIONAL E-MTB DEPARTURES

We offer this holiday with an e-MTB only departure as well as regular trips where you can choose a normal bike or a pedal assist e-MTB hire. Boost your riding off the beaten track! Our e-MTB only departures offer experienced riders the chance to enjoy a phenomenal e-mountain biking adventure with Skedaddle. Hire one of our quality e-mountain bikes and experience the buzz of a pedal-assisted ride. You may choose to hire an e-MTB on a regular tour date for this holiday but bear in mind that the pace will be set to riders without an e-bike.

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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 215 miles from Fort William 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 on day one with a climb up into the Nevis Range, rewarded with great views, which will paint the picture for the rugged Scottish landscapes to 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.
After a final night of celebrations in Edzell, we pedal the final few miles the next day to the coast at Montrose.
We have introduced an E-MTB exclusive departure in 2024 (23 Jun) for those looking to enjoy the journey with a group of like-minded e-bikers.

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 Fort William
Non Cycling Day

For those arriving by car, the meet-up point for this Skedaddle trip is Balloch. The meeting time of 13:30 provides us with plenty of time to transfer you to Fort William for late afternoon. If you are flying, we can collect you from Glasgow Airport at 12:30. If you are catching the train then there are regular journeys to Fort William.

Fort William on the west coast of Scotland is situated “beneath” the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis (1345m). It’s a busy little place with no shortage of establishments for a wee dram or to tuck into some Highland fayre. It’s 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
Fort William to Fort Augustus
48 Miles / 77 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,350 Metres Approx.

Following a hearty Scottish breakfast, we ride straight from our accommodation up into Leanachan Forest and the Nevis Range. Host of the Mountain Bike World Cup, the Nevis Range is an adventure playground where we will encounter some excellent natural mountain bike trails in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Even at this early stage, you’ll begin to get a real flavour of the amazing scenery to come.

After descending into Spean Bridge we join the famous Great Glen Cycle Route alongside Loch Lochy. At times your guides will take you off this well-used trail to ride some single track hidden gems. After some more exciting single track around Invergarry we finish the day with a simple scenic ride along the Caledonian Canal towpath into Fort Augustus at the southern point of Loch Ness.

Day 3
Fort Augustus to Kingussie
37 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,250 Metres Approx.

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: 1,150 Metres Approx.

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 river crossing 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
35 Miles / 57 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,150 Metres Approx.

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
39 Miles / 63 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 950 Metres Approx.

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 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
14 Miles / 23 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 150 Metres Approx.

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 Balloch for those who are collecting their cars, or to Glasgow International Airport (GLA) for anyone flying. There is a train station in Montrose for anybody heading home by train.

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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 (even on the e-bike departure). We’d expect all riders on this tour to have mountain biking experience, and be confident taking on the technical terrain and challenging nature of a grade 4 holiday.

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

We have an E-MTB departure in June, where the whole group and guide team will be riding Electric Mountain Bikes. On the September departure the pace of the holiday will be set by regular bikes but appropriate Electric Mountain Bikes may also be suitable. E-bikes would be beneficial for some of the short and sharp climbs which are sometimes un-rideable on regular mountain bikes, but also for the longer climbs over Corrieyairack Pass and Mount Keen. Please note – E-bikes are heavier than standard mountain bikes, so worth considering when handing or picking the bike up over some obstacles such as gates and river crossings. Chat to us if you would like to rent or bring your own.

If you are interested in riding an e-MTB on this holiday please click here for more information.

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.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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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

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a £200 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
01/09/2024
Guaranteed
Return Date
07/09/2024
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,795.00
Start Date
29/06/2025
Return Date
05/07/2025
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,925.00
Start Date
24/08/2025
Return Date
30/08/2025
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,925.00

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) GPX files available on request

F) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Glasgow airport (GLA)

H) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Glasgow airport (GLA)

I) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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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.

The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts in Fort William and finishes in Montrose.

Airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Glasgow airport (GLA) by 12:30 for a 13:00 transfer to Fort William via Balloch (on the south shore of Loch Lomond). At the end of the tour, we will transfer you back to Glasgow Airport with an estimated arrival time of 16:30 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

If you are driving your arrival destination is Balloch, parking is free of charge. You’ll need to be in Balloch at 13:30 for a 14:00 transfer to Fort William. At the end of the tour, we will transfer you back to your car with an estimated arrival time of 15:30.

If you are taking the train then your arrival destination is Fort William and departure is from Montrose. Return trains from Montrose should be booked to depart after 13:00.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers.

Please note If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

In the UK we use good quality 3 or 4 star hotels, B&Bs, inns and family-run guesthouses that are cycle friendly, located close to the cycling route and showcase the style and hospitality of the area you are visiting.

Where possible we prioritise locally owned businesses and those offering locally sourced food, drink and speciality products. This all promotes sustainability in-line with our responsible travel policy.

All our UK trips are operated on a double/twin-share basis. Single occupancy rooms can be provided for a supplement and are subject to availability 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 rent.

On our standard departures, we have Giant Trance and Stance full suspension Enduro/Trail bikes. These are 29ers set up tubeless with disc brakes, dropper seatposts and quality components.

We also have hardtail bikes available to rent. These bikes are Giant Talon XC/Trail bikes with front suspension, disc brakes and quality components.

We also have a limited number of Electric Mountain Bikes available to rent. These bikes are good quality Giant Trance X E+ 2 with 625Wh batteries. The full suspension electric Enduro / Trail bikes are tubeless 29ers with disc brakes, dropper posts and quality components.

On our standard departures, eMTB rentals are dependent on availability which will be checked for you at the time of booking and one of our team will be in touch to confirm the details.

If booking onto one of our e-bike departures, only e-MTBs will be available.

If you do decide to rent a bike we can include a helmet (though always nicer to bring your own!) and all necessary spares for the trip. If you would like to borrow a helmet please let us know before the trip.

Our bikes come with high quality male and female MTB saddles but you are welcome to bring your own if you would prefer. If you use clip-in pedals / SPDs you will need to bring these along.

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