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Tastes and Trails of Scotland: Tour Diary

Tastes & Trails of Scotland tour diary, by Andrew Clark, Operations Assistant

I have been a part of the H&I Adventures team for a little over five months now, and when I was asked to come along on our Tastes & Trails adventure that takes you from the glorious Cairngorm National Park to the awe-inspiring west coast of Scotland and back again, I jumped at the chance. What better way to further build my mountain biking skills and experience what our company does best than to try it first hand! Bags packed, bike at the ready and carefully-crafted itinerary in hand, it’s time to set off!

Day 1: Inverness to Grantown-on-Spey; introductions and warm-ups

Our week begins in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, where we pick up our American guests from the airport and grab a coffee in a local café. A gentle warm-up ride takes us through the local forest trails to familiarise ourselves with the bikes and to shake off any jet-lag, before a short transfer to the picturesque town of Grantown-on-Spey, and the first of a plethora of top class Scottish cuisine at the Garth Hotel. Our accommodation for the next two nights is at the charming Strathallan Guest House, and after a day of travelling, riding and eating, a good night’s sleep is not hard to find!

Day 2: Rothiemurchus Loop; welcome to the Cairngorms!
Our day gets off to a slightly unorthodox start as the Thunder in the Glens festival passes through town. The sound of over one thousand rumbling Harley Davidson motorbikes is certainly an effective alarm clock!

After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to start our Tastes & Trails tour in earnest, and we pedal out of Aviemore into the Rothiemurchus Estate.

Throughout the ride, awesome double and singletrack trails are intertwined with beautiful Scottish scenery and fascinating history. We pass through one of Scotland’s last remaining Caledonian pine forests to Loch an Eilean, and learn about the tyrannical Alexander Stewart, (the Wolf of Badenoch), who owned the 15th century castle that stands on an island in the middle of the loch.

Swooping through rivers, glens and woodland trails, our guide is constantly on the lookout for nuggets of information, pointing out birds of prey, a crash course in identifying the three different types of Scottish Heather, and even dishing out some juniper berries growing in the bushes. I can still taste the gin…

After a late lunch on the shores of Loch Morlich, we spend the afternoon charging through the final singletrack section of our loop, gaining speed and confidence in our bikes with each pedal stroke, before diving into the Cairngorm Brewery to try out some local craft beers and ales; a perfect end to any bike ride!

Dinner is enjoyed at the local Craig Bar, a small pub with a big heart, famed for its extensive range of delicious Scottish connoisseur pies and never-ending Scots “banter” from the staff!

Day 3: Glenfeshie to Fort William; a Highland Odyssey

We say our goodbyes to Grantown in the morning, and make the short transfer to the Southern Cairngorms for a ride around Glenfeshie. It’s a glorious day, so after putting on our sunglasses (and sunscreen for the slightly frecklier ones in the group…) we get going.

This day of mountain biking really does have a bit of everything packed into it. Starting on a quiet country road, we are soon off the beaten track and getting our legs warmed up with a sharp, but ultimately short, uphill doubletrack section. The effort put into the climb is highly rewarded with an epic, flowing, rocky singletrack descent, passing through forests, mountains and open glens. The magnificent views do everything they can to take your eyes off the trail, and by the foot of the hill, the adrenaline is really flowing. Cue mass whoops of delight and high-fives all around!

By the end of our ride the sun is beating down, and we head for an al-fresco lunch at a charming local cafe, leaving the Glenfeshie locals to continue their rock-jumping into the nearby river.

The afternoon is spent passing by the beautiful Loch Laggan, and taking a trip to the highest whisky distillery in Scotland at Dalwhinnie, home of the famous 15-year single malt.

After a few well-deserved drams, we make for our destination for the evening at the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William. The inspiring views onto Loch Linnhe make our accommodation for the evening hard to leave, but our dinner at the Ben Nevis Inn is definitely worth getting up for. Based at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain, this converted barn is always a highlight for mountain bikers, locals and tourists alike, with amazing views and a great atmosphere always experienced. Our group even enjoyed an impromptu jamming session, a common feature within pubs in the Highlands and Islands.

