Bike Tour Glasgow Scottish Highlands Lochs Glens
Single / Double
Any Start Date February to November
A seven centre self-guided bike tour of central Scotland from Glasgow to Aviemore. Includes 7 nights bed and breakfast in (en-suite wherever possible) guesthouse accommodation, 6 days cycling, luggage transfers, train ticket back to Glasgow, route guide and maps. Hire of a 21 speed all-terrain bike would be extra. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city with many places of interest to visit. It also offers some fantastic bike rides through a wide variety of beautiful Scottish scenery. This route follows the river Clyde out of the city centre and then heads north to Loch Lomond. Scotland’s lochs are one of her most famous features and on this tour you will experience many of them. A cycle path specially constructed from a disused railway line provides traffic-free cycling through Caledonian pine forests and the Cairngorm Mountains. Queen Victoria described this old Glen Ogle railway as “Scotland’s Khyber Pass” finishing in the very popular tourist town of Aviemore.
START and FINISH of the TOUR: Glasgow is in central Scotland, the nearest international airport is Glasgow airport.
ARRIVAL DAY: Glasgow. Your 1st night’s accommodation is in Glasgow, the start and finish of this tour. There are many places to eat in this vibrant city from traditional pubs to luxury restaurants. Overnight: Glasgow, Scotland.
DAY ONE: Glasgow to Balloch. Distance approx. 20 miles (32 km). After breakfast you begin the ride out of Glasgow on a cyclist friendly path alongside the river Clyde, providing you plenty of time to take in the sights. The route then heads north with several opportunities for refreshments or lunch from the many services on route. The surroundings become increasingly greener as you approach the beautiful and famous Loch Lomond. On the banks of the loch is the town of Balloch with a visitor centre and a castle, giving you plenty of things to see should you arrive early. There are also a good selection of pubs and hotel restaurants in Balloch or nearby Alexandria for an evening meal. Overnight: Balloch, Scotland.
DAY TWO: Balloch to Callander. Distance approx. 33 miles (53 km). There are some hills to climb on today’s ride, but your efforts are rewarded by magnificent views of the Scottish Highlands. The route uses minor roads that pass through villages providing services for the traveller, making this a superb biking experience. A track zigzags through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and Achray Forest followed by a steep decent to Loch Venachar. Following the shoreline of the loch with stunning views you reach your destination for today, Callander. This busy little market town has a good variety of places to eat from fish and chip shops to traditional pubs and hotel restaurants. Overnight: Callander, Scotland.
DAY THREE: Callander to Killin. Distance approx. 25 miles (40 km). Today is a very enjoyable section of the tour, with 20 miles of purpose built traffic-free cycling using a disused railway line and an old military road. It is quite challenging in parts, but on the right day is a never to be forgotten bike ride through spectacular mountain scenery. There are opportunities to stop for lunch near the site of Rob Roy’s Grave before a stiff climb to Glen Ogle. There are some impressive Victorian viaducts for you to admire followed by a gentle decent that takes you to your destination for today, Killin. At the southern tip of Loch Tay, this pretty village has a hotel and a pub to provide you with your evening meal. Overnight: Killin, Scotland.
DAY FOUR: Killin to Pitlochry. Distance approx. 38 miles (61 km). Today you will cycle the full length of Loch Tay to Kenmore where there is a water sports and activities centre. Today’s ride is the longest of the tour but with only a few small hills it provides you time to explore a bit. A short detour will take you to an old market town Aberfeldy, with a whisky distillery and an opportunity for lunch. Continuing along the River Tay valley this very scenic area is known as Strathtay and it leads to your destination today, Pitlochry. A very popular tourist town, Pitlochry has a busy main street with many souvenir shops, cafés and restaurants. Overnight: Pitlochry, Scotland.
DAY FIVE: Pitlochry to Dalwhinnie. Distance approx. 31 miles (50 km). Today is the most challenging section of the tour, but it is also the most rewarding. You’ll head north on a minor road to Blair Athol and the magnificent Blair Castle. Another traffic-free cycle trail then rises gently to the Pass of Drumochter, the surroundings becoming very remote as you reach the highest point of the tour at just over 450 meters. You will soon forget the climb as you absorb the breathtaking scenery across the Grampian Mountains, the most dramatic views of the tour. At Dalnacardoch Lodge the route joins a lovely section through Glen Garry to Dalwhinnie, where there is another whisky distillery. Your evening meal will be available in the hotel. Overnight: Dalwhinnie, Scotland
DAY SIX: Dalwhinnie to Aviemore. Distance approx. 29 miles (47 km). This is the easiest day of the tour, predominantly downhill giving you plenty of time to explore this glen know as Strathspey. One of Scotland’s most popular tourist areas, there are many places of interest to visit at Newtonmore and Kingussie. The last leg of the tour is a gently undulating backroad with beautiful wooded scenery all around you; ideal cycling country. Your final destination of the tour is Aviemore, one of the main tourist centres in the Highlands. Aviemore has many attractions plus there are a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs and hotels for you to celebrate completion of this tour. Overnight: Aviemore, Scotland.
FINAL DAY: Return to Glasgow. Today you catch the train with your bike back to Glasgow.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to GLASGOW (NOT included in tour price): There is an hourly train service from London (Kings Cross) to Glasgow. The nearest international airport is Glasgow, just one-hour away.
RAIL TRAVEL from CARLISLE to GLASGOW (included in tour price): There is an hourly train service from Carlisle to Glasgow.
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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Discount rail tickets to Glasgow and from Aviemore
GRADE C (cycling): Between 14 - 25 miles (22-40 kms) a day. The route is principally a flat ride but with some moderate climbs. We recommend that clients bring their own cycle helmet, clothing and equipment. We can arrange for the hire of this, if required. The cost would be about £10 per day. You will start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your fitness.