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Balblair Forest, Kyle of Sutherland
Offering excellent views across the Kyle to Carbidale Castle and down the Dornoch Firth


Mountain Biking in Scotland

Scotland was made for mountain biking - just look at the landscape! Through hill, glen and forest you'll find trails, tracks and bike parks, not to mention the most awesome scenery imaginable.

Mountain biking for all abilities

Scotland is a world-class destination with something to offer all mountain bikers, from purpose-built trails to natural, wild routes amongst the great landscapes.

Families and adults looking for an introduction to the sport can hire bikes here and get some introductory tuition to the sport at an excellent range of mountain biking trails, centres and parks with well-maintained pathways and manmade jumps to practise on. Once you're ready you can get on with the matter in hand - having fun and enjoying an adventure!

Are you already a keen biker? Scotland is home to undulating trails with amazing climbs and descents on both double and singletrack. Many of Scotland's trails are natural and 'rustic' ancient paths and 'passes' where you can choose your own route through this wild and rugged landscape.

Mountain biking trails, centres and parks

Ruaridh Cunningham biking sunset
Ruaridh Cunningham, a professional biker, at 7stanes Innerleithen

Trail sites and mountain biking parks in Scotland offer a range of graded routes so you can easily select one that suits you or find the right route for your family or group.

At cycling or outdoor centres such as Callendar Estate in Falkirk you can hire a bike, get some tuition and even join a mountain biking guide on one of the easier trails.

From Peebles in the Scottish Borders to Balblair in the north east Highlands, Forestry Commission Scotland manages some great forest tracks and trail centres for you to explore on two wheels. At Cuningar Loop, a woodland park to the east end of Glasgow, kids can get to grips with the basics and also enjoy other fun activities such as exploring the adventure playground and climbing in Scotland's first outdoor bouldering park.

Moray Monster Trails is another Forestry Commission site and it has over 20 km of routes with three moderate trails to choose from, as well as some trickier tracks if you're up for something harder. Brush up your technique in the skills area before you set off.

Bike parks also cater for the more experienced biker and provide some of the most technical park riding to be found in the UK. At sites such as Glentress, one of the 7stanes mountain biking centres in the south of Scotland, Laggan Wolftrax near Kingussie, Glenlivet and the world famous Nevis Range, you can really test your skills to the limit.

Natural trails

Mull bikersMountain biking on the Isle of Mull © H&I Adventures/Tim Winterburn

Outdoor access in Scotland is exceptionally good, which explains why the country is such a hit with mountain bikers, and means that there are an impressive array of natural routes to experience. Keeping to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code will help to ensure that mountain biking in the Scottish wilderness can continue well into the future.

If you're an expert who's really looking for a challenge then you can't get much tougher than the Sluggan near Aviemore, an 18 km natural route with a steep climb, great views and a thrilling descent - what more could you want?

The Isle of Arran also offers a staggering number of wild mountain biking trails for its size. They are mostly rough and ready and require skilled handling of your bike as well as your map! Some can be tackled by novices too, such as the 10 kilometre Castle Route that circles Brodick Castle and skirts Glen Rosa.

Routes in the Scottish Borders include the 20 kilometre Gypsy Glen near Innerleithen, which offers a tough cross country ascent through the heather and bracken, with lovely views from the summit of Kirkhope Law.

Mountain biking holidays

Have an adventure on two wheels! Make mountain biking the focus of your trip to Scotland and book a biking tour with an outdoor activity provider. Take your pick from full holiday packages, multi-day tour companies, day operators and guided and self-tours.

On a mountain biking holiday you can:

  • Explore the landscapes - on some organised trips, you'll experience mountain biking away from biking centres and pedal your way through wild, untamed back country. 
  • Get help every mile of the way - for multiday trips, luggage transfer and support vehicles are often laid on. 
  • Choose from a range of holiday options - trips can be self-led, or you might book a tour with an experienced mountain bike guide to keep you on the right track.
  • And a range of locations - pedal coast to coast, along the Great Glen, through the Outer Hebrides, or on the Isle of Skye, home to the best single track riding in the UK.

Places to stay for mountain bikers

Wigwams GlentressGlentress Forest Lodges

With facilities such as secure storage, drying areas, route maps and bike servicing equipment, these bike-friendly accommodation options will help you to relax and get on with having some serious off-road fun.

Mountain biking events

Mountain biking can be as exciting to watch as it is to take part. Whether you're a hard-core mountain biker or are just after an action-packed day out, there are some brilliant events which serve up the thrills.

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Finals

Huge crowds make their way to Fort William every year for UCI Mountain Bike World Cup where the crème de la crème of professional mountain bikers compete. It's an adrenaline-packed summer weekend of world-class Downhill and 4-Cross action. At its heart is the World Cup Village, with its family-friendly festival atmosphere, loads of activities and captivating entertainment.

The Fort William event is one of a series of nine World Cups taking place across Europe and North America from April to August and has been voted the best event of its kind in the world by both riders - who absolutely love it here - and spectators alike.

TweedLove Bike Festival
  Biker gives a thumbs up at Tweedlove Bike Festival

If you love biking, you'll love TweedLove.  It takes place in the Tweed Valley, home to some of Scotland's best biking routes. It's a festival where you can really get involved with a whole range of activities, including races, family rides and cultural events, and enjoy spectator events. Highlights of the festival include exciting mountain bike races, such as the Glentress Seven and the Tweed Valley Enduros.