Stomachs full and voices hoarse from singing, we make our way back to Fort William to rest up from a fantastic day.

Day 4: Fort William to Mallaig to Arisaig; capturing the magic

After dousing any remnants of yesterday’s whisky with a delicious breakfast, it’s all-aboard the world famous Jacobite Steam Train as we travel from Fort William to the thriving coastal fishing village of Mallaig. Once again, the weather is spoiling us with a sunny, near-cloudless sky, as we follow the route made even more famous by the Harry Potter films, passing over the astonishing Glenfinnan Viaduct, which stands next to the equally beautiful monument. Standing at 18 metres, it commemorates the location where Bonnie Prince Charlie first raised his royal standard on Scottish shores, thus beginning the Second Jacobite Uprising of 1745/46.
Upon arriving in Mallaig, we enjoy another lunch in the sun, watching the world go by in this busy, industrious village. We even spot a few seals playing in the sea as we stroll along the harbour.

Before heading to our overnight stop at the nearby village of Arisaig, we take advantage of the weather to spend a couple of hours on one of the many beaches surrounding the two coastal towns. After a quick dip in the Atlantic Ocean and soaking up the afternoon rays, strawberries and cream in hand, the mountains of Torridon and Skye are clearly visible in the distance. It’s difficult to remember that you’re actually on the west coast of Scotland, and not in the Caribbean!

Just when we think we can’t top the spectacular scenery experienced today, our arrival in the small, tranquil village of Arisaig dispels this. After a short evening ride around some local trails, our magnificent dinner is interrupted by a truly stunning sunset as the fishing boats anchor up in the bay, forcing the majority of us from our table to capture the moment.

Our dinner and accommodation is provided by the Old Library, a charming B&B by the sea which uses fresh produce from the day’s catches by the local fishermen. It also allows our American guests to sample their first Gaelic coffees. Needless to say, it wasn’t their last of the holiday!

Day 5: Mallaig to Skye to Balmacara; an Island Odyssey

The historic Isle of Skye is our destination for the next day of our adventure. After waving goodbye to the seals in Mallaig harbour, we take the morning ferry for the short crossing to Armadale. The dramatic change in landscape from the rolling hills of the Cairngorms to the rocky, jagged mountains of Skye is clearly visible.

Before long we are gearing up for our bike ride, and the rocky climbs and white-knuckle descents that are typical of the Skye region are certainly sufficient to get the blood pumping! Nevertheless the effort is well worth it, and we can take in the stunning views, scenery and wildlife; sometimes having to dodge Highland cows and sheep sunbathing on the trails! We even have time to take a short hike through the grasslands to discover a beautiful, secluded white sandy beach.

Lunch is at Michelin Star winning restaurant The Kinloch Lodge, where customers are treated to a dining experience to rival any. You simply need to taste it to believe it.

A bit of exercise is in order to work off our full stomachs, and so we travel to the north of the island for a walk up the famous Old Man of Storr. This iconic rock formation was created by massive ancient landslides, and has since become a walking route popular with locals and tourists alike. With such beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes, it’s not difficult to see why.

After a quick descent and “healthy” debate over who invented the television (he was Scottish, honest!), we pay a quick visit to the Sligachan Hotel and its 300+ whiskies.

With a quick dram warming us up, it’s off to the quaint fishing village of Plockton for a wonderful seafood dinner at the Plockton Inn, before a well-earned night’s sleep at the nearby Balmacara Mains, overlooking Loch Alsh.

Day 6: Glenelg to Balmacara; what goes up, must come down…

Our final day on the west coast takes us on a wonderful trail that starts and ends in the small town of Glenelg. The route has been dubbed the Camel Trail, thanks to the outlines left in the hill that we climb at the start of the trail. As ever, the views at the top of the hill are a wonderful reward for the effort put into the climb, and as our guide reminds us “what goes up, must come down!”. This leads us onto an amazing, ear-popping descent, whizzing past dragonflies and sheep until we reach the shoreline, taking a quick break to hold a highly competitive stone-skimming contest.

