Scotland is a magical place for a cycling vacation. Here it can feel like a different world. The vibrant greenery and deep valleys are exquisite. Scotland’s lakes, known as “lochs” are popular sites, particularly the famous Loch Ness and its alleged sea monster.
The rolling hills and dramatic moors of the countryside that make this country a top destination for cycling tours. Scotland’s small villages and rural landscapes are best seen by the seat of a bicycle.
Join Wild Atlantic Cycling for a unique challenge and cycle the Scottish 500 mile coastal route known as the North Coast 500. The NC 500 is a magnificent cycle route from Inverness to Inverness, taking in the entire coastline of the very tip of Britain!
Cycling in Scotland presents you with almost everything! From rolling hills and mysterious woodland, to stunning coastal paths – Scotland is amazing cycling. The country boasts a variety of road cycling routes as well as off-road, trails, gravel and MTB. A range of cycling levels are catered for.
Join a supported cycle tour of Scotland and enjoy the crisp Scottish air on your skin as you pedal down one of the country’s many picturesque cycling routes. With a huge number of extremely quiet roads which criss-cross the country, you'll never be short of a new route, but take those climbing legs with you for the extra challenge!
Inverness is the gateway to the NC 500 Cycle Route and your best bet if that's what you are attempting. Other better serviced airports include Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The best time for a cycle tour in Scotland is between May and October as during this period you’ll find most attractions and restaurants open and the best chances for warmer weather. However, this also corresponds with the busiest time along the North Coast 500 which is from early May to late September. Further detail on the North Coast 500 supported cycle tour can be found here.
If you are looking to cycle during quieter times of year, then April, early May, late September, or October, avoiding holidays, festivals, special events, and school breaks.
Winter can be a nice time for photography and solitude, although the weather can be bad and certain minor roads (e.g. the Bealach Na Ba on the North Coast 500 route) may be closed due to bad weather. If you plan to cycle in Scotland out of season (e.g., October to March) just note that many businesses (including hotels, restaurants, tourist information offices, and attractions) in the Scottish Highlands are seasonal or have reduced winter hours.
Fresh, rustic, and homestyle meals are the order of the day when cycling in rural areas of Scotland, the Highlands and the North Coast 500 cycle route. Many eating establishments rely on the local produce and hence there are fewer options than you’d have in a large city like Edinburgh or Glasgow. There is however still a wide variety of food stops that range from budget-friendly cafes serving simple salads and sandwiches to Michelin-starred restaurants serving four-course menus.
Outside of the main tourist season (May to September) some cafes and restaurants, especially in the smaller towns and villages may be closed. So be sure to check opening dates and hours in advance if travelling then.
Most towns and villages that you cycle through will have a small grocery store open during the day for snacks, and food to keep you pedallng to your evening stop.