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United Kingdom

Scotland - Lochs and Glens

Guided Leisure Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£1,090 P.P.
United Kingdom

Scotland - Lochs and Glens

Guided Leisure Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

7 days

Prices from

£1,090 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Scotland is renowned for its glistening lochs and majestic glens, and the Lochs and Glens is a wonderful fully guided cycling holiday that enables you to experience it all by bike! We follow National Cycle Network routes and enjoy riding on traffic-free paths and quiet roads with some sections on cinder trails and well surfaced off-road trails.
Cycling from the pretty village of Balloch, also known as the gateway to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, to Inverness, "capital" of the Highlands, the route winds its way through the beautiful rolling hills and forests of the Trossachs, passing tranquil lochs and secluded wooded glens. It’s easy to see why they call the Trossachs ‘The Highlands in Miniature’. Stunning scenery abounds as you enter the Highlands and Cairngorms National Park with magnificent views of the Grampian Mountains along the way. Picturesque Highland villages and ski resort towns lie ahead, with a terrific diversity of well-surfaced forest tracks, quiet scenic roads, and plenty of off-road cycle paths allowing you to comfortably take in the gradual changes in landscape.
You will cycle through historic battle sites, past ancient castles and bronze age burial sites, as well as Britain's first open air museum dedicated to Highland life through the centuries, all directly on our route. There are also many opportunities to see Scottish wildlife at its best including deer, red squirrels, eagles and osprey, so don’t forget your binoculars! If you get a tad thirsty you could always visit a local whisky distillery for a wee dram, with the route passing through some famous whisky-producing areas like Speyside.
Enjoy the very best of Scottish hospitality in the bed and breakfasts and small hotels that provide our overnight stops, as well as the legendary Skedaddle picnic lunches provided by our guides.
If you would prefer to do a self-guided trip then you could take a look at our Scotland - Lochs and Glens self-guided cycling holiday
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Holiday Highlights

  • Watching the sun rise over Loch Lomond
  • The beautiful lochs of Venachar, Lubnaig and Tay
  • Cycling through the dramatic Cairngorms National Park
  • Scottish wildlife at its best including deer, red squirrels, eagles and osprey
  • Castles and Distilleries galore
  • Tasting traditional Scottish fayre

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Balloch
Non Cycling Day

Balloch, on the shores of Loch Lomond, is where you will spend your first evening.

For those arriving by train (40 minutes from Glasgow) your accommodation is a short walk from the station. If you decide to arrive into Balloch by car, limited parking is available at the accommodation for the duration of the trip (subject to availability), alternatively on-street parking is available nearby. The Skedaddle guide will meet you at the accommodation in the evening and there will be a chance for a chat about the next few days riding over a drink and something to eat.

Day 2
Balloch to Callander
34 Miles / 54 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 950m

Following a hearty Scottish breakfast, we leave our accommodation and follow a route via lochs and glens (no surprises there!) to Callander, our second night’s stop. The route takes us out into the solitude of the countryside from Loch Lomond to Loch Venacher via quiet country roads. After Aberfoyle we enter Achray Forest from where we will weave our way to Callander along the southern shore of Loch Venacher. Some climbing, with the inevitable descents, but plenty of time to enjoy the views, tranquillity and great cycling.

Day 3
Callander to Killin
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 550m

The countryside is different to yesterday’s riding, with a gentler landscape of farmland and woodland. A real combination of surfaces today, quiet lanes, cycle paths and a disused railway line through the beautiful Glen Ogle. You are now close to the birthplace of folk hero and latter day Robin Hood, Rob Roy Macgregor, whose grave may be found in Balquhidder. The final stretch is to Killin (or nearby) where you stop for the night.

Day 4
Killin to Pitlochry
38 Miles / 61 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 750m

The start of the day follows the 15 mile long Loch Tay to Aberfeldy the home to Dewars World of Whisky Distillery. All road today, as you pass through Aberfeldy and Strathay, before arriving at Pitlochry – watch out for those leaping salmon! An optional detour can be made from here to the Edradour Distillery (2.5 miles from Pitlochry) – you’ll need no persuasion to visit Scotland’s smallest distillery, established way back in 1825. The wide glens of the river Tay and river Tummel guide you to Pitlochry and your accommodation for the night.

