Need a holiday?
Every summer, flocks of UK riders travel to foreign shores to ride their bikes. Sure, we can think of 101 different reasons why going abroad to ride is tempting but hear us out on why you should head up north instead. It’s not all rain and midges you know…
1. The Tweed Valley
It’s hard to find a comparison to the standard of riding found in the Tweed Valley. And this might well be because there simply isn’t one.
The number of trails spread across so many different sites makes for a burgeoning trail mecca in the Borders of Scotland.
With plenty of famous trail centres and then heaps of hidden trails it is really a place which has to be visited. Get yourself a local to guide you and they’ll show you the absolute gold buried in the hills.
For the past two years the Enduro World Series has visited the Tweed Valley giving these trails the world class grading that they deserve. What’s more, all the trails that were raced still exist meaning you get to have a world class bash at them as well
Watch MBR race the Enduro World Series
2. Into the Wild
“Chasing the wild-deer, and following the Roe, My hearts in the highlands, wherever I go”
Now Robbie Burns might not have been much of shredder but he knew the highlands and their worth.
Scotland is literally littered with big mountain riding; being one of the few places in the UK where you can get descents which last longer than a couple of minutes.
Head up to Torridon in the summer for the best of big mountain feels and a truly out there experience. Just be mindful for the climb and the ever changing weather.
Pick the right evening in the summer and you’ll never want to go anywhere else to ride again.
3. The downhill World Cup
Every year the circus that is the downhill world cup comes to Fort William in north Scotland and with it comes all of your favourite pros.
It’s a weekend dedicated to nothing but bikes; from the sheer amount of fresh kit being announced through to demos, it’s an immersive world of everything two wheeled. On top of it all you get to see the professionals in action and you’ll quite likely meet them.
Bring your bike with you for additional stokens and combine the weekend with a highland shred. Fort William is overflowing with amazing riding and one of the few lift assisted riding sports. Plus, next door is Kinlochleven, home to the Dudes of Hazzard Enduro.
4. All the freedom
Almost certainly one of the key reasons as to why Scotland has such a fantastic mountain biking community. The right to roam allows you to go and ride anywhere you want.
Bring your bike, pack some kit and get out exploring. In other parts of the UK it always seems that the best trails are those which you can’t access but this isn’t the case in Scotland.
5. Trail centres galore
If natural riding isn’t your cup of tea and you can’t be doing with the faff of unfolding a map every 10 minutes, then fear not; Scotland is still the place for you.
Scotland has an absolute abundance of trail centres and this is epitomised by the Seven Stanes.
A collection of (yup, you guessed it) seven trail centres dotted over the borders of Scotland. Some are written into mountain biking lore such as Glentress whereas others are relatively unknown such as Newcastleton.
Your options aren’t limited to the south either, with the likes of Laggan, Golspie and Balblair further North you’ll never have to leave.
6. Go shredding with the pros
Scotland is home to some of the biggest names in our sport and some of the most important players.
The Tweed Valley plays host to the likes of Ruaridh Cunningham the Red Bull Hardline winner as well as Chris Ball, Enduro World Series organiser.
Danny MacAskill lives across in Glasgow and can often be found cutting about both his home city and Edinburgh and is one of the friendliest guys in the sport. Further north you’ve got the Dudes of Hazzard, infamous for their cult homemade films.
If there is a reason they’re so good at riding it is almost certainly because of Scotland.
Watch MBR’s pro bike check with Ruaridh Cunningham
7. The local delicacies
Is there anything better than smashing yourself around the big hills and getting back to a glass of Glenfiddich?
Even better, get yourself out on a bothie trip or even bivvy bagging and fill your hip flask with a night cap. Go that step further and link the mountain biking to the distilleries for a truly Scottish experience.