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Road Cycling – Coast to Coast

  • Ride right across Highland Scotland from the east to the west coast
  • Quiet roads, testing climbs and superb descents through the UK’s most spectacular landscapes
  • Visit the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, atmospheric Loch Ness and the mighty mountains of Torridon
  • 6 days professional guiding with lead guide plus assistant guide/support driver
  • 6 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels/ inns/guest houses on a B&B basis
  • Meals stated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Vehicle transport throughout including ride support and luggage transfers
  • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
  • Ride snacks, home-baking and drinks

Red Graded Road Cycling Holidays 7-9

Our Red grade cycling trips are designed for committed cyclists who love cycling and spend many weekends each year riding their bike. You will enjoy the challenge of longer days and grin at the prospect of testing climbs and fast descents. These trips may involve several challenging days in a row with a significant amount of climbing, sometimes exposed to the elements.

Distances typically range for 40-70 miles each day through hilly and often mountainous terrain. These trips also include some of the most testing climbs in the UK.

Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

Are you happy being on your bike for between 6-8 hours each day for up to 6 days in a row?
Do you ride your road bike most weekends during the summer and do the occasional longer multi day trips?
Do you get excited at the thought of testing climbs and fast descents?

 

This trip features some of the best hotel and guest house accommodation and food in the Highlands. To ensure a high quality experience we use generally 4* accommodation.

Single Room Supplement
We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex.

Due to the limited range of accommodations in the regions we visit, we can accommodate a maximum of 2 single rooms on this trip. The single supplement charge for this trip is £250 but this is subject to availability.

 

You will be met by your guide at 1100 on Day 1 of the trip at Aberdeen train station. We will return to Inverness train station around 1200 on Day 7. Full details on how to get to and from Inverness, please see our Recommended Travel.

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 5

4 star 2

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Thomas Perneger 15/08/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
A detailed map of the trip would be useful.
Otherwise informative and well organized.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
best hotel was at Contin.
Alford was disappointing - noisy, dribbling shower, food average
Your Guide
very nice people (Jenny and Kelty)
The Bottom Line

by Caroline Burton 10/08/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
All my questions and queries were answered in good time via email which was great.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation was much better than expected - particularly the 2nd, 4th, 5th & 6th nights - just perfect.
The food in all the hotels and chosen restaurants was delicious - perfectly chosen locations.
Picnics and snacks (and the coffee!) along the way were fantastic, well done & thank you Kelty!
Your Guide
Jenny & Kelty were perfect 'hosts' and could not have done more to ensure everyone was happy - a big thank you for making a great trip perfect.
The Bottom Line
If you are thinking about it - do it, you won't regret it.

by Karen McQuarrie 09/08/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Quick replies from email enquieries. Kind helpful people on phone lines.
Trip Comments
Jenny and Kelty were excellent guides, they were very enthusiastic no matter the weather which helped many group members. I enjoyed cycling with a lovely group of people.
Accommodation and Food
The food was good because there was always plenty to choose from. So even though I am fussy there was always plenty to eat.
Your Guide
Jenny was very enthusiastic making it fun even in the driving wind and rain. She was also great at making sure no one was left behind and fixing problems with the bikes when they occurred. Kelty was excellent at setting up in the perfect places and having everything ready when we got there. Both guides were grind and approachable.
The Bottom Line
Its a great opportunity to cycle with great people. The guides are brilliant and have everything very organised. I had a fantastic trip.

by Patricia Hudelson Perneger 04/08/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The info you sent was useful, and I got quick replies to my email queries.
Trip Comments
Jenny and Kelti were both awesome group leaders! Their positive spirit, knowledge about Scotland, and good sense of humor made even the rainy, windy, cold moments tons of fun. And of course, the routes were well designed, with a good variety of terrain, distance, and difficulty. The picnics were good, and the hotels were mostly really nice.
Accommodation and Food
I think only the first hotel was not optimal. There was a very noisy pub under our room (we were lucky to be able to change rooms, but our fellow travelers were not so lucky, and were grumpy and tired the next day). Also the restaurant food wasn't great. But the other hotels and restaurants were nice, and of course we all wanted to stay forever at the hotel in Contin! (in fact, the last hotel was a bit of a let down after being spoiled in Contin).
Your Guide
As I said before, the guides were EXCELLENT. Fun, knowledgeable, and skilled at keeping a good group dynamic.
The Bottom Line
I would definitely recommend this trip, and would love to go on another bike adventure with Wilderness Scotland! It is important to bring the right biking kit for tough Scottish weather, but with the right clothing, even biking in the rain and wind was really fun!

by Colby Van Vooren 10/07/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Pre trip info and help was generally very good. One area for improvement would have been some additional details/specifics on the meeting location (where at the train station). Another suggestin would be to give an update on how large the group is expected to be.
Trip Comments
I would have preferred to visit one of the more famous distilleries in the Spey River or Dufftown area however I understand the challenges with working out timing and schedule and I was glad the guides still worked to include a tour for us. Maybe an option for a more in depth whisky tasting one evening (even if it cost extra) would be great.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodations were very good, very happy with them - exceeded my expectations. Food was also great. Lunches provided by Wilderness Scotland offered very good variety and the guides were great about making alterations or additions based on requests.
Your Guide
Our guides were great and added a lot to the trip. They were experienced, insightful and knowledgable about the geography and history of the area. And best of all they were just fun people to hang out with.

