The ultimate coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour
Our epic coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is the culmination of years of research and riding to find the ultimate coast-to-coast Scotland adventure. This week-long MTB tour will see you riding nearly 250km, 80% off-road, from the east coast town of Bonar Bridge and ending your week with a celebratory lunch and local beers at the famous Applecross Inn.
If it’s good enough for Thomas Vanderham and Matt Hunter, it’s good enough for you!
Is this coast-to-coast Scotland MTB tour for you?
We want you to have the best experience in Scotland, so it’s important to be sure that this is the perfect mountain bike tour, with the right level of challenge, for you.
You’re a very experienced mountain biker, riding at least three times a week through the season and comfortable on: technical climbs; technical, rocky singletrack descents; rock gardens; muddy, indistinct trails; and water bars. Read more on our advanced skill level.
Tour dates 2020
- 16 – 23 May (TRIP FULL!)
- 13 – 20 June (TRIP FULL!)
- 18 – 25 July
- 15 – 22 August
Contact us if you would like to create your own private group tour.
This is the ultimate coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour, all about the challenge of biking across the Highlands, through remote and unspoilt landscapes, and here are some of the special moments you can look forward to:
- Learning how to ride our infamous ‘water bars’!
- A ride across Loch Broom in a fast RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat)
- Stopping at remote mountain bothies (refuges)
- Crossing rivers
- Hike-a-bike sections rewarded by spectacular views
- Fabulous local Highland food and drink
Our trip with Thomas + Matt in Scotland
Coast-to-coast Scotland Itinerary
The flow of your ultimate coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour has been designed to become progressively more technical throughout the course of the week. Your guides will talk you through each new challenge so that you make the most of your coast-to-coast experience and go home a more technically skilled mountain biker.
- +Arrival in Inverness - refresh + prepare for your adventure
If you’re travelling a long way or across several time zones to Scotland then we recommend arriving a day or two early to allow your body to adjust and to make sure any flight or luggage delays don’t spoil your trip.
- +Day 1 - Welcome + warm-up ride
You’ll be welcomed by your mountain bike guides late morning in Inverness (exact details will be advised), before driving the short distance to our base to build and tune bikes and have a welcome briefing over coffee and cake.
We’ll then head out on some local trails for a short pedal to stretch your legs, tweak bikes, and calm the nerves! You’ll ride for about an hour and a half, finishing at your first welcoming B&B in Inverness.
Your guides will direct you to a local supermarket and give you guidance on what to buy for your stock of trail supplies for the week, then will meet you in the evening for your welcome dinner in a lovely riverside restaurant.
Distance cycled: 10km (app. 2 hours with skills session)
Accommodation: Guest house in Inverness
- +Day 2 - Bonar Bridge to Ullapool
We have a short transfer to Bonar Bridge and the start of our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour. We’ll saddle up and set off on our westerly bearing through classic Scottish glens with their ever-changing colours.
Our miles today are many, but largely non-technical, and you’ll enjoy covering the distance and getting into the habit of short, frequent snack stops to keep you fuelled for the long days in the saddle on the Highland trails.
We’ll have our first ‘proper’ snack stop at a mountain refuge (bothy), formerly a school, and make friends with the local wild horses, before continuing westwards.
The last half-hour of the day sees us hitting some more technical singletrack that descends into Ullapool, and our stop for the night.
Ullapool is a fishing town and the gateway to the north end of the Outer Hebrides archipelago, and we’ll enjoy an evening of good local food and drink, including freshly-caught seafood.
Distance: 60km (approx. 8 hours riding)
Accommodation: B&B in Ullapool
Meals included: Breakfast
- +Day 3 - Ullapool to Poolewe
This is our first big wilderness day, where you’ll conquer not one, but three, imposing valleys in some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe.
We will start today with a ride on a RIB (rigid inflatable boat), which will take us across Loch Broom to our first road section of the day. This will warm your legs up for the next part – a tough, steady climb on rocky doubletrack, with some very steep sections.
At the summit we’ll have a superb view down into our first valley of the day. We’ll spot Shenavall bothy, our target for lunch, and to get there we’ll enjoy a double track descent followed by a lovely singletrack traverse.
After a quick lunch stop we’ll continue along the valley floor to our first big river crossing, where your guides will advise you on the safest technique for crossing.
From there, we climb steadily into our second valley, and one of the most remote wilderness areas in the country. The trail snakes through the ancient landscape, passing some of the most dramatic and inaccessible mountains in the UK.
You’ll have a 30-minute section of hike-a-bike, for which you will be rewarded with a fabulous, fast, loose descent and breathtaking views, followed by sweet singletrack. This will also be your introduction to the infamous Scottish water bar, which will become very familiar over the course of the trip!
One last climb and valley ahead of us now and by the time we reach Poolewe, your legs might ache, but your cheeks will hurt from grinning!
Distance: 60km (approx. 8 – 10 hours riding)
Accommodation: Small hotel in Poolewe
Meals included: Breakfast
- +Day 4 - Poolewe to Kinlochewe
After yesterday’s epic wilderness adventure, we’ll have a slightly more leisurely start to our day and a longer breakfast. We’ll ride off-road straight from Poolewe on a characteristically rocky, tough climb, which leads us onto an equally technical and rocky descent – knee pads on!
From the top of the descent you’ll have a glorious view all the way down to Loch Maree.
Loch Maree is often cited as the most beautiful loch in Scotland, with its five large islands and 25 smaller islets. It’s also the only loch/lake in the UK that contains an island that itself contains an islet with a lochan in it (are you still following?!).
We’ll have a last, short, punchy climb, before a flowing descent down to the banks of the loch, and time for a quick photo stop and snack.
We have a few road kilometres ahead of us now, but these will take us straight to our favourite café in Kinlochewe, which serves the best scones and jam in the Highlands, and is only a stone’s throw away from our hotel and fabulous dinner.
Distance: 40km (approx. 4 – 6 hours riding)
Accommodation: Small hotel in Kinlochewe
Meals included: Breakfast
- +Day 5 - Kinlochewe to Torridon
Riding from Kinlochewe to Annat through the mountains of Torridon is our favourite part of the coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour.
This is another big, multi-valley and multi-descent day, which you won’t forget in a hurry!
Each day of our trip increases slightly in technical difficulty, and riding the rocky trails that carve their way through the majestic Torridon mountains is the most technically challenging day, but also hugely rewarding.
This is one of the most ancient landscapes in the whole of the UK, and it has everything that you can possibly want from a mountain bike tour in Scotland, from stunning views, technical climbs, long, sweeping descents and grin-inducing singletrack!
You’ll tackle the tough climb to the top of Achnashellach, and your first descent of the day. This is the most challenging descent of the trip; big, burly and unforgiving!
Then you’ll ride along the road and back up into the mountains to conquer the second and final descent into Annat. This descent is more flowing and is a fitting reward for all your hard work.
