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cycling
Cycling
A family cycling through Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire
© VisitScotland/Jakub Iwanicki

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Cycling in Scotland

There are many ways to explore our wonderful country, but we reckon cycling in Scotland is one of the best. Take your time and see more, improve your health and well-being, and reduce your carbon footprint.

There are many ways to enjoy cycling in Scotland too.

Planning your next cycling holiday? Then cycle one of our amazing long-distance routes through awe-inspiring scenery. Or explore the purpose-built trails at one of our world-class mountain biking centres for a day. There are over 25 centres to choose from. There are also lots of safe and traffic-free cycling networks and routes available for fun, family days out. Whatever you're looking for, you'll find it here.

With lots of options for bike hire, guided cycling tours and holidays, eating out, cyclists' welcome places to stay and major cycling events, such as the UCI Cycling World Championships 2023, it's easy to see why cycling in Scotland is so popular. So, get on your bike, and don't forget to share your experiences using #PowerOfTheBike.

Bike hire in Scotland

If you want to go cycling or mountain biking as part of your next holiday in Scotland, but aren't bringing your bike with you, you'll need to hire one! There's a great network of cycle shops that hire out top quality bikes and offer those last-minute spares or repairs if you're bringing your own bike. The friendly staff in these shops can often offer great advice on where to ride and what to see too. 

Cycling is also a brilliant (and green) way to explore Scotland's cities. And it's easy with great bike hire schemes such as nextbike in Glasgow and Stirling and Dundee Cycle Hub. There are also hire bikes available at Biketrax in Edinburgh and Ticket to Ride and Inverness Bike Hire in Inverness, subject to availability.

Cycling holidays and tours

A cycling tour or holiday is a great way to see Scotland, whether you choose a supported and guided or self-guided package like those offered by the businesses below, or prefer to create your own. And with an amazing choice of cycle routes across the country, it's more a question of where do you want to explore first!

On top of that, the VisitScotland Cyclists' Welcome scheme offers cyclist-friendly accommodation with establishments offering extra facilities and services, such as drying facilities, secure bike storage and flexible dinner times, to make your stay even more comfortable.

Why go on a cycling holiday in Scotland?

  • A bike stay here is an awesome (and greener) way to see the best of our islands, coast, lochs, countryside, towns and villages, and there are plenty of places to stop for lovely views.
  • There are over 1,600 miles (over 2,500km) of waymarked National Cycle Network trails across Scotland, 700 miles of which are on traffic-free routes and you can see some longer distance routes on our cycling map.
  • Scotland is mountain biking heaven! There are over 25 dedicated centres across Scotland offering superb trails for all abilities and facilities. More experienced bikers can plan epic adventures in wilder parts of Scotland too - just remember to observe the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
  • Scotland has a relatively mild climate, which is ideal for cycling (though bear in mind that the weather can change, so be prepared for a range of conditions on a cycling holiday!).
  • One of the best things about any cycle trip is stopping for a well-earned break! In Scotland, you can stop for a picnic at some truly picturesque places, including beside ancient castles and on the banks of famous lochs.

Fancy a tour of Scotland cycling?

Whether you've got a couple of hours or a couple of weeks, there are some great companies who can provide you with guided trips and tours or help you plan a self-led itinerary, which will take you across Scotland's regions.

Cycling Events

In Scotland, we love cycling so much so that we put on some rather wonderful events to celebrate the joy of being on two wheels. With our world-class mountain biking centres, miles of quiet routes winding through the finest scenery, and an impressive track record of hosting events like the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, the Tour of Britain and the Enduro World Series, Scotland is one of the best places on the planet for cycling. Whether you're spectating or participating, there's a great programme of cycling and mountain biking events that you simply won't want to miss.

The Union Cyclisme International (UCI) has recognised Scotland's love of cycling too. So much so that Glasgow and venues across Scotland will host the first UCI Cycling World Championships in August 2023, which will bring 13 separate world championship events into one mega-event for the first time. This is more than an event. Scotland wants to show the world what we mean when we talk about #PowerOfTheBike, so find out more on the 2023 Cycling Worlds website and be part of this amazing journey.