The Scottish Highlands Website
Scotish Highlands Accommodation Scotland, United Kingdom
Cycling is hugely popular in the Scottish Highlands, and why not considering how well suited the region is for it. Miles of trails and special cycle paths exist all throughout the Highlands of Scotland, and you will also find that many of the roads are quiet and ideal for cycling. Of course, the Land’s End / John O’ Groats route also cuts right through the Scottish Highlands, travelling a good way on the A9. In the summer, this road hosts many cyclists making this trip. Caution is advised for both motorists and cyclists on this route, as the road can be very narrow, steep, and difficult at times, especially in the Northern Highlands. Whether you wish to travel miles through the Highlands on your bicycle, like the dedicated John O’Groats group, or just meander through the pastoral countryside, the hills and glens, the braes and straths, there are many cycling opportunities for you here in the glorious Scottish Highlands.
Bring or ride up on your own bicycle, hire a bike once you get here, or take a Scottish Highlands cycle tour—it’s up to you. Many trains accommodate cyclists and have special cargo racks specifically for your bike. Generally, there is no fee for bringing your bike, but it is operated on a space-available basis or may need a cycling reservation. Some trains do charge a small fare for bicycles. Check with ScotRail and National Rail to find out the particulars for your route. Stations will also usually provide lockers and bike racks, if needed. So, choose to cover more ground by planning a combination train and cycle trip. Look for signs at the stations to determine which route you are on or wish to take. There is a National Cycle Network in Scotland which provides maps and route finders for cyclists, and you will discover many of these in the Scottish Highlands. If you are traveling far and planning on cycling only part of the way, many bus services and ferry services also accommodate bicycles. Just be sure to check before booking.
Cycling holidays are very popular in the Scottish Highlands. They provide a great way to enjoy the scenery, get some fresh air, and have an active holiday all in one. There are centres and tour companies which run wilderness tours, whisky trail tours, castles and sacred sites tours, and the like. You will be able to hire bicycles and equipment, and often the tours are run by knowledgeable guides, if you would rather not strike out on your own. Cycle safaris help you find those hidden treasure for which Scotland is legendary. Unless you are a long-time native, it is hard to know where the best roads and tracks are located. Cycling tour operators will know the most scenic routes which will allow you to explore the rich and varied landscape of the Scottish Highlands. As well, cycle tours are eco-friendly, so you can experience the landscape with little impact. Cycling tours are a great option if you want to enjoy the activity of cycling and have someone else manage the details such as accommodation and food. For a true taste of Scottish Highland wilderness, travel by bicycle and enjoy the great outdoors.
For a completely different view of the Scottish Highlands, choose to go cycling. Perhaps you will just hire a bike for an afternoon or a day. You can explore the off-road paths which meander all through the Highlands, or you can enjoy a ride from one Highland village to another. At this relaxed pace, you will truly discover the beauty and majesty that awaits you in the Highlands of Scotland. Follow a coastal route and look for dolphins and seals. Travel inland and you might see red deer and pine martens. Wherever you choose to cycle, you are guaranteed a spectacular view of the countryside. So much of the Scottish Highlands are remote and unspoilt, the scenery will be breath-taking. If you prefer a more strenuous holiday, there is no end of cycling trails and paths, roads with bicycle lanes, and routes you can take to travel the Scottish Highlands by bicycle. There is a 215 mile cycle route from Glasgow to Inverness for the ambitious cyclist who wants to see and experience a vast expanse of Highland landscape.
According to the enthusiasts, cycling in Scotland is the closet thing to heaven on earth. It offers a wide variety of terrains, from soft cycling around the lochsides and pastureland to steep mountain challenges. The landscape is always breath-taking, and the roads are generally quiet in the Highlands, aside from the A9, which is the only trunk road north of Inverness. Just remember, however, that the distances between one village and the next, or one shop and the next can be many miles or kilometers, so plan accordingly. As well, the weather in the Scottish Highlands is famously unpredictable, so be prepared for all eventualities, no matter what time of year it is. The farther north you go, the more exposed you become as forests dwindle and some of the terrain is quite rough. If you are well-prepared and plan adequately, you can enjoy a wide variety of cycling opportunities throughout the Scottish Highlands, from long journeys and cycling holidays to a relaxing afternoon pedal about. Whatever your preference, the Scottish Highlands are indeed a cyclist’s heaven!
The Scottish Highlands of Scotland is a great place for cycling because the area is so well catered for cycling in general, with many off-road forestry tracks and paths through stunning scenery in the Scottish Highlands. You will also be amazed at how quiet most roads are. There is a long-distance off road cycling track and the area boasts the longest downhill mountain-biking track in the Scottish Highlands, in fact in the entire UK! So, whether you will be cycling through the countryside of the Scottish Highlands or interested in extreme sports it's all here for you in the Scottish Highlands.
Given bright blue skies and a warm breeze, cycling can be one of the most enjoyable ways to see the Scottish Highlands and absorb its charm, along uncongested roadways. When cycling you can be guaranteed some of the world's most breathtaking scenery that is ever changing with the light and seasons. Whether you arrange your own route through the Scottish Highlands or source a designated cycling route from the Forestry Commission or one of the many booklets available locally, you are entitled to use tracks and public rights of way and look out for tracks that have been given status for cycling throughout the Glens of the Scottish Highlands. Many have been cycling here in the Scottish Highlands for centuries which only adds to the adventure.
For those considering routes that incorporate travelling across towns then you might consider checking with the local bus company that bikes are permitted on their buses. This can often be the case in rural areas of the Scottish Highlands where cycling is common. The same applies for taking bikes on trains. Its always advisable to be well informed as some trains do not accept bikes at all. Generally though if you have a folding bike in a holdall or case, this will be carried onto the train at no expense. Other bikes can be transported free of charge but it is advisable to check with your intend train operator. Charges on ferries are minimal and sometimes free. You'll encounter many other cyclists boarding in the same way eager to embark on their adventures in the Scottish Highlands along sea lochs and riversides, less known scenic routes and off road tracks. No need to pre book unless using one of the ferries to the smaller Islands in peak season when paying passengers will get preference to your cycling equipment.
Inverness hosts a number of interesting cycling routes especially around Beauly Firth, that gives you great vies of the Clachanaharry and sea lochs. If you have an interest in architecture in the city why not take an outsiders view of Inverness from the countryside. The route starts from the city centre but leads you through Mile End to Tomnahurich Bridge. The Blue National Cycle Route takes you on a historical tour through Culloden and Clava. Find a good cycle route book for the Scottish Highlands prior to your trip. Alternatively book a cycling tour with one of the many local operators who will charge you for their services but will guarantee that you don't miss any of the "not to be missed" places here in the Scottish Highlands.