There’s nothing quite like experiencing the breath-taking scenery that the Cairngorms provides on two wheels. What makes it even better is that there are cycling routes for people of all ages and experiences; from seasoned cyclists through to youngsters fresh out of their stabilisers!
A day spent biking around Cairngorms National Park gives you all plenty of exercise, lots of wonderful fresh air and a genuine sense of adventure. There are plenty of attractions to explore on your way around aside from the mountain landscape, including charming farmer’s markets and quaint country pubs that offer the perfect respite while recharging the batteries for the return ride home.
The Cairngorms boasts an impressive 64km of cycle routes via Scotland’s National Cycle Network. If you’re looking for an action-packed day of biking around the Highlands or even a complete cycling holiday, make sure you note down our five most recommended cycling routes that’ll allow you to experience nature at your pace.
We’ll start by looking at some of the Cairngorm biking routes best suited to families or those relatively new to mountain biking.
1. The Old Logging Way
An ideal starting point for families with young children heading out on cycle routes for the first time, this four-mile long purpose-built road is off-road and overlooks the heart of Cairngorms National Park. There’s a plethora of natural woodland you can explore together, with lots of convenient stopping points for those not used to pedalling for too long! The Old Logging Way takes you from Aviemore to Glenmore, for those who like to know exactly where they’re headed.
2. The Speyside Way
Slightly longer than the Old Logging Way, the Speyside Way is a five-mile route that offers some of the most picturesque scenery visible from Cairngorms’ miles and miles of cycling roads and tracks. It is not only a popular cycling route either; you’ll encounter many keen hikers who like to test themselves on some of the park’s steepest gradients. And if you’re happy to cycle along the Speyside Way together, the varied terrain also makes for a fun challenge for experts and novices alike.
The Glenlivet Trail Centre
If you’re looking for something that caters for the more experienced off-road cyclist, look no further than Glenlivet. Its Trail Centre features a raft of fast-flowing single track bike trails, as well as on-site café facilities for refuelling after that unforgettable ride. There’s a 9 kilometre ‘blue’ run suitable for all ages and experiences, while the 22 kilometre ‘red’ route provides a stern test of even the most technical off-road cyclist: ascending to the top of Carn Daimh, before heading downhill for 6.5 kilometres non-stop along a narrow, twisty single track. It’s one you won’t forget in a hurry. And that’s not to mention the fast and furious 75-metre pump track.
The Lecht Road
The Lecht Road, which spans Inverness to Aviemore, offers an altogether different cycling challenge. The other routes we’ve suggested so far have been over much shorter distances; you’ll find The Lecht Road certainly at the other end of the spectrum at 85 kilometres long. It’s arguably the ultimate test of endurance for cycling around Cairngorms National Park. We’ll give you a quick tip: there’s one enormous ascent and descent along the way, so if you think you’ve got the legs and the stamina for the challenge by all means proceed!
Glenshee Mountain Bike Track
You’ll be hard-pushed to find any budding mountain biker that won’t enjoy a day at the Glenshee Mountain Bike Track. If you’re looking to refine your off-road technique before heading out on a longer route across the Highlands, Glenshee’s 3.2 kilometre circuit might take you less than 10 to 15 minutes to finish, but you’ll learn so much along the way about handling key moments on any single track trail. There’s no limit to the number of times you can make your way down it. The purpose-built route features a chairlift that will quickly take you back to the summit to try again and iron out any technical faults. If you’re passionate about mountain biking, Glenshee is the place for refining your ability on two wheels.
There’s no denying that the Highlands really does have it all: adventure, natural beauty and relaxation all in one unique package. At Self Catering Scotland we believe our accommodation is the perfect choice for any UK family holiday. With comfortable living spaces, spectacular scenery and even added bonuses like luxurious hot tubs, we just know you’ll have a great time here.
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