A guided motorcycle tour around Scotland
If you saw Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II funeral cortege as her coffin was moved from Balmoral to Holyrood you will have seen it passing through some glorious Scottish scenery. This tour embraces some of the best views Scotland has to offer.
This is a relaxed ride that even offers an opportunity to take a day off if you don't want to ride every day. It is a variation of a Scottish Circuit tour that we first offered in 20 years ago so it seems fitting to represent it now.
Some aspects of this tour and hotels have been altered to embrace parts of the route Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's coffin passed through.
This motorcycle tour traverses some great Scottish roads and visits scenic locations to offer a flavour of the diversity Scotland has to offer.
Day 1 - Sightseeing around Glasgow
Participants will arrive at various time of day and so this day can offer rest for those who have travelled long distances whilst giving others a chance to do some sightseeing in Glasgow.
Your accommodation is at one of Glasgow's city centre high quality 4* hotels.
There is much to see and do in Glasgow. For those wanting somewhere free and indoors we have the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum other museums and art galleries include The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, The Burrell Collection, The House for an Art Lover, Huntarian Art Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gallery of Modern Arts, Glasgow Science Centre, The Peoples Palace and Winter Garden, The Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace, Scotland Street Museum, The Police Museum, The Tenement House and many more. The city has a plethora of historic buildings and if you simply want to perambulate the streets and look up and down you will find no shortage of interesting architecture. Glasgow means 'dear green place' and hosts many large and interesting parks. If you want entertainment you will find live entertainment in many of the city's bars, concert hall and theatres. If you are into sports there are many stadia and arenas. The city also has places of worship for all religions so there are cathedrals, churches, synagogues, mosques etc. In short you will find little difficulty finding something to do in Glasgow.
Day 2 - Glasgow to Carberry ~ 150 miles ~ 4 hours riding
The first days riding takes a short motorway ride to escape the city before joining country roads. We shall pass through the Clyde Valley as we make our way to Lanark where we take our first stop at the New Lanark Visitor Attraction, a restored 18th century cotton mill and workers village on the banks of the River Clyde. The full exprience can take time so thgis may well be a place you will want to visit again, but we need to continue our journey and depart after an hour or so to continue east to Peebles where we break for lunch.
After lunch we travel further east to Melrose then onwards to Kelso then north through Duns to the Royal Burgh of Haddington taking a number of short breaks along the way for photographs before ending the day at Carberry Tower Hotel. This was formerly the home of Lord Elphinstone. The 16th Lord Elphinstone, married Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon who was the sister of Queen Elizabeth (the Mother of Queen Elizabeth II). If you are fortunate you may be allocated one of the bedrooms where the princesses Elizabeth or Margaret slept when staying at Carberry.
Day 3 - Carberry to Ballater ~ 160 miles ~ 4.5 hours riding
We depart Carberry and circumnavigate Edinburgh as we make our way to the Forth bridges. The iconic Forth Rail Bridge (1890) and the Forth Road Bridge (1964) will both be seen from the Queensferry Crossing, opened most recently in 2017, that we will use..
Once in Fife we take a coastal route to Aberdour before passing through the Fife countryside and stop for a short refreshment break at Falkland where some might want to visit the Palace.
Our next stop will be at St Andrews, an ancient religious settlement and the home to Scotland's oldest university, though better known to many as the birth place of golf.
Our next river crossing is at the River Tay and break for lunch just north of Dundee. After lunch we cross Glenshee to Braemar then pass the Royal residence of Balmoral to end the day at Ballater.
Day 4 - Ballater to Dornoch ~ 150 miles ~ 4 hours riding
Leaving Deeside we head into Speyside, those who appreciate Scotch Whisky will see many familiar names as we pass through the likes of Glenlivet and Glenfiddich around Dufftown as we snake our way around the eastern side of the Cairngorm National Park. We shall stop for morning coffee in Dufftown where some might want to go for a stroll to visit the Whisky and Heritage Centre or the local purveyors of our national drink.
Our route progresses through soft rolling hills and moors to Nairn where we stop for lunch. If you are interested in history you may prefer to visit nearby Fort George or the Culloden battlefield site.
Our final leg of this day will take us north bypassing Inverness and over the Beauly and Cromarty Firth's to end they day at Dornoch.
Day 5 – Sutherland circuit ~ 200 miles ~ 6 hours riding
This circuit embraces Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty as we head north east to our first stop at Dunrobin Castle, the stately home of the Earl of Sutherland, to take a castle tour, then we continue our ride.
Anyone who prefers a rest day could head back to the hotel after visiting Dunrobin Castle.
The scenery will change dramatically as we make the relatively short journey across Scotland from Dunrobin on the East coast to Lochinver on the West.
Depending on how long was spent at the castle we shall probably stop at Altnacealgach, a pretty spot overlooking Loch Borralan, or continue to Lochinver for lunch.
The fishing port of Lochinver has the steep sided Suilven and other mountains as a backdrop that help emphasise the stark contrast between east and west.
The coastal route we next take will bring views across the Summer Isles as we make our way to Ullapool then back to the east to the spa town of Strathpeffer and to see the Mermaid of the north and the pretty fishing village Portmahomack then after a short stop for photos we make our way back to the hotel in Dornoch.
