+44 (0)191 2651110   info@skedaddle.com
United Kingdom

Scotland - Tour d'Ecosse

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,325 P.P.
United Kingdom

Scotland - Tour d'Ecosse

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,325 P.P.
BOOK NOW
The Scottish Highlands are possibly the best example of genuine wilderness in the British Isles and their incredible dramatic landscapes offer absolutely superb riding for anyone in search of a little Celtic adventure.
Inspired by the reaction of our riders during our Land's End to John O’Groats tours every time we get north of the border this extensive Highlands adventure allows enough time to really soak up iconic Scottish landscapes and that unique Celtic atmosphere. We've combined the best of the best from the famous North Coast 500 route, with our favourite Scottish rides for a week of riding through spectacular remote scenery!
Real mountain passes, fresh air, huge views, heather-clad hills and ancient castles; the Tour d’Ecosse has everything you might expect from a visit to one of Europe’s most stunning countries. Starting and finishing in the highland city of Inverness, it's almost impossible not to be impressed by the outstanding natural beauty and incredible tranquility of this surprisingly-sparsely populated region.
As the riding begins we’ll meander northwards around the Beauly and Dornoch Firths to take in the wild beauty of the North Sea coast. Next, after a night in the tiny town of Lairg, we head over to the mountains of the West Coast via stunning lochside roads and remote highland settlements. Once on the West Coast we'll spend several days working our way southwards as we explore the beautiful roads that hug the rocky shoreline.
From Applecross, with its fantastic views of the mountains of Skye, we turn inland to tackle what is perhaps the greatest road ascent in the United Kingdom. The Bealach Na Ba Pass is breathtaking, and not just because of the amazing vistas! From the shores of Lochcarron our final day takes us from coast to coast as we traverse the Highlands one last time before dropping down into Inverness for our last night of Scottish hospitality.
road-cycling-holiday-trip-tour-scotalnd-uk-saddleskedaddle-tour-decosse (4).jpg

Holiday Highlights

  • Quiet single-track roads for miles on end
  • Bealach Na Ba – the greatest road ascent in the UK
  • Feasting on fresh seafood after a day in the saddle
  • Stunning views out over the Isle of Skye
  • Cycling the peaceful lochside roads
  • The swooping coastal road from Ullapool to Kinlochewe

Back to Top

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Inverness
Non Riding Day
  • Ascent: Non Riding Day

The Skedaddle team will be waiting to meet arrivals at either Inverness train station or airport, for the transfer to our accommodation close to the vibrant centre of the city. For those driving to Inverness accommodation details will be provided in advance. Afternoon arrivals are recommended to allow enough time to set up bikes ready for riding the next day.

The rest of the day is free for relaxation and exploration of the city. Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and sits on the mouth of the River Ness. Its impressive castle and old town are well worth a visit. If your preferences are littoral rather than urban it is also possible to enjoy a coastal walk and, for the fortunate, perhaps even spot one of the dolphin pods that call the Moray Firth their home.

In the evening we will eat out as a group in a local restaurant, an opportunity to get to know the rest of the party and to chat to your guides about the trip ahead.

Day 2
Inverness to Lairg
56 Miles / 90 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 700 Metres Approx.

Our journey begins gently as we leave the city via the famous Kessock Bridge and enter the Black Isle to the north of Inverness. Immediately over the bridge we make use of a short section of cycle path which drops us down onto the northern shore of the Beauly Firth where it is not uncommon to see dolphins and seals as we ride.

After leaving the waterside we head inland for a few miles until we reach the town of Dingwall, the gateway to the Cromarty Firth and the start of a beautifully quiet backroad that leads us onto and over the only really significant climb of the day as we head over the hills of Easter Ross to reach our lunch spot at Bonar Bridge on the Dornoch Firth.

After lunch we head further north, leaving the main road a few miles beyond the town, passing the salmon leap at Shin Falls and pushing on through forests on narrow, single-lane roads to our final destination of Lairg on the southern tip of Loch Shin.

Day 3
Lairg to Lochinver
71 Miles / 115 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,300 Metres Approx.

After a hearty Scottish breakfast, we depart northwards for a short while before taking a sharp left to head out to the wild west coast of Scotland. For most of the morning will be on lovely quiet single-lane roads, the first 20 miles of which follow the shoreline of the beautiful Loch Shin and then later lead us, constantly surrounded by mountains, into the Glen of Allt Ceann Locha.

