Mountain Biking Coast to Coast Across Scotland
Our coast to coast mountain biking itinerary is an absolute epic and, without a doubt, one of our favourite trips. It features a week of superb riding from Aberdeen in the east to Ardnamurchan in the west. Our pioneering route covers 375km , an awesome 7000m of ascent and descent and is the ultimate coast to coast mountain bike ride in the UK.
The trails are as varied as the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands and range from flowing singletrack to rocky and challenging mountain passes to mellow forest fire-road. Beginning in Aberdeen, 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 a truly superb multi-day mountain bike ride offering world class riding through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Scottish Highlands.
Why choose the Wilderness Scotland Coast to Coast?
With many coast to coast itineraries out there, how do you know which one's best? Through 20 years+ of experience, knowledge and passion, we believe our trip is the one to choose. Hopefully the following facts will help you make up your mind:
- Our 375km route features some of the best trails in Scotland. We have made it our mission not just to get from A to B, but to ride the best trails along the way.
- Over the years, we have ridden all the alternatives and know that the route we have devised offers the best riding, scenery and challenge. Unlike other routes, ours is genuinely coast to coast - from the North Sea to the crashing surf of the Atlantic at Ardnamurchan Point.
- We have invested in finding the best accommodation and food partners for the trip based upon our detailed knowledge and experience of the region. No other company offers such a high standard of accommodation and food throughout the trip.
- All of our guides are from the Highlands and know the trails inside out. Riding with them, you can sure of discovering the best riding, learning about Scotland, being safe, perhaps developing your skills and, for sure, having a lot of fun.
START POINT - Aberdeen
END POINT - Inverness
Our Coast to Coast mountain bike trip was voted one of the trips of the year in 2010 in the US' leading outdoor publication. Outside Magazine. You can read the recommendation here.
Cycling Journalist and writer Rob Penn also complete the Wilderness Scotland Coast to Coast. To read his account of his trip in The Guardian, click here.
If you don't think that this is the right trip for you, click on this link to view our other mountain bike holidays in Scotland.
Day One - Transfer to Aberdeen then ride to Aboyne
We meet in Inverness and transfer to Aberdeen where we begin our bike journey west 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 into the hills before descending some of Scotland's finest singletrack to Glen Tanar and the village of Aboyne. Distance 70km. Ascent 1090m. Descent 900m. (L)
Day Two - Aboyne to Tomintoul via Glen Builg
A classic day, typical of riding in the Scottish Highlands. In the morning, we will ride some of the best-kept secret singletrack on Deeside through beautiful birch and pine forest. From Ballater the route climbs into the heart of the Cairngorms and through Glens Gairn and Avon. This is wild country and a real mountain experience. Overnight in Tomintoul, the highest village in the Highlands. Ride Distance 60km. Ascent 775m (B, L)
Day Three – Through the Cairngorms
A wild and unforgettable day through the mighty Cairngorms massif. This is backcountry biking at its best in the Highlands and a good weather forecast is essential for this wilderness crossing. We head west from Tomintoul into remote country, first through ancient pine forest and then into the open hills. A challenging 10km of singletrack leads us into the beautiful Glen Feshie, and then the Spey Valley and our stop for the night in Newtonmore. This is the most demanding day of the trip but one you are likely to remember for a long time. Distance 58km. Ascent 920m. Descent 995m. (B,L)
Day Four – From the East to the West Highlands
From Newtonmore we continue our journey west, following an old military road before taking the backdoor into Laggan Wolftrax - one of Scotland's best mtb trail centres. This is an ideal coffee stop before we head into a remote glacial valley which passes through the heart of the mountains. Double track combines with single track to leads us into the West Highlands. Overnight in Spean Bridge. Distance 64km. Ascent 895m. Descent 1190m.
Day Five – Spean Bridge to Strontian
The lower reaches of the Great Glen Way lead to Fort William where we take a short hop across Loch Linnhe. From here we have a choice of routes depending upon the weather and our spirits! All routes lead to the beautiful River Polloch on Loch Shiel where an ancient 'coffin' road takes us over the hills to Loch Sunart. From the top the views are stunning. An exciting descent leads into Strontian. Distance 75km. Ascent 1270m. Descent 1305m.
Day Six – Strontian to Ardnamurchan Point
A great final day. From Strontian we head west, soon joining a beautiful coastline trail and then heading into the hills. This is one of the best singletrack sections of the route and the views of the Islands are simply amazing on a clear day. After lunch we tackle the final short section of road and coastline singletrack to our final destination Ardnamurchan Point - the most westerly point on the UK mainland! Celebratory dinner and drinks in Strontian. Distance 62km, Ascent 1550m. Descent 1590m.
Day Seven – Return to Inverness
Following breakfast we load the vehicle and bikes and enjoy a leisurely 2 hour journey back to Inverness, arriving around lunchtime.
For a detailed itinerary and trips information please see our PDF Trip Dossier
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