The Best Cycling Routes In Scotland

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The Best Cycling Routes In Scotland
The Best Cycling Routes In Scotland

There are many trails and routes in Scotland that can be enjoyed by all ages, regardless of your cycling experience. You can bring the family along and enjoy a family-friendly day of cycling. Or you might want to follow Mark Beaumont’s lead and test your skills.

Read: A Guide to Traffic Free Cycle Routes Scotland

HEBRIDEAN WAY CYCLING ROUTE OUTER HEBRIDES

This spectacular, long-distance route, which is part of the National Cycle Network Route 7, spans the entire length of the Outer Hebrides islands chain. You’ll be able to see paradise beaches, Calanais Standing Stones, and the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse along the route.

  • Departure point: Vatersay
  • Finish the Butt of Lewis
  • Type of Terrain: Road
  • Distance: 185 mi/297 km
  • It takes approximately 6 days to cycle the route (although it can be done in shorter segments).

EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE TO SHORE

The capital of Scotland boasts many cycle paths that are traffic-free and follow old railway lines. This makes it easy to bike around Edinburgh. You can use the Innertube map for routes such as the one that runs from the New Town at the city center to the Shore in Leith, where you can grab a bite to eat before heading to The Royal Yacht Britannia.

  • Scotland Street is the departure point
  • Finish: Sandport Place
  • Terrain type: Offroad cycle path
  • Distance – Distance – 1.8 mi/2.9 km
  • It takes approximately 10 minutes to cycle

LERWICK TO SCALLOWAY, SHETLAND

From Shetland’s principal town of Lerwick, travel to Scalloway, the ancient capital. Enjoy the breathtaking island scenery as your route winds through wild moorland and up a hill, before you are rewarded with a spectacular view of Scalloway’s sparkling sea.

  • Point of departure: Lerwick
  • Finish: Scalloway
  • Type of Terrain: Road
  • Distance: 5.9 mi/9.5 km
  • It takes approximately 40 minutes to cycle

DEVILLA FOREST FIFE

You might be able to spot a cheeky red squirrel if you venture down into the woods today. These elusive creatures can be found in the forest paths of Devilla Forest. They live in beautiful woodlands. You can find hundreds of forest-cycle trails throughout Scotland.

  • Devilla Forest carpark, departure/end point
  • Terrain type: Off-road forest paths

LOCH LEVEN HERITAGE TRAIL, PERTHSHIRE

This flat circular route winds around Loch Leven and you should be looking out for wildlife such as kingfishers, osprey, and otters. Take in the stunning views from Lochleven Castle which is located on an island in the middle the loch. Stop for lunch at Loch Leven’s Larder.

  • End point/departure: There are many points along the banks of Loch Leven.
  • Terrain type: Off-road path
  • Distance 12.12 miles/19.5km
  • Cycle time approximately 1 hour 20 minutes

MONTROSE BASIN ANGUS

You can cycle around this beautiful tidal estuary, taking in the stunning views. For a cup of coffee or tea, stop by the Montrose Basin visitor center to see if you can spot kingfishers and osprey in summer, as well as waders or ducks in winter.

  • End point/departure: Montrose caravan site near the beach
  • Type of Terrain: Road
  • Distance: 10.65 mi/17.14 km
  • It takes approximately 1 hour to cycle

HIGHLANDS, ASSYNT CIRCULAR, ACHILTIBUIE

This loop, which is quite challenging, takes you through some of Scotland’s most beautiful and idyllic landscapes. You will see famous hills like Sula Bheinn and Cul Mor, as well tranquil beaches and sparkling lochs. This makes it the perfect place to cycle in Scotland’s Highlands.

  • Departure/end point: Achiltibuie
  • Type of Terrain: Road
  • Distance: 70.06 mi/112.55 km
  • It takes approximately 7 hours to cycle

FORMARTINE AND BUCHAN WAY ABERDEENSHIRE

This cycle route, which is built on an old railway line, takes you through the beautiful north east countryside without the noise and hustle of the road. You can continue on to Fraserburgh or Peterhead from Maud, which both have beautiful beaches.

  • Departure point: Dyce train station
  • Finish: Fraserburgh, Peterhead
  • Terrain type: Off-road cycle path
  • Distance: 40 miles/64.37km
  • It takes approximately 4 to 6 hours to cycle one-way. The route can also be completed in shorter segments.

ISLE OF BUTE

Enjoy stunning sea views while you ride around the island on two wheels. You can hire bikes locally or bring your own bike on the ferry. You can either do the 23-mile loop or pedal to see attractions like Mount Stuart House and Ettrick Bay.

  • Type of Terrain: Road
  • Distance: 23 miles (shorter sections available)