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Milngavie to Pitlochry Express


6 Days Trail Cycling

From £595

  • Family friendly.

  • Easy relaxed cycling.

  • Traffic free trails and quiet country lanes.

  • Lochs gallore.

  • Scenic feast.

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Milngavie to Pitlochry Express

This tour is essentially the same as our explorer tour but without the rest days. From the bustling suburbs on the outskirts of Glasgow you cycle northwards across open moorland, through vast forests and over mountain passes to finish on the peaceful shores of Loch Faskally by Pitlochry. The cycling can be pretty easy or a tad challenging – you choose. We start you off with some easy trail cycling on pleasant woodland paths. A short gradual climb then leads to the first of many panoramic feasts. And you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy them. The tour has been designed so you get a good fill of cycling but still have time to explore both en route and at your daily destination. This route is suitable for reasonably fit groups including families with children as young as eleven cycling independently. The trails are a mix of forest track, quiet country roads and coveted singletrack. And although this is billed as a trail cycling holiday there’s a chance to hone your riding skills with some more rugged mountain bike only sections. 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 Aberfoyle 24 mi / 39 km

    We start with easy cycling on pleasant woodland paths along a riverbank. After a gradual climb you’re treated to expansive views stretching from the Campsie Fells on one side to Ben Lomond on the other. A fast fun downhill sends you spinning across the flats toward Drymen, an ideal spot for lunch. Leaving Drymen, the route quickly climbs to the highest point of the day offering up fabulous views over the surrounding countryside including a brief glimpse of Loch Lomond before descending into the Queen Elizabeth Forest. Now you blast along forest tracks shouldered by Victorian aqueducts, passing the occasional forest dwelling, before emerging in the quiet village of Aberfoyle.

  • Day 2 - Aberfoyle to Callander 14 mi / 23 km

    Today there’s a choice between three routes. Each offers something different while all prescribe woodland trails and loch-side cycling. Two are accessible to all while the third is more suited to those with some mountain biking experience. That said I wouldn’t hesitate to take a fit capable cyclist on the more challenging route. One route involves an optional trip on a steamboat, while two promise the chance to ride some loch-side singletrack. And all share the same glorious ride along the shores of Loch Venachar to finish.

  • Day 3 - Callander to Killin 24 mi / 39 km

    This trail is a firm favourite with families that enjoy effortless cycling along its many flat sections. Not to mention the fabulous contrasting scenery along the way. After a brief warm up in woods, views expand along the shores of Loch Lubnaig. For those following our preferred route there’s a chance to visit Rob Roy’s grave in the quaint village of Balquhidder. While those on the mountain bike route gain elevated views over Balquhidder Glen. The day ends with a blast down through forest to Loch Tay.

  • Day 4 - Killin to Aberfeldy 24 mi / 39 km

    There are numerous routes to choose from today. For this tour our main route, and the shortest option follows a quiet loch-side lane for much of the way. While for those that want it there’s high adventure with trails leading to long lonely valleys or up into the mountains. You can visit a hermits’ cave and view plunging waterfalls. Kenmore, on Loch Tay is a pleasant place to lunch and refuel before the final stretch to Aberfeldy.

  • Day 5 - Aberfeldy to Pitlochry 15 mi / 24 km

    The day begins with easy riverside riding down to the village of Grandtully. The trail rolls on effortlessly along the banks of the River Tay before swinging northwards into the Tummel Valley. After a gradual climb through woodland the trail descends to the River Tummel and the flats leading to Pitlochry and Loch Faskally.

  • Pitlochry

    The tour ends after breakfast but it’s possible to extend your stay in Pitlochry. There’s lots to do and see in and around the town so why not contact our office to discuss your options.

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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.

  • 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.

  • Balquhidder

    A large parish or a very small village, whatever Balquidder’s designation it’s a delightful wee place. Rolling into the village along the Sustrans cycle route from the south we pass several attractive stone-built homes, mostly working farmhouses and cross a couple of old humpback bridges. The village is simply pretty with a handful of quaint cottages dotted throughout. It has one small tea room despite receiving lots of visitors who mostly come to see the infamous Scottish outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor’s grave or are heading further into the glen to visit the site of his onetime house at Inverlochlarig. Roundabout there are a couple of B&B’s and a few miles away to the west there’s an hotel, Monachyle Mhor and to the east the Mhor 84 motel.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

     
  • 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.

     
  • 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 Mar - Oct. 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

  • Trail Cycling

  • From £595 Per Person

  • 102 mi / 164 km

  • From: Glasgow / Milngavie

  • To: Pitlochry

  • Available: Mar - Oct

  • Min. Age: 11

  • Suit Tagalong:

  • Suit Trailer: