;

Loop of Lochs


9 Days Road Cycling

From £895

  • Quiet family friendly back roads and trails.

  • Easy miles and plenty of them.

  • Breathtaking vistas.

  • Long lonely valleys, just you and the buzzard's call and maybe the odd sheep.

  • Picturesque Highland villages.

Loch-Dunmore.jpg
 

Loop of Lochs

From the bustling throng of Pitlochry to the remote and peaceful reaches of Glen Lyon this cycle tour is sure to put a smile on your face. It takes in the historic site at Killiecrankie known as The Soldiers Leap, the centuries old Blair Castle and an even older Neolithic home on Loch Tay. Most of the route is covered on quiet country lanes where any other traffic might well be a sheep or even a deer if you’re lucky. You’ll see impressive waterfalls, glistening lochs and some truly marvelous mountain scenery. You’ll cover miles each day and drink up gallons of clean crisp air. But the miles are mostly easy and with so much to take in you won’t want to stop at the end of each day. Just remember to pack a camera. NB All our tours can be shortened or extended to suit. Just call or email our office.

Book this holiday

Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Pitlochry

    Arrive in Pitlochry and book into first night’s accommodation and pick up bikes. Choose from a mix of cycling trails or go for a walk in the woods or maybe grab a show at the theatre.

  • Day 2 - Pitlochry to Kinloch Rannoch 30 mi / 48 km

    Shortly after leaving Pitlochry we begin winding our way up a quiet country road amidst deciduous woodlands. Quickly we gain altitude and breathtaking views over the Tummel Valley and beyond into the Cairngorms before dropping down to Killiecrankie and the frothing River Garry. We follow the river’s course into Blair Atholl and beyond before in the upper reaches of Glen Garry we turn and head south across a high and remote moor. From here a long dramatic descent complete with hairpin bends takes us to Trinafour. After a brief bit of climbing we soon enjoy a long gradual descent to Rannoch.

  • Day 3 - Kinloch Rannoch to Kenmore 38 mi / 62 km

    Today most of the cycling is done on the flat with one long gradual climb which leads to an even longer and fairly exhilarating downhill section. Peace and tranquility are the two adjectives springing immediately to mind when looking for words to describe the ride around Loch Rannoch. With well warmed legs the climb to the Pass of Keltney on the eastern flank of Schiehallion is indeed a pleasure and the ensuing descent to the Tay Valley is certainly fun. A short roll along another flat section brings us to the pretty village of Kenmore and some dazzling views down Loch Tay toward Ben Lawers.

  • Day 4 - Kenmore to Killin 16 mi / 26 km

    An easy day today along the undulating southern shore of Loch Tay. Grand views over the loch toward the Ben Lawers group dominate the scene throughout much of the ride. A short detour en route promises the sight of impressive waterfalls disappearing into deep ravines and ancient standing stones. Back on track and a short blast downhill takes us into Ardeonaig and the chance for some refreshment. Onwards and the view ahead captures the mountain peaks behind Killin north of Glen Dochart. Before long we are amongst the trees pedaling effortlessly toward todays’ goal, Killin where we can enjoy the splendour of the Falls of Dochart.

  • Day 5 - Killin to Bridge of Balgie 22 mi / 36 km

    This morning we ride out of Killin taking a seldom trodden path into quiet glens. A long gradual climb on a fern lined trail takes us past farmland and woodland as we follow the course of a river along the valley floor. Not long into the ride deep pools below low rocky cliffs are an inviting sight for would be swimmers, particularly on warm summer days. After several miles of pleasant riding we are challenged as the path turns northwards and climbs steeply to a high mountain pass. Crossing the pass brings us to the remote wilds of Loch Lyon lying at the western end of Glen Lyon. We turn east now and begin making our way through this stunning valley following a river’s course as it flows from the loch. The large pinewoods of earlier are replaced by a few stinted broadleaf’s spartanly spread over open moor and grazing pasture. Verdant slopes are flecked with patches of purple heather and large rocks protrude from the ground giving an insight into the geological nature of this ancient landscape. The farther east we travel more trees begin to appear and by the time we reach our destination we are yet again shrouded in mixed woodlands.

