The Coast to Coast cycle is a rewarding journey of 262 miles/419km t
ravelling from Aberdeen on the east coast to Applecross in the west.
Cycling across the country we’ll climb over 17,000 feet/5,180 metres, including the UK’s highest and in our opinion arguably the most challenging road climb.
Throw in some excellent Scottish cuisine, including the Applecross Inn (Scotland’s Pub of the year in 2012), changing and stunning scenery each day, along with a huge array of cultural experiences, ranging from castles and distilleries to a fantastic boat trip trip along Loch Ness, this is sure to be holiday to remember.
Day 1 – The Coast to Coast begins: Aberdeen to Alford
You will be met by your guide at Aberdeen train station before making a short transfer to the start point on the North Sea. After spending some time bike fitting and preparing for the day ahead we’ll begin our journey leaving Aberdeen behind as we ride along the quiet Deeside roads.
We’ll enjoy lunch by the riverside in the picturesque village of Banchory before continuing north. Following the River Dee there’s a short climb delivers us to the end of our first day and our accommodation in the village of Alford. (L, D)
Distance 40 miles/64km Ascent: 2,189 ft
Day 2 ‐ Cairngorms National Park
Today we’ll continue west enjoying the quiet and scenic roads as we meet our first major climb – a steady rise across the wild expanse of the Cabrach moor. Our descent on the other side leads us to the Speyside village of Dufftown, well known for whisky being its bloodline. With plenty of distilleries nearby, there will be the opportunity to stop and try a little dram and see how the ‘water of life’ is made.
After lunch, we cross the River Spey and ride alongside the river climbing into the village of Grantown on Spey in the Cairngorms National Park. Perhaps take a short walk to explore the village before dinner or perhaps sample a Speyside whisky in the local pub. (B, L)
Distance 58 miles/93km Ascent: 4,405 ft
Day 3 – Grantown-on-Spey to Fort Augustus
Today’s ride takes us right off the beaten track onto rarely visited and virtually traffic-free roads. The day begins with a warm up through the villages of Dulnain Bridge and Carrbridge before we strike west up the remote Findhorn Valley. Following a fantastic single-track road, we climb over the challenging Garbole where the views of the majestic North Highlands really open up. If the weather allows, we can enjoy a spectacular high-altitude picnic by the roadside.
After lunch we’ll descend to the village of Farr continuing on quiet backroads high above the shores of Loch Ness. A fantastic 5 mile descent awaits to finish the day, dropping us down to the shores of the famous loch and our overnight accommodation in the village of Fort Augustus. (B, L)
Distance 55 miles/88km Ascent: 3,312 ft
Day 4 – Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
This morning we enjoy a relaxed start in the village of Fort Augustus before boarding a zodiac for a short but high speed cruise on Loch Ness. The boat takes us past Urquhart Castle, its ruins perched right on the edge of the loch before returning to Fort Augustus.
After a short transfer we get back on the bikes. Our route rises west, passing the Balmacaan Forest, and then following the River Glass towards the small village of Beauly. This is fantastic riding and from Beauly it’s a short ride to our accommodation – a beautiful family-owned and run country house secluded in the hills above Contin. (B, L)
Distance 41 miles/65km Ascent: 1,950 ft
Day 5 – To the West Highlands
As we continue on our journey west, passing through Garve and Achnasheen, you will notice some dramatic changes as the landscape rises around us with each passing mile. The views are a great motivation for the afternoon climb away from the shores of Loch a’Chroisg. At the top you are rewarded with views right down the length of the spectacular Loch Maree with the rocky ramparts of the Torridon Mountains forming the backdrop.
The descent is an absolute blast on the most perfect road surface and before long we will find ourselves at the head of Glen Torridon. The final section of the day passes through the dramatic Glen Torridon where we are rewarded with views of the majestic mountains of Liatach and Beinn Eighe. As we gently climb across the watershed we will get our first glimpses of the west coast. A fast end to the day is guaranteed as we cruise alongside the river to overnight in the village of Torridon. (B, L)
Distance 43 miles/69km Ascent: 1,985 ft
Day 6 – The Applecross Peninsula
For our final day on the coast to coast cycle, a true test awaits – the famously spectacular and challenging Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle). Starting from sea level and rising through a series of ramps, hairpins and switchbacks to the summit at 626m (2054ft) over the 6 mile climb and reaching gradients of up to 20% in places! However, take courage in the previous 5 days which have prepared you for the climb and the fact that once at the top, it’s downhill all the way to the coast and journey’s end!
We have all day to tackle the climb so we’ll take it easy and if at any point you need some gravity assistance the Wilderness vehicle will be with you to provide whatever support you need. At the summit, you will be greeted with a view which (on a clear day) can only be described as breathtaking – the Skye Cuillin Mountains, the Small Isles and the Outer Hebrides stretch out before you in a coastal feast for the eyes. The descent is simply superb, leading to the village of Applecross, where we meet the Atlantic, marking the end of our amazing coast to coast journey*. We’ll celebrate with lunch at the Applecross Inn, recently voted the best seafood pub in Britain. (B, D)
Distance 25 miles/40km Ascent: 3,193 ft*
* For those of you wishing to cycle a little more, you can have the option of riding around the peninsula back to Torridon, adding an additional 24 miles and 2,073 feet of ascent.
Day 7 – Return to Inverness
This morning we will have a leisurely breakfast, before transferring back to Inverness. The journey takes us around 1.5 hours arriving into the city around 12 noon, allowing you plenty time to connect with onward transport. (B)
Red Graded Road Cycling Holidays 7-9
Our Red grade cycling trips are designed for committed cyclists who love cycling and spend many weekends each year riding their bike. You will enjoy the challenge of longer days and grin at the prospect of testing climbs and fast descents. These trips may involve several challenging days in a row with a significant amount of climbing, sometimes exposed to the elements.
Distances typically range for 40-70 miles each day through hilly and often mountainous terrain. These trips also include some of the most testing climbs in the UK.
Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:
Are you happy being on your bike for between 6-8 hours each day for up to 6 days in a row?
Do you ride your road bike most weekends during the summer and do the occasional longer multi day trips?
Do you get excited at the thought of testing climbs and fast descents?
Book with confidence – we guarantee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.
Highland Coast to Coast
|Trip Date||Price AU$||Availability||Status|
|24th Jun – 30th Jun 2017||2695||1 place(s) left||Confirmed|
|22nd Jul – 28th Jul 2017||2695||4 place(s) left||Confirmed|
|16th Sep – 22nd Sep 2017||2695||Places available||Unconfirmed|