We have a few miles on the road to reach our loch-side accommodation in Shieldaig, where you’ll stay for the next two nights.
Distance: 35km (approx. 7 hours riding)
Accommodation: B&B in Shieldaig
Meals included: Breakfast
- +Day 6 - Rest day
Today is your rest day, where you can explore the local area, read a book in the bar or join the guide for a half day’s mountain biking up a local hill, it’s your choice!
Accommodation: B&B in Shieldaig
Meals included: Breakfast
- +Day 7 - Torridon to Applecross
For our final push into Applecross we’ll start by spinning our legs out on some road climbs, before peeling off onto some really fun singletrack that leads us to the start of our off-road climb.
Some more tough climbing, just to use up the last of your energy! Then we’ll crest out at the plateau and have a bite to eat, whilst admiring the stunning views.
Next we’ll get knee pads on and enjoy the last descent of our adventure. This leads us straight to Applecross bay and the end of our coast-to coast Scotland.
We’ll enjoy a celebratory meal of world-class seafood, whisky and real ale in the Applecross Inn and re-live the week’s adventures on our all-mountain coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour.
We’ll transfer you back to Inverness for early evening time, where we’ll enjoy our last dinner together and spend our final night relaxing after our coast-to-coast mountain bike challenge.
Distance: 40km (approx. 6 hours riding)
Accommodation: Guest House in Inverness
Meals included: Breakfast
- +Day 8 - Departure
- Sadly, this is the end of your coast-to-coast mountain biking holiday in Scotland. Your guide will transfer you back to Inverness train station at around 10am where we’ll say our farewells after an incredible biking adventure across the Highlands.
Meals included: Breakfast
Please note: Our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in the Highlands of Scotland and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
- +Tour Price
Coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour price
£1,495 / $2,168 USD per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room) We welcome solo travellers on our adventures and if you are happy to share a room with another solo rider of the same sex you do not need to add the single supplement. If, however, you wish to have a room by yourself, a single supplement of £240 / $348 USD will be payable.
H+I Adventures is bonded by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), so you can be sure that when you book with us your money will be safe.
- Services of fully-qualified, expert mountain bike guide(s) for the duration of the trip
- All breakfasts
- 7 nights’ accommodation
- Luggage transfer every day
- Support driver/ guide throughout the week
- All group safety equipment
- Airport/ H+I recommended hotel pick-up on day 1 and drop-off on day 8 of tour (specified times apply)
- Global Rescue emergency evacuation services
- International/ domestic flights
- Bike hire – we have a limited number of fantastic Yeti SB130s available on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of £350/$508 each
- Travel insurance
- Lunches and evening meals
- Tips in restaurants and hotels
- Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic drinks
- Personal safety and cycling equipment
- Any other items not mentioned as included
- +Skill + fitness levels required
- Does this sound like you? Your vacation time is precious and we want to be absolutely sure that you’re making the most of it, by finding the perfect adventure for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other tours that may well be a better fit for your mountain biking experience and ability.
Please note: The skill level required reflects an overall rating for the trails on the trip but you should expect to find sections and obstacles that push your ability levels.
- You are very confident handling most types of riding and obstacles, including drops (up to 1 foot), rocks, logs, switchbacks, larger rock gardens and sustained technical singletrack
- You can brake, use gears and corner instinctively
- You have excellent bike handling skills and can lift front and rear wheels, do small jumps, corner, climb and descend steep trails
- You have considerable experience of riding on a wide variety of technical terrains including: rocky, rooty, muddy, loose, fast singletrack, exposed trails, bedrock for extended periods
- You mountain bike at least three times a week and rarely get off and walk sections
- You can climb and descend comfortably on technical singletrack for as long as required
- You have an excellent level of bike fitness, exercising four or five times every week throughout the year, for at least an hour at a time
- You are comfortable mountain biking up to six hours a day at a moderate pace, with snack and photo stops, for four or more consecutive days
- You can tackle several serious climbs a day, up to 600 metres each
Typical trails you’ll be riding
- The trails on our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour are natural ‘rustic’ ancient walking paths of varying trail surface, that will require you to choose your own riding line and decide if it is suitable to ride
- Double track: undulating and sometimes steep jeep tracks made up of a hard-packed and loose dirt surface
- Singletrack: you will encounter up to head-sized, fixed and loose rocks, as well as fixed bedrock style trails, drainage bars, roots, and ruts (some deep)
- The surface may be dry and loose, or wet and muddy depending on weather conditions
- You will have to carry your bike (hike-a-bike) on a couple of occasions, for up to 40 minutes, and there are river crossings to contend with
- You will have wet feet!
- +Arrival + departure details
- Your coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour will start and end in Inverness. Your guide and/or driver will meet you in the main concourse at Inverness train station at 12 noon on the first day of your tour. He/she will be holding an H+I Adventures sign and should be easy to see since the train station is not particularly large or crowded.
If you are flying to Scotland we advise that you arrive the day before and book an overnight stay in Inverness, in order to allow for any delays in flights and/or luggage.
We have created this handy guide to spending 24 hours in Inverness before the start of your coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour.
On your departure day we will return you to Inverness train station at 10 am, at the latest. If you have an earlier connection please let us know and we can discuss it with you.
- +Travelling to Inverness
- Inverness is well connected to the rest of the UK by good rail, air, and coach links. For more information on how to get to Inverness view our handy travel guide.
You must book your bike on to your flight in advance, otherwise you could face a heavy charge at the airport. Here are some handy tips and video on how to pack your bike for travel.
Visitors from certain countries require a visa to holiday in the UK. Please check the UK Government website before booking to see if you will need a visa for your coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour.
- +Preparing yourself + your bike for the trip
Please read our full kit list before you start packing for your trip, so that you have everything you need! Our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is for advanced mountain bikers with level 6 fitness.
One of the trail obstacles you’ll encounter often along the way, which some people may not be used to, is water bars.
On day one of your coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour your guides will spend some time showing you how to tackle water bars, and you’ll have time to practise this, however it would be really beneficial to start practising bunny-hopping at home if this is a skill you’re not confident in. Here are some pointers to help you get going!
The ideal bike for the coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is a good quality full-suspension mountain bike with around 150mm of travel.
To get the most out of your coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour you should do plenty of training in advance of your tour, and we have put together this great training plan to help you on your way.
It is essential that, if you’re bringing your own bike, you ensure that it has been professionally serviced, including all suspension, before the trip. If you would prefer we can arrange rental of a good quality full suspension mountain bike (Yeti SB5 or similar, depending on size required and availability) for you, and have the bike ready for your arrival.
- +Your mountain bike guides in Scotland
- Our mountain bike guides are qualified to the very highest level in the UK, through the Scottish Mountain Bike Leader Award. They are qualified in first-aid and for this type of trip they also hold an Expedition Leader Award, which means that they have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these very remote, wild and unpredictable parts of Scotland.
