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Best Cycle Routes Scotland – Top 3

Posted on Jan 09, 2017 by Tim Francis

The blur of whizzing countryside. Satisfaction at the summit. That first bite of cake. Countless cycle routes in Scotland have left their mark on me this year.  Here are my 3 Best Cycle Routes – Scotland.

Read Tim’s Top 3 Route Reports:  

  1. Mull – Fionnphort to Dervaig
  2. NW Highlands – Ullapool to Lairg
  3. Royal Deeside – Ballater to Edzell

Wilderness Guide and road cycling fiend, Tim Francis pores over his road cycling history. He shares his take on the best cycle routes in Scotland.

The nights have drawn in and the days are reaching the shortest of the year. Ice has made a return to our roads and the gritters have been out delivering a safety veneer of salt. The winter bikes are back on the road. In the blink of an eye or the buzz of a Di2* (electronic gearing gadget for the uninitiated) the thicker tops, legs and gloves are adorned.

best cycle routes scotland

Riding through the wild lands of Torridon in the North West Highlands. A dusting of snow on the peaks.

Winter rides do keep the base fitness topped up. (And provide a good excuse for festive goodies to keep up the correct calorific intake). This winter I’ve been reflecting on the fantastic rides of 2016. A year that British cycling has ascended to new heights both at Olympic and World Tour level. A year that enabled me to cycle Lands End to John o’Groats, traverse the country and race on closed roads around Loch Ness. Another year I have discovered and re-discovered the amazing cycle routes of Scotland.

“Scotland has some of the best roads and routes for road cycling in the world. You just need to get out and discover them”

If you’re a cyclist then you’ll understand. Cycling is more than a hobby or a form of exercise, it’s part of my life and who I am, and luckily for me it’s also my job. I’ve clocked up some distance in 2016 and a lot of it in good weather. But there has also been some wintry weather testing the kit and my steel to the full. It’s these experiences that leave an imprint in the memory together with a smile and a thirst for more. So sharing a few top cycle routes in Scotland of 2016 is a privilege.

It’s often a Strava segment, training ride or just the need for a commute that gets me out on a bike. But it is never the stats that makes the ride special. It’s the experience of the environment that I’m lucky enough to cycle through.

Each of my posts covering my Top 3 Cycle Routes Scotland will include a route report will have an online map, route description and GPX files to download. Hopefully you’ll get as excited about cycling in Scotland as I am.

Cycle Routes Scotland – My Top 3

best cycle routes scotland

1. Fionnphort to Dervaig (via Salen), Isle of Mull

Let’s start in the Inner Hebrides with a beautiful rolling ride through the Isle of Mull.




best cycle routes scotland

2.Ullapool to Lairg, North West Highlands

Ride through the timeless wild lands of the North West Highlands.



3. Ballater to Edzell, Royal Deeside

Ride through the rolling hills and Victorian majesty in the central Highlands and Royal Deeside.



Check out our upcoming exciting Road Cycling holidays!

About the author

Tim Francis

Tim's a passionate biker and hill-walker, who was a business development manager in a former life and spent 4 amazing years working in South America. Lucky for us he's returned to the Highlands to live and become a mountain biking and walking guide.

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