Challenge rides in Scotland 2018

Are you planning a cycle challenge for 2018? Scotland offers some of the most dramatic and beautiful terrain in Britain, with an array of spectacular routes to choose from!

We’ve selected some of Scotland’s most iconic routes for you to consider in 2018.

These routes provide a challenge and an opportunity for adventure when ridden from end to end, but can also make enjoyable day trips cycled in short sections. 

bicycle with Scottish landscape
South Harris, Hebrides

The Hebridean Way is perhaps the ultimate get-away-from-it-all cycling destination, and offers intrepid cyclists a real opportunity for adventure.

Spanning 10 of the remote and spectacular islands of the Outer Hebrides off the North West Coast of Scotland, this 150-mile on-road cycle route uses ferries and causeways to hop from one island to the next. It passes pristine sandy beaches and the remains of ancient settlements as you traverse this wild and remote archipelago.

Cyclists on Lochs and Glens North route, National Cycle Network route 7

Starting in Clydebank, Glasgow’s historic industrial heartland, this 214 mile route heads north and east as it follows a mixture of old railway lines, ancient drove roads and quiet lanes making its way to Inverness, the gateway to the Highlands. The route crosses Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and skirts the Cairngorms massif via the mighty Drumochter Pass – one of Britain’s highest roads.

The Cairngorms National Park surrounds the UK's largest mountain range, offering stunning views across heather moor and ancient Caledonia Pine forests – home to some of Britain’s rarest wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for Golden Eagles, Red Squirrels, Capercaillie and Scottish Wildcats as you cycle towards Inverness.

Cyclist on the coast on Coast and Castles, National Cycle Network route 1

Starting in Newcastle, this 200 mile route takes you on a journey along unspoiled coastlines and some of Britain's best built and natural heritage towards Edinburgh - Scotland’s bustling capital city.

Arguably one of the easiest long distance routes on the National Cycle Network, this relatively flat coastal adventure continues to delight as it passes numerous sites of historic significance and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Highlights include Hadrian’s Wall, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle.

The route crosses into Scotland near Berwick-upon-Tweed, the scene of many historic border wars between the kingdoms of England and Scotland – just one of the sites which makes this an ideal trip for any cycling history buff!

Scotland’s two largest cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow, are a mere 57 miles apart - an ideal distance for cycling in a day. Link the two by following National Route 75 and then National Route 754 along the towpath of the historic Union Canal, to its junction with the Forth and Clyde Canal and the amazing Falkirk Wheel – the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world!

The Wheel raises and lowers boats 24 metres between the two canals. From here it’s also just a short diversion to Helix Park where you can gaze in awe at the magnificent Kelpies – two giant horse-head sculptures designed by Andy Scott, a monument to horse powered heritage across Scotland. Follow the Forth and Clyde Canal west on National Route 754, along the tranquil and almost entirely trafficfree towpath, until you arrive in the heart of Glasgow. The easy gradients and numerous points of interest make this a perfect trip, regardless of age or ability.

The iconic Caledonia Way ('Slighe na h-Alba' in Gaelic) runs 237 miles from Campbeltown on the west coast, to the Highland capital of Inverness in the east. Heavily influenced by Scotland’s dramatic geography, the route follows both the Kintyre peninsula and the Great Glen. It passes under the shadow of Ben Nevis and crosses Loch Ness, providing unrivalled views of famous castles and west-coast islands. 

The route offers a variety of cycling, from challenging on-road climbs to long sections of secluded traffic-free path, all the while surrounded by beautiful Scottish seascapes and mountains.

Follow in the wheel tracks of inspirational adventure cyclist Lee Craigie, who created a short film about her experiences cycling a section of this route. 

Whether you are looking for dramatic and wild countryside or magnificent coastal views we have a challenge ride for you.

Discover the National Cycle Network

Whether you walk, cycle, run or ride a horse, there's plenty of opportunity for adventure and getting involved!

children cycling

Cycling is a great way to have fun as a family and these routes have lots of things to see and do along the way.

cyclist admiring route view

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kids out on a bike ride

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