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United Kingdom

Scotland - Lochs and Glens

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

5 days

Prices from

$665 P.P.
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The Lochs and Glens is a fabulous self-guided cycling tour in the UK, cycling across the Scottish Highlands from the River Clyde to the River Tay through the heart of magnificent mountain ranges and valleys. 
This cycling holiday in Scotland takes a route which is part of the National Cycle Network and follows traffic-free paths and quiet roads with some sections on cinder trails and well surfaced off-road trails.
From Loch Lomond, this route winds its way through the beautiful hills of the Trossachs, along the shores of tranquil lochs, across open moorland, and continues north alongside the awe-inspiring Grampian Mountains, before turning south to the pristine city of Perth and the banks of The River Tay.
Along the route you will find historic sites of battles and ancient castles and there are also many opportunities to see wildlife including deer, eagles and osprey and not forgetting the must do visit to a whisky distillery.
Accommodation ranges from bed and breakfasts and small hotels allowing you to experience the customs and culture of Scotland. Visits to the local pubs for a wee dram of Highland malt will warm your heart ready for the next day’s ride.
This self-guided bike tour of Scotland is for a minimum of 2 people and accommodation, transfers, luggage transfers and emergency back up are all included. We also provide detailed route notes and maps to enable you to do the route self-guided. Nothing could be simpler!
If you are interested in joining this holiday as a guided trip then you could look at our Scotland - Lochs and Glens guided cycling holiday.
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Highlights

  • Watching the sun burn away the mists from Loch Lomond
  • White pudding, Lorne sausage and tattie cakes for breakfast
  • Enjoying a dram at Scotland’s smallest distillery
  • Perth’s georgian buildings
  • Miles of quiet winding lochside roads
  • The spectacular mountain backdrop

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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.

If you plan to arrive by air, the nearest airport is Glasgow which has direct transport links to Glasgow train station. 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 near the accommodation for the duration of the trip. The evening can be spent strolling along the shoreline and sampling local dishes.

Day 2
Balloch to Callander
34 Miles / 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1000m

Following a hearty Scottish breakfast, you will be met by our Skedaddle representative who will provide you with your hire bikes (if hiring), an Information Pack including route notes, maps and additional information for your trip. From the accommodation you will follow a route via lochs and glens (no surprises there!) to Callander, your second night’s stop. The route takes you 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 you will weave your 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
  • Ascent: 600m

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
  • 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 Perth
32 Miles / 52 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 500m

Retracing your tracks to the Logierait Viaduct you now follow the river Tay on the National Cycle Network route 77, The Salmon Run. This route eventually brings you to Perth, the town that inspired Sir Walter Scott to pen ‘The Fair Maid of Perth’, which in turn inspired Bizet’s opera. On the way to this fair city, tucked away at the foot of thickly wooded hills, you will discover one of Perthshire’s gems – the cathedral town of Dunkeld. Resting on the opposite bank of the River Tay is the Victorian village of Birnam. Together, the beautifully restored buildings and rich heritage are an inspiration for lovers of history, the arts and the great green outdoors. At the end of the day you will be met by your guide and either whisked back to your car or given your bags to catch a train in Perth.

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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 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

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?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 trip to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

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Dates & Prices

From April to mid-October you choose your start date. Just give us a call or drop us an e mail to check availability.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
5 days
Price
$665.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin rooms)

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

C) Skedaddle App to access holiday information and navigation

D) Detailed Skedaddle route notes and relevant maps

E) GPX files available upon request

F) Luggage transfer service

G) Skedaddle Local Representative

H) Emergency tool kit, pump etc. (if hiring your bike from Skedaddle)

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

The nearest airport is Glasgow (GLA) which is accessible from North America with one stop over in an intermediary airport, with airlines such as Norwegian or Aer Lingus. You can the get a train or taxi to the route. If travelling by train we ask that you arrive into Balloch train station and depart from Perth.

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

This holiday is suitable for hybrid bikes. The demand for rental bikes in this region in 2021 is very high and there is currently limited availability. We‘re working hard to increase the availability of good quality hybrid bikes and electric bike options. If you would like to rent a bike, please contact us for more information on the model and price available for your dates.

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