Total tour distance: 180 miles
Daily tour distance: 30 miles
Difficulty: 50 / 100
Discover the history and landscapes of Scotland as you cycle through the Scottish Highlands. A romantic landscape of deep lochs, secluded glens and purple heather clad hills littered with castles and steeped in history. Your trip begins in Glasgow, which in Victorian times was Britains second city. After settling into your hotel, you can explore the historic city centre lined with beautiful Victorian buildings or visit the excellent Kelvingrove or Riverside Museums. After a good nights sleep we transfer you to Callander in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, where your cycling tour begins with a fine bike ride along the tranquil Loch Katrine and a trip on the Sir Walter Scott steamship. Your route continues north past Loch Lubnaig and through Glen Ogle to the village of Killin, which lies at the southern end of Loch Tay bisected by The Falls Of Dochart. The scenery just gets even better with every turn of the pedals as you follow the southern shore of Loch Tay past the Scottish Crannog Centre, Dewars World of Whisky and Taymouth Castle to Aberfeldy, famous for the "Birks Of Aberfeldy" a poem by Robert Burns. Your route continues into the heart of Highland Perthshire to the Victorian spa town of Pitlochry and then finally to Blair Atholl where you spend the final two nights in a traditional highland country hotel exploring Blair Castle, Dalwhinnie Distillery and Atholl Estates, which even boasts Europes last private army.
Day 1 - Arrive in Glasgow
Glasgow has excellent flight links from within the UK and international destinations. After settling into your hotel get out and explore the historic city center lined with beautiful Victorian buildings or visit the excellent Kelvingrove or Riverside Museums or perhaps take a tour exploring one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s landmark buildings. Dinner on your own tonight, suggestions provided.
Day 2 - Transfer to Callander & Loch Katrine Cycle; 53km riding
After breakfast we will transfer you to Callander, which sits on the eastern edge of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. On arrival you will have your orientation and tour briefing; then get fitted for your bikes and begin your cycle,whilst your baggage is delivered to your hotel.
You can look forward to a delightful day of riding in one of the prettiest corners of the Trossachs. Your route takes you along the southern shore of Loch Venacher to the Trossachs Pier at Loch Katrine. Situated in the heart of Rob Roy country lies the pristine Loch Katrine, famously featured in Sir Walter Scott’s poem Lady of the Lake and novel Rob Roy.
At the pier you step aboard the 100 year old Steamship Sir Walter Scott for a historic steam powered journey on Loch Katrine to Stronachlachar, where you disembark ride back along the shores of Loch Katrine to Callander. (fare included)
Day 3 - Cycle to Killin; 40km cycling
Leaving Callander you head north on traffic free national cycle route 7 past the tranquil waters of Loch Lubnaig in the shadow of Ben Ledi. The graveyard in the tiny village of Balqhuidder, at the head of Loch Voil, is the final resting place of folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor, made famous by the Hollywood movie.
Continuing north through scenic Glen Ogle you soon reach the highland village of Killin, which is centred on the Falls Of Dochart.
Day 4 - Killin to Aberfeldy; 40km cycling
Your companions for much of today's journey will be the mighty Loch Tay and Ben Lawers as you cycle east towards Aberfeldy. The Scottish Crannog center near Kenmore, the Birks of Aberfeldy (which inspired Rabbie Burn’s poem of the same name), the Fortingall Yew and Dewar’s World of Whisky are a few of the attractions you can look forward to en-route. Whether you drink Scotch or not, a visit to Dewars would be an interesting stop.
Day 5 - Cycle to Pitlochry; 26 km cycling
A shorter day to day as you follow the River Tay to its confluence with the River Tummel and then head north to the Victorian Spa Town of Pitlochry.
Pitlochry is always a hive of activity and there is so much to see and do; theatres, waterfalls, loch side walks, two distilleries and plenty of shops. If you feel like riding some extra miles today, that is also possible with the maps we provide. It may be a way to visit a few of the distilleries found in the area, your panniers are capable of 1 bottle each! (consumption off the bike!)
Day 6 - Cycle to Blair Atholl; 15 or 60 km cycling options
Enjoy a choice of routes ranging from the relaxed to the energetic through Highland Perthshire's ‘BigTreeCountry’ to the highland village of Blair Atholl.
If you take on the more demanding route via Loch Tummel you can look forward to enjoying Queens View (named after Queen Isabel, first wife of Robert the Bruce), which has been voted Scotland’s most outstanding beauty spot! Those taking the easier option can explore the visitor centre at Killiecranckie, site of an important Jacobite battle and a remarkable soldier’s leap. You may want to visit Blair Castle today, or save it for tomorrow.
Day 7 - Atholl Castle or Dalwhinnie; Day off or ride up to 70km
Blair Atholl Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, dominates Blair Atholl and is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s most beautiful and impressive castles.
Exploring the castle and grounds can easily take up the best part of a day and the estate has some wonderful way marked walks as well as many cycling possibilities. The House of Bruar (the Harrods of the North) is perfect for picking up a few gifts and the nearby Falls of Bruar a photographer’s dream.
The more energetic will enjoy the climb from Blair Atholl to remote Duntocher Pass and the village of Dalwhinnie which is home to little more than an excellent distillery, where you can fortify yourself for the way back down to Blair Atholl. (moderation of course!)
Day 8 - Depart Blair Atholl
Your trip ends after breakfast when you can catch the train either north to Inverness or south to Glasgow or Edinburgh.
- 7 nights accommodation in handpicked 3 or 4 star B&B’s
- 7 breakfasts
- Door to door baggage transfer
- Transfer from Glasgow to Callander on Day 2
- Steamship Sir Walter Scott single ticket to Stronachlachar
- Detailed information pack
- Route notes and map
- Orientation and bike set up on Day 2
- GPS tracks available
- Emergency telephone support from our local office in the event of a problem.
Accommodations: lovely 3 and 4 star authentic Scottish B&Bs and/or hotels with breakfast included daily. All lodging offers a private bathroom and a variety of other amenities. Hotels include:
- Abode Hotel
- Abbotsford Hotel
- Dall Lodge Country House
- Balnearn House
- Wellwood House
- Atholl Arms