Re-energised, we continue the trail along the coast and through the grasslands, reaching some slightly technical but wonderful singletrack, passing through rivers and dense forests. We are introduced to Myrica Gale, more commonly known as Bog Myrtle, a plant that when crushed is an excellent repellent for the incessant midges. You learn something new every day!

After a couple more exciting climbs and descents, we return to Glenelg for a great lunch at the quirky Glenelg Inn.

The afternoon is spent visiting the iconic Eilean Donan Castle, famed for its astonishing location and backdrop. Three seperate lochs (Duich, Alsh and Long) surround the island that the castle is built on, and the building itself has been occupied by ancient Scottish clans and the Jacobites over the centuries, and was restored in the early 1900s. The tour is simply a must for any budding historians!

Yet another glorious dinner is consumed in Plockton, this time at the Plockton Shores restaurant (the venison is a must), before we settle in for one more night at Balmacara.

Day 7: Balmacara to Fort Augustus to Inverness; where’s Nessie?

Waking up to see the sun rise over the loch is an experience that no-one could grow tired of, but unfortunately the last day of our tour has arrived! After an awesome breakfast of porridge, smoked salmon and eggs (not together, of course!), we head for the settlement of Fort Augustus to pick up some final gifts and memorabilia, spotting some Highland cows on the way. Before we know it we are back in Inverness. Has a week passed already?!

Fortunately, there is still time to fit in one final breathtaking ride, accumulating all the skills we have gathered during the holiday to pass through flowy forest singletrack, rocky yet manageable hills, and finally a fast, swooping and adrenaline-pumping descent right onto the Dores Inn pub on the shores of Loch Ness. Bliss!

After lunch and some Nessie-spotting on the shores of Loch Ness, it is with a collective heavy heart that the group pedals back to Inverness and hops off our mountain bikes for the last time on this amazing holiday. Over dinner we all recollect the trails, meals, experiences and stories that will live long in the memory.

Day 8: Departures and Reflections

All too soon, it’s time to end our Tastes and Trails adventure, as we drop off our customers at the airport and say our fond farewells.

Heading back to the H&I Adventures office, I have time to reflect on where we’ve been over the past seven days; from the rolling hills of the Cairngorms to the rocky, dramatic mountains of Skye; from some of the finest Scots whisky to juniper berries and Bog Myrtle; from the Wolf of Badenoch to the Highland cow and the Old Man of Storr.

I learn that with each tour comes new experiences and new memories, but the things that remain constant are the amazing quality of the trails, the huge increase in ability and riding confidence of the customers by the end of the week and, most importantly, the unanimous agreement across the board that they have experienced the mountain biking holiday of a lifetime!

 

Biking adventure in the Cairngorms National Park

Experience adventure in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

4,528 square kilometres in area. Five out of six of Scotland’s highest mountains. Home to 25% of the UK’s most threatened bird, animal and plant species. Over one million visitors a year. It’s safe to say that the Cairngorms National Park is a truly special place.

The mountains of the Cairngorms were formed over 40 million years ago, and during the last Ice Age the glacial erosion created rounded summits and rolling valleys which make for gradual climbs and excellent descents. There are trails to suit mountain bikers of almost any level, which is why we’ve based ourselves in the National Park for our fabulous Cairngorms Adventure mountain bike tour.

Here are a few particular highlights of this unforgettable Highland adventure:

Unlocking Loch Garten

The legacy of the glacial impact on the Cairngorms means that it is a patchwork of lochs and rivers. One of the most significant of these, in terms of a natural habitat for native wildlife, is Loch Garten. Not only is it home to the famous Osprey, but you can also spot the extremely rare Crested Tit, found only in this part of the Scottish Highlands. Keep your eyes peeled for both!

