Cycling in the Highlands

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  • Two cycle tourers pose for a photograph with their bikes and bags with a  deer warning sign, water and hills in the background.
    Cycling the North Sea Cycle Route between Tongue and Lairg, Sutherland, The Highlands
  • Mother and child cycling on road by water, with flowers in the forground and peaks in the background.
    Cycling beween Gairloch and Big Sands, The Highlands
  • Two cyclists disembark from the Corran Ferry at Ardgour, Lochaber
    Two cyclists disembark from the Corran Ferry at Ardgour, Lochaber
  • Two cyclists negotiate a steep forest track near Ballachulish, with Loch Leven and the village of Glencoe visible behind.
    Two cyclists negotiate a steep forest track near Ballachulish, The Highlands

Cycling is a great way to explore the pretty villages and beautiful countryside of the Scottish Highlands and you will find miles upon miles of cycle routes and forest trails to choose from. Many of the routes are connected so you can embark on epic journeys, or if you prefer you can tackle smaller manageable sections.

Explore the ‘undiscovered’ side of Loch Ness on the South Loch Ness Trail. This excellent 28 mile cycling adventure from Loch Tarff in the south west, to Torbreck on the edge of Inverness is suitable for all abilities and offers beautiful wildlife and awe inspiring views.

There are a number of National Cycle Network (NCN) routes which traverse through the Highlands, allowing you to explore the area at your own pace. Cycle Route 1 - Aberdeen to John o' Groats and Route 7 - Glasgow to Inverness are well signposted and have a full range of maps and guidebooks to accompany the routes.

The Aviemore loop, part of NCN route 7, is a fantastic way to explore one of Scotland’s most beautiful areas, the Cairngorms National Park. This 33 mile route passes through forests and moors along the Speyside Way to the pretty town of Boat of Garten, the historic town of Carrbridge and Slochd before returning to Aviemore.

If you really want a challenge then cycle the Great Glen Way. This 73 mile route from Fort William on the west coast to Inverness on the east can either offer a challenging experience to mountain bikers, or offer many scenic miles of quiet road. This route can also be broken down to smaller manageable sections if you want to take kids out for a gentle afternoon pedal.

Browse the listing below to find bike hire shops and cycle routes to plan your cycling trip to the Highlands.

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  1. Activities at Raasay House

    Type

    Multi-activity Centre

    Gradings

    • 4 Activity Centre
    4 Activity Centre

    Inverarish

    Raasay is a spectacular location for holidays, day activities and special events. Enjoy adventure, fun, wildlife and tranquillity on one of Scotland's most beautiful islands.

  2. Gradings

    Ullapool

    Back to the main route again - extremely hilly!

  3. Fasach - Gillen circuit

    Type

    Cycle Routes

    Gradings

    Halistra

    A quiet, short (5 mile) loop on the Waternish peninsula.

  4. Strathfarrar

    Type

    Cycle Routes

    Gradings

    Struy

    A traffic free route up one of the most scenic glens in the area.

  5. Gradings

    Brora

    Lying just minutes off the main A9, so popular with Lands End to John o' Groats cyclists, this quiet 23 mile route is a complete contrast - a real hidden gem with virtually no traffic.

  6. Gradings

    Carrbridge

    A 28 mile circuit from Carrbridge taking in a number of Strathspey villages.

  7. Trotternish circuit

    Type

    Cycle Routes

    Gradings

    Portree

    A fairly hilly 50 mile circuit round the northernmost peninsula on the Isle of Skye, passing iconic sites such as the Storr and the Quirang and with great views over the sea in all directions.

  8. Gradings

    Raasay

    A 21 mile trip to the north end of Raasay and back which uses part of the famous Calum's road, hand built by local resident Calum Macleod

  9. Nairn to Cawdor

    Type

    Cycle Routes

    Gradings

    Nairn

    This scenic cycle route takes you through some beautiful countryside and woodlands via the back roads ending up in the historic village of Cawdor.

  10. Gradings

    Achiltibuie

    The area of Coigach, north west of Ullapool is best known for its walking but this short (9 mile) cycle route is as good as any of the walks with great coastal and mountain views.

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