Eventually we reach the sheltered inlet of Laxford Bay, a few miles beyond which we take another sharp left turn to begin heading southwards along a spectacularly-rocky and undulating shoreline. Through tiny village and crofts, we dip and dive along the engaging coastal road, taking an occasional break to admire the views over to the Isle of Lewis and Harris way off in the Hebrides.

Beyond the remote fishing villages of Kylestrome and Kylesku the road rises sharply for just over five miles as we leave the coast and head inland slightly towards Loch Assynt.

All that remains, after reaching the summit, is a swift descent down to the loch followed by a rolling, generally downhill, road that delivers us to Lochinver, our home for the evening and our first chance to sample the mouth-watering seafood that the west coast is famous for.

Day 4
Lochinver to Ullapool
46 Miles / 74 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,050 Metres Approx.

Today might be our shortest day on the bikes, but what it lacks in distance is more than compensated by its dramatic sawtooth profile.

With the dramatic Suilven peak to our east, a series of sharp little climbs begin almost immediately as we leave Lochinver. After travelling south for just less than 15 miles we change direction and head west to explore one of the many remote coastal peninsulas; the short excursion on almost empty roads presents Scotland at its best and is well worth it for the great coastal panorama and views of the Summer Isles, not to mention the opportunity to visit a traditional smokehouse at the town of Altandhu where we might be tempted to pop in and sample the local salmon and other smoked delicacies.

After completing the loop we rejoin our main route at Loch Lurgainn and continue our journey south, passing through the tiny village of Ardmair and its beautiful bay along the way, until we reach the bustling town of Ullapool sitting on the shore of Loch Broom. A relatively early arrival here hopefully allows plenty of time to enjoy a little west coast culture, observing the fishing boats and ferries coming and going in the harbour.

Day 5
Ullapool to Kinlochewe
75 Miles / 120 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,500 Metres Approx.

Having enjoyed the shortest day of our tour yesterday we have our longest day ahead of us as we set off to ride around the mountains of Wester Ross.

We’ll be timing our departure to miss the morning rush hour that coincides with the ferry arrival and after a few short miles of a slightly busier than normal road, by Scottish Highlands standards at any rate, we rejoin more familiar quiet roads that lead us back towards the rugged west coast.

A gentle 10 miles of climbing takes up to the highest point of the day before the road naturally drops down again for a similar distance and carries us all the way to the shores of Little Loch Broom. Never far from the sea, we spend the rest of the day negotiating numerous minor ups and downs and navigating our way around all the rocky inlets and sea lochs.

After a relaxing lunch stop at Poolewe, we pass the botanic gardens at Inverewe where, warmed by the gulf stream, we come across many sub-tropical species not normally found this far north. We end the day looking out to the nature reserves and many wooded islands of Loch Maree as we spin along its southern bank, arriving in the little settlement of Kinlochewe surrounded by Wester Ross National Scenic area, where we will spend the evening.

Day 6
Kinlochewe to Lochcarron
60 Miles / 96 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,700 Metres Approx.

Whilst not the longest day of the trip, this stage, which features one our most iconic climbs, will for many of us prove to be the most epic.

Things start very gently as we ride along Glen Torridon to be rewarded with the spectacular view down to Loch Torridon. Even though the next 30 miles or so tend to be a little lumpier, the challenges are all small and very manageable.

We’ll take time out at the lovely fishing village of Sheildaig where, if we are very lucky, we might see a sea eagle or two, before continuing along the narrow single-lane road around the Rubha na Fearn peninsula to the village of Applecross overlooking the Isles of Raasay, Rona and beyond them, the Isle of Skye.

Applecross, nestling at the southern end of a tiny bay, guards the entrance to Bealach Na Ba and we’ll regroup here to take a snack and ready ourselves for the signature climb of our entire journey. Bealach Na Ba, Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle, with its numerous hairpins and gradients approaching 20%, is considered by many to be the greatest and one of the most challenging road climbs in the UK and after the five miles it takes to reach the 2,053ft (626m) high summit we’ll take a well-earned rest to admire the views of the magnificent Cuillin Ridge over on the Isle of Skye.

