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By The Way


6 Days Mountain Biking

From £595

  • Easy accessible non-technical mountain biking.

  • Fabulous mountain scenery.

  • Quiet glens and tranquil lochs.

  • A chance to see red deer and golden eagles and a huge variety of other wild species.

  • Plenty of opportunity to enjoy a wee dram by the fire or straight from the cask at any of several distilleries.

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By The Way

This is an excellent route for fit cyclists wishing to sample traditional non-technical mountain biking while enjoying the spectacular scenery of Highland Perthshire and Stirlingshire. The journey takes you along pleasant woodland paths through steep sided forested valleys and over the tops of hills and up the side of mountains. You’ll glimpse the famous waters of Loch Lomond along with several other fine and notable bodies of water. There’s the chance to see a huge variety of wildlife including red squirrels, deer and many species of bird. You’ll flit between dense forest and open hillside, at points being the only souls for miles around. And then you’ll drop into a welcoming Highland village to be refreshed and possibly entertained. NB All our tours can be shortened or extended to suit. Just call or email our office.

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Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Stirling

    Arrive in Stirling, book into first night’s accommodation and pick up bikes. Choose from a mix of cycling trails and visit sites of historic interest along the way. Stirling is home to some of Scotland's best natural single-track. We can arrange for a guide so you can discover the best local delights.

  • Day 2 - Milngavie to Aberfoyle 24 mi / 39 km

    Transfer to Milngavie. We start by cycling on pleasant woodland paths following the course of a river for the first few miles. The trail climbs gradually skirting a high muir (moor) before it emerges from the forest at what is the highest point on this stretch. A wide open vista stretches out before us and we are treated to spectacular views stretching from The Campsie Fells in the west to the mountains on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. Following an exhilarating descent the trail flattens out but remains fun for several miles. The path cuts through farmland passing a distillery and several small hamlets before joining a quiet single-track road for the final stretch into the village of Drymen. From here the route quickly climbs to the highest point of the day producing panoramic views over the Carse of Stirling and surrounding hills before dropping down into the Queen Elizabeth Forest. A short ride on forest tracks shouldered by Victorian aqueducts soon deposits us at our destination of Aberfoyle.

  • Day 3 - Aberfoyle to Killin 32 mi / 51 km

    Today we climb. Initially the route follows forest tracks that then become single-track paths that some will find challenging although the distance is not far. From here we easily cross a high meadow before skirting a wee lochan on a technically demanding trail, again the distance is negligible. A long blast downhill with great views over Loch Venachar to Ben Ledi is your reward. Soon we’re whizzing along pleasant woodland paths and then soaking up the pleasurable sight that is Loch Lubnaig. South of Strathyre we enter the forest where we remain until we join an ash path and wind our way effortlessly into Glen Ogle. After crossing a viaduct we shoot downhill through the woods to Killin at the head of Loch Tay where we can enjoy a drink while watching water tumbling through the Falls of Dochart.

  • Day 4 - Killin to Aberfeldy 27 mi / 43 km

    After a short warm up amidst the serenity of the trees along the southern shore of Loch Tay we begin a climb that will test your fitness. The 400 metres or so gained in altitude is worth the reward of spectacular views over Loch Tay to the Ben Lawers group of mountains opposite and the downhill section to Ardeonaig. Another short climb permits the chance to visit a hermits’ cave, view some fabulous waterfalls plummeting into deep ravines or check out some ancient standing stones. Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s novel Outlander, recently adapted for television, may wish to try their hand at time travel in the hope of being romanced by a hulky highlander. The trail now dots between high pasture and forest finally arriving at the Falls of Moness and an exhilarating final stretch into Aberfeldy. You won’t be short on adrenaline after that.

  • Day 5 - Aberfeldy to Pitlochry 9 mi / 14 km

    An easy day by comparison but there’s just a wee sting in the tail. We start the day with some pleasurable riverside riding down to Grandtully, famous for white water kayaking events. From here we turn away from the mighty River Tay and begin to climb on a steep drover’s track while skirting a wood. The very fittest and most skillful will manage to ride this but lesser mortals will need to push a bit. Through a gate and we’re faced with a short section amidst gorse bushes where pushing is inevitable, but it really is a short stretch. The pain over, we now have an easy ride across open hill pasture that affords us tremendous views over the surrounding countryside. Soon we enter the forest en route to the highest point of the day. A look back in the direction we came rewards us with a last view of the Tay Valley and Sciehallion. Following a brief ride on forest tracks we can enjoy a blast downhill on single-track. Emerging from the wood we are presented with the final stretch of the journey, a fast downhill on rough farm track to Pitlochry.