Day 6 – Dornoch to Uig ~ 190 miles ~ 5 hours riding
We depart Dornoch heading south to Beauly and onwards to Drumnadrochit where we join the eastern shore of Loch Ness and break for morning coffee.
We continue along the eastern shore of Loch Ness for about 10 miles before deviating to the west and on our way towards the Isle of Skye taking our next stop at Eilean Donan Castle which is probably among the most recognised Scottish castles.
The first fortress established on this tiny island in the 6th century, however, the castle we see today was created from ruins between 1911 and 1932. Ot recreates what stood on the site around 1719 when it was destroyed during the Jacobite uprising. The castle has a good café where we break here for lunch.
We cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye, Scotland’s largest island, and make our way up the coastline with views over to the islands of Scalpay and Raasay taking our next stop at Portree, the islands capital which was voted one of the most beautiful villages in the UK.
Our final leg continues up the coast to The Storr, a rather distinctive rocky hill and Kilt Rock, a 90 meter tall cliff whose structure resembles a pleated kilt as make our way to the Skye Museum of Island Life at Kilmuir. This cluster of thatched cottages offers an insight of the living conditions of crofters on the island around the 19th century. We end the day at a hotel in Uig.
Day 7 – Uig to Oban ~ 175 miles ~ 5 hours riding
Our first stop is just 30 miles away at Dunvegan Castle the home of the MacLeod Clan chief. We stop for a castle tour then continue south to Sligachan and onwards to Armadale where we take a ferry back to the mainland port of Mallaig.
Back on the mainland we head east towards Fort William where you may catch a glimpse of the steam trains that operate along the line between Ft William and Mallaig. This is particularly picturesque as the train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct where we stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre. Here you can learn more about the Jacobite uprising or simply enjoy a light refreshment and the views of the viaduct and monument.
Our next stop is just before Ft William at Neptune’s Staircase, the work of Thomas Telford, an impressive rise of 8 locks at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal. Built between 1802 and 1833 it is the longest canal staircase in the British Isles. We then progress to Ft William where Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, is in the backdrop.
Our final part of this route takes us south to Oban where we end the day at a hotel overlooking the bay and out to the island of Kerrera and further away Mull and behind the hotel McCaigs tower, modelled on the roman Colosseum the folly was erected between 1897 and 1902 to provide work for local stonemasons.
Day 8 – Oban to Glasgow ~145 miles ~ 4 hours riding
We make our return journey to Glasgow but not directly. We first head to the Isle of Seil where we cross the "Bridge over the Atlantic" and onwards to Easdale which was once the centre of slate production in Scotland.
From Easdale we retrace our steps a bit then turn south to Dunadd Fort, the iron age capital of Dal Riata one of the four ancient Kingdoms of that existed before the creation of Scotland. Three parts of Scotland united in 843AD and Dal Riata / Strathclyde was conquered in the 11th century.
We take our next stop and a refreshment break at Crinan where the Crinan Canal joins the Atlantic Ocean. The canal has operated since 1801 and connects Ardrishaig on Loch Gilp with the Sound of Jura to afford shorter navigation between the Clyde and the Inner Hebrides. After coffee we follow the canal to Ardrishaig then turn north to Inveraray, a model town designed in 1747 by William Adam and completed by John Adam and later Robert Mylne. We stop here for lunch and for those who want to take a tour of Inveraray castle or visit the jail (it's a tourist attraction, honest!).
We make our way around Loch Fyne, Scotland’s longest loch, then cross the "rest and be thankful" to Arrochar and onward to Loch Lomond making a stop at another model village, Luss. There has been a settlement here for centuries because it is known the Christianity reached Luss in the 6th century. The current conservation village largely dates from mid 19th century. We take a brief stop here before completing our journey and the tour back in Glasgow.
Hired bikes are returned and you retire to the hotel where you started the tour for dinner, bed and breakfast.
Day 9 - Homeward bound
The tour is complete and the time has come to contiune your travels or head home.
The prices can differ slightly across the season and will include 8 nights dinner, bed and breakfast mainly in 4 star rated hotels.
Solo Rider in private room (with en-suite): £3,900
Rider and Pillion/Guest (sharing double or twin room): £5,050
Two Riders sharing twin or double room: £6,040 (£3,020 each)
The above do not include motorcycle hire. We offer a range of bikes to rent visit our web site for more details https://www.mctours.eu/tour/110/scotland/glasgow/scottish-circuit
This business has confirmed that they have implemented, and will ensure ongoing compliance with, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels protocols. The Safe Travels stamp is based on self-assessment and it is not a certification.
From £3900 per adult
April — September
- Self drive
- Small Group (1-16)
Tour company information
Seeing Scotland by motorbike is a unique and memorable experience and with McTours you can expect a motorcycle tour that adds a touch of luxury. These motorcycle tours visit interesting places and typically stay in the best hotels. The relaxed pace affords riders an opportunity to absorb the landscape and culture of the places visited. The broad range of tours not only traverses great roads that meander through outstanding landscape but also deliver a stimulating experience when visiting places of interest. Many focus on Scotland’s history or take you to locations used in film and television.
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