After catching our breath we’ll descend carefully down the equally steep, sheltered road on the other side, all the way down to Loch Kishorn, after which one final short effort will see us up and over the hills to Lochcarron where we will find this evening’s home.

Day 7
Lochcarron to Inverness
65 Miles / 104 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 750 Metres Approx.

We may have reached our final day of riding but there is still plenty in store as we travel, to all intents and purposes, from the west coast of Scotland to the east coast.

From the shores of Locharron we wave goodbye to the mountains of the west before heading along somewhat gentler roads than those to which we have recently become accustomed, as we move into Glen Carron and the watershed around Achnasheen Junction.

With most of the climbing completed within the first 20 miles, we spend the rest of the day rolling generally downhill though small rural towns and passing numerous picturesque minor lochs all the way back to the Beauly Firth and then finally back into Inverness for our final evening.

Day 8
Departure: Inverness
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: Non Riding Day

After breakfast we’ll bid a fond farewell to those of our companions who are driving home and then transfers to Inverness train station and airport will be arranged.

Back to Top

The Cycling

Terrain

We have picked quiet country roads wherever possible. The whole route is on good tarmac, and suited to lightweight road bikes.

Though there are of course lots of climbs and descents the majority of the route takes us through open countryside. Some of this will be lowland, agricultural areas, and some will be over high and exposed hill country.

road-cycling-holiday-trip-tour-scotalnd-uk-saddleskedaddle-tour-decosse (7).jpg

Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day

For riders with experience, good fitness & a decent level of skill

Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher grade tour

Most days include a couple of significant climbs

Some long days & some steep to very steep sections

Not for beginners

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?

You’re definitely not a novice rider, you’re fit, you ride regularly at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for much of the day, you love your bike! You also enjoy a challenge and if you haven’t already done so you’re keen to attempt a semi-serious to serious mountain pass or two. You’re as comfortable with the prospect of descending from the top of a col as you are with the idea of climbing it and you’re confident that you have the skills to do so safely. You’re not necessarily a “racer” but you can crank up the pace a little when it’s necessary and you don’t mind forgoing a coffee stop if the schedule demands it occasionally. You probably own and use clipless pedals. You have good control of your bike and can take a drink from a water bottle without having to unclip and put your feet on the ground. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 3 would be a good option for you.

Back to Top

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
10/07/2021
Contact Us
Return Date
17/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,325.00
Start Date
31/07/2021
Return Date
07/08/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,325.00

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 and luggage transfers

F) GPX files available on request

G) Airport/train station transfer on scheduled arrival day from Inverness airport (INV) or Inverness train station

H) Airport/train station transfer on scheduled departure day to Inverness airport (INV) or Inverness train station

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (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/train station transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

Back to Top

The Essentials

Travel Options

If travelling by car the arrival point is Inverness where you will be able to leave your car for the duration of the trip.

If travelling by train we ask that you arrive into and depart from Inverness Train Station. Alternatively you do also have the option of arriving into and departing from Inverness airport (INV).

Train station and airport transfers are included in the holiday cost and both the arrival and return transfers will be co-ordinated with the group schedule. If you require a transfer from the airport please arrive in time for a 4pm transfer and at the end of your trip please do not book flights before 11am. Transfers from/to Inverness train station will be coordinated around any airport transfers.

Please contact us for the suggested arrival and departure times for your holiday and 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 and logistics. Please note – If you make alternative travel arrangements, which fall outside of the group schedule, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

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 road bikes available to hire. These bikes are typically Giant Contend, great bikes with good quality components. If you do decide to hire and would like us to provide a helmet for you too, please let us know at time of booking, otherwise you should bring your own helmet with you. Please do also let us know if you plan on bringing your own clip-in pedals, or if you will use the flat pedals which our hire bikes come fitted with.

Back to Top

News, Reviews & Stories

The Story Behind: Tour d'Ecosse

We have cycled the length and breadth of the UK and can say that the Highlands offer something completely unique...

A day in the life on a cycling holiday

Eat, ride, relax, repeat! We take a trip inside the mind of a cyclist as they navigate their day on tour...

Meet the guides: Radu Man

Meet The Man! One of our regular guides who you can meet in many corners of the world with us...

Reviews

No reviews available yet!

You May Also Like...

Back to Top