Why you should go there: The rough nature of Scotsland’s landscape and weather is definitely worth a visit. It is also the birthplace of trail centers that can now be found around the world.
Even though Scotland is quite large, we try to cover it here in one article.
If there is one thing that one can be sure about in Scotland, it is the ever changing weather conditions. You might start in sunshine, pedal in the beautiful sun and find yourself in the middle of a storm withing just a few hours.
Who is it for: Should you bring your bike on a Scotland trip? If you enjoy purpose built trail centers or want to do a longer backcountry tour and don’t mind pushing your bike, this might be just your dream location.
Who should avoid it: If you want to bike in perfectly dry conditions, you have to get very lucky to be happy here. Also, if you look for natural trails and mind pushing or carrying your bike go elsewhere.
If one had to generalize, it can be said that there are two types of trails in Scotland. There are seven main purpose built trail centers that have been perfected over the years by locals. Also known as the Seven Stanes, they are all in the Southern part of Scotland. Most of them have something for everyone. Uphill Trails, Flow-Trails, Jump-Trails, etc. and are mostly very well maintained. There is also a business model behind that includes paid parking, sometimes a shop with bikes and coffee and lots of ressources. Some of them even offer motorized uplifts. If we had to suggest to pick the top trail centers, we would advise to go to Innerleithen and Glentress with its amazing facilities.
On the other side there are the rough, natural hiking trails that can partly be biked. In our experience, most of the tours include some kind of hike a bike and are on the more technical side of things. If you are an advanced rider and don’t mind pushing or carrying your bike, you can go out on amazing all day adventures without seeing someone else for hours.
If you are looking for amazing scenery, rough weather and some bikeable trails definitely go to Torridon for some backcountry tours. Also have a look at Cairrgorms National Park North of Braemar.
There is also an official bike parkt in Fort William with a small trail center at the bottom of it. If you are not a very experienced mountain biker, the downhill track is not for you.
Innerleithen Loop: This combines a few uphill and some great downhill trails in Innerleithen. As it is not very difficult, this is a good intro to the park.
Glentress Loop: This combines some great trails in the area. You might want to exchange the first downhill for another run in the skills park, as it is a bit sketchy to start the day.
4-Lochs Link: Classic and most known descent in Torridon. There are a few options depending on your fitness level on how to build a tour around this great trail.
Cairrgorms: Beautiful bike and hike tour in and out in Cairrgorms National Park.
- Fort William: Famous UCI Downhill track for pros
Food & Drinks
As the area we are covering is huge, it is quite difficult to point out the best places. Here are a few that we liked:
More than Biking
The content of this website is just an opinion of a few individuals. It is not based on scientific research and some facts may have changed since the last visit. Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions for anything we have covered on this website.
You might be riding on shared trails! Yield to other trail users and animals! Control your speed, leave no traces and don’t shortcut corners! Thank you!
Last on-site research: 2018
entries with this icon have been recently tested by the author