Day 5
Pitlochry to Kingussie
44 Miles / 71 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 700m

Today we ride through Glen Garry and over the Pass of Drummochter, the main mountain pass separating the southern and northern Highlands. Not to worry as it’s a gradual, undulating climb with lovely Highland vistas. Early sights include impressive Blair Castle, ancestral home of Clan Murray in the pretty village of Blair Atholl. Soon we ride on a traffic free path adjacent to the River Garry with a waterfall or two spotted on the way. After conquering the pass on undulating cycle path, you’re rewarded with 20 miles of gradual downhill to finish the day in the town of Kingussie, passing Dalwhinnie, the highest village (and distillery) in the Highlands, and time permitting, a visit to the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Britain’s first open air museum and a glimpse at how locals have lived and worked here since the 1700s.

Day 6
Kingussie to Inverness
51 miles / 82 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 800m

The first impressive sight of the day comes immediately after leaving Kingussie. Our route passes directly by the well-preserved Ruthven Barracks, built in 1719 after the Jacobite rising, sitting on an old castle mound. We will take a few minutes to explore the complex and take photos at this picturesque site. Continuing up Speyside through quieted forested roads we soon reach the ski resort town of Aviemore with terrific views of the Cairngorm Mountains. More traffic-free sections follow on a stretch of the Speyside Way, through pleasant forest and moorland track (you might see one of the local golden eagles or osprey if you’re lucky!) . A few miles further we reach Carrbridge with its packhorse bridge, the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. Following the Slochd summit it’s mostly downhill to the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, with glimpses of the Moray Firth ahead. The final miles are steeped in history, passing the 4000 year old Clava Cairns and the Culloden Battlefield before finishing our journey on the Ness Bridge in the heart of the northernmost city in the UK. We’ll have a celebratory evening with a wee dram or two before a good night’s rest and departure the next day.

Day 7
Depart Inverness
Non Cycling Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After our final hearty Scottish breakfast of the trip, time to say a sad farewell to our fellow cyclists and start our return journey home. Transfers to the train station at Inverness and back to cars in Balloch will be provided.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The route is part of the National Cycle Network and follows traffic-free paths and quiet roads. There are forest trails with some roots and stones, and forestry roads with small sections of rough track with chunky, looser gravel. We recommend either a hybrid bike, or a mountain bike fitted with semi-slick tyres, as parts of this route are not suitable for a road bike.

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Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3-4 : Gentle to Moderate

Moderate/Active – Aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays. Suitable for the leisure cyclist who rides frequently, and who’s comfortable with some moderately challenging climbs. Some of the terrain may vary, potentially including sections of uneven or unpaved ground.

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 3-4, will have aspects of both our grade 3 and 4 holidays. These tours are suitable for those who keep themselves relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on the bikes at the weekend. Your preference may be for flatter terrain, but you don’t mind tackling some hills, the occasional steep climb and some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc.). It might be however that on some days the distances will be longer than a standard grade 3 trip, or some of the climbs may be quite challenging. You may also require some previous experience of tackling some uneven / unpaved ground to comfortably and safely ride certain sections of the route.

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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
15/08/2021
Contact Us
Return Date
21/08/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,090.00
Start Date
19/09/2021
Return Date
25/09/2021
Duration
7 days
Price
£1,090.00

Whats Included Tick

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

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

C) Full support service including a guide qualified in First Aid and a back up vehicle carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike

D) Skedaddle App to access holiday information and navigation

E) GPX files available upon request

E) Scheduled train station 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 travelling by car your destination is Balloch where you will be able to leave your car at or near the accommodation for the duration of the trip. Please note that this may involve on street parking and vehicles are left at owners risk. On our departure from Inverness at the end of the trip we will transfer you back to your car in Balloch. If travelling by train we ask that you arrive into Balloch train station which is just a short walk away from the accommodation and depart from Inverness. There is also an International airport at Inverness.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific schedules that we recommend for your holiday and check with us before booking your travel so that we can ensure it fits with the trip schedule.

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 would like to hire a bike we have both hybrid and electric bikes available to hire. The hybrid bikes are generally Giant Roam or Liv Rove with a large 30 speed gear range, semi-slick tyres and a relaxed riding position. Our electric bikes are generally Giant Entour 2 E+2 Disc pedal assist bikes with 300Wh batteries.

Helmets and panniers are provided with all our hire bikes along with an emergency repair kit including a spare innertube, bike pump and bike lock.

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News, Reviews & Stories

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Exploring Scotlands Lochs and Glens

Reviews

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