In addition to formal qualifications, our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the Highland trails and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna.
The team is made up of local riders who are experts in their fields, superb local guides and genuinely nice people. Their passion for mountain biking and for the Highlands and Islands is truly infectious and they’re completely committed to responsible tourism and making sure that our business is run as sustainably as possible. Meet your mountain bike guides in Scotland…
- +Accommodation + food
- One of the things that set our tours apart from other mountain bike tours in Scotland is the excellent accommodation we use. We understand that when you’ve had a big day in the Great Outdoors, you want a warm welcome, hot shower and a comfortable place to relax and unwind – because that’s exactly what we’re looking for too. This is why we only work with accommodation providers across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland whose standards of service match our own high expectations.
Food is a major part of our mountain bike holidays in Scotland, and we’ve worked hard (it’s been very tough!) to find the best local restaurants, cafes and pubs that produce the most delicious home-cooked meals using fresh, locally sourced produce.
- +Health + safety
- No vaccinations are required for visiting Scotland
- You can drink the water from the rivers on our tours, following the instructions of your guide
- Purification tablets will be available should you require them
- Guides are fully trained first aiders
You should always consult your own doctor or physician before travelling to new countries to seek their advice on matters concerning your health abroad.
Your health and safety is on tour our top priority so when you travel with us you also have the peace of mind knowing that you will be covered by Global Rescue emergency medical and evacuation services.
- +Currency + foreign exchange
- The currency in Scotland is GBP (£), and this is the only currency that will be accepted, without exception. Where we will be travelling there are few banks, but most restaurant and shops accept credit card. It is, however, a good idea to have a small amount of cash (£50 per person) with you at all times, as a back-up.
It is not compulsory to tip your guides or drivers in Scotland, but if you feel that you have had a good service or experience on our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour, you can tip at your discretion.
- +Holiday insurance
- You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. In this policy you must include cover for mountain biking and we recommend that you take out a policy which covers cancellation and baggage. We work closely with WorldNomads whose policies are specially designed for mountain bike holidays and you can arrange your insurance cover directly with them.
Please note: Our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is a living thing, being influenced by multiple factors such as changing weather conditions, group riding abilities, trail damage, to name a few. Your local guides are experts in guiding mountain bikers in the Highlands of Scotland and will be continually assessing these factors and making tweaks to the itinerary where necessary to ensure that every member of the group has the best possible experience.
Coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour reviews
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This was a fantastic trip, involving great riding, food and scenery. Guides Chris and Mark were very experienced, always on hand to advise and help and they went to great lengths to make sure we all had a fantastic experience. If you're looking for a challenging trip in the company of knowledgeable and fun guides, I would highly recommend the Coast to Coast.
What amazing trip! The H+I team were pro from start to finish. Hats off to our guides Chris + Mark. Amazing riding, scenery + food. Definitely a trip of a lifetime. I'll definitely be exploring other trips with H+I.
This team was amazing from start to finish! The ride, the route and everything in between exceeded all expectations and what an amazing way to see and learn about Scotland!
I will be back for another H+I trip and highly recommend.
If your interested just book it!
I just got back a week ago from the Coast to Coast Scotland trip. I am a completely average suburban American - and this was the biggest adventure of my life!
The trails and the scenery were nothing Ive ever seen before...but more importantly the guides (Chris and Mark) made the entire trip special. It is clear that they love their job - and love sharing their love for the trails!
I hope I get another trip like this once in my life.
I agree with all the other reviews from our group. This is an iconic trip, which may be a much abused marketing term but in this case it is spot on. Every aspect of the riding, guiding, support and accommodation was top notch.
The emphasis on fitness and the right kit in H+I's information and follow up e-mails is entirely right. Ignore at your peril!
Recommended to any mountain biker as a must do.
Having spent a day in the wilderness, often without seeing another soul, we were made to feel very welcome in locally run accommodation and treated to superb food.
Chris and Ella made the whole trip run smoothly with good humour and tips. But most importantly - amazing on the hoof bike maintenance skills (ask Chris for the picture of the wheel he fixed with a piece of string that worked for 3 days). Some of the terrain will test your bikes - listen to the recommendations on tougher tyres and check your rims are suitable too! From somebody who learnt the hard way!
Back next year for more of Scotland's finest!
It has been a fantastic week biking from coast to coast through the highlands. The journey, the landscape and the riding were amazing. The guides (Chris and Ella) have been perfect and theirs support was second to none. There was a very reduced amount of van shuttling, which is amazing. Cherry on the cake: the restaurants selected by H+I were brilliant, and most had an interesting choice of whiskys...
Can it get better than that? Let's see next year what Torridon+Skye will bring! Trip booked!
The great thing about this trip (apart from the riding, guides, accommodation, logistics support, history, whisky etc) is the epic journey. We rode every inch of the trip from the east coast to the westernmost of Scotland point. Well almost every inch - we had to get the boat from Ullapool across to Loch, past the Sea Eagles!
Epic trail, no van. Brilliant!
A wee bit of rain, a wee bit of wind, a wee bit of sun and a wee bit of climbing ... and lovely descends, spectacular views, beautiful (double) rainbows, nice food and superb guides. This was another trip to remember and hopefully I will return to visit some more trails in the beautiful Highlands.
What a country! Totally different to the alps regarding landscape, weather and biking. Little tarmac, almost no gravel roads, some double tracks, most singletrail with waterbars ;-), rivers, up and downhill, push/hike a bike. Rating in the alps would be at S0-1 with some S2/2+ sections. That's not too difficult, but it is as it goes permanently up and down, steep and flat, dry and often wet. That's the very difference and makes the riding so good and challenging.
For me it was one of my best bike trips ever! And I know really a lot of the top bike spots in the alps. In the alps I do most of my bike mountaineering all alone, even up to 3000. You can't do that in Scotland. You are in the middle of nowhere, in land Modor. During 6 days we met in total 4 hikers, no bikers.
We had an amazing international team of four from US, Spain, Italy and Germany with the sensational top guides Chris and Mark, thank you all so much.
The complete organisation from H+I was perfect: route, Yeti bikes, transports, accommodation, restaurants. It's expensive, but you get so much from it! What makes the trip so outstanding in addition is the excellent Scottish kitchen and beer! After this great trip I have new friends and just only one week later I'm dreaming of coming back to Scotland!
I expected the riding itself to be more challenging, there were lots of stops which to be fair the guides (Mark and Jono who were both excellent btw) had to do to keep the group together and safe. The Scottish terrain is challenging without any doubt - challenging , it is rocky steep, remote, windy, sunny, wet, dry, slippy, grippy pretty much everything in between - I was not disappointed in that regard. I would love to return and ride it all again continuously and get a real rhythm going.
The real surprise was how much I enjoyed meeting the others on the trip, from all parts of the world they were a great bunch of people and actually that is the overriding memory of the trip.
