Our trip begins in Edinburgh, Scotland. Arrive at the Edinburgh airport by 7:30am today and travel on your own to our Edinburgh host hotel. Our van from the host hotel leaves at 9:30am, so make sure you allow enough time to catch it! After a 3-hour van ride we reach the picturesque village of Fort William, considered by many to be the outdoor capital of the United Kingdom. Our guides provide a bike fitting on arrival, followed by a full orientation and dinner. Lunch and dinner included.
Van transfer: 3 hours
This morning we head west, stopping at Glenfinnan on the shore of Loch Shiel. This spot marks the location where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the Royal Standard in 1745, signaling the start of the final Jacobite Rising. We begin our ride at the ruins of the 13th-century Castle Tioram, which sits imposingly on a tidal island. We continue along the quiet, narrow roads that are synonymous with the Highlands. On one side lie the hills of Morven, and on the other is Loch Sunart?one of 30,000 serene lochs across the country. We stop for lunch at the small settlement of Strontian and continue riding along the banks of Loch Linnhe. A short passenger ferry takes us across the loch and back to Fort William. All meals included.
Cycling: 45 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,350' / -2,340'; Van transfer: 1.25 hours
We hop on our bikes and head north through the Great Glen, taking in views of the Caledonian Canal before reaching Gairlochy. From there we head east through the Spean Bridge. An idyllic landscape of mountains, lochs and a castle form the backdrop for the day. We enjoy a hearty lunch in the Highland village of Laggan before cycling further east into the Cairngorms National Park. A quiet back road leads us through the geographic center of Scotland, and we end our ride in the village of Newtonmore. We check into the hotel and relax before meeting up for dinner, perhaps a steak and ale pie! All meals included.
Cycling: 50 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,064' / -1,266'
Today we transition from the Highlands to the Lowlands. We ride through a valley lined by the Grampian Mountains, past Scotland?s highest whisky distillery. Then we descend from moorland and mountains into lush, forested scenery as we enter the region of Perthshire. Today's lunch is in a traditional working watermill, after which we visit Blair Castle, the family seat of the Dukes of Athol for more than 700 years. Our ride ends in the lovely town of Pitlochry, which will be our base for the next two nights. Dinner is on our own this evening, but the guides have plenty of great suggestions. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 42 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,545' / -1,974'
Today we can choose one of two options. You can spend the day exploring the shops, cafes and bars of the beautiful Highland town of Pitlochry, and maybe take a lovely walk along Loch Faskally. Or if you'd rather stay on a bike, our guide has a great ride planned. It's a loop ride along quiet Perthshire roads, following the northern shore of Loch Tummel. We stop to admire Queen's View, Highland Perthshire's most iconic view, an expansive scene of lochs, mountains and forests. From there we cycle through native woodlands to the western tip of the loch before returning to Pitlochry via the southern shores. We regroup in the afternoon for a tour of the Blair Atoll whisky distillery and toast the day with a dram. Breakfast and dinner included.
Cycling: 29 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,942' / -1,942'
We leave the more mountainous landscape of the highlands behind, cycling south to the gently rolling hills of rural Perthshire. Our route is heavily treed, hugging the edge of the hillsides past fields of grain, sheep and Highland cattle with their distinctive wooly coats. As we pedal through this bucolic scenery, the valley and the river that flows through it is our constant companion. Enjoy a picnic lunch outside Dunkeld Cathedral, along the banks of the River Tay. Later, a mid-afternoon highlight will be the tea and scones we enjoy on the village green of Pitcairngreen. From there we cycle on a packed gravel path along a stream, meandering through the countryside until we reach our country house accommodations in Perth. All meals included.
Cycling: 34 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +1,847' / -2,104'
We begin today by following the River Tay through the city of Perth, and then into the Kingdom of Fife, known for its rolling farmland and quaint villages. After a quick stop for coffee at an organic farm, we continue to St Andrews and the North Sea. We approach the end of our tour along a path that takes us by the 18th hole of the oldest and most iconic golf course in the world: St Andrews. Be sure to take a moment to snap a couple photos at the Swilcan Bridge. We complete our coast-to-coast journey at the shore of the North Sea and with a celebratory drink and toast at a local pub, not far from the first green of St Andrews. There will be time to explore the cobblestone streets of St Andrews on your own in the afternoon. Among the many places of interest: the celebrated Old Course, the Renowned University, the ruins of the Cathedral, and the cliff-side castle. We transfer back to our Perth accommodations in time for a farewell dinner. All meals included.
Cycling: 42 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +2,341' / -2,406'; Van transfer: 1 hour
After breakfast, our adventure ends with a short van transfer to the Perth train station, where you can catch a direct train to Edinburgh, Glasgow, or London. Travel is on your own from the station. Departing trains should be scheduled for 10:30am or later. Breakfast included.
Van transfer: 20 mins