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The modern, rear-wheel driven bicycle was invented in 1839 by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, a Scottish blacksmith from Keir, Dumfries-shire.
Scotland Coast to Coast tour
The Coast to Coast bike trip is a journey of 262 miles/419 km travelling from Aberdeen on the east coast to Applecross in the west. Cycling across the country we’ll climb over 17,000 feet/5,180 metres, including the UK’s highest and in our opinion arguably the most challenging road climb.
6 days/6 nights Guided Bike Tour
Aberdeen ~ Caringorms ~ Highlands ~ Ardnamuchan Peninsula
Unlike other tours, this route is genuinely coast to coast – right from the North Sea to the crashing surf of the Atlantic at Ardnamurchan Point. Guides are professionals from the Highlands and know the trails inside out. Riding with them, you can sure of discovering the best riding, learning a huge amount about Scotland, being safe, developing your skills and, for sure, having a lot of fun. This is a truly superb multi-day mountain bike ride offering world class riding through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Scottish Highlands.
Day One – The Coast to Coast begins: Aberdeen to Ballater
You will be met by your guide at Aberdeen train station before making a short transfer to the start point on the North Sea. After spending some time bike fitting and preparing for the day ahead we’ll begin our journey leaving Aberdeen behind as we ride along the quiet Deeside roads. We’ll enjoy lunch by the riverside in the picturesque village of Banchory before continuing north. Following the River Dee to the village of Ballater , our first overnight stop. (L, D)
Distance 40 miles/64km Ascent: 2,189 ft
Day Two ‐ Cairngorms National Park
Today we’ll continue west enjoying the quiet and scenic roads as we met our first major climb – a steady rise across the wild expanse of the Cabrach moor.
Our descent on the other side leads us to the Speyside village of Dufftown, well known for whisky being its bloodline with a number of distilleries nearby. We’ll take this opportunity to stop for a dram!
After lunch, we cross the River Spey and ride alongside the river climbing into the village of Grantown on Spey in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Perhaps take a short walk to explore the village before dinner or perhaps sample a Speyside whisky in the local pub. (B, L)
Distance 58 miles/93 km Ascent: 4,405 ft
Day Three – Grantown-on-Spey to Fort Augustus
Today’s ride takes us right off the beaten track onto rarely visited and virtually traffic-free roads.
The day begins with a warm up through the villages of Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge before we strike west up the remote Findhorn Valley. Following a fantastic single-track road, we climb over the challenging Garbole where the views of the majestic North Highlands really open up.
If the weather allows, we can enjoy a spectacular high-altitude picnic by the roadside. After lunch we’ll descend to the village of Farr continuing on quiet backroads high above the shores of Loch Ness. A fantastic 5 mile descent awaits to finish the day, dropping us down to the shores of the famous loch and our overnight accommodation in the village of Fort Augustus. (B, L)
Distance 55 miles/88 km Ascent: 3,312 ft
Day Four – Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
Enjoy a relaxed morning in the village of Fort Augustus before boarding a zodiac for a high speed trip on Loch Ness, passing the fascinating Urquhart Castle, its ruins perched right on the edge of the loch.
After a short tour here, we will climb back on the bikes by the castle for an afternoons ride. Our route rises west passing the Balmacaan Forest and we ride alongside the River Glass and towards the small village of Beauly. From here it’s a short ride to our accommodation – a beautiful family-owned and run country house secluded in the hills above Contin. (B, L)
Distance 41 miles/65 km Ascent: 1,950 ft
Day Five – To the West Highlands
As we continue on our journey west, passing through Garve and Achnasheen, you will notice some dramatic changes as the landscape rises around us with each passing mile.
The views are a great motivation for the afternoon climb away from the shores of Loch a’Chroisg. At the top you are rewarded with views right down the length of the spectacular Loch Maree with the rocky ramparts of the Torridon Mountains forming the backdrop.
The descent is an absolute blast on the most perfect road surface and before long we will find ourselves at the head of Glen Torridon. The final section of the day passes through the dramatic Glen Torridon where we are rewarded with views of the majestic mountains of Liatach and Beinn Eighe.