My advise to anyone wanting to travel on the trip is to work out whether you want a holiday riding bikes or you want a full on physical challenge? And remember the group will be of varying abilities. Discuss this before you go with H+I and they will try to get the trip you want - it can be flexible and tailored to what you want.
Overall though it was a great experience - it was not what I expected but I got something else completely different out of it and made me even more enthusiastic to do more adventure rides.
Challenging, rewarding, eye-opening, beautiful, other-worldly, fun and thrilling. Coast To Coast Scotland did not disappoint in any sense. This is a breathtaking part of the world that's seen by relatively few, with world class cycling that expanded my view of what mountain biking 'is'.
There were tough moments, but Mark and Jono were total pros (in addition to being great fun to ride with.. as was everyone else on the tour). Over the week, I got to a place where I was riding stuff waaayy beyond my previous comfort zone... and usually with a huge grin.
What a blast, and a profound experience as well. All the best to the H+I Team!
I just got back from truly one of the best trips of my life!! The Coast to Coast Scotland itinerary was amazing. From start to finish every detail was handled perfectly by the H+I staff. They were all professional, friendly and knowledgeable.
Catherine answerd every question I had regarding the trip making the decision to go with this company very easy. My guides Mark and Jono were amazing!! Extremely helpful, friendly and professional. They actually knew every inch of each trail we were on, every day for the entire week! It was about 150 miles.
We stopped regularly to rest and refuel while getting a briefing on the upcoming portion of trail. We were told how much water and food to carry. The views were truly spectacular!! Photos or words do not do it justice. The weather was as expected, “Scottish”. But wet weather didn’t hinder the experience. For me, completing this journey was tough but very gratifying.
Overall it was an amazing experience!!!! I will definitely travel again with H+I in the future and highly recommend them to all.
This trip was well worth the time and money from start to finish. My trip started a little rough due to my bags getting lost by the airline with all my bike gear. Donald helped me tremendously by getting me some gear to borrow and to the store to buy what I couldn’t. It was a huge help coming from the states to have the logistical support I needed.
After that it became increasingly obvious how well thought out and fine tuned the trip was down to every last detail. The itinerary was structured to gauge the group and evaluate riding ability. The route was one hand picked and well thought out. It incorporated incredible terrain and topography and truly was a coast to coast trip with only minimal road riding.
The guiding was simply impressive. Chris was a consummate professional in every sense, bike repair, group management, interpersonal skills and could probably slay a dragon or something if he had to. He went out of his way to get my lost luggage to me in the middle of the trip, which was much appreciated. Unfortunately I didn’t get to ride much with Mark due to an injury, but his hard work behind the scenes was obvious and didn’t go unnoticed.
In summary, I would do this trip again in a heartbeat. I was thinking of showing up and renting a bike and car for a while instead of going with H+I, which you could do. But being a visitor, there is no way you could reproduce anything of this caliber on your own. The itinerary, the route and even the places we stayed would be exceedingly difficult to pull off.
One of the best nights of the trip was a home made meal prepared especially for our group in Torridon by the owner of a cafe there, who doesn’t typically serve dinner. A direct result of the relationships fostered by the guides and company.
This trip and company is stellar. Top to bottom. I’m still internalizing how awesome the whole experience was, and will be for a while. Thank you so much for this trip to all staff at H+I, it was amazing!
Loved this adventure from beginning to end. Scenery was awesome, the guides were awesome, the riding wonderful, and the organisation of the week was excellent.
Very, very highly recommended.
It's hard to summarise what is truly special week - but Vicki and I are richer for the adventure. Rewarding, intense, fun, epic. Scotland is a very special place.
H+I ran a slick trip and the guides were lovely individuals. I kind of wish we could have a reunion ride with Johno, Kev, and the crew !
Don't hesitate. Do it.
Stephen and Vicki,
I have been trying to write this review for 2 weeks and I can't quite find the right words but the feeling is always the same....... I love you H+I.
A special thanks and big 💋 to our guides Euan, Mark and Donald. I think with some special rain proof capes you really could be super hero's.
Don't miss this once in a life time adventure.
Thanks to Chris, Mark and all the team at H+I for a mind blowing adventure week of riding.
Fantastic to meet and ride with such a great group of riders and together conquer some of the most challenging, beautiful, remote and stunning single track in the UK, what a journey and memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.
I’ll be back… thank you all, Nikki xx
I can't say enough great things about this tour. We are rather independent adventurers and this was our first guided mountain biking trip, so we didn't know what to expect. We have since been spoiled by the high quality, extreme professionalism, crazy fun-factor and adventure of the Coast-to-Coast tour.
The H+I crew were absolutely fabulous (with a double high-five to Euan, Mark and Donald). Rarely do you come across people that genuinely love what they do and these guys seemed totally thrilled to share their love for their home country. Not only were they great mountain bikers, but they were extremely knowledgable about the area that we rode through and visited. Their enthusiasm for adventure was amazing. They were also attentive without being over bearing, and they managed logistical changes seamlessly with ease. They did a fabulous job of paying attention to the group as a whole, and created a fun, non-intimidating environment.
By the end of the trip, we had a bunch of new friends from all over the world. The riding in the Highlands? It blew our minds. Rocky, technical, wet, boggy, green, epic, empty and sublime. Truly wild country with rowdy trails, but the guides prepped us well for each day and each section of the rides. The accommodations and food were great and the tiny villages were friendly and welcoming to us muddy biking creatures.
100% recommend this tour!
I'd give six stars out of five if I could!
The staff of H+I are seriously like Jedi Masters of logistics. I was prepared for the stunning scenery having seen the online galleries and video (although nothing really compares to seeing it in person, especially when a fabulous view is earned through your own efforts), but I did not expect the outstanding level of planning and logistics mastery that was on display during this trip.
Our accommodations were excellent (why can't we have electric showers in North America with endless hot water??) and easily provided full breakfasts for the vegetarians and Celiacs amongst us. The restaurants selected for us each evening had a wide variety of options and always included great local fare and drinks (nothing like having a local gin, whiskey or beer after a ride!) which gave us another way to get to know the Highlands. Our schedule was always meticulously coordinated, and ensured we maximized daylight without feeling rushed.
I think the most surprising, and genuinely delightful, aspect of the trip though was the attitude of our guides. Despite the fact that they've ridden the Coast-to-coast trails countless times before (including every imaginable contingency trail in case something unexpected arose), they always appeared to be enjoying themselves as much as we were. Their passion for riding, Scotland, and riding-in-Scotland, added immeasurably to the experience. While seeing what must truly be some of the most stunning scenery on this planet for the umpteenth time, Euan exclaimed "This is my office!" Euan and Mark had such an obvious enjoyment of riding and guiding that it made the trip feel like a group of friends, rather than strangers or customers.
We can't wait to experience more from H+I.
