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Trip created by Paul Easto
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Join Wilderness Scotland for this pioneering mountain biking route across the Highlands, taking you through some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe. Starting on Scotland’s west coast, we’ll follow trails through the iconic mountain regions of Glencoe, the Monadhliath and the Cairngorms. En route, we will stay overnight in one of the most special places in the Highlands – a remote mountain hut perched on an amazing loch, deep in the wilderness. Your guides will share not only some of the country’s classic trails but also some lesser-known gems, not found in any mountain bike guide book.
The awesome scenery will be matched by amazing hospitality off the bike. From wild and remote picnic lunches prepared by your guides to dining in Scotland’s most remote restaurant, you’ll be sure to take home truly incredible memories of this most spectacular journey by bike.
Meet your Wilderness Scotland guides in Fort William and transfer to Port Appin. Over coffee we’ll discuss the day’s ride and ensure we’re all set for the journey. Starting right on the Atlantic coast, we’ll warm up on some easy trails from Port Appin before striking into the hills and climbing through the forest to a rarely visited mountain pass. From here a classic and, at times, technical descent leads into Glencoe where high and spectacular mountains dominate the scene. Relax into your cosy highland accommodation after your first day in the hills. (L, D)
Route Details: 32km | Ascent: 428m
Today is an absolute classic taking us through the magnificent landscapes of the West Highlands. We’ll get moving on some easy trails before beginning our climb into the hills. Here rocky double-track delivers some elevation as we journey into more remote terrain. The sense of wilderness is real as we find a way across a river and then turn east on some challenging single-track. A final climb on a good trail leads further into the wild country. Just when you’re wondering where the day will end our overnight accommodation appears – quite literally in the middle of nowhere. As if by magic, your guides will be on hand with your overnight bag and a reservation for dinner! Dine at the UK’s most remote restaurant where local game and fish feature on the menu and perhaps enjoy a dram at our mountain hut, perched on the loch shore. (B,L,D)
Route Details: 42km Ascent: 920m
In any weather, waking up at the hut is a special experience. Take in the morning mountain air and, for the brave, perhaps a wild swim in the loch. After breakfast, we’ll continue riding east climbing above the loch and then descending on some fun and bouncy single-track. A gravel carpet provides quick progress before we climb again into the Ardverikie Forest, threading a route through the hills before descending to Loch Laggan. We’ll recharge here and take stock of our options. If the weather is dry we’ll climb again to enjoy a wild route in the Monadhliath mountains. If not, it’s a short cruise along a quiet road to our overnight accommodation in Newtonmore where we will stay for the next two nights. (B,L,D)
Route Details: 70km | Ascent: 775m
A change in pace today allows us to spend time exploring some of the lesser known single-track trails of Speyside. These trails are rarely ridden and you’re much more likely to see the varied wildlife of the Cairngorms than other mountain bikers. Your guides will enjoy sharing one of the best local descents before stopping for lunch in the tiny village of Kincraig. From here there’s some lovely riding to the town of Aviemore where you can check in for some retail therapy or even a visit to the excellent local brewery. Enjoy a relaxed late afternoon and evening with a shuttle back for dinner in Newtonmore. (B,L,D)
Route Details: 41km | Ascent: 441m
Quite possibly one of our favourite rides anywhere in Scotland. Wild, remote and spectacular – today is what mountain bikes were built for. Our first objective is the beautiful Glen Feshie and as we follow the river south the landscape becomes increasingly wild. The upper reaches of the Glen are how the Highlands would have been thousands of years ago – a truly amazing place to ride. Leaving Glen Feshie behind, the trail becomes rougher and we’ll need a few short sections of hike-a-bike to make progress. It’s hard not to be inspired by the scenery though as we cross a great watershed and then descend on fast rocky trails. Entry to the forest signals our arrival in the Highland village of Braemar where we will stay for the night. (B,L,D)
Route Details: 59km | Ascent: 574m
Our final day takes in one of the most beautiful corners of the UK’s largest National Park. Heading out of Braemar we ride through the ancient Ballochbuie Forest where wild stags roam free and are frequently seen down by the river or in the trees. Our first major climb of the day takes us over the shoulder of the majestic mountain of Lochnagar. The reward for the effort is a fast and rocky descent down to the shores of Loch Muick in the heart of the mountains where we’ll enjoy lunch. Keep an eye out for the Royal Family as we climb again, high above the shores of the loch. What awaits at the top is a truly great descent and an epic way to finish the trip. The trail begins fast on the open hillside before diving into several rocky and challenging switchbacks. Once you’ve cleared these it’s time to wind through the heather before flowing into the pine trees. A river crossing and final drop follows to reach the valley floor from where it is a short distance to celebratory drinks at our final hotel. (B, L, D)
Route details: 40km | Ascent: 842m
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast and maybe a short stroll in the beautiful glen this morning before we depart and transfer back to Perth. (B)
This trip features some of the best hotel and guest house accommodation and food along the route we travel. We use a variety of accommodations such as country inns, guesthouses and small hotels all hand-picked by us. Accommodation is in a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite facilities.
On two of the nights during this trip, we stay in bunkhouse accommodation in remote locations, one of which is exclusive use for us, while the other is cosy and quaint with twin rooms. Please note that single rooms may not be available those nights.
For solo travellers: Accommodation is based on sharing a twin room with another solo traveller of the same gender. A limited number of rooms for single occupancy are available on a first come first served basis, subject to a single supplement. Please enquire for availability.
All meals are included throughout the trip. Lunch each day will be either a wilderness picnic or taken at a local cafe/restaurant. Drinks and snacks are provided throughout the day as you require. Based upon our knowledge and experience, we will visit the best places to eat along the route.
On this trip we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.
|Trip Dates for 2021||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|12th Jun - 18th Jun 2021||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,795|
|3rd Jul - 9th Jul 2021||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||£1,795|
|18th Sep - 24th Sep 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£1,795||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
Craig has over 12 years experience in delivering travel experiences and events of exceptional quality across Scotland. As one of the longest-serving members of the Wilderness Scotland team, Craig’s speciality is in road cycling and mountain biking. His expertise and innovation helped create the Road Cycling Guide Award which helps all our guiding team deliver excellence on our trips.
- Craig LittleAsk Craig a Question
Blue Graded Mountain Biking Holidays 4-6
Our blue graded mountain biking holidays are suitable for people with previous experience of mountain biking at an intermediate level.
You can expect around 6-8 hours of riding each day so a good level of fitness is required. Distances covered will typically be in the range of 40km-60km each day with the occasional longer ride. Trail conditions will be very varied; everything from quiet minor roads to island beaches, land-rover tracks and short sections of single-track riding through rugged mountainous terrain, which will be technical in places.