  • Day 6

    There's still time for a quick blast on the bike before the transfer to Stirling.

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Destinations

  • Stirling

    The historic city of Stirling, once Scotland's ancient capital, in the words of the eminent broadcaster David Dimbleby, has a castle "that rivals Edinburgh's". And so it does. Steeped in history this attractive rural city features in the story's of many of Scotland's and the United Kingdom's most famous historical figures including William Wallace and King James VI and I. James Stewart, known as King James sixth of Scotland and first of England and Ireland was the first king to rule all three nations at once. He spent most of his young life at Stirling Castle which it is thought was originally erected either during or sometime before the 12th century. Stirling is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with open countryside all around that can be accessed within minutes from virtually anywhere within the city. Our accommodation is located in Kings Park, an affluent Victorian district situated below and adjacent to the old town. You are ideally placed to explore both the town, it's parks and the fabulous woodlands and country lanes nearby. All can be easily reached on foot or by bicycle.

  • Milngavie

    Milngavie (pronounced Mill-guy) is an affluent suburb situated in the north of Glasgow. It's 15 minutes away from Glasgow airport by car and 25 minutes by train from the city centre. Although not a holiday destination in itself considerable numbers of tourists, probably more than 30,000, pass through the town each year. This is because Milngavie is the traditional starting point for one of the world's most famous long distance walking trails - the West Highland Way. Within a 5 minute stroll from the train station lie the gates to this fabulous route. Walkers, cyclists and runners gather here to be photographed before undertaking their great journey.

  • Killearn

    Although our route barely glances the outskirts of Killearn we felt given its historic significance as the birthplace of George Buchanan that it was worth mentioning. The attractive village sits on the edge of a moor overlooking the confluence of the Blane and Endrick Valleys. A one-time farming village today it serves as an affluent satellite of Glasgow. It’s most famous son George Buchanan, born in 1506, was a prominent Scottish scholar and tutor to King James VI of Scotland who later became King James I of England and Ireland also. James was the first monarch to rule all three kingdoms simultaneously. He also ruled over Wales at this time but technically Wales is a principality. A 31metre tall monument has been erected in Buchanan’s name near the village Kirk and can be seen from miles around. A detour into the village would add roughly two miles or just over three kilometres to your journey.

  • Drymen

    Drymen is a relatively small village nestling just a few miles from the shores of Loch Lomond. It sits at a crossroads of the ways. The West Highland Way passes through the village while the Rob Roy Way starts here and the John Muir Way passes by only a couple of miles away. Despite it's size, Drymen is a lively wee place, supporting two hotels and numerous bed and breakfasts. With friendly bars and good quality eateries it's a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike.

  • Aberfoyle

    Aberfoyle, often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Trossachs’, is a pleasant and peaceful village situated at the foot of the Menteith Hills and amidst the vast Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. The hills are particularly significant because they mark the line of the Highland Boundary Fault which runs through the island of Arran on the west coast to Stonehaven on the east coast and separates the Highlands from the Lowlands. Another prominent feature of the village is the River Forth that runs through its centre before winding its way across a vast flood plain to Stirling and then Edinburgh where it enters the North Sea. The village is busy through the day with day trippers but generally quiet later in the evening. However, there are still enough customers buzzing about to ensure the couple of inns providing food and one or two café/restaurants remain open.

  • Callander

    Like Aberfoyle just over the hill, Callander straddles the divide between the Highlands and Lowlands. It sits just beyond the eastern tip of the beautiful Loch Venachar at the foot of the forested Menteith Hills. It’s the largest village in the Trossachs and supports numerous hotels, B&B’s, restaurants and bars and is busy most of the year round. The centre of Callander is distinctly Victorian with many of that eras more substantial villas now operating as small hotels or guesthouses. However, many remain as family homes in this relatively affluent town. The River Teith runs right through the villages’ heart providing a particularly pleasant outlook for well placed residences on its banks and sport in the form of fishing and canoeing. Another great site from the village is that of Ben Ledi, a magnificent looking hill and one reasonably easy as well as pleasing to climb.

  • Strathyre

    A fairly small village, Strathyre resides in a particularly picturesque part of the Scottish Highlands. Nestling amongst the trees of the forest that shares its’ name and straddling the River Balvag a stroll from one side of the village to the other is a walk through nature itself. Woodland walks and a footbridge link the villages’ two halves at the southern end while an attractive old stone humpback bridge provides the umbilicus upstream. For visitors there’s an inn and a café for meals and providing accommodation along with the inn there’s also a couple of B&B’s.

