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Road Cycling – The Grand Tour

  • A classic road cycling tour from the heart of the Highlands to Scotland’s Capital.
  • An amazing week of trip highlights showcasing the best of Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage and warm hospitality.
  • Full guiding, vehicle and logistical support leaving you to relax and enjoy the riding.
  • 7 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
  • Most meals as 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

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.

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

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.

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.

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 require a single room please request this at the time of booking and we will check availability for you. A single room supplement of £265 is charged if a single room is available.

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/

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 28

4 star 4

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by David Bamford 25/09/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Having the US number was very helpful. All questions either by phone or email were promptly answered (even ones I probably asked more than once :) )
Trip Comments
Guides were great, knowledgable and helpful. We thought were were prepared for the weather but on day 1 we quickly realized we were not. We don't ride in the rain so we had to rely on our local bike shop and the one in Glasgow we stopped at on the way. Fortunately both David and Paul had spare gear and were able to loan me a rain jacket until we could get to a town at a time when the bike shop was open..
Accommodation and Food
A couple of the hotels were great (Glenesk and Taypark) but the others could definitely use some updating. I recognize there are not many options in some of the small towns on the way. All the meals were great, snacks in the van were a big help (loved the Stoats bars, have to find them on Amazon)
Your Guide
They really made the trip. (See comment about rain gear). Thankfully they had a sense of humor too! We felt that we were in good hands and they definitely were careful about insuring our safety. We learned a lot about Scotland and can't wait to come back and learn more. And our sincere apologies for the size of one of our pieces of luggage, hopefully no enduring back pain for them.
The Bottom Line
We want to do the trip again! We want to try to get all 8 slots filled with people of more similar ability (i.e. friends and family). One thing we would consider asking about is moving a little quicker during the day so we have some time late afternoon to explore the towns where we spend the night. Unfortunately most of the towns shut down around 5 and we seemed to roll in after 6 each day. The other thing is the GPS units, while nice, seemed to have a little difficulty.

by Jane Krug 19/09/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Answered all questions and contributed helpful information
Trip Comments
Rained virtually everyday but was still a splendid bicycling trip
Accommodation and Food
All food & accommodations were good and a couple were outstanding
Your Guide
They were personable, helpful, considerate and patient with our group
The Bottom Line
Wonderful. Be prepared for any weather and prepared for some steep, difficult climbs along with awesome scenery to make it all rewarding.

by Lyle Krug 18/09/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

by Sandra Wiens 21/07/2017

5Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Accurate tour prep notes regarding what to bring and such. Very prompt email responses to queries.
Trip Comments
I really enjoyed the cycling. It was a great balance of challenging terrain and more relaxed riding. The locations we road through were beautiful, even in the rain! I did think that navigation was an issue, however. The Garmins did not always work reliably and the printed maps were more about giving an overview of the day, but not something to use for accurate navigation. i personally prefer to be a bit more autonomous when riding. Meaning that I don't necessarily want to always be riding cheek to jowl with the group. I think that an accurate, readable paper map with routes marked for each day would give the backup needed for when the Garmins are affected by rain or gremlins and would give riders a better sense of where they are if something does happen. And riders could be a bit more independant in their navigation. However, this opinion is colored by the fact that I never used a Garmin before and am not familiar with all it's options.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Even though there was some guide re-shuffling and tag-teaming during our trip, Lucy, Henry and Craig did a great job. Positive, energetic and fun.
The Bottom Line

by Thorarinn Thorarinsson 12/06/2017

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Prompt responses but had to chase for the payment info in the end but not a big deal and all sorted in the end.
Trip Comments
The guides were excellent, easy going and good knowledge of anything that came in our path... Beautiful country side for bike riding with some challenging climbs etc.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
No complaints, nice and entertainingt people.. did a good job handling different riding skills of the group.
The Bottom Line

by Anna Lerner 25/09/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
It was all good: quick response to mails, useful pre-trip materials. I wasn't notified when my trip was canceled, but when I asked about it, I got all the info about my alternatives along with apologies.
Trip Comments
Man, we could feel you're very experienced. Everything was thought through and working like a Swiss watch. I felt like I'm in very good hands. It's not only that you did all the organization for us, but it was done very well, too. The hotels, the restaurants, the half-way picnics - I felt spoiled.
Accommodation and Food
The choice of the hotels was great. All the hotels were beautiful and had a special kick about them. The Auld Kirk - a very special experience, the beautiful Glenesk hotel, the charming Taypark - all are amazing. I didn't particularly like The Aberdour Hotel, as the room was small, the walls thin (I woke up in the middle of the night because people in the next room were talking) and their restaurant service was peculiar. Apart from this - everything was great. The restaurants were good, but I liked the best the picnics with the local food under the open skies.
Your Guide
The guides did a great job. Again, I felt like I was in very good hands. Tim and Paul were very helpful and caring. They were funny too. The dynamic between them was great and fun to watch.
The Bottom Line
It was one of my best trips EVER. First, it was a dream come true - a cycling vacation in Scotland, second - it was perfectly organized and carried through. My bike was great, the scenery was amazing, the company was good and the accommodations were comfortable. We visited many interesting places, had good food and drinks, made friends. There is nothing else I could wish for.

