North Scotland Bike Tour
Six nights; six days of cycling on paved roads. Highlights include Loch Ness, Culloden, Glenmorangie, castles, gardens, waterfalls, and the Assynt Highlands.
“I love the single-track roads and the traffic jams of sheep or highland cattle. We were often the only ones on the whole road.” - Katy D.
Start: Inverness, Craigmonie Hotel, 16:00, day one. Inverness is three hours by train from Glasgow, or one hour from Fort William. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Inverness, 17:00, day seven.
Meet in Inverness
Meet at your centrally located hotel in Inverness at approximately 16:00 for bike preparation and introductions. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness
Start at the Culloden Battle site and ride through the countryside to lunch along the shores of Loch Ness. Continue along the road built in the early 18th century by General Wade (keeping an eye out for Nessie) to finish the day's ride following the bank of River Ness back to Inverness. BL
Inverness to Beauly via the Great Glen Way and Drumnadrochit. You will ride along Strathglass through the beautiful Glen Urquhart to Drumnadrochit, with its abundance of craft shops, stopping on the way to visit the historic ruins of Urquhart Castle, and if you like, to visit Moniack Castle Country Wines and Preserves. BD
Priory Hotel, or
Lovat Arms; Beauly
Begin riding through the Black Isle, a delightful area of gently undulating and varied farmland. A short ferry ride across the Cromarty Firth will bring you to the Iron Age archaeological sites of Easter Ross. End the day with a wee dram at the Glenmorangie Distillery. BD
Morangie House Hotel, Tain
This crossing from East to West of Northern Scotland will bring you to some of the high points of your visit. Riding along the shores of the Dornoch Firth, you will climb to the scenic descent through Strath Oykel to the Assynt Highlands. You will cycle past two impressive castle ruins standing on the shore of Loch Assynt. The last 10 miles of the day will bring you to your elegant inn on the West Coast, from where you’ll be able to enjoy a magnificent sunset over Loch Inver. BL
Inver Lodge Hotel, Sutherland; or
Albannach Hotel, Lochinver
Visit a lighthouse, nine miles away, then ride and hike to the highest waterfall in Britain, four times higher than Niagara Falls, or simply ride to Ullapool to enjoy the coastal town. If you prefer a rest day, go fishing, relax or take a boat ride to the Summer Isles. BD
Cycle through the Inverpolly Nature Reserve and mountains of the Assynt Highlands, and may be able to visit Inverewe Gardens, where the proximity of the Gulf Stream allows palm trees to grow in the high latitudes! You will finish near Ullapool, and will visit the dramatic Corrieshalloch gorge before returning to Inverness pleasantly relaxed from your week of invigorating adventure. BL
Note about the route:
25-75 miles/40-120km per day, with some hills. Relaxed riders may be encouraged to rely on some van support. Advanced riders can enjoy longer options.
There is a fresh feeling of clean air, water, and mind when you ride the less-traveled moorlands and coastlines of Scotland’s dramatic north. The isolated and profoundly scenic landscape, the ineffably polite and friendly inhabitants, and the echoes of a deeper past among the ancient castles and Iron Age ruins will leave you with a deep appreciation for Scotland, as well as memories for a lifetime.
The adventure starts in Inverness on the Northern end of Loch Ness, where you can keep an eye out for Nessie in case she rises from the dark and mysterious depths. You’ll visit Culloden - site of the last major battle fought on British soil, Urquhart Castle, and the quiet forests and glens surrounding the Loch. You’ll then cross Cromarty Firth from the Black Isle to Easter Ross, and after seeing the recent Iron Age excavations there, will relax in Tain, home to one of Scotland’s fine distilleries, Glenmorangie. You’ll then cross the highlands following the river Oykel, from Dornoch Firth on the East Coast, to Lochinver near the Summer Isles on the West Coast. The Gulf Stream has such an influence on the climate here that palm trees grow in Inverewe Gardens - a stunning collection of temperate and sub-tropical plants in beautifully landscaped private gardens. The combination of charming villages, dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife on this adventure will inspire your life-long love affair with Scotland!
Maps & Elevations
Inverness, Craigmonie Hotel, 16:00, day one. Inverness is three hours by train from Glasgow, or one hour from Fort William. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Inverness, 17:00, day seven.
US 3095 C 3695(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps and route notes, taxes)
US 2795 C 3295(per person, includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, transfers as outlined in the plan, luggage transfers, maps, route notes, taxes)
US 845 C 995
Hybrid: US 225 C 265
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.