One specific- I liked that they took turns riding and driving the van so that we got to spend time with both guides during the ride.
The Bottom Line
Excellent trip. Would highly recommend to others and hope I get an opportunity to do another trip in the future.

by Eric Rayson 16/06/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
As I submitted dimensions of my own bike along with my height etc ( After registration) I was very disappointed with the bike which you provided for my use.

After two days another bike was brought in from Aviemore, which was more suitable for my size, made more so by also changing to a shorter stem, and finally getting my knee over the pedal for a more fluid pedal stroke. ( and a better fore aft position) I doubt if I would have able to complete the ride on your original bike.

I would suggest a few more items for your bike trailer box, tape measure for one and or a yardstick, plus a selection of stems, and few more sets of allen keys.

Wilderness Scotland Response:
Thankfully we were able to swap bikes around for you and allow you to hopefully enjoy the rest of your riding. The difficulty that we found on this occasion was that given the requirements we re sent through we sized you up to be a 52, when in actual fact you would've been more suited to a 49. As a gesture for us getting this wrong, we refunded you for your bike hire for the week. Thanks again for taking the time to fill in the survey and provide us with the feedback, it is very much valued and helps us to improve for the next group of clients
Trip Comments
I thought the route selection, small roads etc was excellent plus the countryside and the wildness of certain places. Loved the hedge rows, broad leaf trees. & present history, flora, bird live ext, which both Tim and Alisdair brought to life.
Accommodation and Food
Good variety of accommodation and food, excellent lunches.
Your Guide
Very good enjoyed them both and they worked very well together, despite their different back grounds, they were a good balance of humour and seriousness.
The Bottom Line
This is difficult for me as apart from the disappointment with the bike I would give you an excellent vote, but as the bike is such a very important part of the trip I have to dock you.

by Gerry Morrison 13/06/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

Prices and Departures

91 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

2017 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
16th Sep - 22nd Sep 2017
£1,495
Trip Full

2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
26th May - 1st Jun 2018
£1,495
8 place(s) left
23rd Jun - 29th Jun 2018
£1,495
7 place(s) left
21st Jul - 27th Jul 2018
£1,495
8 place(s) left

Trip Details

The Coast to Coast cycle is a rewarding journey of 262 miles/419km travelling from Aberdeen on the east coast to Applecross in the west.

Cycling across the country we’ll climb over 17,000 feet/5,180 metres, including the UK’s highest and in our opinion arguably the most challenging road climb.

Throw in some excellent Scottish cuisine, including the Applecross Inn (Scotland’s Pub of the year in 2012), changing and stunning scenery each day, along with a huge array of cultural experiences, ranging from castles and distilleries to a fantastic boat trip trip along Loch Ness, this is sure to be holiday to remember.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – The Coast to Coast begins: Aberdeen to Alford

You will be met by your guide at Aberdeen train station before making a short transfer to the start point on the North Sea. After spending some time bike fitting and preparing for the day ahead we’ll begin our journey leaving Aberdeen behind as we ride along the quiet Deeside roads.

We’ll enjoy lunch by the riverside in the picturesque village of Banchory before continuing north. Following the River Dee there’s a short climb delivers us to the end of our first day and our accommodation in the village of Alford. (L, D)

Distance 40 miles/64km  Ascent: 2,189 ft

Day 2 ‐ Cairngorms National Park

Today we’ll continue west enjoying the quiet and scenic roads as we meet our first major climb – a steady rise across the wild expanse of the Cabrach moor. Our descent on the other side leads us to the Speyside village of Dufftown, well known for whisky being its bloodline. With plenty of distilleries nearby, there will be the opportunity to stop and try a little dram and see how the ‘water of life’ is made.

After lunch, we cross the River Spey and ride alongside the river climbing into the village of Grantown on Spey in the Cairngorms National Park. Perhaps take a short walk to explore the village before dinner or perhaps sample a Speyside whisky in the local pub. (B, L)

Distance 58 miles/93km  Ascent: 4,405 ft

Day 3 – Grantown-on-Spey to Fort Augustus

Today’s ride takes us right off the beaten track onto rarely visited and virtually traffic-free roads. The day begins with a warm up through the villages of Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge before we strike west up the remote Findhorn Valley. Following a fantastic single-track road, we climb over the challenging Garbole where the views of the majestic North Highlands really open up. If the weather allows, we can enjoy a spectacular high-altitude picnic by the roadside.