As well as experiencing the beautiful wildlife, you’ll be steeped in natural history as you pedal the trails around the loch. You will ride through Glenmore and Abernethy Forests, home to some of the last remaining native Caledonian Pine forests in Scotland, and further highlighting the uniqueness and importance of the Cairngorms National Park to the ecology of Scotland, and indeed, the UK.

Trail Utopia

As well as the mesmerising scenery and wildlife that you’ll experience on your Cairngorms Adventure, we have made sure that this is perfectly complimented with some outstanding mountain biking trails.

The Cairngorms are home to some of the most enjoyable and flowing singletrack trails that Scotland has to offer, and they’re also perfect for building skills and confidence on the bike.

Trail highlights include swooping down singletrack at the fantastic new trail centre at Glenlivet; negotiating the forest around Feshiebridge; and – on your day in the Inverness area – an amazing descent to the banks of Loch Ness. Having such world-class trails within an area of such beauty and history will guarantee that a smile will be etched upon your face all week!

A “dram” good trip!

One of Scotland’s finest traits is the amazing selection and diversity of its whiskies. This is particularly evident in Speyside, home to the largest concentration of whisky distilleries in the country. The geography and glacial formation of the Cairngorms producing mountains (literally!) of fresh water means that this is ideal whisky country, with approximately 50 distilleries in operation in the area. Of course, we wouldn’t let you leave our tour without sampling some of our best brands!

Aberlour’s famed distillery will tell you of origins dating all the way back to the Druids and Celtic ages, where they believed the burn next to today’s distillery site spoke words of wisdom to them, hence the name Fairy Hill. In the 19th century, James Fleming started work on the distillery that remains today, with the iconic waterwheel used to power the whole building right up to the 1960’s still standing. Once you have been sufficiently wowed by the history of the distillery, you will of course take part in a tasting session and have the chance to bottle and label your own whisky. Cheers to that!

However, this will not be your only whisky experience of the day, as we take you through to the charming village of Tomintoul, the highest village in the Highlands, and home to Whisky Castle. With over 100 years of trading all over the country, the shop now boasts over 500 single malt whiskies. Needless to say, this is as close to a whisky Mecca as you can get for the enthusiast!

This is but a taster of the week that awaits you in the Cairngorms. Other activities you will enjoy along the way include a a day’s guided canoeing on the river Spey, a wildlife walk in the Caledonian Forest and even some time for Nessie-spotting on the banks of Loch Ness. The whole tour is fit to burst with amazing stories, culture, and of course mountain biking. When you join us on our mountain biking adventure in the Cairngorms National Park what tales will you take back with you?

 

Highlights: Tastes and Trails of Scotland

With Scotland being voted Best Biking Destination in the Outside Travel Awards 2014, we thought we’d put the spotlight on one of our newer Highland adventures, aimed at novice bikers, and share with you the highlights of our Tastes and Trails of Scotland experience.

This holiday is the perfect combination of effort and reward. Our expert local guides will share with you some of the most remote and beautiful corners of the west coast of Scotland, and your adventures aren’t just limited to the bike…

Days of Steam

Relax on the Jacobite (Hogwarts) Express steam train
Continually voted one of the most impressive train rides in the world the Jacobite Express steam train will take you from Fort William, along the coast, to the beautiful fishing village of Mallaig. You’ll be spellbound by the breathtaking scenery and the true scale of the Highlands and, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, the highlight of this trip on the ‘Hogwarts Express’ might well be the famous 21 arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

In the shadow of a giant
Situated at the foot of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, Glen Nevis is another Scottish landmark steeped in a turbulent yet fascinating history. With some truly staggering views awaiting you at every corner, it’s easy to see why this is another favourite with movie makers, with the majority of Braveheart filmed in the Glen. It is also home to one of Scotland’s highest waterfalls, Steall Falls, offering you further spectacular photo opportunities.