TLDR; Amazing guides, trails, countryside and food. Book now!
Wow! Wrapped up our Coast to Coast 4 days ago and the adventure has sunk in a little bit. This was our first guided tour of any type. We are quite independent and scrappy when it comes to most vacations so it felt a little weird going on a guided trip. What a great choice though.
Their local knowledge, the trails , the warnings, every aspect was well thought out and coordinated. Mark, Euan and Donald were fantastic, keeping the group together, but letting us all find our rhythm and adapting the days and pace as weather, riders or trail conditions dictated.
Within a few hours of meeting, their bawdy sense of humor starts to come out and aligned well with our group. Within a day, it felt more like a trip with a group of longtime friends rather than guides and near strangers. It felt wrong to leave the bikes behind and go grab a hot shower, like I was bailing on my buddies to do the dirty work of cleaning, lubing and maintaining the gear.
The trails range from casual double track to brutal, rocky and muddy technical slogs. I thoroughly enjoyed every challenge the trails threw our way. Generally, it was slower going than I anticipated based on the videos I had watched, although there are many miles of wonderful flowy trail. There are also many miles of picking your way through bogs, mud, rocks and whatever remains after a few billion years of erosion. The conditions we rode in were largely wet and unusual for a California rider, where our trails simply can't handle rain and riding. You'll get used to getting wet and staying wet.
Pausing to look up from the trail presents a rugged, varied and gorgeous countryside, far removed from the historical town of Inverness or the hectic fury of Heathrow on the trip in. I'll repeat "this photo just doesn't do it justice" for just about every one I took. The most difficult part of the trip is leaving that solitude and isolation behind and shifting gears back to civilization and hustle after you finish.
The weather was always a factor. Buy good gear, it will make your trip so much more fun. If it wasn't raining, you were still getting wet from below as you crossed through creeks, puddles and a generally wet trail. Good gear and a good attitude went farther than anything towards making the trip fun.
H+I does a fantastic job of sending out training guides and preparation info in the months leading up to the trip. Follow their advice! Then train some more. I felt I trained really hard for this trip, but the trails were so vastly different from what we typically ride, I could easily have trained more or differently. Pure power played a huge part in managing traction. Running higher gears than you might on a typical steep grade. Short bursts of high output, between long slogs. And always technical and punchy. Then there is the hike-a-bike. Don't forget to pack up about 50lbs on your back and hike 1000ft up a steep grade.
The food was really good. Good enough to bring a few extra pounds home with me despite a week of mountain biking at a consistently high effort level.
Overall, the cost was a fantastic value. The Yeti rental bikes were very good and took the horrendous abuse we laid upon them. The accommodations, the food, the route, the service, it was all top notch.
The coast to coast was better than I imagined. What a spectacular place to ride with every turn leading to another beautiful view.
Mark and Euan guided our group of 9, modifying as needed based on weather and trail conditions. They did an amazing job of keeping the group together and motivated. Our driver, Donald, was always on schedule and ready for us at every stop.
The Yeti bikes rode well, especially given all the terrain and water put in their way. All of the accommodations were clean with good breakfasts to fuel us for the long days ahead.
The planning and attention to detail by H+I is outstanding. They anticipated all our needs and went above and beyond to ensure everyone had a great experience.
I started looking at other trips while waiting to leave Inverness airport. I'll be back!
I was part of a 8 person group of friends guided by Chris and Mark. We were celebrating our good friends Byron's 50th birthday.
The trip was awesome. The humor, the tumbles, the climbs, the rain, the bogs, the downhills, the stream crossings, the hike a biking, the midges ( maybe not them), the food, the beers n whiskey, the locations, the clean air, the music, the conversations, hanging out with 8 great guys, and the H+I crew was exactly what made this trip awesome.
I want more! Thanks H+I
Just returned from an awesome week doing the Coast to Coast with Chris and Mark as our guides. To say we witnessed the best the Scottish weather gods could throw at us would be an understatement! A week of torrential rain immediately preceding our arrival combined with overnight rain most evenings meant for some really tough trail conditions (Tollie Path was an exercise in how to "Ride the River").
Despite all of the water Chris and Mark did an awesome job in guiding us through the route with a mix of expert advice and good humour (OK, let's be honest the "humour" was lousy but the advice was good and much needed).
The trip does take you through some truly breathtaking scenery with some really tough days in the saddle. The day riding into Torridon will definitely live long in the memory.
During the trip we stayed in some lovely hotels and B&Bs. Every night we were treated to great hospitality and great food and lovely local beers and whiskeys. The selection in the Kinlochewe Hotel was especially memorable.
I took my own bike as extra cost on the flights from London wasn't too expensive but was really impressed with the quality of the hire bikes that the team at H+I provided to the other guests so would definitely have a re-think next time.
I am already putting my pennies away for another trip next year. The only question is Torridon & Skye or Norway.......?
Thanks to the entire team to H+I for a great week exploring a truly stunning part of the world.
A good measure for a trip is how you feel about it 1 year later. As I sit here looking at pictures from slabby descents into the mist, dozens of moments from our trip return with visceral intensity.
It is a special experience and one that changes you forever. And it's not just the riding in Torridon that is the root of this comment. It's the view of the Scottish highlands and of highlanders that emerges through epic rides in wild places, through stories and insights from wonderful guides like Alex and Jono made more colorful with a little scotch or a pint, and through a group of strangers becoming close friends.
I am someone who seeks adventures that test limits-- emotional, physical and intellectual. I am not an adrenaline junky. I am drawn to experiences that inspire growth. This context is important.
Few adventure tour companies have the courage to sponsor mountain bike trips where the pedaling is every bit as inspiring and committing as the country you are moving through. Perhaps no other companies understand in the same way that such experiences only deepen when the end of a long day lands a group of tired riders at a pub or at a local's house for the night-- where the stories of the day's journey pale in comparison to the length of the menu.
Finally, a few words about Torridon. Torridon is an arresting place that demands your full attention. The misty landscape will be with me forever. The design of the H+I coast-to-coast trip is a major reason for the intensity of my memory: It is no accident. This trip begins with a few rides that prepare you for Torridon. Then, it immerses you into this world only when you are ready to see it.
I cannot say enough about this trip. For me, the only problem with the trip is that it ends. I look forward to my next adventure with H+I. These guys are the genuine article.
We were a group of 5 Austrians doing the Coast2Coast trip together. Every single aspect of this journey exceeded our expectations. Perfect organization, seamless logistics, wonderful accommodations, fantastic food AND some of the best single tracks we have ever ridden with a bike (will bring along more suspension travel next time!)! Above all two dedicated, bike-crazy guides Jono and Mark what a wonderful team!
My dream came true! I watched the video ON WANDERING so many times, dreaming of riding into The Highlands and it happened! Every expectation that I had became true with a big bonus!
