Trip created by Craig Little
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Our Grand Tour of Scotland is a classic road cycling tour connecting the Highland capital of Inverness to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.
Riding some 230 miles (370km) on quiet and spectacularly scenic roads you will experience an incredible range of trip highlights.
From visiting the Royal Lochnagar Distillery to a guided tour of what’s know as ‘the most beautiful castle in Scotland’ this trip will leave you wanting for nothing.
Leave the car and tour bus behind, safe in the knowledge that our guides and vehicle support will take care of you. With great accommodation and food completing the itinerary, join us this year for a cycling adventure that is grand in every sense.
Need a bike? See our bike hire page for details.
We meet this morning in Inverness and transfer to the nearby Culloden Battlefield. Here there is ample space for us to welcome everyone with a trip briefing and bike fitting before we set off, and there may be time for a quick look around the battlefield. Our route quickly takes us out of the Highland capital and into the surrounding countryside. From here we head east on flat and fast roads, past Cawdor, where we stop for lunch at a great little tearoom and then into the Whisky Country of Speyside. A ancient military road dating from the 1700’s leads to our first overnight stop at Grantown on Spey. (L, D)
Distance: 58.5km/36 miles Ascent: 638m/2,095ft
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. Our first stop is in the village of Tomintoul – the highest in the Highlands. It’s also home to one of Scotland’s best whisky shops which are well worth a visit. From Tomintoul, it is a stiff climb over the Lecht pass. From the summit, the views over Royal Deeside are simply superb on a clear day. From here a long descent, one final climb and then a 10km run downhill delivers us to the lovely village of Ballater and home for the next two nights. (B, L)
Distance: 63km/39 miles Ascent: 1050m/3,440ft
We take it easy today with a short ride on Royal Deeside. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, brimming with history and culture. Our route will take us on a loop beside the flowing River Dee, through the hills to Balmoral Castle and Lochnagar Distillery. We can visit the castle and grounds (unless the Queen is home! Visits possible between April – July) and follow this up with a distillery visit and tasting. All that remains is a very relaxed ride back to Ballater and dinner at one of the village’s excellent restaurants. (B, L)
Distance: 32km/20 miles Ascent: 475m/1,565ft
Our journey continues east along the River Dee and then through the picturesque Forest of Birse on rolling and very scenic roads. An early lunch sets us up for the climb over the Cairn O’Mount. A stone cairn at the top of the pass is said to be more than 4000 years old. It’s a challenging climb but the vehicle is close by should you need it. There are commanding views from the summit and from here we get our first glimpse of the North Sea and Scotland’s east coast. It’s all downhill from here – a superb 10 miles of fast riding all the way to our overnight halt at Edzell, where the whisky bar holds the Guinness World Record with over 1000 different whiskies. (B, L)
Distance: 67km/42 miles Ascent: 800m/2,620ft
This morning we leave the Cairngorm Mountains behind and head south to Kirriemuir and then Glamis Castle – known as “the most beautiful castle in Scotland”. We park up the bikes here for a guided tour of the castle and its stories, tales and secrets. A relaxing lunch in the restaurant follows before we continue our journey traversing the low-lying Sidlaw Hills en route to our waterfront accommodation in the City of Dundee. (B, L)
Distance: 68km/42 miles Ascent: 610m/2,010ft
We make a leisurely start from Dundee, with a visit to the V&A Museum – the leading museum of art and design. After crossing the Tay Estuary we reach the historic University town of St Andrews where we stop for a short visit. Following the coast we pass through several villages in turn; this is the ‘East Neuk’ of Fife – an incredibly scenic group of old fishing villages with glorious sea views. We finish our ride in the village of Elie, where we will enjoy a pint in the inn by the harbour before a short transfer to our hotel in Aberdour. (B, L, D)
Distance: 56km/35 miles Ascent: 425m/1,400ft
The final day of our Grand Tour takes us from Fife, across the spectacular Firth of Forth and into the city limits. We will ride on cycleway right into the city centre, aiming to finish up at Holyrood Park.
The trip ends with a celebration lunch and drinks at a nearby pub. Choose to depart the same day or, better still, stay on in the city to explore more of Scotland’s capital. (B, L)
Distance: 40km/25 miles Ascent: 340m/1,115ft
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.
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 require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will check availability for you. A single room supplement of £275 is charged if a single room is available.
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. Evening meals are included on the first and final evenings, and on this itinerary and we have the flexibility to take evening meals in local restaurants or pubs. 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.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Inverness Railway Station at 09:00am on Day 1 of your trip. The trip will conclude and you will be dropped off at Edinburgh Waverley Station for 3:00pm 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/
|Trip Dates for 2019||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|6th Jul - 12th Jul 2019||3 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,725||Book Now|
|7th Sep - 13th Sep 2019||6 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£1,725||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.
As an avid adventurer, Stevie has life-long experience in Scotland’s outdoors. He’s Co-Owner and Head of Adventure with Wilderness and been with us for over 15 years in a variety of roles, with innovative trip design being both a passion and a speciality. In his spare time, Stevie runs the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, bringing the world’s most inspiring adventure filmmakers and athletes to an audience of over 1,500 each year.
- Stevie ChristieAsk Stevie a Question
Blue Graded Road Cycling Holidays 4-6
Blue graded trips are suitable for people with a good level of bike fitness, who regularly enjoy cycling and may have joined a multi-day cycle holiday before.
Distances each day will be between 35 – 45 miles, cycling at around 12/13mph. Each day will be rolling and hilly terrain and there will be notable climbs most days. Some of these will be more testing and some riders may opt to push or ride in the support vehicle. Some climbs are also followed by exciting descents. We will be in the saddle for 5 – 7 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus some visits to sites of interest.
Rated 4.91 out of 5 based on 46 review(s) of Road Cycling – The Grand Tour
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.
Reviewed on 19/05/2019
Age: 30 - 40
Trip Date: 04/05/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Everyone answered all my questions and I felt really confident before even meeting Will and Scott.
Will and Scott were definitely highlights, they are great tour guides. The route was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed seeing the different views of Scotland. Also, even though we ended up cold and wet, it was a lot of fun riding long days in the rain.
Will and Scott were very great. They were supportive, always knew exactly where we were going and doing at any point during the day. The were also great guys to cycle and talk with, even if Will had to come back and find me after I took a wrong turn.
It was a great trip. The small group and everybody's positive attitude to the entire journey made it an amazing experience that I won't forget.
Reviewed on 13/05/2019
Age: 40 - 50
Country: United Kingdom
Trip Date: 04/05/2019
Trips Taken: 2
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Fife, Elie, Speyside, approaching Edinburgh three bridges
My second trip with Will, and first trip with Scott, they the extreme high standard professionalism: experts and extremely caring and nice both on the bike and as a guide.
Reviewed on 19/09/2018
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
The hotels used on the Arran/Islay/Jura trip were by and large better.
In their different, complementary ways, Sam and Dave were brilliant at organising and motivating us.
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