Hand-dived scallops

Hand-dived scallops from the west coast of Scotland

Over the sea to Skye
Following the path of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s we’ll take the ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye. You will have time to soak up the atmosphere, majesty and natural beauty of one of Scotland’s most famous islands. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some of Skye’s more celebrated residents, including seals and otters.

After a scenic walk you’ll be amply rewarded with a Michelin-starred lunch and wonderful dining experience at Kinloch Lodge. And, of course, no culinary visit to the Isle of Skye would be complete without a distillery tour and there’s none better than the Talisker Distillery on the north west of the island, where you’ll enjoy sampling some of the finest malts.

Iconic castles
If the walls of Eilean Donan Castle could talk, they would have one heck of a story to tell!

Mountain biking Glenelg Scotland

Mountain biking Glenelg Scotland

Inhabited from as far back as the 6th century, and undergoing at least four different builds and rebuilds, the castle has played host to Irish Saints, various medieval clans, and was subject to a Jacobite uprising, the result of which left it in ruin. Thankfully, the castle was restored to its former glory in the early 20th century, and is now regarded as one of the most iconic and picturesque castles in Scotland. A history lesson not to be missed.

Carefully woven into this itinerary of fabulous Highland experiences, are some of the most enjoyable and picturesque biking trails in the country. Our guides will give you hints and tips along the way to help you become a better mountain biker and ensure you get the most of your Tastes and Trails of Scotland experience.

If all this has whet your appetite for adventure, join us on our Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour this summer!

 

Availability mountain biking holidays in Scotland 2013

It’s July already, the Tour de France is underway and everyone’s enjoying cycle fever and (hopefully) some good weather, so we thought we’d give you a round-up of the remaining availability on our fabulous mountain biking holidays in Scotland for the rest of this year.

Many of our trips are sold out for 2013, but we still have some fantastic options for you on mountain biking holidays in Scotland, so whether you’re a mad keen mountain biker looking for the best riding available, or you just enjoy seeing new places on your bike, we’ll have something to help you scratch that itch!

Mountain biking holidays in Scotland 2013

Mountain biking in Torridon, coast-to-coast Scotland

A tough, but rewarding ride on day 5

Coast-to-coast Scotland, 17th – 24th August

By popular demand, we’ve added an extra date for our epic coast-to-coast Scotland mountain biking adventure, on August 17th – 24th. All other dates are sold out this year, and we’re taking bookings for 2014, so this is your last chance to experience our cross-Highland challenge in 2013!

This week-long mountain biking holiday will see you riding nearly 250km, 95% off-road, from the east coast town of Bonar Bridge and ending your week at the stunning fishing village of Applecross, and Scotland’s Pub of the Year 2012 the Applecross Inn.

Read all the details of our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain biking holiday and book your place now!

Fresh local scallops from Scotland

Fresh local scallops from Scotland

Tastes and Trails of Scotland, 24th – 31st August

If you enjoy life at a slower pace and like the sound of combining the best local food and drink in Scotland, with stunning scenery, rich Highland culture and history, then our Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure will be just your cup of tea!

This week-long adventure includes a ride on the Jacobite Express steam train (aka Hogwarts’ Express) from Fort William to Mallaig, lunch at the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge on Skye, distillery tour and whisky tasting, a visit to the famous Eilean Donan castle, and some beautiful coastal walks and bike rides.

You’ll find all the information and tour photos on our website, and you can also book your place online too. We look forward to sharing the secrets of the west coast with you!

Torridon and Skye, Scotland, August 31st – September 7th

Mountain biking on the Isle of Skye

Hike-a-bike on Skye

If you’re an experienced mountain biker looking for the best, most technical trails in spectacular scenery, then our Torridon and Skye mountain biking holiday in Scotland will be right up your street. The landscapes of the west coast of Scotland consist of rocks formed billions of years ago and changed over the millennia by continental divides, volcanic activity and the ice age. What this means to us mountain bikers is that we get to ride the crème-de-la-crème of trails; not just in the UK but also in Europe!