After lunch we’ll descend to the village of Farr continuing on quiet backroads high above the shores of Loch Ness. A fantastic 5 mile descent awaits to finish the day, dropping us down to the shores of the famous loch and our overnight accommodation in the village of Fort Augustus. (B, L)

Distance 55 miles/88km  Ascent: 3,312 ft

Day 4 – Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

This morning we enjoy a relaxed start in the village of Fort Augustus before boarding a zodiac for a short but high speed cruise on Loch Ness. The boat takes us past Urquhart Castle, its ruins perched right on the edge of the loch before returning to Fort Augustus.

After a short transfer we get back on the bikes. Our route rises west, passing the Balmacaan Forest, and then following the River Glass towards the small village of Beauly. This is fantastic riding and from Beauly it’s a short ride to our accommodation – a beautiful family-owned and run country house secluded in the hills above Contin. (B, L)

Distance 41 miles/65km  Ascent: 1,950 ft

Day 5 – To the West Highlands

As we continue on our journey west, passing through Garve and Achnasheen, you will notice some dramatic changes as the landscape rises around us with each passing mile. The views are a great motivation for the afternoon climb away from the shores of Loch a’Chroisg. At the top you are rewarded with views right down the length of the spectacular Loch Maree with the rocky ramparts of the Torridon Mountains forming the backdrop.

The descent is an absolute blast on the most perfect road surface and before long we will find ourselves at the head of Glen Torridon. The final section of the day passes through the dramatic Glen Torridon where we are rewarded with views of the majestic mountains of Liatach and Beinn Eighe. As we gently climb across the watershed we will get our first glimpses of the west coast. A fast end to the day is guaranteed as we cruise alongside the river to overnight in the village of Torridon. (B, L)

Distance 43 miles/69km  Ascent: 1,985 ft

Day 6 – The Applecross Peninsula

For our final day on the coast to coast cycle, a true test awaits – the famously spectacular and challenging Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle). Starting from sea level and rising through a series of ramps, hairpins and switchbacks to the summit at 626m (2054ft) over the 6 mile climb and reaching gradients of up to 20% in places! However, take courage in the previous 5 days which have prepared you for the climb and the fact that once at the top, it’s downhill all the way to the coast and journey’s end!

We have all day to tackle the climb so we’ll take it easy and if at any point you need some gravity assistance the Wilderness vehicle will be with you to provide whatever support you need. At the summit, you will be greeted with a view which (on a clear day) can only be described as breathtaking – the Skye Cuillin Mountains, the Small Isles and the Outer Hebrides stretch out before you in a coastal feast for the eyes. The descent is simply superb, leading to the village of Applecross, where we meet the Atlantic, marking the end of our amazing coast to coast journey*. We’ll celebrate with lunch at the Applecross Inn, recently voted the best seafood pub in Britain. (B, D)

Distance 25 miles/40km  Ascent: 3,193 ft*

*  For those of you wishing to cycle a little more, you can have the option of riding around the peninsula back to Torridon, adding an additional 24 miles and 2,073 feet of ascent. 

Day 7 – Return to Inverness

This morning we will have a leisurely breakfast, before transferring back to Inverness. The journey takes us around 1.5 hours arriving into the city around 12 noon, allowing you plenty time to connect with onward transport. (B)

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Prices and Departures

91 people viewed this trip in the last week1 Booking in the last 72 hours

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

2017 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
16th Sep - 22nd Sep 2017
£1,495
Trip Full

2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
26th May - 1st Jun 2018
£1,495
8 place(s) left
23rd Jun - 29th Jun 2018
£1,495
7 place(s) left
21st Jul - 27th Jul 2018
£1,495
8 place(s) left

Price from: £1,495

Next trip: 16th September

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Multi-Location

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 7

7 review(s)

Trip Photos

Day 1 – Heading from the coast inlandDay 2 – Working our way through the Cairngorms National ParkDay 2 – Cruising through the CairngormsDay 2 – The CairngormsTreats along the wayDay 3 – We climb up over the GarboleDay 3 – Expansive views before dropping down to Fort AugustusDay 4 – Preparing for the RIB boat on Loch NessDay 4 – RIB boat to Urquhart CastleDay 4 – Visiting Urquhart CastleDay 4 – Snaking through the Aigas GorgeDay 4 – Hero riding down the River BeaulyDay 4 – Birch lined roadsDay 5 – Working our way westDay 5 – Getting ready to drop into KinlocheweDay 5 – The road to KinlocheweDay 5 – Cruisy riding in TorridonDay 5 – Exceptional views in  TorridonDay 6 – The Applecross PeninsulaDay 6 – Looking forward to the test pieceDay 6 – The Bealach na BaDay 6 – Riding the hairpins on the BealachDay 6 – Van support throughout the tripDay 6 – Topping out on the Bealach na BaDay 6 – Dropping down into ApplecrossDay 6 – Well deserved seafood dinnerDay 6 – Riding round the Applecross peninsula
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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos

Thomas Perneger
15/08/2016

5

If you are thinking about it - do it, you won't regret it.

Caroline Burton
10/08/2016

5

Rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 7 review(s) of Road Cycling – Coast to Coast

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