Explore the rich and varied scenery of Highland Perthshire by bike on this relaxing and flexible cycle tour, which links the many small towns and villages in this historic and beautiful part of Scotland, with options to visit castles, whisky distilleries and tea-rooms on most days. The average daily distance is about 25 miles, but you can usually choose to take a longer route if you prefer to spend more time in the saddle. The tour has been carefully planned to use very quiet back roads, (it follows National cycle route 7 from Pitlochry to Killin for the first two days) and then take you through the stunning Highland scenery, highlights being Loch Tay, Glen Lochay, Glen Lyon, and Loch Rannoch and the surrounding mountains and moors. If you are interested, there are also options for off-road mountain-biking on cross-country forest trails and hill tracks on most of the days. Accommodation is limited in some villages but we can usually still arrange this hike if you are only booking a few months ahead of your preferred arrival date. (but it's still best to book sooner rather than later). The prices below are approximate, as there are options to stay in B&Bs or hotels in some of the villages. If you are thinking of a cycling staycation in the UK this is probably the best there is - Highland Perthshire has the best quiet backroads which usually follow rivers or lochs, great scenery, and attractive villages.
|Route||Start & Finish||No. of
|Perthshire Glens Cycle Tour||Pitlochry||7||Flexible cycling tour based entirely on quiet back roads;
wonderful scenery and many historic attractions
|£545 not including bike hire|
Day 1. Arrive in Pitlochry, depending on time of arrival, you may wish to explore the local attractions in this popular town in the foothills of the southern Highlands. There are many local walks, two malt whisky distilleries, and the Hydro-electric dam and 'fish ladder', where it is possible to see salmon as they make their way up river.
Day 2. Follow quiet back roads to Aberfeldy, where you can visit the local malt whisky distillery, or take a walk up the Birks (a woodland gorge & waterfalls), or visit 16th Century Menzies Castle at the end of your cycle. (15 miles). Also an option for longer route by the scenic Loch Tummel south-side road (25 miles), or for a more demanding off-road route over the mountains.
Day 3. No shortage of history today, with options to visit 16th Century Menzies Castle, or a Neolithic Stone Circle and 19th Century Taymouth Castle. Then possible to stop for refreshments in one of Scotland's oldest Inns in Kenmore at the east end of Loch Tay. In Kenmore you can also visit the re-constructed crannog (ancient dwelling built on an artificial island) before setting off down the very scenic road on the south-side of Loch Tay. Good views over to Ben Lawers, and the option of a stop for more refreshments at a good inn half way along the loch. Overnight in the village of Killin at the west end of Loch Tay. (25 miles).
Day 4. Two options today - we suggest you take the road up Glen Lochay and over the hills to the head of Glen Lyon, one of the longest and most beautiful glens in the Highlands. Overnight in the small settlement of Bridge of Balgie. (Total distance 30 miles). Alternative is to take shorter route to Glen Lyon by the Ben Lawers road (which also involves a steady ascent and descent of 1000 feet, total distance 13 miles).
Day 5. Today's route continues down Glen Lyon to the sleepy village of Fortingall, famous for the Yew Tree which, at around 3000 years old, is thought to be the oldest living tree in Europe. From Fortingall, you continue east for 2 miles before following General Wade's military road up Glengoulandie to Loch Kinardochy, and then by the very scenic Schiehallion road down to the village of Kinloch Rannoch. (26 miles). Alternatively, from Bridge of Balgie it is possible to take a direct route over the hills to Rannoch, by following a rough track for 4 miles (with 1000 foot ascent), before a more gentle descent of 4 miles though forest to Loch Rannoch, and then the last few miles along the road into the village. (Or if you take the hill-track, we could book you into a good guest house at Bridge of Gaur at the west end of Loch Rannoch).
Day 6. Cycle around Loch Rannoch with options to explore forest trails in the ancient Blackwood of Rannoch, part of the Caledonian Forest which once covered the highlands; and/or cycle to remote Rannoch Station on the edge of Rannoch Moor. Second night in Kinloch Rannoch (or possibly Bridge of Gaur at the west end of the loch).
Day 7. Cycle down to Pitlochry for your last night on the tour. You can choose to follow the beautiful Foss road via the south-side of Loch Tummel, or go by Glen Errochty, Blair Atholl & Killiecrankie. The latter route gives you the chance to visit Blair Castle, and also see the Pass of Killiecrankie, scene of the famous battle in 1689. (20 or 28 miles).
What's included - the price includes baggage transfer each day - if you don't plan to use your own bikes, bikes are available for hire in Pitlochry from Escape Route. For the road based tour we recommend hybrid 'trail' bikes. If you do not wish to stay in Pitlochry for a second night at the end of the tour, take £30 per person off the price. (It is easy to ride from Kinloch Rannoch to Pitlochry in the morning and then take a mid-afternoon bus or train south to Edinburgh or Glasgow).
Accommodation is based in friendly B&B's and guest houses, in ensuite rooms where possible (usually on all the nights).
Route Guidance - we provide a written description of each day's routes, and OS maps covering the whole tour.
Extra nights - If you want to have an extra night in Killin (which allows for a trip down Glenogle to Balquhidder), add £50 per person per night.
Off-road options - there are excellent mountain bike rides, classic hill tracks and miles of singletrack in this part of Scotland, and if you are interested we can customise this tour to include more off-road mountain biking routes. We can also arrange a long distance cross-country tour for experinenced mountain-bikers, starting in Perth or Dunkeld with stops in Aberfeldy, Rannoch, Laggan, and Spean Bridge, before finishing back in Rannoch. Contact us for more information.