If you’re planning a self-catering holiday in Scotland this year, congratulations, you’ve made a great choice! This part of the UK remains one of the most beautiful and unspoilt; Scotland offers a great opportunity to truly get away from it all and enjoy a sense of space and wilderness. A lot of guides, sites, and blogs, including this one, will tell you that one of the best ways to get out there and enjoy the landscape is to take a walk. If you’re heading for Sutherland, in the north-west corner of the country, however, cycling is another great way to explore this far-flung and often isolated part of the world.

We’re not talking mountain or off-road biking, although that’s certainly available for those who want it. A comfortable, and reliable hybrid bike is all you need to head out on to the largely quiet roads in this neck of the woods; many of them are single track with passing places where cars are few and far between. If you can’t bring your own bike, you can easily rent one in Ullapool and other locations.

Come prepared

A word of warning: although the roads here are quiet, they can get pretty hilly, so come prepared to break a sweat, or choose your route more carefully! As it’s Scotland, you also need to accept that the weather is changeable and while you may set off in glorious sunshine, you could be cycling in the wind and rain at some point, before the sun returns. But don’t let that put you off, as the saying goes round here: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong type of clothes. If you’ve booked a self catering Scotland holiday home, you can enjoy a well-earned soak in a hot tub at the end of the day.

The serious road cyclists among you may want to tackle the Bealach Mor, which features Britain’s biggest road climb at 626 m, in the beautiful Applecross Peninsula. There are 45 mile and 90 mile routes, both of which are pretty gruelling. Less demanding cycling is widely available and one way to choose a flatter route, through Torridon for example, would be to drive to a point and cycle from there. There’s so much to see in this part of the world and taking it in by bike is hard to beat.