by Joan Dean 20/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

by Audrey Yank 19/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

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

by Ron Torok 12/09/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Was having trouble getting confirmation on the specs of the bike. All worked out in the end.
Trip Comments
Trip was great. I think logistics/routing/lunch planning on the 2nd to last day could be improved.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Very knowledgeable and engaging.
The Bottom Line
I would recommend Wilderness Scotland for anyone considering a cycling trip in Scotland. As much as I love Scotland, I cannot recommend it as a first choice destination for a European cycling trip given the unpredictability of the weather. We got very lucky!

by Kenneth Gould 23/08/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Very helpful and organized answering pre-trip q's. Made late switch to hybrid bike with no problems.
Trip Comments
The route is as advertised: Wonderful mix of scenery and terrain. Excellent inns along the way. Will and Alisdair are terrific group leaders: Helpful, knowledgeable.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Will and Alisdair go above and beyond. They're great at dealing with the varied pace of the group. They're knowledgeable about geography and history -- and a delight to talk to at dinner. They're interested, interesting and engaged.
The Bottom Line
Already have recommended them to a few friends and colleagues and will be back, myself, for the Inner or Outer Hebrides trip!

Prices and Departures

62 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.

2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
5th May - 11th May 2018
£1,695
Trip Full
2nd Jun - 8th Jun 2018
£1,695
1 place(s) left
7th Jul - 13th Jul 2018
£1,695
Trip Full
8th Sep - 14th Sep 2018
£1,695
2 place(s) left

Trip Details

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.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Inverness to Grantown-on-Spey

We meet this morning in Inverness and transfer to the nearby Culloden battlefield that provides ample space for us to welcome everyone with a trip briefing and bike fitting. If time allows we can also have a quick look round the battlefield before we set off. Our route quickly takes us out of the Highland capital and into the surrounding countryside, soon reaching the historic battlefield of Culloden. From Culloden 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/36miles   Ascent: 638m/2,095ft

Day 2 – The 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. 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 is 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

Day 3 – Riding on Royal Deeside

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!) 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

Day 4 – Royal Deeside to Angus

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. (B, L)

Distance: 67km/42 miles   Ascent: 800m/2,620ft

Day 5 – Glamis Castle & Dundee

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 it’s 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

Day 6 – St Andrews and the East Neuk of Fife

We’ll make an early start from Dundee, crossing the Tay Estuary and reaching the historic University town of St Andrews with plenty of time to explore the old town. 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

Day 7 – Edinburgh, Scotland’s Capital

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. Here we will round the city’s Grassmarket and climb the road up to Edinburgh Castle for dramatic views across Edinburgh and the route we have followed over the past two days. All that remains is a ceremonial freewheel down the full length of the famous and historic Royal Mile, all the way to the Royal Palace of Holyrood. A fitting finish to a grand cycle tour of Scotland – feel free to adopt the royal wave for the crowds!

The trip ends with a celebration lunch and drinks at a nearby restaurant. 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

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Prices and Departures

62 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.

2018 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
5th May - 11th May 2018
£1,695
Trip Full
2nd Jun - 8th Jun 2018
£1,695
1 place(s) left
7th Jul - 13th Jul 2018
£1,695
Trip Full
8th Sep - 14th Sep 2018
£1,695
2 place(s) left

Price from: £1,695

Next trip: 5th May

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Multi-Location

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 5

32 review(s)

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
We want to do the trip again! We want to try to get all 8 slots filled with people of more similar ability (i.e. friends and family). One thing we would consider asking about is moving a little quicker during the day so we have some time late afternoon to explore the towns where we spend the night. Unfortunately most of the towns shut down around 5 and we seemed to roll in after 6 each day. The other thing is the GPS units, while nice, seemed to have a little difficulty.

David Bamford
25/09/2017

5

Wonderful. Be prepared for any weather and prepared for some steep, difficult climbs along with awesome scenery to make it all rewarding.

Jane Krug
19/09/2017

5

Rated 4.88 out of 5 based on 32 review(s) of Road Cycling – The Grand Tour

5 star 28

4 star 4

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

Read All Trip Reviews