Touring Scotland on a bike01 January, 2013 0 comments
Real Adventure Cycling Holidays in Scotland, UK.
Looking for great places for a cycling holiday? The UK has a lot to offer with some fantastic routes that take you through uniquely English villages, along wonderful coastal roads and splendid landscapes. A cycling holiday in Scotland promises all of these things but with a little added extra.
It has to be said that Scotland offers some of the best cycling holidays ever – roads are quieter with far less traffic than in other parts of the country. You can get right up close to all the wonderful things you discover both on the Scottish mainland as well as on the islands.
The lochs and glens are superb areas to cycle through and the one thing you'll soon notice and appreciate, is the clean air of the Scottish Highlands. From the rugged Trossachs hills, past ancient castles and along splendid coastlines, there are some amazing routes to take. Then of course, there is the natural friendliness of Scottish, their hospitality is a joy as are their famous whiskies.
Essential Info To Consider When Planning Your Cycling Holiday
The best time of the year to really enjoy Scotland and all that it has to offer you, is from late March to late October. The springtime and autumn months tend to be a little colder but it's a wonderful time of the year to enjoy all the colours of the landscapes and night skies. During the months of May right through till August, cycling in Scotland is simply out of this world – it's without a shadow of doubt the best time to plan a cycling holiday both in the Highlands and on the islands.
There are some wonderful traditional places to stay at with a choice of small, family run Bed & Breakfasts, hostels as well as hotels that have a certain charm about them. You'll enjoy a warm welcome wherever you stay in Scotland and you'll also find that a most places offer secure storage for your bikes.
What About Bikes & Equipment?
You can make your own way up to the Scottish Highlands and then rent a bike once you get there. If you book your cycling holiday through an online company like Macs Adventure, you can hire a suitable bike with a choice that includes mountain bikes or hybrids that have a rear pannier rack – naturally there are repair kits, pumps and locks as well.
Road bikes, touring bikes, mountain bikes or hybrids are all great choices for a cycling holiday in Scotland. Then of course, you will need all the gear – helmet, waterproofs, cycling clothes not forgetting some casual clothes for evenings spent in a few Scottish pubs you encounter during your travels.
The Lochs & Highland Glens
The gateway to the Highlands is the busy town of Callander – you can find loads of information about the area at the visitor centre – and this includes some interesting facts about Rob Roy. Going east, takes you to Loch Katrine – take a trip on the Sir Walter Scott steamship, it's a experience you won't regret that really does take you back in time.
The whole area is magical – Loch Lubnaig and then Glen Ogle and the village of Killin, is one route that just gets better and better the further you cycle along it. The road takes you all the way to Taymouth Castle and then on to Aberfeldy – made famous by Robert Burns in one of his poems.
If you want to spend some time in a Scottish spa town, Pitlochry has a lot to offer apart from spectacular scenery and traditionally warm hospitality that is so typical of Scotland.
The Far North & Then The Islands
Travelling right to the north of Scotland means discovering a coastline that's simply amazing. Cycling around Dunnet Head takes you past some splendid bays and coves that boast wonderful beaches and views of the islands that are second to none. Again there are many places to stay at en route, all of which offer cyclists a warm welcome and have secure places where you can leave your bike overnight.
Then there are the islands – full of wildlife and island hideaways. Arran, Islay and Jura are exceptional places to cycle around, and gives a new meaning to island hopping. The villages on the islands are all delightfully whitewashed and the whiskies are gorgeously peaty tasting.
You'll be amazed at the beauty of the beaches which are tranquil, empty places where you can enjoy spending some real quality time. The rugged coastline of Islay is splendid – this is a whisky lovers dream come true, with eight distilleries on the island and many extremely welcoming pubs too!
The Highlights of Cycling Around the Islands
The roads around the islands are deserted making it a superb, never to be forgotten experience. Island hopping is at its best with lovely harbours and ports that take you to new places just begging to be explored. The landscapes and coastlines are to die for on the islands and there are some very welcoming places to stay that offer the best Scottish island hospitality ever. Add to this some splendid traditional Scottish fare and you will be going back for more year after year.