Cycle routes & paths in Scotland
Find detailed information on cycling routes and paths in Scotland, family cycles, short and long distance cycling routes and more.
Are you looking to discover our cities by bike, want to pedal around the countryside or dream of touring the country on two wheels? Cycling is an easy and efficient way of getting around on holiday – even if you only pedal for a few hours. It’s fun and cheap, too!
If you aren’t bringing your bike with you, you’ll need to hire one. And when it comes to cycling holidays, we’re sure you’ll agree that the most important part is riding on a high quality, reliable bike.
Read on to find out all you need to know about cycle hire in Scotland.
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.
How much does it cost to rent a bike in Scotland?
The price varies. A single day’s rental is usually pricier and typically costs around £20 – £25. But the cost drops to around £20 if you take the bike for a week or more, so look out for discounts for longer hire periods.
Expect to pay a little bit more for an electric bike, with prices starting around £50 per full day hire.
Do I need to reserve a bike?
It’s not necessary to reserve your bike as there are usually enough bikes available for rent on the day, however, it is advisable to book in advance if you want to be certain that you’re going to get one.
Please note that if you wish to rent a specialty bike, or if you’re a larger group, we recommend making a reservation.
Will proof of identity and deposit be required?
Photo identification must be provided on the day of the hire.
Many cycle hire providers reserve the right to take a deposit to hold as security until the bike is returned in the condition it was hired out in.
What’s included in my bike rental?
It’s always best to check with each individual rental company what’s included, but rental bikes often come with a helmet, strong lock, pump, repair kit, map and loads of great advice to ensure a fun day out.
If a helmet is not included, you should still be able to book one on site as an extra and you should also be able to take out optional insurance if you wish to do so.
There are lots of extras you can add on to keep you going on your trip like seat covers, mitts and trailers. You are also likely to be charged extra for a pannier or a saddle bag.
Is a bicycle helmet compulsory in Scotland?
No, wearing a helmet when cycling is not required by law in the UK. However, it is strongly encouraged to wear a helmet while cycling in Scotland.
Can I park my bike anywhere?
You should try to park your bike at designated parking spots or bike racks. On street cycle parking facilities are provided in most cities and towns.
Cycle parking facilities can include individual cycle stands, bike shelters, cycle lockers, secure storage and scooter parking.
Is it possible to turn in my rental bike at a different location to where I rented it?
Yes, it is possible, but it’s always best to check with individual providers whether they offer such a service and whether there is an additional charge.
What should I do if I have a flat tyre or other problems?
In case of a flat tire or other problems with your bike, you must attempt to repair the flat tire with the repair kit provided or give the provider a phone call for instructions and help.
Are electric bikes available for hire?
Yes, absolutely! Scotland has many great places to ride an electric bike and an e-bike can help you go further, enjoy the scenery and reach new places on your cycling trips.
What types of bikes are available for rent?
There is a large choice of rental bicycles in Scotland. It’s best to check with individual rental providers what bicycles they have available for hire.
In general, in addition to regular bikes or mountain bikes, you can also rent electrical bikes, gravel bikes, bikes for children and even tandems. Many rental shops also provide bicycles with a child seat in the front or the back of the bike, and you can choose between bikes with handbrakes or pedal brakes.
Is it illegal to ride a bike on the pavement in Scotland?
Yes, you must not cycle on a pavement. In Scotland, the pavement is officially known as the footway and cycling on a footway (pavement) is an offence under section 129(5) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.
Any final advice?
Check the bike that you get thoroughly. Do the brakes work properly? Are the gears shifting precisely? Is something rattling or squeaking? Also, ask for a saddle that feels good. One more minute spent here might safe the hassle later. Oh, and children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18.