First, our fabulous guides Jono and Mark who leaded us in this journey! Thank you for your devotion, patience, your help when we needed, your passion is contagious and it has been a pleasure to ride with you.
About the trails, singletracks almost all the way, so fun technical parts, waterbars, rivers to cross, hike the bike in some places...we had in this tour all the kind of trails that every rider would like to ride! After a long day out, we were happy to join our group in typical accommodations owned by so kind people...and eat sooooo good food and drink so good beer!!😊
Finally, thank you so much H+I, your company is more than a five stars and I am waiting for my next tour with you.
I did the ride primarily to see the interior of the Scottish highlands which very few people have ever seen because it's so remote and it was spectacular. The challenge of riding every day for 7 days for 10 hours some days was also a big draw and a serious test of skills, stamina and endurance. It felt like a huge achievement to make it to the end.
The accommodation was good, the local food was great and the after ride beer every day was the best I'd ever tasted. Don't bother bringing your own bike. The Yeti bikes are really impressive and there is no limit to the punishment they can take. The H+I logistics were seamless and the guides were friendly and professional with expert local knowledge.
Overall a very memorable "bucket list" experience. Looking forward to the next one.
This trip exceeded our expectations - the scenery, the technical trials, the bogs, the midges, the incredible food, the delicious local brews, the long days on the bike . . . what a ride! We came to Scotland intermediate riders and left being able to ride down some of the craziest single-track I've ever seen - big, loose, and baggy! We loved the journey aspect of the trip. After multiple long days on the bike - through rivers, bogs, bothies, and up and over and around mountains - it felt like such an accomplishment to roll into Applecross and dip our toes in the sea. The logistics were seamless, the guides friendly, knowledgable, and skilled riders/mechanics, and everyone at H+I was an absolute pleasure to work with. We can't wait for our next H+I adventure!
Coast to Coast is an ABSOLUTE must do. To start, the entire crew at H+I Adventures are top notch, so friendly and impeccable with everything you could ever ask for. The YETI bikes are the bomb (don't bother to schlep your own) and super well cared for! The trails are AMAZING, everything you could ever desire from sweet rolling to gnarly technical, they will keep you on your toes the entire journey...and the views just keep on coming! My guides Alex and Chris were outstanding in every aspect AND had fantastic stories and sense of humor. The accommodations were great and the food at every stop along the way was delicious! Beer YUM!
The Scottish people are the nicest people I have ever met. Sign up for this tour you will be thrilled you did! I'm definitely booking more tours with H+I.
We got treated to the full range of Scottish 'summer' weather and still couldn't get enough. One of the great wilderness trips I've done and looking forward to many more H+I trips.
A massive thanks goes out to the whole H+I crew, especially Chris, Mark and Emma. They made 100% sure the whole group had a great time and can't speak highly enough of the whole setup. Thanks all!
An fabulous trip with H+I into the roughest and and most deserted terrains Scotland has got to offer. Seriously delighted by the group, the guides, the rental-bikes and the trails. This was well organized in every respect so we could focus on riding and enjoying the trip.
My third H+I Tour and the third time my expectations have been exceeded. A sensational mountain biking journey with a perfect balance of adventure, challenging trails, outstanding scenery, great food, brilliant accommodation and exceptional guides - all delivered with H+I's typically seamless logistics and faultless organisation. The latest high end Yeti carbon rental bikes are the icing on the cake. Another unforgettable experience that I am truly thankful for - cheers guys!
Besides the absolutely mint organisation, logistics and service, the riding was ace. I'd highly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys long days on the bike in stunning and challenging scenery, followed by great local food and dito accomodations.
What a fabulous trip! the guides were amazing, the scenery was epic, and the rides were challenging but fun. We have a week of incredible weather, great food, wonderful people, and even some good single malt. All in all could not have asked for more. Thanks H+I, you guys are great!
Outstanding value. Great logistics, perfect bikes, wonderful guides, and the food exceeded my expectations by a huge margin. Thanks for putting together such a wonderful trip. You, Chris and Kev really made the week special.
With the most enthusiastic and energetic Boys Own Brigade from Minnesota, Utah and Colorado we laughed and bantered our way from Bonar Bridge to Applecross, pausing only to soak up the stunning scenery and sunshine, fuelled by fresh oysters and regular drams of single malt.
This was a mountain bike adventure to remember and to cherish amongst all others for its challenges, its rewards and its companionship. As the sole female rider I felt welcomed, included, cared for and respected despite being surrounded by some of the strongest athletes in Minneapolis and beyond.
A superb trip. Highly recommended. Thanks go to the outstanding skills of the H+I team for ensuring all our needs were met and that each of us finished every day with an ear-to-ear grin!
Just got back from an unforgettable Coast to Coast trip in the Scottish Highlands. Two of the best guides in the business, Chris "The Bear" and Kevin "The Mountain Biking Poet", took care of every single detail through some of Scotland's most remote, scenic terrain, except the pedaling part. That part is up to you. Epic vistas. Big mountain riding. Challenging, fun, technical uphills. Adrenaline-pumping descents. With some great tips from our guides, we all left being better riders than we came. The food was sensational. Fresh seafood on the coast. Venison stew in the mountains. Brand new, carbon Yeti All Mountain 650B bikes. And we got super lucky, gorgeous weather the entire week. But we would've had a blast in any weather. What else do you want in a trip? Book it now.
The coast to coast trip is an unforgettable experience, a mountain journey with all of the elements. I loved being in the highlands, away from roads and crowds, just massive views, lakes, rivers, and singletrack.
Huge thanks to H+I Adventures for dialling in an amazing trip for us through the Scottish Highlands. We came looking for an adventure with challenging terrain and that's exactly what they delivered. Beautiful landscapes, a taste of the local food and drink, and all with great people. I can't imagine a better way to experience Scotland!
This trip kicked my ass and I loved it. The food was amazing. The scenery was gorgeous. There really aren't enough words to describe Alex. Brilliant! I was pushed and became a better rider because of it. Thank you.
Let's make this short: If there would be a sixth star, this would be my rating. The trails were challenging but fun, the mud was wet and there was always a hot shower, a comfortable bed and a good meal at the end of the day. The guides did an awesome job so we could enjoy the tour. Thank you!
Amazing experience. Perfekt organisation. The best guides expertise you can found. Incredible food, every evening. Words can not describe this adventure...you must done it. Absolute awesome. We felt never such a warm welcome like by H+I -Adventures, before in holidays...all the time. The best tour we have ever done...Everytime again with you guys...
The trip was a flawless experience and must do. If you are second guessing about this holiday, simply - don't! The hospitality of the tour guides and behind the scenes logistics were outstanding. I can't think of a single thing that made this experience the best - the location is astonishing, the food was incredible and the tour guides expertise, tips and witty banter made me feel like I was riding with a group of friends by the end of the week.
It is an amazing trip which is well thought out and great fun to do. It is al lot of work and you are rewarded with some great views and even better single tracks and decent.
