Where to ride, what to eat and which single malt to sip.
Escape the urban rat-race with our ultimate Scottish mountain biking roadtrip: where to ride, what to eat and which single malt to sip.
Hit the road with the wind in your hair – and of course sleet and rain in your face – to take a road trip round the world class trails on our doorstep: Scotland.
Whether it is in a posh campervan or clapped out Fiesta packed to the ceiling with festering bike gear and musty sleeping bags, it is an unforgettable experience. Here is the way we would go…
Scottish mountain biking roadtrip Day 1: Glentress
Of course no Scottish roadtrip would be complete without a visit to the Tweed Valley 7Stanes, the spiritual home of man made trails in Scotland. Take your pick of everything from cruising family green through to long and rocky black trails. You can easily spend a day here with all the facilities you might need, including a well stocked bike shop for spares. A great start to your Scottish journey.
Where to Eat: Lunches and cafe fodder in the trailhead Peel Cafe at Tress or the Number One cafe in Innerleithen; more dinner sized options can be found in either town.
Whisky Possibilities: Nearest is Glenkinchie Distillery in Tranent
Suggested Trail: Try the red, and tackle the famous Sleepy Hollow and Spooky Wood.
Day 2: Comrie Croft
An often overlooked gem with a very different ride to the 7Stanes. The hand built trail feels very natural, the open hillsides offer an antidote to forestry based views and you will find plenty of challenge on the red and black trails – and easy options for the kids if they are keen. Take a few days staying on site and soak up the very chilled out atmosphere of this excellent ‘mountain bike retreat.’
Where to Eat: The Tea Garden on the Croft for breakfast, lunch and cafe options, and you could always use the facilities in your accommodation – or fire outside your tent – to make your own dinner. Alternatively head into nearby Comrie town itself for pubs and restaurants.
Where to Stay: Where else but on the croft itself? They have katas (wigwams), camping, bunkhouse and self catering group houses.
Whisky Possibilities: Glenturret Distillery, Crieff.
Suggested Trail: All of it – just follow the signs.
Day 3 & 4: Aviemore
The trails truly are endless around the Aviemore area, with everything from long mountain hauls to nibbly forest singletrack along the flanks of the Cairngorms. The best bet for route guidance is to drop into see the lads at Bothy Bikes in the town and they will point to a map. Otherwise hit our suggested route at Glen Feshie for starters.
Where to Eat: The Old Bridge Inn has great food and atmosphere, as does La Taverna (which also has an ‘all you can eat’ – handy on a road trip…)
Where to Stay: Behind La Taverna on the main road is High Range, a collection of hotel rooms, bunkhouses and self catering chalets.
Whisky Possibilities: Glenlivet Distillery (they also have their own trail centre!)
Suggested Trail: po.st/Inshriach
Day 5 & 6: Torridon
No trip to Scotland would be complete without the full-bore mountain experience of Torridon. Big mountains, rocky trails and puckering descents all make it a bucket list classic. Just remember you are in the mountains, and don’t become a statistic…
Where to Stay: The Torridon Inn has excellent rooms, but we love the free campsite in Shieldaig that is campervan friendly and a short walk from Nannies and Tigh an Eilean pub and restaurant which is great for food too.
Whisky Possibilities: The Torridon Inn has a fine selection to work through.
Suggested Trail: po.st/20Best
Day 7: Skye
It doesn’t have a huge amount of trails, but what is there is big mountain mind blowing material. On our suggested route, rocky trails thread you through the famous Cuillin Hills to the sea and back, challenging everything from endurance to trails skills. It even has a bothy en route for lunch. Return the same way or back via the patchy trail through Srath Mor to Luib.
Where to Eat: The Sligachan Hotel has excellent pub grub among bearded climbers and be-cardiganned tourists ().
Where to Stay: The Slig has rooms, bunkhouse, self catering lodges and a campsite, all of which are right at the trail head and within moments of a dram and slap up dinner in the hotel.
Suggested Trail: po.st/SligachanSkye
Whisky Possibilities: There has been a long standing (or falling over) challenge to traverse the entire whisky selection at the Sligachan bar. Don’t even think about it.