  • Lochearnhead

    Situated at the western end of Loch Earn the views from Lochearnhead can be spectacular. They’re even better if you climb above the village on the Sustrans cycle track. From up here, on a clear day you can easily see St Fillans at the eastern end of the loch. In the village there are several attractive old stone buildings including a pretty wee cottage with thatched roof. For visitors there are a couple of two-star hotels or four-star B&B’s but limited choice for eating out other than the hotels. The village shop doubles as a post office and sells takeaway tea and coffee.

  • Killin

    Killin is a pleasant Highland village corralled by two attractive rivers that flow into Loch Tay. The Falls of Dochart formed on the river bearing the same name are a wonderful site and draw many visitors to the area in themselves. The River Lochay is a more serene beast that gently meanders around the village, conveniently providing mooring for boats adjacent to properties along its bank. There are several shops in the village including an outdoors shop that hires out mountain bikes and Canadian Canoes. For sleeping, eating and drinking there are also several options in the form of hotels, inns, B&B’s, guesthouses, restaurants and bars.

  • Ardeonaig

    Ardeonaig is a pretty little hamlet on the southern shores of Loch Tay. Not much more than a collection of farm buildings, cottages and country houses it manages to boast a hotel that is renowned for its quality. The Ardeonaig Hotel is a four star establishment that serves as a watering hole to walkers, cyclists and day trippers as well as providing comfortable bedrooms for overnighting guests.

  • Aberfeldy

    The Highland town of Aberfeldy is a bustling centre of activity. Along the main drag traditional Victorian buildings house shops, banks, hotels, and tea rooms. Step away from here and you’ll find yourself in residential streets full of Victorian terraces and villas many with gardens full of brightly coloured flowers, mature trees and sumptuous hedgerows. At the northern end of town the five arches of General Wade’s Bridge span the River Tay below four sculpted obelisks protruding skywards near the centre of the bridge. It is a simple yet stunning piece of architecture.

  • Grandtully

    Grandtully is a beautiful wee village on the south bank of the River Tay. And despite its size boasts a primary school, chocolatier, hostel, inn, coffee house and a water sports centre. From the inn it’s possible to watch white water rafters and kayakers careering down the rapids below. Less than a minute’s stroll across a bridge adjacent to the inn and water sports centre car park is Grandtully’s nearest neighbour Strathtay, also very attractive. What Strathtay lacks in chocolatiers and inns it gains in a village shop and golf course. And like Grandtully has some fabulous Victorian houses.

  • Pitlochry

    Grand hotels, castles and country homes reside alongside impressive examples of Victorian engineering in a truly stunning mountain setting amidst forests of pine and oak and beech and alder and more. With glistening Loch Faskally and the tumbling Tummel River right at the heart of this spellbinding picture, the allure of Pitlochry is patently obvious to see. It’s no wonder that this town is one of Scotland’s most popular visitor destinations outside of Edinburgh. Besides the usual attractions of spas, a distillery, fine restaurants and quality accommodation Pitlochry also boasts a theatre which is responsible in itself for many of the towns’ visitors. The theatre keeps the punters rolling in all year round with many acclaimed productions to see performed by theatre companies from near and far.

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Hotel, B&B, Inn or Guesthouse

We normally arrange 3 or 4 star bed and breakfast accommodation in guesthouses and hotels. We can also arrange for 5 star accommodation on request depending on availability. Some of the accommodation we offer has no official rating but we are satisfied that it meets a suitable standard of comfort and that the hosts deliver acceptable levels of service. We routinely inspect all accommodation offered and all accommodation must be approved by us before we book it for our clients.

In most cases rooms will have en suite facilities. On occasion two rooms may share the same facilities. That is two rooms accommodated by members of the same party.

Where possible we seek accommodation with access to leisure facilities such as a swimming pool. These may be hotel or municipal facilities.

Below is a sample list of accommodation options for this tour.

  • Stirling Highland Hotel - Stirling

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    Built in 1854 as the city’s High School, the Stirling Highland Hotel sits on the same rocky crag as Stirling's Castle. Certain rooms afford commanding views over the surrounding countryside with sight of the Gargunnock Hills, Carse of Stirling and Trossachs on one side and the Ochill Hills and Forth Valley on the other. It is a four star establishment with an AA rosette restaurant as well as swimming pool, gymnasium and spa facilities.

     
  • The Bield - Aberfoyle

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    The Bield is a large Victorian house built of sandstone in 1900. The Bed and Breakfast rooms are decorated to a high standard and there is a comfortable guest lounge to relax in. We are able to provide safe storage for bikes.

