Top Cycle Tracks In Scotland

A new campaign by the Scottish Tourism Alliance and National Cycle Tourism Forum aims to make Scotland a top attraction for cyclists.

With cycling celebrities like Sir Bradley Wiggins promoting Scotland’s many cycling routes, the campaign aims to make the country a top destination for cyclists everywhere.

Whether you’re looking for rugged mountain tracks or gentle family cycle routes, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss these top cycle routes:

Caledonian Canal
A short, easy route runs along the Caledonian Canal in the South-West of Scotland. From Neptune’s Staircase lock, cyclists can ride 7 miles along the flat towpath to Gairlochy.

There are beautiful views of the countryside, especially Loch Lochy.

Cyclists can return along the canal path, or take the hillier route back along the B8004 on the opposite side of the canal.

It may be more difficult but cyclists are rewarded with stunning views over the Great Glen Way. Other cycle routes run up and down the Great Glen Way, which stretches across Scotland from Fort William to Inverness.

Cawdor Castle
Inverness itself offers many routes, including the rugged track to Cawdor Castle some 10 miles east of the city.

This hilly path runs along the B9006 and the Caulfield Road North to Smithson, then through Culloden. Don’t worry if you need a break from the challenging hills, it’s flatter on the Culloden Road.

At the end of the cycle you can recover in Cawdor Castle’s fine gardens, which has views over Inverness and the Moray Firth estuary.

Dunfermline to Culross
This cycle route runs between Dunfermline and Culross on the east coast. Although there are small hills along this 20-mile route, there are also plenty of calm cycle paths and quiet roads.

The West Fife Cycleway runs out of Dunfermline to the viaduct at Blairhall. A little further on is a stone bridge, which allows cyclists to turn south towards Culross.

There is a drop down to this coastal town, but the route provides excellent views across the Forth estuary.

Culross has quaint cobbled streets and it’s home to the remains of Culross Abbey, which dates back to the thirteenth century.

Look out for Culross Palace, a beautifully-restored seventeenth-century mansion. Travelling back on the B9037, there are wonderful views of the coast and the Ochil Hills.

This isn’t for novices as the route climbs steadily uphill but at Cairnie Hill, cyclists can head straight along the A994 to Dunfermline, or travel north to re-join the West Fife Cycleway.

The Isle of Sky
Located off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye has routes for cyclists of all capabilities. Portree is the main town and serves as a good base.

The best cycle route runs around the Trotternish Peninsula which encompasses a range of roads and hills along the way.

Following the A855 north out of Portree, cyclists can see famous rock formations like the Old Man of Storr.

Further along is the Mealt waterfall, which plunges some three hundred feet into the sea below. The cliffs along this stretch of Skye are magnificent.

The trip around the peninsula is around 27 miles long, ending at the town of Uig. However, there is a shorter 18-mile route back to Portree along the A87, which has more spectacular views.

Land’s End to John o’Groats
If you want to challenge yourself, try the 603 mile cycle from Land’s End in England to John o’Groats in Scotland.

This epic cycle takes you on a trip up the coast of Britain, most stop at John o’Groats But the most northerly point is some 15 miles away at Easter Head, which can be reached by taking the A836 west out of John o’Groats, then joining the B855 at Dunnet Head.

Cyclists are treated to stunning views of local lochs, the coastline and, at Easter Head itself, a lighthouse built by Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather.

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Fiona writes for LHH Scotland, leading provider of luxury holiday homes across Scotland.