Follow in the tracks of downhill champion Steve Peat, and trials stars Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey on this week-long mountain biking extravaganza in Scotland, from August 31st to September 7th.

If you need further convincing, watch the video of our trip with these three mountain biking legends, then read the tour details and book your place online!

And if you’re super-organised, we’ve published 2014 dates for our mountain biking holidays in Scotland, so you can secure your place in advance and look forward to an unforgettable adventure in Scotland next year!

 

Perfect vacation for mountain biker and non-biking partner in Scotland

What do you do if you like mountain biking, but your partner doesn’t? Vacation separately? It’s an option, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a vacation that would suit both of you? We think our Tastes and Trails of Scotland mountain biking tour offers the perfect vacation for a mountain biker and non-biking partner, here’s why…

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Our Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour offers the ideal mix of fantastic mountain biking and a variety of other activities that don’t involve getting muddy on two wheels! You’ll explore the stunning west coast of Scotland, from Fort William, to the Isle of Skye, to Applecross, then along Loch Ness back to Inverness.

The itinerary for this week-long adventure includes mountain biking, coastal walks, wildlife boat trip, a trip on the Jacobite Express steam train (from the Harry Potter movies), lunch in a Michelin-starred restaurant on Skye, and a distillery tour and tasting, so we’ve built in plenty of opportunities for you to do things together, rather than having two completely different holidays in the same place.

And on the days when one of you is out biking, the other can be taking advantage of the many cultural and historical sites, and beautiful scenery on Scotland’s west coast. There are many spectacular walks, offering endless opportunities for photography enthusiasts, or you can simply read a book and while away the hours sitting in a café enjoying delicious coffee and stunning views. The peace and tranquility of the west coast of Scotland provide one of the best places on earth to just ‘be’. You don’t have to have a plan or an agenda, you can just relish the fact that you are in this magnificent place, away from the crowds and stresses of everyday life.

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Your accommodation will be in wonderful, welcoming Highland guest houses, where each morning you’ll be spoiled with a delicious breakfast of local produce, and every evening you can relax in the comfortable lounge and share stories of your day’s adventures. You may also be lucky enough to enjoy an evening of Scottish poetry, recited by our very own mountain bike guide/ poet, Kevin, over a wee dram!

We have availability on August 24th – 31st, so say ‘No’ to separate vacations this year and join us in the Highlands for our Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure tour!

 

Highland Fling mountain bike adventure in Scotland this summer!

Mountain biking, canoeing, wildlife spotting, whisky tasting, and the Highland Fling… All part of an unforgettable mountain bike adventure in Scotland this summer!

Mountain biking in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Group riding together on their Cairngorms mountain bike holiday

From July 13th – 20th join us for our mountain bike adventure in the Cairngorms National Park, in the very heart of the Scottish Highlands, then end your holiday with a trip to the Inverness Highland Games on Saturday July 20th to round off the perfect “Highland Fling” adventure!

The Cairngorms is the largest National Park in the UK, boasting a huge diversity of landscapes, wildlife, eco-systems, communities, views, and – incorporating the Speyside Whisky Trail – includes the largest concentration of distilleries in Scotland. And in 2013 the Cairngorms National Park celebrates its 10th anniversary, so there’s no better time to come and explore the UK’s biggest natural playground!

On our Cairngorms mountain bike adventure in Scotland this July you’ll enjoy the unspoilt, natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands and discover why, in 2012, National Geographic Magazine voted the Cairngorms National Park as one of the Top 50 ‘Last Great Places’. We’ll show you some fantastic hidden mountain bike trails that weave through ancient, silent pine forests, then suddenly open out to a glorious mountain panorama. We’ll take you on a guided canoe ride on the magnificent River Spey, then to a whisky distillery to taste the liquid gold produced from the clean, fresh waters of the Spey.