As we gently climb across the watershed we will get our first glimpses of the west coast. A fast end to the day is guaranteed as we cruise alongside the river to overnight in the village of Torridon. (B, L)
Distance 43 miles/69 km Ascent: 1,985 ft
Day Six – The Applecross Peninsula
For our final day on the coast to coast cycle, a true test awaits – the famously spectacular and challenging Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle). Starting from sea level and rising through a series of ramps, hairpins and switchbacks to the summit at 626 m (2054 ft) over the 6 mile climb and reaching gradients of up to 20% in places! However, take courage in the previous 5 days which have prepared you for the climb and the fact that once at the top, it’s downhill all the way to the coast and journey’s end!
We have all day to tackle the climb so we’ll take it easy and if at any point you need some gravity assistance the Wilderness vehicle will be with you to provide whatever support you need. At the summit, you will be greeted with a view which (on a clear day) can only be described as breathtaking – the Skye Cuillin Mountains, the Small Isles and the Outer Hebrides stretch out before you in a coastal feast for the eyes.
The descent is simply superb, leading to the village of Applecross, where we meet the Atlantic, marking the end of our amazing coast to coast journey*. We’ll celebrate with lunch at the Applecross Inn, taking in the vistas of the Isle of Skye, accross the sea. This is the perfect place to end a perfect trip! (B, D)
Distance 25 miles/40 km Ascent: 3,193 ft*
* This evening is the official end of pur tour. For those of you wishing to cycle a little more, you can have the option of riding around the peninsula back to Torridon, adding an additional 24 miles and 2,073 feet of ascent.
Day Seven – Return to Inverness
This morning we will have a leisurely breakfast, before transferring back to Inverness. The journey takes us around 1.5 hours arriving into the city around 12 noon, allowing you plenty time to connect with onward transport. (B)
- 6 nights accommodation in locally-owned guest house and small hotels
- Breakfast and lunches only (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch)
- All transport throughout the trip, starting in Aberdeen and finishing in Inverness
- Private boat trip on beautiful Loch Shiel
- A support vehicle & trailer throughout
- The services of qualified and experienced mountain bike guides and assistant guide/ support driver throughout your trip.
- All group safety and bike maintenance equipment.
What’s not included?
BIKE HIRE £175.00 per hire
Most of our clients choose to hire bikes but you are more than welcome to bring your own. We are confident in saying that our hire bike fleet
is the best in Scotland with a range of models and sizes to suit each rider. The bikes we use are brand new each season and maintained to
the highest standards. You can choose between:
Road Bikes: ~ Merida Ride 400
Hybrid Bikes: ~ Merida Shaper 400
Pricing is £175.00 per bike, per trip
Each bike comes equipped with a bike computer, compact handlebar bag (with map case) to carry your daily essentials e.g. camera, snacks, waterproof and a saddle bag with spare tube, tyre levers and pump.
For full details on our bikes for this season please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dates and Pricing
The cost of this tour is from £1495 per person sharing based upon a group size of up to 8 clients.
Our 2018 dates are
- 26th May – 1 June: £1595.00 TRIP FULL
- 23rd June -29th: June £1495.00 5 Places remaining
- 21st July – 27th July: £1495.00 3 Places remaining
Getting there and away
You will be met by your guide at 11.00am at Aberdeen train station. We will return to Inverness train station around 13.30 . For details on how to get to Aberdeen, contact us at email@example.com. With the planned ride, Day 1 can be quite a long one. Please note that lunch won’t be until about 1400, so it may be wise to bring snacks. We ask that you please come to the meeting point ready to ride with bikes assembled (for those bringing their own) as we aim to start riding from here.
This tour has been designed for regular mountain bikers with a good level of fitness and technical riding skills. You may need to include some pre-trip preparation to build your stamina to cope with being in the saddle for consecutive days. You can expect around 6-8 hours of riding each day through a wide variety of terrain. Distances covered will typically be in the range of 50km-70km/ 30-44m each day and you can expect to be some wild mountain environments where weather is a factor.