Imagine the wind streaming through your hair as you pedal through the open countryside. Are you pedalling through thriving woodland? Along a meandering coastal path? Or past rolling hills and glittering expanses of water? Scotland's awe-inspiring landscapes have all this to offer and much, much more. Get inspired by these spellbinding cycling routes …

1. Hebridean Way Cycling Route, Outer Hebrides

East Beach, Island of Vatersay

East Beach, Island of Vatersay

Following part of the National Cycle Network Route 780, this terrific, long-distance route spans the length of the enchanting Outer Hebrides island chain. Sites you'll see along the way include paradise beaches, the Calanais Standing Stones and the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse.

  • Departure point: Vatersay
  • Finish: Butt of Lewis
  • Terrain type: road
  • Distance: 185 miles/297 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 6 days (the route can also be done in shorter sections)

Find out more about the Hebridean Way Cycling Route

2. Edinburgh City Centre to the Shore

The Shore, Leith

The Shore, Leith

Scotland's capital city boasts a huge range of continuous, traffic-free cycle paths, many following old railway lines. Use the Innertube map to follow paths such as the one from the New Town in the city centre to the Shore in Leith where you can enjoy a delicious bite before visiting The Royal Yacht Britannia.

  • Departure point: Scotland Street
  • Finish: Sandport Place
  • Terrain type: Off-road cycle path
  • Distance: 1.8 miles/2.9 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 10 minutes

Find out more about the Edinburgh city centre to the Shore route

3. Lerwick to Scalloway, Shetland

East Voe of Scalloway

East Voe of Scalloway, Shetland

Travel from Shetland's principle town of Lerwick to the ancient capital of Scalloway. Soak up the stunning island scenery as you cut through a ridge of hills and across wild moorland before being rewarded with a panoramic view of Scalloway and the glittering sea.

  • Departure point: Lerwick
  • Finish: Scalloway
  • Terrain type: road
  • Distance: 5.9 miles/9.5 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 40 minutes

Find out more about the Lerwick to Scalloway route

4. Devilla Forest, Fife

Devilla Forest

Scots pine at Bordie in Devilla Forest, Fife © Forestry Commission, all rights reserved.

If you go down to the woods today … you might just be lucky enough to see a cheeky red squirrel! The paths at Devilla Forest pass through atmospheric expanses of woodland which are the perfect habitat for these elusive little animals.

  • Departure/end point: Devilla Forest car park
  • Terrain type: off-road forest paths

Find out more about the Devilla Forest trails

5. Loch Leven Heritage Trail, Perthshire

Loch Leven Castle

Lochleven Castle, Loch Leven, Kinross

Look out for the rich variety of wildlife (such as osprey, kingfishers and otters) on this flat, circular route around the banks of Loch Leven. Enjoy the views out to Lochleven Castle, which is situated on its own island in the middle of the loch, and stop for a tasty lunch at places such as Loch Leven's Larder.

  • Departure/end point: various points on the banks of Loch Leven
  • Terrain type: off-road path
  • Distance: 12.12 miles/19.5 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 1 hr 20 minutes

Find out more about the Loch Leven Heritage Trail

6. Montrose Basin, Angus

Montrose Basin

Montrose Basin with the House of Dun visible beyond, Angus

Cycle around this stunning tidal estuary and soak up beautiful views of this wildlife haven. Look out for summer highlights such as osprey and kingfishers, or waders and ducks in the winter months, and pop into the Montrose Basin visitor centre for a refreshing cup of tea or coffee.

  • Departure/end point: Montrose caravan site, near the beach
  • Terrain type: road
  • Distance: 10.65 miles/17.14 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 1 hour

Find out more about the Montrose Basin route

7. Assynt Achiltibuie Circular, Highlands

Stac Pollaidh

Stac Pollaidh, Assynt

This stunning (but challenging) loop in the north west of Scotland travels through some of the country's wildest and most idyllic landscapes. See famous mountains such as Sula Bheinn, Cùl Mòr and Stac Pollaidh, as well as tranquil beaches and glittering lochs.
Departure/end point: Achiltibuie

  • Terrain type: road
  • Distance: 70.06 miles/112.55 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 7 hours

Find out more about the Assynt Achiltibuie Circular

8. Formartine and Buchan Way, Aberdeenshire

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, Fraserburgh

Set on a former railway line, this cycle route passes through the sweeping north east countryside away from the hustle and bustle of road traffic. At Maud you can travel on to either Fraserburgh or Peterhead, both boasting beautiful beaches.

  • Departure point: Dyce train station
  • Finish: Fraserburgh or Peterhead
  • Terrain type: off-road cycle path
  • Distance: 40 miles/64.37 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 4 - 6 hours one way (the route can also be done in shorter sections)

Find out more about the Formartine and Buchan Way

9. Isle of Bute

Ettrick Bay, Isle of Bute

Ettrick Bay, Isle of Bute

Absorb magnificent sea views as you travel around this beautiful island on two wheels (bikes can be hired locally or you can take your own on the ferry). Challenge yourself to the 23 mile loop around the island or use pedal power to visit attractions such as Mount Stuart House and Ettrick Bay.

  • Terrain type: road
  • Distance: 23 miles (shorter sections available)

Find out more about cycling on the Isle of Bute

10. 4 Abbeys, Scottish Borders

Melrose Abbey exterior

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders

Tour the Scottish Borders' four famous abbeys - Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh - on this scenic (but fairly demanding) route through the glorious Borders countryside. Why not make a day of it and stop off at attractions as you pass by?

  • Departure/end point: Jedburgh, Kelso, Melrose or St Boswells
  • Terrain type: road
  • Distance: 55 miles/88.51 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 5 - 6 hours

Find out more about the 4 Abbeys route

11. Ayrshire Coast Cycle Way

Kitesurfing at Troon Beach

Kitesurfing at Troon Beach © Ayrshire & Arran Tourism, all rights reserved.

This beautiful linear route along the coast from Irvine to Ayr takes in some of Ayrshire's most picturesque scenery, from the glittering coastline with views out to the Isle of Arran to the thriving marshland and woodland of two Scottish wildlife reserves, Gailes Marsh and Shewalton Wood.

  • Departure point: Irvine
  • Finish: Ayr
  • Terrain type: mostly off-road with some on-road sections
  • Distance: 19 miles/30.58 km
  • Approximate time to cycle: 2 hours

Find out more about the Ayrshire Coastal Way