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    Road Cycling

    Highland Coast to Coast

    31 reviews

    Next Trip: 17th - 23rd Aug 2024 Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From: £2,495 View Prices & Dates

    Travel Planning & Advice

    Book With Confidence

    Trip created by Paul Easto
    View Paul's Profile

    Region: Multi-Location
    Trip Type: Road Cycling
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 3 Travellers Book
    Deposit From: £642


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    Download Itinerary

    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.

    You will be treated to stunning scenery each day, along with an array of cultural experiences and enjoy a fantastic boat trip trip along Loch Ness. Throw in some excellent Scottish cuisine and we can ensure that the food is as much a highlight as the riding! Our expert guides will be on hand to support you every turn of the pedal. We look forward to riding beside you on this fantastic adventure as we cycle the Scottish Highlands from coast to coast.

    Need a bike? See our bike hire page for details. 

    Trip Highlights

    • 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.

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – Aberdeen to Ballater

    We meet at Aberdeen Train Station this morning and begin our journey across Scotland. A short van transfer takes us to our start point, on the shores of the North Sea. After a group welcome, bike fitting session and a briefing for the day, we set off – leaving the city of Aberdeen behind us as we roll along the quiet South Deeside roads. We take lunch along the way and after refuelling, we continue along the River Dee, leading us to the village of Ballater and the end of our first day’s ride. (L, D)

    Ride details:  72 km/45 miles | 713 m/2,340 ft elevation gain

    Day 2 – Cairngorms National Park

    Today we ride through the UK’s largest and highest National Park. There are a few hills to contend with today with challenging ascents but the exciting descents and superb views more than reward the effort required on the climbs. After a stiff climb over the Lecht pass, we’ll stop in the village of Tomintoul – the highest in the Highlands. It’s also home to one of Scotland’s best whisky shops which is well worth a visit. Most of the hard work is done for the day as we make our way to the village of Grantown-on-Spey, where we will stay tonight. (B, L, D)

    Ride details:  72 km/45 miles | 1,123 m/3,687 ft elevation gain

    Day 3 – Grantown-on-Spey to Loch Ness

    Today’s ride takes us right off the beaten track. The day starts easily with a pleasant ride through the villages of Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge before we strike west up the Findhorn Valley. Following a fantastic country road, we climb over the challenging Garbole where the views of the Highlands open up. The route then descends to the village of Farr and follows quiet backroads to reach the hills overlooking Loch Ness. A lovely long descent takes us into the town of Fort Augustus at the head of Loch Ness, where we finish our ride for the day. We transfer a short distance to this evenings accommodation in the village of Drumnadrochit. (B, L, D)

    Ride details:  94 km/58 miles | 1,095 m/3,590 ft elevation gain

    Day 4 – Drumnadrochit to North Kessock

    We start this morning with a relaxing cruise on Loch Ness. Try and catch a glimpse of the elusive monster, or just take in the stunning views of Urquhart Castle and the surrounding peaks. Back on dry land we set off from Drumnadrochit and ride west through beautiful Glen Urquhart, passing the Balmacaan Forest. Turning northeast, we pedal down a lovely wooded road through the area known as Strathglass, catching glimpses of the River Glass as it curves its way down the valley. We reach the picturesque village of Beauly, a village steeped in history and thought to have been named after a comment on its beauty by Mary Queen of Scots. Passing by the imposing Beauly Priory, one of three priories founded in Scotland in about 1230 for monks of the Valliscaulian order, the last few miles wind through the attractive countryside to our accommodation on the shores of the Beauly Firth. (B, L, D)

    Ride details: 62 km/39 miles | 600 m/1,970 ft elevation gain

    Day 5 - To the West Highlands

    After setting out this morning, we transfer to just past the village of Garve, and then we ride on to Achnasheen, where the landscape becomes more mountainous. After some wild miles, we climb away from the shores of Loch a’Chroisg, rewarded with one of the finest views you will find anywhere – right down the length of the spectacular Loch Maree. The descent is an absolute blast on a perfect road surface, and before long, we will find ourselves at Kinlochewe. The final section of the day passes through the dramatic Glen Torridon. The scenery here is hard to beat with the majestic mountains of Liathach and Beinn Eighe thrusting skywards. As we gently climb across the watershed, we get our first glimpse of the west coast. We end the day with an overnight stay in the village of Shieldaig. (B, L, D)

    Ride details:  68.5 km/42 miles |  604 m/1,981 ft elevation gain

    Day 6 – The Applecross Peninsula

    Today we ride south from Shieldaig through the hills on a winding single-track road before reaching the start of our final, challenging climb – The Bealach na Ba. Famous and spectacular, the road is alpine in nature, crossing the rugged peak of Beinn Bhàn. Starting from sea level and rising through a series of ramps, hairpins and switchbacks to the summit at 626m (2,054ft) over a 10 km/6 mile climb, the road reaches gradients of up to 20% in places! Once at the top, though, it’s an incredible view of the sea ahead of us and downhill to the coast. Having cycled from Coast to Coast, a celebratory lunch awaits us at the fantastic Applecross Inn. Looking across the sea to the Isle of Skye, it’s the perfect place to take a moment to appreciate a fantastic trip. You shouldn’t be ready for it to end just yet though we still have the lumpy ride around the peninsula back to Sheildaig to enjoy. (B, L, D)

    Ride details:  72 km/45 miles | 1,427 m/4,683 ft elevation gain

    Day 7 - Transfer to Inverness, then depart

    This morning we will have a leisurely breakfast at our coastal accommodation before transferring back to Inverness. The journey takes us around 1.5 hours, arriving into the city around 12 noon, allowing you plenty of time to connect with onward transport. On the way home you’ll have a chance to reflect on what will surely be a most memorable adventure. (B)

    Road Cycling
    Highland Coast to Coast

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    All payments taken in local currency GBP

    Trip Dates for 2024AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    17th Aug - 23rd Aug 2024Trip FullFULLY BOOKED £2,495

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    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.

