7 Spectacular Places to Cycle in Scotland

Tori Chalmers

When it comes to cycling, Scottish-born Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had the right idea: “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” With that in mind, discover our guide to Scotland’s most spectacular cycling spots.

1. Loch Lomond And The Trossachs National Park

Park, Forest

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is suited to those looking for spellbinding scenery and cycling routes for days. This iconic park sports 21 Munros, 19 Corbetts, two forest parks and 57 sites dedicated to nature conservation — not to mention plenty of mysterious and famous lochs. Accommodating all skillsets and cycling itineraries, the routes vary in difficulty from advanced mountainous trails to subdued family meanderings. For totally off-road, try the 13-mile route from Aberfoyle to Callander.

2. Scottish Borders

Melrose Abbey In The Scottish Borders

Everything about the Scottish Borders makes it a magnet for bike lovers. Between the hilly terrain, bucolic scenery and top notch signage, there’s just something about it that instils an urge to get on a bike and investigate. Although each route is as magical as the next, it helps to narrow down your path depending on interests. Those set on soaking up history should try the 4 Abbeys or the Coast and Castles routes. For a strong cycle, perhaps try one of the Borderloop options. Real cycle enthusiasts should glide on into the outstanding Tweedlove, the UK’s largest cycle festival.

Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey In The Scottish Borders | © alljengi / Flickr

3. The Speyside Way

Stop Along The Speyside Way | © blackadderajr / Flickr
© blackadderajr / Flickr

The Speyside Way is a chance to mix fitness with pleasure. Hop on this famous route from Craigellachie to Ballindalloch and soak up the sights, which include some of Scotland’s renowned whisky distilleries. Those that feel inclined to celebrate a pit stop with a dram in hand can do so! Bear in mind that not all parts are cycle friendly, however the route between Aviemore and Boat of Garten actually covers a portion of the renowned Sustrans millennium cycle way. Flat and free from traffic, this is the way to go!

Craigellachie, Aberlour, Scotland

Stop Along The Speyside Way | © blackadderajr / Flickr

4. Forth And Clyde Canal

A most joyous jolly, the Forth and Clyde Canal comes complete with a 35-mile towpath designed to accommodate cyclists. Hop on the trail from Bowling to Edinburgh to catch that desirable Sustrans Route 754. Recommended for those who like to shake things up, try heading from Glasgow to the must-visit Falkirk Wheel and enjoy the selection of urban and country sights. If starting from Glasgow, bike hire is available at Next Bike.

Forth and Clyde Canal, Scotland

Falkirk Wheel | © Karen Roe / Flickr

Glentress Forest

If mountain biking is your mantra and exploring is your aim then Glentress Forest is your calling. Made for mountain biking, this mystical tree-lined land basks deep in the Tweed Valley and boasts multiple graded trails. Those enamoured with this jewel can raise the bar and check out the Red Bull cross country and down-hill trails at the iconic Innerleithen.

Glentress Forest, Scotland

The Boundary Trail at Glentress

5. Loch an Eilein

Forest

Loch an Eilein | © twistyfoldy.net / Flickr
© twistyfoldy.net / Flickr

This route should not be surpassed, especially if you’re around Aviemore. Take your pick from paths in and around the Rothimurchas Forest and embrace the beauty that surrounds. Perhaps the most popular route is the Loch An Eilein trail, with its welcomed flat surfaces and sympathetic tame hills. Loch An Eilein herself is an absolute gem and has one of the most breathtaking lochs in Scotland — take note of the ruined 15th century castle in the middle. Wildlife lovers can revel in some epic nature and bird spotting.

Loch an Eilein, Aviemore, Scotland

Loch an Eilein | © twistyfoldy.net / Flickr

6. Nevis Range

Ski Resort

6. Nevis Range
© Albaimages / Alamy Stock Photo
Home to the only mountain gondola in the UK, Fort William’s Nevis Range is something rather special. Amidst the endless array of mountain sports and adventure activities exist some downright gnarly mountain bike trails. And, there’s a track for everyone, depending on the skillset. One for the bike bucket list, follow the greats and dominate the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Track.

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