  • Day 6 - Bridge of Balgie to Aberfeldy 20 mi / 32 km

    This morning our journey continues eastward through Glen Lyon soaking up its mouthwatering scenery as we go. Verdant pastures full of sheep are corralled by steep rocky hillsides adorned with flowering heathers. Roadside hedgerows provide ample habitat for birdlife and many small mammals. While dark green pine forest and other mixed woodlands provide shelter for larger creatures too. Keep an eye open for falcons, buzzards and even Golden Eagles. And of course don’t forget to keep them peeled for Scotland’s majestic red deer. The farther east we travel the deeper into woods the trail descends and at points we are bounded to one side by sheer faces of rock. A low roadside wall along one section of trail signifies a dramatic plunge to the river now someway below. Soon the path spills from the wood replacing it with lush pasture as we roll effortlessly into the Tay Valley and the picturesque village of Fortingall. From here it’s an easy pedal to Aberfeldy.

  • Day 7 - Aberfeldy to Pitlochry 15 mi / 24 km

    We start the day with some pleasurable riverside riding which takes us down to the villages of Grandtully and Strathtay. From here we trundle effortlessly along the northern bank of the Tay before switching to its south bank. Breezily pushing on through farmland and woodland we soon cross the river again and ride northwards into the Tummel Valley leaving the Tay behind. After a long gradual climb we begin to descend toward the River Tummel and the last leg of our journey to Pitlochry.

  • Day 8 - Pitlochry

    An attractive Victorian town, Pitlochry is a popular destination for all sorts of travelers. It’s spa’s, theatre and local distillery attract plenty of visitors and the hydroelectric visitor centre due to open in autumn 2016 should also prove a draw. But it’s main attraction has to be the surrounding countryside which is spellbindingly beautiful. You can go for gentle woodland walks around the shores of Loch Faskally or hike up nearby Ben Vrackie. Cycling is popular here and in May thousands descend on the town to take part in the Etape Caledonia. Local lochs and rivers provide sport from fishing to white water rafting. And of course, this being Scotland there’s a golf course too.

  • Day 9

    There's still time for a quick cycle before handing back the bikes. End of tour.

Book this holiday

Destinations

  • 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.

  • Killiecrankie

    Blink and you miss it. Well that’s almost true. Despite having a hotel, Killiecrankie is really no more than a hamlet perched on a steep slope overlooking the River Garry. It’s best known for its role in Scottish history as the site of a famous battle between a Jacobite army and government forces in which the Jacobites were victorious. A government soldier fleeing the Jacobites is reputed to have leaped from one bank of the River Garry to the other at a location now known as Soldier’s Leap. This act is appreciated as no-mean-feat by visitors to the site on witnessing the distance spanning the raging torrent below.

  • Blair Atholl

    The peaceful village of Blair Atholl sits on the northern bank of the River Garry and southern flank of the Cairngorm Mountains. It’s a largely Victorian settlement that grew up around an old water mill that’s still operational today. The magnificent Blair Castle has been around for considerably longer dating from 1269 AD. The castle is defended by its own private army of Atholl Highlanders, the only legally recognised private army in Europe. Happily they don’t stop you entering as visitors are welcome at the castle today. Blair Atholl is a pushing off spot for many expeditions into the Cairngorms. Glen Tilt running northeast from the village features in many mountain bike and walking routes. And further along the road Glen Bruar is the site of some delightful trails.

  • Kinloch Rannoch

    Kinloch Rannoch is a quiet Highland village straddling the River Tummel at the eastern end of Loch Rannoch. It’s most spectacular view is that of Schiehallion, a fine mountain to the south. The scene down the loch is one of tranquillity and one that might be sought by those seeking peace and solitude. Although small Kinloch Rannoch is the largest settlement in the whole valley and can boast two hotels and a shop complete with post office.

