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By The Way - short and sweet


4 Days Mountain Biking

From £385

  • Breathtaking scenery from the off.

  • Single-track, forest track and hill track all in one day.

  • Non-technical yet demanding and sometimes exhilerating.

  • Plunging waterfalls, glistening lochs and rumbling rivers.

  • See Buzzards, falcons, possibly even eagles and numerous other wild creatures.

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By The Way - short and sweet

This is an outstanding ride through Scotland’s spectacular southern Highlands. Wide open vistas toward Loch Lomond and Stirling give way to steeply sided forested valleys with glistening lochs and fast flowing rivers. At the top of tough climbs your effort is rewarded with tremendous views and usually a long exhilarating blast downhill. For those with limited time this is a great way to experience some of Scotland’s most picturesque countryside. The riding is rarely technical but packing so much in will challenge the fittest riders. You’ll enjoy fast flowing single-tack, root-rutted and boggy single-track, farm and forest track and quiet country lanes and all of it in any one day. NB All our tours can be shortened or extended to suit. Just call or email our office.

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Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Milngavie to Callander 33 mi / 54 km

    Arrive in Stirling and pick up bikes. Transfer to Milngavie. There’s also the option to meet in Milngavie. The trail winds northwards along pleasant woodland paths climbing gradually before emerging from the forest. After enjoying expansive views an exhilarating downhill whisks us around a heavily forested lump of conical shaped volcanic rock depositing us on a long stretch of flat but fun trail. Next we dot between off and on-road before arriving at the entrance to a vast forest. We enter and continue along forest tracks passing several Victorian aqueducts along the way. Soon we begin a tough mudda of a climb and skirt a small lochan on a short section of trail that will test your technical abilities. We’ve summited for the day and now it’s a fast downhill towards Callander and a chance to drink up the impressive scenery.

  • Day 2 - Callander to Ardeonaig 30 mi / 48 km

    We blast along well-manicured (recently tarmacked) woodland paths for the first stretch of this trail climbing ever so gradually while following the course of a fast flowing river gushing from its source, Loch Lubnaig. The first test comes not far beyond the loch’s head in the form of a short climb on technical single-track. From here it’s on through the forest before we join a winding path that leads us to Lochearnhead. Just north of the village we cross the Glen Ogle viaduct before joining the hill track that leads us to our highest point of the day at 550m. Now we can enjoy spectacular views over Loch Tay toward Ben Lawers as we race downhill to Ardeonaig on moorland single-track.

  • Day 3 - Ardeonaig to Pitlochry 27 mi / 43 km

    An easy cycle along the shore of Loch Tay gives the legs the warm up they need to tackle the steep climb out of Acharn. Your hard work is rewarded with of a visit to a Hermits cave and the sight of splendid waterfalls disappearing into deep ravines. After a few more metres climbing the trail levels off and flows nicely across open hillside full of grazing sheep. Again we are treated to superb views of the Tay Valley and across to Schiehallion. The trail dots between open hillside and forest all the way to the dramatic Falls of Moness and a superbly exhilarating downhill section. For a short way we follow a riverside path on the banks of Tay and then climb steeply on an old drover’s path and then eventually out over hill pasture before entering the forest for the final time on the journey. Emerging from the forest a fast downhill on single-track and then rough farm track deposits us safely in Pitlochry. Those short on time could transfer back to Stirling.

  • Day 4

    There's time to explore in and around Pitlochry before the transfer back to Stirling.

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Destinations

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Knowe - Callander

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    Built at the beginning of the twentieth century and enjoying many original Victorian and Edwardian features. The Knowe has been a Guest House for over 25 years providing superb Guest House accommodation to numerous travellers from all over the world.

     
  • Ardeonaig Hotel - Ardeonaig

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    The Ardeonaig Hotel has been welcoming travellers since the 16th century, when it gave shelter and sustenance to drovers moving their flocks to market. On the southern shore of Loch Tay, amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, Ardeonaig is a very special hotel in a spectacular location, offering peace, tranquillity, relaxation and luxury.

     
  • 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 - 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

  • 3 Nights

  • Challenging

  • Mountain Biking

  • Suitable for: Beginner

  • From £385 Per Person

  • 92 mi / 148 km

  • From: Milngavie

  • To: Pitlochry

  • Available: March - October

  • Min. Age: 14

  • Suit Tagalong:

  • Suit Trailer: