Whether it’s a leisurely pedal soaking up the sights Scotland has to offer, or an adrenaline-soaked uphill trail by mountain bike that floats your boat, here’s a selection of the best cycling routes around.
This popular route is located near Peebles, around an hour’s drive south from Edinburgh. The area is part of the 7stanes network of trails across Scotland, and has dedicated facilities as well as the natural beauty of the Tweed Valley. 75m of routes are offered, from blue and green for beginners to more challenging red for experienced bikers.
Forest of Ae
Five routes of varying difficulty, including the brilliantly-titled Shedder (clue’s in the name in terms of how tricky that one is). The longest – the Ae Line Trail – is 24km, but there are shorter options too, such as the Ae Valley Route, which is a 9km winding wonder through glorious Dumfries.
Learnie Red Rocks
Learnie Red Rocks, in the Black Isle, will appeal to serious speed freaks as the forest is home to one of Scotland’s trickiest routes. The Learnie Hill Trail is 3.6km and rated black thanks to a downhill rock feature and a swooping single-track. To top it off the route is finished with a 10 foot drop down to the road.
One of the most northerly sites in Scotland, Balblair offers just two trails but they’re both what biking memories are made of. The hardest, a 7.2km black route, is jam-packed with rocks and down-hill segments, while the more moderate, a 3.2km blue, culminates in the smooth Ceilidh Trail.
The beauty of the Carron Valley is that it’s a rural spot but easily accessible from the big cities as it’s located within the central belt. All the four routes are designed to let you practice your skills and nerves, and each works as a warm up to the next – if you’ve got the stamina.
Isle of Arran Explorer
Perfect for relaxed dry-trips, the 25km National Cycle Network 73 route from Brodick Harbour to Lochranza route can be accessed via the ferry from Ardrossan. A favourite with holiday-makers and locals alike, the scenery taken in around Arran – including Goatfell and Brodick Castle – is worth tremendous accolade.
Pollock Country Park
An ideal way to kick-start a Rockinvans holiday leaving from Glasgow, Pollock Country Park is located on the outskirts of the Dear Green Place. NCN route 75 runs right through the grounds so it’s possible to take in the imposing sight of Pollok House from the saddle.
A classic – the 19km Loch Ness route follows cycle tracks and the Great Glen Way from Invermoriston to Drumnadrochit. Cruise slowly through Creag Nan Eun Forest and enjoy the unparalleled sight of Loch Ness in all its glory.
Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park
Take in the aspects of beautiful Perth from Kinnoull Hill by following one of many woodland trails through this park. At 7.5km long starting from the car park at Corsiehill, the most popular route is just about the perfect length to incorporate it into a day trip and still have time for a pub tea.
Taynuilt to Oban
The big daddy at 20km, this route follows the NCN route 78 from Taynuilt to coastal Oban on the Firth of Lorn. Via country roads, travel through Glen Lonan and absorb the sights of Loch Nell, then finish at the fantastic Oban Bay.
RockinVans favourite trail is situated in the Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders, Glentress is probably the best biking centre in Britain having won several acclaimed awards.
RockinVans loves the atmosphere on the tracks but especially in the café after a hard days riding. All the trails are graded similar to ski slopes, which provides something for every ability level.
Brave enough to hit the Black run?