- 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
One of the best mountain bike holidays we have done, quality was fantastic. We would certainly consider doing this trip again!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
Mountain Biking Grade
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.
Faultless guides and trip and I absolutely loved the riding. Honestly was the best organised trip I have ever been on.
Dates & Prices
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.
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
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
Our travel guide to 2021
Travel with the seasons! We highlight some of the incredible experiences we can’t wait to share with you...
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…
Simon, HerefordThe holiday was absolutely perfect ...
Really superb guides can’t fault them. Obviously very experienced cyclist’s so it was great to learn from them. Hope to ride with them again. Great fun to be with both during the riding and the evenings. Very knowledgable about the area. Nothing to much trouble. Up to the usual Skedaddle high standard.
Tomintoul to Ballater had some superb technical single track and a great fast decent. Mount Keen also worth a mention for it’s challenging climb technical single track across the top and awesome decent. I would recommend this holiday to any keen mountain biker as a must do trip!
Fred, SwitzerlandSuperb leader, I will follow him blindly.
Well designed tour, excellent group of guides. Excellent resourceful pick-up team. Comfortable vehicles. Expert guides with superb people skills. Steve is a superb leader, I will follow him blindly. Helen and Laura were excellent. Most agreeable people, expert cyclists who clearly knew what they were doing. Very good communication between the three professionals and the client group. Breakfasts as a rule lavish, good variety and plenty of volume of lunch goodies, ample snacks and drinks for underway.
For me the holiday was on the expensive side, particularly when adding the evening meals to the cost. However I quickly realised what I got for that money. I was comfortable and well looked after. I never had any doubts or concerns about my safety. Everything was highly organised and efficient. The guides worked hard and with enthusiasm at all times. I was always comfortable in the accommodation. There was always enough to eat and a good variety of food.I was made to feel welcome despite being a lone and older female. No one was left behind. This has not always been my experience on other cycling holidays!
Martha, USAGuides made it memorable, safe, and fun...
Excellent – Steve, Tony, and Alan were great. They took excellent care of both riders and the bikes.
The Skedaddle guides are what made this trip so fantastic. They are both amazing. I was particularly impressed with the way they provided information about the upcoming sections of the ride – in a way that did a good job of indicating obstacles and rough sections and where to pay particular attention. (This is really important because the scenery is so spectacular it’s tempting to spend time looking around instead of at the trail.) The river crossings were my favourite part!
Vicky, UKYou guys are good!
Tony and Charley were also exceptional guides. I had great confidence in all of them when out riding, and they have consideration for each person in the group to make sure everyone is happy. Can’t get a better combination that these three surely!
Overall (quality of the riding and Skedaddle service) I would say this is the best Skedaddle trip I have done. Lunch was very good and punctual and waiting every day when we met the support van. The best cycling I have done. Very varied and beautiful scenery.
Vicky, AustraliaI absolutely loved it...
Faultless guides and trip and I absolutely loved the riding. Honestly was the best organised trip I have ever been on. Ran like clockwork! Steve was faultless even with a large group.
Peter, New ZealandProfessional service from Skedaddle...
Well planned, organised and executed – highly professional job. The accommodation was all excellent! The guides did a great job of providing us with fresh, interesting, high quality lunches.
Steve was outstanding as a tour guide. Highly professional leader and organiser who did it all extremely well and made it look easy.
Lisa, ShropshireExtremely perceptive guides...
One of the best mountain bike holidays we have done. Quality of biking and guiding was fantastic. We would certainly consider doing this trip again!
The guides technical ability and advise were exceptional. It was good to come home having learnt various hints and tips. His ability to read the pace during the day made the riding even more enjoyable.
Vic, CumbriaFantastic service!
Very friendly, professional and made the trip a real success. The pace was perfect so that everyone enjoyed the biking. Off the bike everything was well thought out and delivered with a smile! Any problems were dealt with seemlessly and professionally. Couldn’t ask for a better tour leader!
Matthew, UKGreat support!
A great Skedaddle trip, in particular Steve, Al and Richard provided especially helpful advice/support when it came to problems with our bike to ensure we completed the journey.