The H&I team are awesome. Very friendly and always willing to help and make sure everybody has an awesome time in the Highlands. Follow there advise and you will have a great time.
Scotland has been amazing of course - seriously if you haven't been to the highlands before it's more stunning than you can imagine then some!! Your ridding your bike through the most beautiful and most remote parts of Britain. Most days we didn't see anyone else all day. It is a real physical challenge but it's so worth it. The sense of achievement at the end fueled at least two celebrations.
The other thing that has set this trip apart for me has been the H@I people and all the extra effort they go too make our trip easier, more fun or more educational. Every single one of the H@I team will go the extra mile. Everything from helping me pack my bike up for the way home to making sure there was tea and cakes ready when we got back the HQ.
Finally our guides (Alex and Ben) were simply superb. They really know their stuff and their country, they never got flustered no matter how many bikes broke, incompetent guests hit water bars, or head planted into streams, they always had time to help despite how tired they were and are really great company. The banter just never stopped. Alex's scale: babies heads, picky, picky with baby's heads, spicy, technical, pokey, and mad should be captured for all to use!
One tip: match the kit list exactly - you really do need this stuff.
It's been just a few days since returning from my first trip with H&I, the Coast-to-Coast Scotland adventure, and I'm already plotting future escapes. The aching legs might have receded but the memories of haunting beautiful landscapes and new friendships forged over mind-blowing riding and will remain for a long time. The food & accommodation was consistently excellent. Our guides Kevin and Ross really made the week and couldn't have been more welcoming, competent and fun. This is a tough week of long days in the saddle but if you're riding is at a decent level you won't regret booking for a second. See you next time H&I!
In short, the tour just was perfect. The mix of super guides (the best), super tracks, nice hotels, the food, the weather ;-). All-in-all, 100%
Words cannot truly describe the experience I had on this tour. This was a very memorable experience - every day was truly a new adventure (on and off the bike). Our team got to experience many challenges on the trail, and the weather provided some excitement, but the H&I team responded to the challenge, making the week one of the best ever. The trails were challenging, the guides were amazing, the food was some of the best I've ever experienced, and the scenery of Scotland was breath-taking.
The team at H&I really delivered on this tour - I am already planning my next adventure with them.
The bike tour Isabella and me expected turned out to be a real adventure along the remote trails of Scotland and GREAT mountain biking experience guided by elite athletes on their own backyard. People I now regard as friends.
Certainly one week to last forever in the memories and stories of our entire group.
H&I Adventures turned out to be the perfect choice in every aspect; accommodation, logistics, choice of restaurants, itinerary, guidance regarding gear, technic, trail challenges and all, culminating in positive atmosphere for a perfect holiday.
I also suspect they booked 'perfect weather' for the week - don't ask me how, but it was incredible!
Last but not least, this experience is sure to make even the most advanced cyclists better mountain bikers; trails are just as technical as they are beautiful and remote, so being fit should increase fun levels exponentially and the guides will make sure you are challenged onto new levels.
Alex, Ben, thanks a lot and we hope to see you both in our next H&I Adventure!
Nik and Bella
Exceeded all expectations. The most amazing techy descents and amazing scenery. I was blown away with the experience of a lifetime. I can't say enough to everyone that this is the best week in my life! I was impressed with how well organized the whole accommodations were set up and it was a great part of the tour and nice stress reliever to have and experience the Scottish culture and amazing food! Our guides Alex Glasgow and Ross Dunn were top notch! The guides really made the trip that much more fun and exciting and EPIC!
It was an Epic adventure, the reality was orders of magnitude greater than the expectations. The trails were challenging and unridable in some parts, but I expected no less from an uncompromising part of the stark beauty that is the Highlands. The guides were aware of everything going on during the ride and an integral part of the group.
I cannot stress what an amazing tour this is. The scenery and trails are just out of this world. You must do this trip before you die..but be ready for hard work and amazing climbs and descending. Just Stunning; and the guides are THE BEST you will ever ride with - Kevin and Chris are legends. And the food is so so good and local and tasty and brilliant! Book it.
From my first enquiry, through to flying home, this tour was well organised, efficient and friendly. Oh, and the riding was as good as it gets! Very good accommodation with good food all the way. Catherine and Euan's organisation is spot-on. Alex and Ross make the trip fun and enjoyable. Big mountains, long days riding, big descents, technical climbs, fast single track, its all on this trip!! I'll be back soon.
Tremendous! Fantastic biking in the most majestic of settings combined with great accomodation, food and ale. I highly recommend both this trip and the professional H&I Adventures team. From initial booking to leaving at the end of our week, Euan, Alex and Catherine couldn't have been more helpful, informative and entertaining. Thanks to all three of you for a superb week.
What an awesome week on a bike with a brilliant bunch of lads. H&I Adventures run a seamless operation, top quality trip. I feel I have new blood in my veins; full of motivation and passion to explore the world on my bike. Probably why I booked my next trip before I had even left Scotland!
Where to begin... this was hands down the best week of mountain biking I have ever experienced. Not only were the guides great people and knowledgeable of the trails and riding, but they knew lots about the towns and food we were experiencing as well. Catherine was very accommodating to all of my questions, which there were tons of. She does an amazing job. Made some great friends as well. The trip was perfect and I couldn't have asked for more.
Varied and exciting trails, awesome scenery, excellent food and ale, frequent hearty laughs,...just like I'd visualized my dream-bike week! Catherine's patient and helpful support in the office and the professional guiding from Euan and Tim made it possible. THANKS!
Absolutely incredible riding; challenging and rewarding trails in a stunning setting. Superb guiding from Euan and Tim and excellent logistics support from Catherine. Beautiful scenery, comfortable accommodations and (too much) delicious food! We even got lucky on the weather--I came home with a tan! I HIGHLY recommend this trip.
…epic, challenging, awesome. A few words to describe our recent holiday with H&I Adventures. This was our first experience with H&I Adventures and we’re already trying to figure out when we can holiday with them again. We were impressed with the resources available to allow, as in our case, eleven individuals of varying abilities to maximize their experience over the course of the week. The skill level rating and description for this tour reflects the scope and scale of all that the Coast-to-Coast Scotland has to offer. Thanks again Euan & Catherine for a great holiday.
Leg busting climbs and thrilling descents! I'd travel to the ends of the earth with H&I Adventures, dedicated as they are to providing adventure and comfort while safety and competence lead the way.
We highly recommend the Coast to Coast trip. This was our second time traveling with H&I Adventures and it won't be our last. Euan, Catherine and the H&I Adventures guides are great to work with from pre-trip planning through trip follow up. The riding in the Highlands is amazing and the accommodations and food are fabulous.