Country house accommodation Cairngorms, Scotland

Beautiful country accommodation in the Cairngorms, Scotland

You’ll have a half-day, guided wildlife walk, where our local expert will help you to spot some of the more elusive native species that make the Cairngorms such an important natural habitat.

After all this activity you’ll return to your warm, comfortable Highland lodge base in Aviemore to relax with your group, before heading out for a delicious meal in one of the local restaurants or pubs. Alternatively, you could choose to stock up on local produce and create your own culinary masterpiece in your Highland home-from-home!

This mountain bike adventure in Scotland is suitable for novice and intermediate mountain bikers with level 2 fitness, and to find out what this means read the explanation of our skill and fitness levels.

So, if you’re planning an active holiday this summer, why not join us in July for this fantastic natural, cultural mountain bike adventure in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland?! See you there!

 

Late availability on mountain bike tours in Scotland

If you’re still deciding where to spend your summer vacation, we have some last minute places on our world-class mountain biking tours in Scotland. There’s no better way to leave the stress of work life behind than pedalling it all out on an amazing mountain biking experience in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

Cairngorms Adventure Tour, 14th – 21st July

Loch in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Our Cairngorms Adventure Tour is perfect for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers and gives you the chance to really soak up the diverse natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK.

As well as fantastic mountain biking you’ll also enjoy a day’s guided canoeing on the River Spey, a guided wildlife walk, and a tour and tasting at one of the region’s many famous whisky distilleries.

Join us in July to experience the splendour of the Cairngorms by booking your place online, or contact us for more information. 5 places remaining

Coast-to-coast Scotland, 28th July – 4th August

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

This is the ultimate coast-to-coast mountain bike route in Scotland; almost 95% off-road, from the east coast town of Bonar Bridge, to Applecross in the west.

You’ll stay in 3- and 4-star welcoming B&Bs, and your luggage will be transferred every day so that you’re free to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and the challenge of riding across Scotland on your mountain bike.

You can book your place online via our secure booking system, or contact us for more information on our coast-to-coast mountain bike adventure in Scotland. Only 4 places remaining

Tastes and Trails of Scotland, 11th – 18th August

Tastes and Trails of Scotland adventure tour

Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye

If you’re looking for an adventure tour that’s a little bit different and special, our new Tastes and Trails of Scotland tour will be right up your street.

Highlights of the tour include a ride on the Jacobite Express steam train, voted by National Geographic magazine as one of the best train journeys in the world; a wildlife boat trip; distillery tour and whisky tasting; and lunch at the Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge on Skye.

If you like the idea of enjoying the finest produce and stunning scenery of Scotland’s west coast this summer book online, or contact us for more information. 6 places remaining

Torridon and Skye, 25th August – 1st September

Mountain biking in Torridon and Skye, Scotland

Mountain biking on Skye

If you’re looking for the best mountain biking that Scotland has to offer, look no further than our epic Torridon and Skye mountain bike tour.

We’ve hand-picked the most exhilarating trails in the most dramatic landscapes in Scotland to give you the crème-de-la-crème of mountain bike tours. Not for the faint-hearted, this trip incorporates some awesome, rocky, technical riding that will challenge your bike-handling skills, but then reward you with sweet singletrack descents.

View more trip pictures on our flickr page.

If this sounds like your idea of mountain bike heaven, grab one of the last places and book online, or contact us for more information. Only 4 places remaining

 

Late availability: coast-to-coast Scotland, Torridon & Skye, Cairngorms

Summer is almost upon us and we have a few last minute places left on our world-class mountain biking tours in Scotland. So, get your chains oiled, check your gear cables, and get some miles on the clock in preparation for an amazing mountain biking experience in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland!

Coast-to-coast Scotland, 12th – 19th May

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

Mountain biking coast-to-coast Scotland

This is the ultimate coast-to-coast mountain bike route in Scotland; almost 95% off-road, from the east coast town of Bonar Bridge, to Applecross in the west.