    Single Rooms

    There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you will be required to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you request a double room for single occupancy, a supplement of £620 is charged.

    Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplements are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

    Meals Read More

    Breakfast is provided each day at your accommodation. 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. All evening meals are also included throughout on this itinerary and we have the flexibility to take evening meals in local restaurants or pubs. Included dinners are two courses as standard. Based on 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.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 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.
    • All meals from lunch on day of arrival, to breakfast on the final day. (Meals included indicated as 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 and drinks.
    Trip Grading Read More

    Red Graded 7-9

    Red graded trips are suitable only for fit and experienced riders who love cycling and enjoy the challenge of longer days in the saddle, riding for consecutive days.

    Distances range from 40 – 70 miles each day, cycling at roughly 12mph. We will ride a variety of terrain from rolling countryside to hilly and mountainous areas. Most days will be challenging and the trip will include some of the more testing climbs in Scotland including high mountain passes. These harder climbs are rewarded with fast and exciting descents. We will often be in the saddle for 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches plus visits to some sites of interest.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Aberdeen Railway Station at 11:00am on Day 1 of your trip. The trip will conclude and you will be dropped off at Inverness Railway Station for 12:00 noon on the final day of the trip.

    For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/

    Bike Hire / Bringing Your Own Bike Read More
    Bike Hire

    We have an excellent fleet of bikes available to hire including road bikes, mountain bikes, and E-bikes.
    Find Out More

    Bring Your Own Bike

    You are also more than welcome to bring your own bike. If you’re bringing your E-bike along for the trip, please ensure it has a removable battery. Due to limitations around charging, E-bikes with non-removable batteries cannot be accommodated.

    If you choose to do so, please ensure it’s in excellent working condition and has been recently serviced – either by you or by a reputable bike shop.

    In addition, please bring the following:

    • Multi-tool, including a chain tool
    • Mini pump and/or CO2 canisters
    • Two spare tubes and a puncture repair kit

    Because we will need to load your bike onto one of our trailers, please ensure that:

    • Your rear wheel is clear of any obstructions; including lights, mudguard or panniers
    • Your tyres are no wider than 45mm

    Due to the nature of our trips, we are unfortunately unable to carry bike boxes or bags with us, so please make prior arrangements if necessary.

    If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly and knowledgable sales team are always delighted to answer any queries you may have.

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

    Speak to an Expert

    Chris Page

    Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Scotland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

    Ask Chris a Question

    Meet Your Guide

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Red Graded Road Cycling Holidays 7-9

    Red graded trips are suitable only for fit and experienced riders who love cycling and enjoy the challenge of longer days in the saddle, riding for consecutive days.

    Distances range from 40 – 70 miles each day, cycling at roughly 12mph. We will ride variety of terrain from rolling countryside to hilly and mountainous areas. Most days will be challenging and the trip will include some of the more testing climbs in Scotland including high mountain passes. These harder climbs are rewarded with fast and exciting descents. We will often be in the saddle for 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches plus visits to some sites of interest.

    Compare road cycling grades

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 4.90 out of 5 based on 31 reviews of Road Cycling – Highland Coast to Coast


    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.


    Ian Currie

    Reviewed on 30/07/2023

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: Australia
    Trip Date: 17/06/2023
    Trips Taken: 0

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I recently did the coast to coast road bike ride from Aberdeen to Applecross. It was a brilliant adventure. We were fortunate to have great weather. The cycle paths and roads used were very safe. A few testy hills along the way - but there's no rush - and anyway the hills mean there is more to talk about at days end ( I found them all ok). Our guides, Simon and Dan were knowledgeable and very patient! Lovely scenery as you would expect, after all it is the highlands, and brilliant hospitality. My rental bike was perfect, fitted well (you can hire an ebike - one of our riders had one and she was an inspiration, ebikes are great). Simon and Dan went out of their way to make sure everyone was comfortable. GPS worked well. It was a small group of five, everybody got an extremely well, very welcoming and fun loving, and great company. I was so pleased I chose to do the tour. I couldn’t make up my mind when investigating - I was worried about the weather but in mid to late June it was warm and only one minor wet day (on and off showers) during the week. I was also worried if I would get dropped (but no need to worry you are looked after - I keep fairly fit - cycle about 120km/w). If you’re a slower rider, the others wait, don’t stress, the guys are behind you and so is the van (we never used it). Worth every penny. Accommodation and food was top notch. One off the bucket list and I would absolutely ride with Scottish Wilderness again. It was unforgettable. IAN C (62). Melbourne Aus.


    Jean-Francois Blain

    Reviewed on 14/07/2023

    Age: 40 - 50
    Country: Canada
    Trip Date: 17/06/2023
    Trips Taken: 0

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I was looking for a trip that was focused on delivering a challenging but spectacular adventure for the biking enthusiast, and this is exactly what Wilderness Scotland offered me. People that are undecided shouldn't pass-up on this trip because it is absolutely amazing.


    Margaret Cockburn

    Reviewed on 28/06/2023

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United Kingdom
    Trip Date: 17/06/2023
    Trips Taken: 0

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Excellent. Wonderful route, good weather and great company.

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