What a great trip to explore what Scotland has to offer in the Highlands area! H&I Adventures team led by Euan and Catherine were great to work with and guide us before and during the trip. The team was able to swiftly adapt to the weather changes and any other challenges put in front of our group. The routes chosen were a great mix of double & single track as well as road. Euan's knowledge of the weather and course were top notch! Evenings were relaxing with great places to stay and delicious food! I highly suggest leveraging H&I Adventures for any of your holiday biking trips!
A fantastic MTB trip all round. Awesome scenery on our own back door combined with challenging MTB trails under the leadership of very professional and attentive guides. I have travelled to numerous places over the world on similar types of trips and this is equal to the best of them. The quality of the guiding was the best I have experienced and if this is anything to go by I would highly recommend a H&I Adventures trip to anyone looking for a bit of adventure on a bike!
The coast-to-coast was the perfect match for us, loving to travel, wanting to discover Scotland and being passionate about mountain biking. Alex and Kevin took us to some of the most remote places in the Highlands where astonishing views and rocking descents made us immediately forget about strenuous climbs or struggling legs. Even though at the start and the end of each day there was a nice and comfortable B&B, it felt like miles away after only five minutes of pedalling and we had a great outdoor experience with our most memorable part being that river crossing! Many thanks to H&I Adventures and the whole group for this amazing trip!
First of all a big thank you to the guides who made this adventure just perfect. Riding the most fantastic singletrails was a big part of a day. We definitely enjoyed the second part too where we were hanging out together in the nicest places sharing funny moments. Still bunny hopping through our dreams; we already miss Scotland.
This is a fantastic tour through some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland with some of the best riding we have experienced. Even coming from Scotland, it was great doing this guided tour as all of the thinking was done for us (where to ride, navigation, accommodation, where to eat etc). Euan and Kevin sorted everything out so all we had to do was enjoy the riding and the spectacular scenery.
My wife and I had been reading about the great mountain biking in the Scottish Highlands. We found H & I while researching our Scotland trip and were really glad we hooked up with them. Euan knows where to ride and how to do it in style. Riding across the Highlands on great mountain bike trails everyday and staying in very comfortable accommodations at night was THE way to do it. The trails were varied with lots of technical, single track fun and the scenery was spectacular. I really felt like I earned that Guinness at the end of each day! We realized that if we'd tried to put together a ride like that on our own we'd have missed out entirely. A little advice for anyone getting ready for this trip: while training for the riding, don't forget to work on your grin muscles or your face is going to hurt after a few days!
I was really impressed with the way Euan and Alex accommodated our group and tailored the route along the way when it was needed. Having the opportunity to bike across the Highlands, in all its rugged glory, was truly an exhilarating and rewarding experience. Riding cross-country allowed a completely unique perspective of Scotland. It was an adventure that will not soon be forgotten! Thanks again!
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour
- Q. How many people will be in the group?
We only run small group adventures to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will generally be between five and seven people in each group. The minimum number of people we require to run our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is five.
- Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?
The coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is more than just an adventure, it’s an expedition, taking you through some of the most remote, inaccessible and exposed parts of Europe. It is also consistently arduous (physically, technically and mentally) for five consecutive days before a rest, so for these reasons, along with a great deal of past experience, we have introduced an upper age limit of 65 years for this adventure. The The majority of riders on the coast-to-coast Scotland are between 30 and 55 years of age.
- Q. What style of mountain biking vacation is it?
The coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour is a guided, point-to-point mountain bike vacation, ideal for advanced mountain bikers. You’ll ride nearly 250km, 95% off-road, from the east coast of the Scottish Highlands to the west. It is a great mountain biking challenge, but it’s not a race to see who can finish each day the quickest. It’s about everyone making it to the finish line together, and your guides will be there to support and encourage you the whole way.
- Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?
The distances we cover each day range from 35km to 60km, in accordance with the technical difficulty of the trails: the easier stages of the route are longer. The technical difficulty of the trails increases each day, so you can practice your technique and increase your confidence as you progress through the tour. Each evening your guides will chat with you about the following day’s mountain biking and give you an idea of the sorts of trails you can look forward to. If there’s anything you feel anxious about, your guides will be happy to discuss it with you.
- Q. Do we have to carry all our gear with us?
No, you only need to carry a 20 litre day pack with you whilst riding. We have a support vehicle and driver who will transfer your luggage to your next B&B each day, and have it ready and waiting in your room when you arrive.
- Q. What if I come across a section of trail I can’t ride?
Your guide will be very happy to give you some bike skills training during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour. If there is a section that you would prefer not to ride, then you can simply hop off your bike and walk. You won’t be the only one to walk certain sections and it’s not a competition in biking ability; it’s a mountain bike holiday!
- Q. Who will be guiding us?
Your mountain bike guides are local, qualified, experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the fabulous outdoor playground that is the Highlands of Scotland. Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of the tour. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip. Meet your guides in Scotland….
- Q. I’m anxious about being too slow and holding everyone up, is this likely?
There will be two guides with you for most of each day of the trip, so if there are faster or slower people in the group then we can split up and one guide will accompany each group. No one need feel pressurised about going faster or slower, everyone can enjoy it at their own pace. If you don’t feel like riding on a particular day, you can catch a ride in the support vehicle to our next night stop and just relax for the day.
- Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?
On this coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour you will be staying in 3 and 4-star B&Bs, guest houses and small hotels. We use the best quality accommodation in each area, and favour small, family-run establishments over large chain hotels. You’ll often be staying in family homes, which gives you the chance to get to know the local people of the Highlands of Scotland.
- Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?
All breakfasts are included in the price of the tour, and you’ll enjoy fantastic breakfasts at each accommodation which will set you up well for each day in the saddle. Lunch and dinner are not included in the trip price. Each morning we will pick up our own provisions for lunch, and we’ll carry this with us on the trail. We can cater for most dietary requirements. We’ll have dinner in a local pub, café or restaurant in the evening. This means that everyone can choose exactly what they want for lunch and dinner and only pay for their own choices. You should allow around £25-£35 per day for lunches and dinners.
- Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?
A good quality full suspension mountain bike with 150mm travel front and rear will be ideal for this coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour. The terrain you will be riding is rough in places and you will feel more comfortable on a full suspension bike for the duration of the trip. We can arrange bike hire for you for the duration of your trip and we have a limited number of fantastic Yeti SB5s available on a first-come, first-served basis
- Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?
The weather in Scotland is changeable at any time of the year, so you must make sure that you have a waterproof jacket that you can ride in, and you should also bring plenty of layers of breathable clothing to ensure that you are always warm enough and can remove a layer if you get too hot. You should also bring cycling shorts/trousers, gloves, a warm jacket for the evenings, padded undershorts, and shoes specific for cycling. Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour.
- Q. Can I bring a drone with me?
Unfortunately not. We are working hard to provide each and every customer who rides with us an unparalleled mountain bike experience in every destination we ride. This takes years of experience, riding and planning to get right, and a drone adds a very real danger to the group’s riding experience and health & safety.