     
  • Bridge of Lochay Hotel - Killin

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    The Bridge of Lochay Hotel is owned and run by Amanda Clark and Bob Stevenson who, along with their team of friendly staff, aim to offer the very best Scottish welcome and hospitality - our motto is 'nothing is too much trouble'. The hotel is situated on the banks of the River Lochay along our route. It's an ideal spot to rest and recuperate before continuing on your journey.

     
  • Moness House Hotel & Country Club - Aberfeldy

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    A traditional warm Scottish welcome awaits you at the Moness Resort. Set in 35 acres of picturesque countryside, in the heart of stunning Highland Perthshire, Moness provides an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area. All guests have access to our leisure facilities of a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hot tub as well as table tennis, pool table and many others.

     
  • Craigatin House - Pitlochry

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    This beautiful early Victorian, former Doctors house, has been transformed into an award winning, luxury, boutique Bed and Breakfast, providing a unique blend of the traditional with the luxury of contemporary design. Standing peacefully in two acres of manicured gardens with private off-road parking, Craigatin can be found at the northern edge of Pitlochry town, just a 5 minute, flat walk, from the town centre where the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, good pubs and restaurants, shops and all local attractions can be found.

     

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We've got it covered

Included

  • Cycle Hire - high quality serviced hybrid, mountain bike or adventurer (see notes).

  • En route support (see notes).

  • Accommodation in selected hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts or guesthouses.

  • Specified meals (See notes).

  • Detailed route descriptions and colour coded maps.

  • Specified transportation.

  • Daily baggage transfer of one bag (suitcase / backpack) per person.

Not Included

  • Travel Insurance.

  • Travel not specified - airport transfers etc.

  • Electric Cycle Hire.


NOTES:

  1. All breakfasts are included as standard. Lunch and dinner are not included unless otherwise specified. Packed lunches are available from most accommodation providers on request. Please ask the accommodation host when on tour. Prices and offerings vary between establishments.
  2. All accommodation providers will cater for clients with special dietry requirements. You must inform us before travelling if any travellers have specific dietry needs in order for accommodation hosts to make appropriate arrangements. We cannot guarantee special dietry needs will be catered for unless we are forewarned.
  3. Most of our routes pass by several eateries so it is usually possible to pick and choose where to have lunch each day. However, on routes (days) where you will not pass an eaterie we advise that you order a packed lunch from your accommodation host. All of our accommodation hosts offer packed lunches. Charges vary from establishment to establishment.
  4. We provide you with a good quality bicycle that is regularly serviced.
  5. If you encounter a technical issue with the bike provided we will either fix it or replace it with another suitable bike. Our support staff can be summoned to your aid en route.

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The best time to go

This tour is available from March to October. The quietist times being between March and May and September and October with July and August being the two busiest months.

Spring
In late March the days grow longer and warmer and the first shoots of young life begin to appear. The fields are full of newborn lambs and wildlife everywhere is once again on the move. The mountain tops are often still capped with snow and even at low levels the last gasps of winter may still be felt with a slim chance for late snow showers. By April spring is in full flow and temperatures can soar into the late teens Celsius although a maximum of around thirteen degrees Celsius is more in line with the norm. Trees have regained all their foliage and nest building is in full swing. The chatter of busy birds can be heard everywhere.

Summer
By May and June the days are long and bright. Around the time of the summer solstice in mid June it's often possible to read by natural light until past 11pm at night. And out on the hill the red deer are fawning. By July and August days are at their warmest with average temperatures around nineteen degrees Celsius although temperatures have been known to climb into the late twenties and even as high as thirty. Most destinations are buzzing with activity during July and August as these are the traditional school summer holiday months. September in Scotland is quieter out on the trail and temperatures generally remain in the high teens. In the rivers salmon can be seen running as they strive to swim up river to their spawning grounds.

Autumn
October is one of the most atmospheric months to be out and about in the wilds of Scotland. The trees gradually turn from green to many shades of brown and orange and when they finally fall they form huge billowy piles on the ground, a couple of feet deep in places. Around the middle of the month the red deer rut gets under way and the bellowing stags can be heard for miles around.

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Call or email now to make a booking or enquire about your options

Please note our office is closed from Friday 29 June 2018 to Sunday 15 July 2018. Where possible we will respond to email enquiries.

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In Brief

  • 5 Nights

  • Moderate

  • Mountain Biking

  • Suitable for: Improver

  • From £595 Per Person

  • 92 mi / 148 km

  • From: Milngavie

  • To: Pitlochry

  • Available: March to October

  • Min. Age: 12

  • Suit Tagalong:

  • Suit Trailer: