10 of Scotland's Most Incredible Bike Rides

Imagine the wind streaming through your hair as you pedal through the open countryside. Are you pedalling through thriving woodland? Along a meandering coastal path? Or past rolling hills and glittering expanses of water? Scotland's awe-inspiring landscapes have all this to offer and much, much more. Get inspired by these incredible cycling routes …


1. HEBRIDEAN WAY CYCLING ROUTE, OUTER HEBRIDES

Following part of the National Cycle Network Route 780, this terrific, long-distance route spans the length of the enchanting Outer Hebrides island chain. Sites you'll see along the way include paradise beaches, the Calanais Standing Stones and the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse.


  • Departure point: Vatersay

  • Finish: Butt of Lewis

  • Terrain type: road

  • Distance: 185 miles/297 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 6 days (the route can also be done in shorter sections)


Find out more about the Hebridean Way Cycling Route



2. EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE TO THE SHORE

Scotland's capital city (and home to Bike Craft) boasts a huge range of continuous, traffic-free cycle paths, many following old railway lines. Use Edinburgh's Innertube map to follow paths such as the one from the New Town in the city centre to the Shore in Leith where you can enjoy a delicious bite and a coffee at our awesome new Bike Craft unit before visiting The Royal Yacht Britannia.


  • Departure point: Scotland Street

  • Finish: Sandport Place

  • Terrain type: Off-road cycle path

  • Distance: 1.8 miles/2.9 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 10 minutes


Find out more about the Edinburgh city centre to the Shore route



3. LERWICK TO SCALLOWAY, SHETLAND

Travel from Shetland's principle town of Lerwick to the ancient capital of Scalloway. Soak up the stunning island scenery as you cut through a ridge of hills and across wild moorland before being rewarded with a panoramic view of Scalloway and the glittering sea.


  • Departure point: Lerwick

  • Finish: Scalloway

  • Terrain type: road

  • Distance: 5.9 miles/9.5 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 40 minutes


Find out more about the Lerwick to Scalloway route



4. DEVILLA FOREST, FIFE

If you go down to the woods today … you might just be lucky enough to see a cheeky red squirrel! The paths at Devilla Forest pass through atmospheric expanses of woodland which are the perfect habitat for these elusive little animals.


  • Departure/end point: Devilla Forest car park

  • Terrain type: off-road forest paths


Find out more about the Devilla Forest trails



5. LOCH LEVEN HERITAGE TRAIL, PERTHSHIRE

Look out for the rich variety of wildlife (such as osprey, kingfishers and otters) on this flat, circular route around the banks of Loch Leven. Enjoy the views out to Lochleven Castle, which is situated on its own island in the middle of the loch, and stop for a tasty lunch at places such as Loch Leven's Larder.


  • Departure/end point: various points on the banks of Loch Leven

  • Terrain type: off-road path

  • Distance: 12.12 miles/19.5 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 1 hr 20 minutes


Find out more about the Loch Leven Heritage Trail



6. MONTROSE BASIN, ANGUS

Cycle around this stunning tidal estuary and soak up beautiful views of this wildlife haven. Look out for summer highlights such as osprey and kingfishers, or waders and ducks in the winter months, and pop into the Montrose Basin visitor centre for a refreshing cup of tea or coffee.


  • Departure/end point: Montrose caravan site, near the beach

  • Terrain type: road

  • Distance: 10.65 miles/17.14 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 1 hour


Find out more about the Montrose Basin route



7. ASSYNT ACHILTIBUIE CIRCULAR, HIGHLANDS

This stunning (but challenging) loop in the north west of Scotland travels through some of the country's wildest and most idyllic landscapes. See famous mountains such as Sula Bheinn, Cùl Mòr and Stac Pollaidh, as well as tranquil beaches and glittering lochs.

  • Departure/end point: Achiltibuie

  • Terrain type: road

  • Distance: 70.06 miles/112.55 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 7 hours


Find out more about the Assynt Achiltibuie Circular



8. FORMARTINE AND BUCHAN WAY, ABERDEENSHIRE

Set on a former railway line, this cycle route passes through the sweeping north east countryside away from the hustle and bustle of road traffic. At Maud you can travel on to either Fraserburgh or Peterhead, both boasting beautiful beaches.


  • Departure point: Dyce train station

  • Finish: Fraserburgh or Peterhead

  • Terrain type: off-road cycle path

  • Distance: 40 miles/64.37 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 4 - 6 hours one way (the route can also be done in shorter sections)


Find out more about the Formartine and Buchan Way



9. ISLE OF BUTE

Absorb magnificent sea views as you travel around this beautiful island on two wheels (bikes can be hired locally or you can take your own on the ferry). Challenge yourself to the 23 mile loop around the island or use pedal power to visit attractions such as Mount Stuart House and Ettrick Bay.


  • Terrain type: road

  • Distance: 23 miles (shorter sections available)


Find out more about cycling on the Isle of Bute



10. 4 ABBEYS, SCOTTISH BORDERS

Tour the Scottish Borders' four famous abbeys - Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh - on this scenic (but fairly demanding) route through the glorious Borders countryside. Why not make a day of it and stop off at attractions as you pass by?


  • Departure/end point: Jedburgh, Kelso, Melrose or St BoswellsTerrain type: road

  • Distance: 55 miles/88.51 km

  • Approximate time to cycle: 5 - 6 hours


Find out more about the 4 Abbeys route



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Midlothian, Edinburgh
EH6 6JJ

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