A coast-to-coast guide to Scotland by bike

Scotland is a natural playground for cyclists. With all the innovations in electric bikes and a renewed passion for the outdoors, many of us are getting back in the saddle and unleashing our inner explorer.

Since you can cycle to the front door of most Luxury Scotland properties – most of which can lend or hire bikes for guests to enjoy – it’s only fair that we point out some of the wonderful routes, tracks and sheer slopes that these properties have access to.

Whether you want punishing rides or family fun, there’s something for you here.

Explore Edinburgh from city to Shore
Scooting around Edinburgh’s traffic-free cycle paths is a joy. You can pedal all the way from the doors of The Sheraton Grand in town to the gangway of Fingal in Leith by following a National Cycle Route. Use the innertube map to plot your way and, if you do make the trip to The Shore, The Royal Yacht Britannia is a must-visit. There are bike racks all over the city, so you really can go anywhere.

Departure point: Scotland Street (EH3 6PS)             Finish: Sandport Place (EH6 6PL)

Glide along the Lowland Canals
No visit to central belt properties like Crossbasket CastleFingal, or The Sheraton Grand is complete without a saunter – or a race – along the canals. Pancake flat, the 56-mile route connects Edinburgh to Glasgow and is entirely traffic-free. You’ve got the Union canal to the east, the Forth & Clyde to the west, with the astonishing Falkirk Wheel placed diplomatically in the middle. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife and go with the flow – it’s a wonderful ride.

Freewheel in the southwest
From the endless hills to the zig-zag trails, the rugged terrain of southwest Scotland feels made for mountain biking. When staying at Knockinaam Lodge or Glenapp Castle, you can visit the world-class biking centres at Kirroughtree or Glentrool. With graded trails ranging from kiddies to hardened MTBers, this is a wonderful and exhilarating way to explore Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. Trails range from a few hundred metres to over 30 miles.

Take the high roads at Loch Ness
Just along from Rocpool Reserve is a gratifying route around the Beauly Firth. Aimed at experienced cyclists – or particularly stubborn beginners – the 26-mile route takes in coast, castles and country views. This part of the Highlands is also famous for the epic 80-mile Loch Ness 360 Trail and its smaller cousin, the South Loch Ness circuit, which explores the roads less travelled – full of remote landscapes and unspoiled nature. Certain sections are quiet and flat, perfect for family excursions. 

Splendid isolation on the west coast
Adventurous cyclists will find their spiritual home on Scotland’s west coast. Guests at Inverlochy CastleGlencoe House or The Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island are spoiled for choice when it comes to breathtaking scenery. The National Cycle Network route 78 runs from Oban to Fort William, offering challenging endurance rides and family-friendly spins. For an exploration of single-track roads and spectacular scenery, hop on the ferry to the island of Lismore – just 10 miles long, it’s perfect for a day trip.

Further information can be found here.

Bike on real mountains, in Skye
Allow yourself to explore the true wild of Scotland on your next visit to Skye. Guests at The Torridon Resort or Kinloch Lodge have countless wild excursions on their doorstep. In fact, it’s harder to find a tame route than a wild one! The Torridon even provides guided tours – a particularly good idea if your internal compass isn’t entirely reliable. From easy trails to challenging technical terrain, Skye is a haven of proper mountain biking.

Shifting sands – and gears – on Islay
If you’re staying at The Machrie, there's nothing like walking along those stunning Laggan Bay beaches – unless, of course, you’ve got a fat bike. With oversized, low-pressure tyres, sand and pebbles are like smooth asphalt, letting you zoom along the beach and rugged terrain with ease. Fair warning: you will want to buy your own!