Summer is a great time to go cycling in Scotland. Whether its trail riding through ancient forests you’re into, or speeding along scenic coastal roads, Scotland has something for every type of cyclist from beginner to advanced riders.
There are loads of great ways to enjoy cycling in Scotland, with great options for cycling holidays and just as many great days out for short bike rides to tackle during a leisurely morning or afternoon. Scotland really is geared up for cycling, with lots of options for cycle hire and a number of cycling tours on offer.
Here are five great routes to try around the country, from mountain bike trails to road cycling routes:
Strathblane to Kirkintilloch on the Strathkelvin walkway
This route is excellent for beginners or families with children. The route takes you along a resurfaced railway line for eight miles between the towns of Strathblane and Kirkintilloch. The cycling is easy going on an almost flat and smooth route. There’s also an ideal halfway stop to Clachan of Campsie where you’ll find a café and the Wheelcraft bike shop. It’s a fantastic route that runs along the scenic Campsie fells.
Westerton Station to Loch Lomond
Those looking to make a day of it might like to take on the Bearsden to Loch Lomond route. Starting at Westerton Station, or even the Bell’s Bridge in Glasgow for a longer route, the flat canal paths and riverbank trails cover a distance of 18 miles finishing at Loch Lomond Shores Visitor Centre. The great thing about this route is that if you’re too worn out to make the return trip you can always hop on the train from Balloch Railway Station back into Glasgow. There is lots to see on this easy route, and it can easily be made shorter for younger children.
Glentress near Peebles
Just an hour outside Edinburgh, Glentress offers superb mountain bike routes for beginners and advanced riders with superb views of the beautiful Tweed Valley. Glentress is one of the famous 7stanes mountain biking centres, with award winning trails that attract riders from all over the UK and beyond. Try the lower green route taking you through the centre’s oldest, tallest and most magnificent trees. Or for the real pros, try the black route. A long, technical ride that includes epic climbs and thrilling descents through the woods.
Witch’s Trails in Fort William
Fort William is of course the home of world class downhill mountain biking, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it if you’re not a professional downhill rider. The Witch’s trail has something for everyone. Take the Broomstick blue trail following the path of the River Lundy, with plenty of gently flowing single track. If you’re up for a challenge try the 10 Under the Ben route. 10 km of single track and forest road based on the popular event of the same name.
Skye and the Inner Hebrides
If wilderness cycling is more your thing, try an extended tour of Scotland’s Islands off the west coast. Skye paints a stunning backdrop to this road cycling adventure with routes that follow twisting ribbons of quiet island and Highland roads. Take time along the way to have cultural encounters and soak in the atmosphere of these wild and dramatic landscapes.