  • Kenmore

    Kenmore is blessed with some tremendous views over Loch Tay towards the Ben Lawers group of mountains on the loch’s northern shore. The village itself is pleasing on the eye too with a picture postcard bridge crossing the River Tay. And then there’s the pretty main square with rows of cottages running down two sides and shouldering the Kenmore Hotel on one of the sides. At one end on a promontory sits the village kirk overlooking both loch and square. Opposite is the grand arched entrance to Taymouth Castle Estate. The castle is currently being renovated and its new owners plan to open an upmarket hotel. Guests might even be able to arrive by plane using the loch as a landing strip.

  • 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.

  • Bridge of Balgie

    Bridge of Balgie is set amidst the middle reaches of what has been described as Scotland's 'Longest, loneliest and loveliest' valley, Glen Lyon. It is a remote glen perched high above and to the north of Strath Tay. Access is via narrow single-track roads sometimes with steep drops to ravines and rivers below. It’s a wild and stunning location and one that certainly shouldn’t be missed on a trip to Scotland. There’s little to speak of in the way of the village bar a few pretty private dwellings nestling amongst the trees. That said there is a village eatery in the form of Glenlyon Tearoom that is also a shop and post office too.

  • Fortingall

    Fortingall is a stunning wee village famed for its’ ancient yew tree estimated to be as much as 3000 years old. This would make it the oldest tree in Britain. The village sits amidst lush green meadows a short distance from where Glen Lyon runs into Strath Tay. It is undoubtedly the largest settlement in Glen Lyon but does not boast a shop or post office like Bridge of Balgie. Instead though there is an ample hotel that can satisfy many a traveler’s needs.

  • 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.

Book this holiday

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.

  • Craigatin House - Pitlochry

    Craigatin.jpg

    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.

     
  • Macdonald Loch Rannoch Hotel - Kinloch Rannoch

    Loch-Rannoch-Hotel.jpg

    Nestled in the heart of the Highlands, the hotel is situated on the north shore above Loch Rannoch and the picturesque village of Kinloch Rannoch with majestic views of the loch and hills that are simply breathtaking. The magnificent setting is the ideal location to enjoy a break away from busy lives or a romantic retreat. Steeped in tradition and rich in heritage, the hotel invites one to step back to a quieter time, while still enjoying the comfort of a superb hotel.

     
  • Kenmore Hotel - Kenmore

    Kenmore-Hotel.jpg

    Located in the pretty village of Kenmore, which lies to the East of Loch Tay with River Tay to the North, the Kenmore Hotel offers delightful rooms, delicious dining in our restaurant and traditional bars, all in an unrivalled location with stunning views across the Tay. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing getaway, catching up with family and friends or, perhaps, escaping for a romantic rendezvous.

     
  • Bridge of Lochay Hotel - Killin

    Bridge-of-Lochay-Hotel.jpg

    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.

     
  • Fortingall Hotel - Fortingall

    Fortingall-Hotel.jpg

    The Fortingall Hotel sits in the historic village of Fortingall at the entrance to mystical Glen Lyon and just a short distance from beautiful Loch Tay at the heart of Highland Perthshire.

     
  • Moness House Hotel & Country Club - Aberfeldy

    Moness.jpg

    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.

     

Book this holiday

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.

Book this holiday

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.

Book this holiday

Book your holiday

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.

By Phone

 

Our online booking engine is currently undergoing a major upgrade and will be operational soon

 

In Brief

  • 8 Nights

  • Moderate

  • Road Cycling

  • From £895 Per Person

  • 142 mi / 228 km

  • From: Pitlochry

  • To: Pitlochry

  • Available: March - October

  • Min. Age: 12

  • Suit Tagalong:

  • Suit Trailer: