Best Cycle Routes in Scotland

Cycle Routes Scotland

Scottish adventurer Mark Beaumont arrived back in Scotland earlier this month after smashing the world record for cycling the 6,750-mile length of Africa.

The 32-year old sliced a full two weeks off the previous record, taking only 41 days, 10 hours and 22 minutes to cycle from Cairo to Cape Town.

Beaumont’s African adventure got us thinking about our favourite cycling routes – albeit a bit closer to home. So we scheduled a meeting with the office’s most avid two-wheel aficionados and hammered out a list of our three most favourite cycle routes in Scotland.


Hebridean Hopscotch

Hebridean Hopscotch

This slightly ad lib route runs from the Isle of Harris to North Uist. Starting anywhere on the northern island, point your bicycle south and don’t stop until you hit water. Along the way, stop at one of the perfect ribbons of white sand and channel your inner Hoff.

When you reach Leverburgh, dismount and jump on the ferry down to Berneray. Once you hit land, hop back on your bike and cross over onto North Uist via the rocky causeway. The causeway slices through the sea and it truly feels like you’re cycling through rather than over the chilly Atlantic waters.

North Uist is just as spectacular as its northern neighbour. Vast stretches of peat bog are punctuated only by dramatic craggy hills jutting up out of the drowned landscape.

If you’re there in summer, you’ll hear the deafening chorus of male corncrakes every evening. A nice break from the otherwise deafening silence.


Strathkelvin Walkway

The Strathkelvin Walkway

The Strathkelvin Walkway is a much shorter cycle, weighing in at only 18km. Stretching from Strathblane through Lennoxtown and onto Kirkintilloch, the path follows the old railway line almost exactly. Thankfully, the old line has been resurfaced and it’s easy going for the entire duration.

The route is pretty varied and takes you through birch woods, over rural bridges and along rather lovely country tracks.

Along the way, the most iconic landmark is Lennox Castle Hospital. Opened in 1841, the imposing red sandstone structure has since acted as a military hospital and a primitive psychiatric hospital called Lennox Castle Certified Institution for Mental Defectives.

The original hospital is the only building to remain and is just as impressive as ever.


West Highland Way

West Highland Way

The West Highland Way is a 154-kilometre path running from Milngavie to Fort William. While many choose to walk it, cycling is a substantially more comfortable choice.

We suggest splitting the full Way into shorter sections and tackling it piece by piece. While many will frown at our segmental approach, a piecemeal approach lets you cycle a section then get the train back to your starting location. Perfect for those of us who can’t stand a night under canvas.

Picking a favourite part of the Way is a little like picking a favourite child. It’s all beautiful and every inch has its own special place in my heart. That said, I think the stretch between Drymen to Rowardennan just edges it.

The eastern side of Loch Lomond is absolutely stunning and grants a certain quiet serenity you just can’t find elsewhere.

If you need a break off the saddle, jump off in Balmaha and take the wee postal boat over to Inchcailloch. Inchcailloch’s a stunning little island on Loch Lomond with ancient church ruins, wild white deer and sensational views over Rowardennan Forest to Ben Lomond.

Leave the bike at the port, though, the paths on the island are incredibly steep and covered in mossy steps.


Have we missed somewhere special? Tell us about your favourite Scottish route on Facebook or Twitter.

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