You’ll stay in 3- and 4-star welcoming B&Bs, and your luggage will be transferred every day so that you’re free to enjoy the spectacular landscapes and the challenge of riding across Scotland on your mountain bike.

You can book your place online via our secure booking system, or contact us for more information on our coast-to-coast mountain bike adventure in Scotland.

Torridon and Skye, 26th May – 2nd June

Mountain biking in Torridon and Skye, Scotland

Mountain biking on Skye

If you’re looking for the best mountain biking that Scotland has to offer, look no further than our epic Torridon and Skye mountain bike tour.

We’ve hand-picked the most exhilarating trails in the most dramatic landscapes in Scotland to give you the crème-de-la-crème of mountain bike tours. Not for the faint-hearted, this trip incorporates some awesome, rocky, technical riding that will challenge your bike-handling skills, but then reward you with sweet singletrack descents.
If this sounds like your idea of mountain bike heaven, grab one of the last places and book online, or contact us for more information.

Cairngorms adventure tour, 9th – 16th June

Loch in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms, Scotland

Our Cairngorms adventure tour is perfect for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers and gives you the chance to explore the diverse natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK.

As well as fantastic mountain biking you’ll also enjoy a day’s guided canoeing on the River Spey, a guided wildlife walk, and a tour and tasting at one of the region’s many famous whisky distilleries. June is the perfect time to experience the splendour of the Cairngorms, so if you’d like to join us on this mountain bike adventure, book your place online, or contact us for more information.

We look forward to showing you round the Scottish trails soon!

 

Foodie mountain bike tour in Scotland

Scottish mountain bike holiday experts Highlands & Islands Adventures, best-known for their epic all-mountain tours, have just launched a new trip that focuses as much on the fabulous food, drink and culture of Scotland as it does on the tasty trails.

 

The new, week-long ‘Tastes and Trails of Scotland’ mountain bike tour gives you the chance to explore some of the more off-the-beaten-track corners of the west coast of Scotland – not just on your mountain bike – but by steam train, boat, and on foot, ensuring you soak up as much of the wild, natural beauty of Scotland as possible.

 

Highlights of the vacation include: a trip on the Jacobite Express steam train, made famous in the Harry Potter movies; a Michelin-starred lunch at Kinloch Lodge on Skye; a walk to a secluded hilltop bothy; whisky tasting; a wildlife boat trip off Applecross followed by world-class seafood at the Applecross Inn; and more outstanding Highland hospitality than you can shake your kilt at!

 

This mountain bike adventure takes in the majesty of the Cairngorms, the pure, white sands of Arisaig, the rugged wilderness of the Isle of Skye, and the untouched beauty of the Applecross peninsula.

 

H&I Adventures currently have three dates planned for 2012 at a cost of £955 per person. This includes seven nights’ 3-star accommodation, breakfasts, all transport throughout the week, the services of a fully qualified mountain bike guide and driver, a wildlife boat trip, and a distillery tour and whisky tasting.

 

For all the info visit www.mtbholidayscotland.com/tastes-and-trails.html or contact info@mtbholidayscotland.com

 

Mountain biking in Scotland on TV

Mountain Biking in Scotland Hits Sky TV

Steve, Danny and Hans ride away from the helicopter

Steve, Danny and Hans leave helicopter behind and blast down the trail

Sky Sports have launched their new series, Cycle Sports World, with a two part documentary following Steve Peat,

Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey on their ‘three mountain bike legends’ Scotland trip around Torridon and Skye with Scotland’s mountain bike holiday experts, Highlands and Islands Adventures.

We’ve managed to get our hands on the footage so you can watch exclusive interviews with Steve Peat, Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey during their epic mountain bike adventure in Scotland, mountain biking the best trails and enjoying the finest whisky that the west coast of Scotland has to offer.

If you want to follow in the tracks of these three mountain bike legends and book your own mountain bike holiday in Scotland contact Highlands and Islands Adventures

Episode 1

Episode 2

For further information on Cycle Sports World viewing times