Cycling Tour of Scotland Edinburgh to Arran
Single / Double
Any Start Date from February to November.
A five centre self-guided cycling tour across central Scotland from Edinburgh to Glasgow and Arran. 6 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite (wherever possible) guesthouse accommodation, and 5 days cycling with luggage transfers. Also includes rental of a 21 speed all-terrain bike, tour details and phone app navigation.
Between the Forth and the Clyde lie Scotland’s largest cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow. On this tour you will experience both while cycling through stunning Scottish scenery, plus a day-trip to the beautiful Isle of Arran. The tour begins in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland’s political capital with many national monuments and impressive buildings to visit. Using mainly disused railway lines and canal paths the route is predominantly traffic-free and flat. This very enjoyable bike ride passes through a sculpture trail, then follows the River Clyde to Glasgow. Once famous for its heavy industry and shipbuilding, Glasgow is now a city of culture with a vibrant atmospheric night scene. Heading to the coast, a short ferry crossing takes you to the Isle of Arran. On the final morning of the tour you catch a train back to Edinburgh.
START and FINISH of TOUR: Edinburgh in central Scotland.
ARRIVAL DAY: Edinburgh. Your 1st nights’ accommodation will be in Edinburgh near the start and finish of the tour. There are many places to eat in this vibrant city from traditional pubs to a large variety of cafés and restaurants (meals not included in the tour price). Overnight Edinburgh, Scotland.
DAY ONE: Edinburgh to Livingstone. Distance approx. 19 miles (31 km). After breakfast you will begin the ride out of Edinburgh on cycle lanes alongside the busy city roads. The route is very flat from the start giving you plenty of time to take in the sights. Leaving the city centre along the Union Canal towpath will lead to the Water of Leith Walkway. Both are traffic-free cycle ways. After a short section on minor roads it is back to a lovely cycle trail through the steeply wooded valleys of the Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. This very scenic section passes through beautiful countryside to the new town of Livingstone, your next overnight stop. There are a selection of places to eat in the town from fish and chip shops to traditional pubs and hotel restaurants. Overnight: Livingstone, Scotland.
DAY TWO: Livingstone to Airdrie. Distance approx. 21 miles (34 km). Leaving Livingstone is another particularly enjoyable section, forming the backbone of the tour - the Airdrie to Bathgate Railway Path. Rising gently the route crosses the central plateau of Scotland making for a superb cycling experience. A sculpture trail indicates the old industries and communities here through art. Your efforts are rewarded by fabulous views over beautiful scenery and old mining towns all offering the chance for refreshments or lunch. Your destination for today is Airdrie, with a selection of restaurants available to provide your evening meal. Overnight: Airdrie, Scotland.
DAY THREE: Airdrie to Glasgow. Distance approx. 20 miles (32 km). Heading out of Airdrie is another traffic-free cycleway to the town of Uddington. Tourist attractions here include the David Livingstone Centre and Bothwell Castle, worth a slight detour to visit. The route then descends into the Clyde valley and onto a cycle trail that follows the river Clyde right into the heart of Glasgow. There are plenty of opportunities to have a pub lunch or buy a sandwich along this section of the route. With many tourist attractions to see, Glasgow is your destination for today. Also a city of culture, there are many places to choose from for an evening meal in the vibrant city centre. Overnight: Glasgow, Scotland.
DAY FOUR: Glasgow to Ardrossan. Distance approx. 36 miles (58 km). Crossing the river Clyde over Bells Bridge past the National Science Centre the route takes you through Pollok Country Park. As you ride the route becomes more open on a traffic-free path along a lush green river valley out of the city. There are many sites of interest to see including: William Wallace Memorial, Castle Semple and Collegiate Church. Quiet country roads lead to the coast and a cycle trail takes you round the seafront to the town of Ardrossan, your next overnight stop. There are a selection of pubs and restaurants to choose from for an evening meal. Overnight: Ardrossan, Scotland.
DAY FIVE: Ardrossan to Arran and back. Distance is optional. Today you catch a ferry to the Isle of Arran with your bikes, often referred to as ‘Scotland in Miniature’. Arran is only 10 miles wide and 19 miles long but it captures many aspects of Scotland’s beauty in a small area. From towering granite peaks to peaceful sandy bays which are home to over 100 species of birds and colonies of seals. There are many trails and pathways to choose from to visit mysterious bronze age stone circles, Brodick Castle and various museums, all with services for the traveller to obtain refreshments. After spending the day on the island you catch the ferry back to the mainland to Ardrossan for a second night. Overnight: Ardrossan, Scotland.
FINAL DAY: Return to Edinburgh. Today you catch the train with your bike back to Edinburgh.
The nearest International airport is Glasgow and the local airport is Inverness. If travelling from London Heathrow or Gatwick there is a shuttle service to Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh airports. Service bus 905 operates from Glasgow terminal to Glasgow station.
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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GRADE D (cycling): Between 19 - 27miles (31 - 43kms) a day. This route is principally a flat ride. We recommend that clients bring their own bicycle equipment helmets, clothing and shoes. If you have clip-on shoes we suggest that you bring your pedals too. You will start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your fitness.