Mountain Biking Coast to Coast

Biking
cycling tours in Scotland

For those of you who refuse to be tamed, this coast to coast Scotland cycling tour is absolutely epic. It features a week of challenging riding from Aberdeen in the east to Ardnamurchan in the west. The route covers 375 km/208 miles, with 7000 m/2100 ft of ascents and descents, and is the ultimate coast to coast mountain bike ride in the whole UK. The trails are as varied as the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands, ranging from flowing singletrack to challenging mountain passes to mellow fire roads. We begin in the city of Aberdeen, on the east coast. We leave the city behind and ride all the way across the Highlands through the backcountry to the tip of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula - the westernmost point of mainland Britain. This is the ultimate multi-day mountain bike ride in the UK and offers world class riding each day through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Scottish Highlands.

WOW FACTORS

  • 375 km/208 miles of epic mountain biking traversing the Scottish Highlands from coast to coast
  • Mountain bike up big mountain passes to ancient pine forest
  • Cycle to castles and whisky distilleries and experience the warm and friendly hospitality of the Scottish Highlanders

Trip Itinerary

DayDestinationRiding DistanceLodgingMeals
1Edinburgh-Hotel-
2Edinburgh - Aberdeenshire-HotelB,D
3Aberdeen - Aberdeenshire70 km/43 miHotelB,L
4Ballater - Tomintoul48/ km/30 miHotelB,L
5Tomintoul - Newtonmore65 km/41 miHotelB,L
6Newtonmore - Spean Bridge69 km/43 miHotelB,L
7Spean Bridge - Strontian75 km/47 miHotelB,L
8Strontian - Ardnamurchan Point62 km/39 miHotelB,L,D
9Strontian - Edinburgh-HotelB
10Edinburgh--B

Day 1: Arrival to Edinburgh

Upon arrival into the Edinburgh International Airport, you will need to make your own way to the group hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Edinburgh.

Day 2: Edinburgh - Aberdeenshire (Mountain Biking)

Our local Scottish guide will meet us at our hotel this morning at 11am and we'll transfer to our hotel in rural Aberdeenshire. After checking in, we have a welcome briefing where we'll get fitted with our bikes. We'll have time for a short ride in the afternoon to get comfortable on our bikes before tackling Scotland Coast to Coast by bike. We'll have a welcome drink before dinner and an early night! (B,D)

Day 3: Aberdeen - Aberdeenshire (Mountain Biking)

After breakfast, we transfer by vehicle for one hour to Aberdeen. From here we begin our bike journey eastwards across Scotland. We ride through Royal Deeside, following the route of the old railway line built for Queen Victoria. After lunch, we begin a steady climb before descending some of Scotland's finest singletrack to Glen Tanar. Our end point is back at our hotel in Aberdeenshire. Distance 70km. Ascent 1090m. Descent 900m. (B,L)

Day 4: Ballater - Tomintoul (Mountain Biking)

Today is a classic day of riding into the in the Scottish Highlands. The morning starts with some gentle singletrack followed by a scenic road climb to the quirky Bridge of Gairn. From here we strike off into the heart of the Cairngorms. The trails are good going throughout but journey into really wild country offering a superb mountain experience. Our overnight is in Tomintoul, the highest village in the Highlands. If the day goes to plan, we will arrive mid- afternoon, making time for a distillery visit of at the world-famous Glenlivet. A great way to end the day! Ride Distance 48km/ 30mi. Ascent 2244 ft/ 680m. (B,L)

Day 5: Tomintoul - Newtonmore (Mountain Biking)

Without a doubt, one of the best days of the trip and one of the best day rides in Scotland. A long and unforgettable day through the mighty Cairngorms massif and some of the best scenery in the UK. Some big mountain climbs, twisting forest trails and magical singletrack eventually lead us to Glen Feshie, where we cross Inshriach Forest to Kingussie. Approximately 8 hours of riding, all off-road - simply superb! Ride Distance: 65km/ 41mi. Ascent 3500ft/ 1060m. (B,L)

Day 6: Newtonmore - Spean Bridge (Mountain Biking)

We start with an easy cruise on a quiet road, with a short climb, before making it to Laggan Wolftrax, one of Scotland's best purpose-built mountain bike centres. There is some time built in to enjoy the singletrack trails here. After a break of coffee and home baking, we follow a smooth off-road trail past a fairy-tale mansion before enjoying lunch by the River Spean. We cross the river by a dramatic suspension bridge (2 at a time!) and take a flowing trail all the way into the village of Spean Bridge and our overnight stop. Ride Distance: 69km/ 43mi. Ascent 3100ft/ 940m. (B,L)

Day 7: Spean Bridge - Strontian (Mountain Biking)

The lower reaches of the Great Glen Way lead to Fort William where we take a ferry ride across Loch Linnhe. From all routes lead to the beautiful River Polloch on Loch Shiel where an ancient 'coffin road’ takes us over the hills to Loch Sunart, with stunning views. An exciting descent leads into Strontian. Distance 75km/ 47mi. Ascent 4200ft/ 1270m. Descent 4300ft/ 1305m. (B,L)

Day 8: Strontian - Ardnamurchan Point (Mountain Biking)

A classic final day. We head west, soon joining a beautiful coastal trail and then head into the hills. This is one of the best singletrack sections of the route with amazing views of the islands on a clear day. After a short road section, we tackle more coastal singletrack to our final destination at Ardnamurchan Lighthouse - the most westerly point on the UK mainland! We celebrate with champagne before returning to Strontian for dinner. Distance 62km/ 39mi, Ascent 5115ft/ 1550m. Descent 5250ft/ 1590m. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Strontian - Edinburgh

Following breakfast, we load the vehicle and bike trailer and enjoy a leisurely 4 hour journey back to Edinburgh, arriving at approximately 2pm. We have the remainder of the evening in this beautiful Scottish City to venture out to a pub, explore the castles and take in the local culture before departure tomorrow. (B)

Day 10: Edinburgh - Departure

Today is the conclusion of our Mountain Biking Coast to Coast Adventure. Please make your way to the airport 2-3 hours before your flight. (B)

 Download printer friendly detailed itinerary


Trip Includes:

All accommodation (twin shared), meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), all internal transportation excluding airport transfers, equipment and English-speaking guides.

Trip Does Not Include:

International airfare, airport departure taxes, gratuities, meals not included, airport transfers and items of a personal nature.

Meals:

9 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Accommodation:

Hotel: 9 Nights

“Everything was great....the guides, trails, hotels. well done."
~ Chris Derenzis - Ontario, Canada

"Thanks again for creating our wonderful Scotland adventure – it’s a terrific thing you’ve done for all of us. After four amazing trips, I can say with confidence that traveling with you is always a great pleasure, from varied active pursuits to dining, socializing and savoring local flavor. I look forward to the next one, wherever in the world it may be!"
~ Tony Weida - New York, USA

Click here for more BikeHike Testimonials.

About Scotland:

Though a small country, Scotland is known for Europe’s biggest welcomes. Wild mountain scenery collides with cold sparkling seas inviting travellers into the rugged beauty of the highlands. Country pubs and crumbling castles connect stretches of mossy green scenery just begging to be explored. From east to west, adventure awaits amongst the lochs and heather-covered meadowlands. The untamed terrain and spirited locals of Scotland are akin to the active and cultural travel BikeHike Adventures was founded to explore.

Reserve Now