EWS Travel Scotland

FROM THE TWEED VALLEY RACE SCENE TO THE WILDERNESS OF THE HIGHLANDS

This new and exclusive EWS Travel Scotland adventure is the ultimate Scottish mountain biking experience. You’ll ride in the tyre tracks of EWS race champions on the world-class singletrack of the Tweed Valley in Southern Scotland. From there, you’ll stop in at Dunkeld to sample the ‘steeps’, then venture further north to experience remote wilderness riding in the Cairngorms and western Highlands.

Your expert local guides will share with you the full spectrum of trails, landscapes, culture and communities that combine to make Scotland one of the best MTB destinations in the world.

This EWS Travel Scotland adventure is close to our hearts because Scotland is home for both Enduro World Series and H+I Adventures, so we’ll be pooling all of our expertise to make sure you experience the best of the best when you’re on our home turf.

  • Skill level: Advanced
  • Fitness level: 6/7
  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • £1,850 / $2,683 / €2,313
  • Max. group size: 8

Tour Dates 2022

  • 27 May – 3 June (4 PLACES)
  • 30 July – 6 August (7 PLACES)
  • 24 September – 1 October

Trip Highlights

From south to north; man-made to natural, this EWS Travel Scotland adventure is the ultimate week-long mountain bike tour of Scotland.

You’ll be challenged on the climbs and tested on the descents, but the rewards are more than worth it. Here are a few highlights to look forward to…

  • Follow the tracks of EWS champions and soak up the scene in Tweed Valley
  • Treat your bike to a professional suspension set up for the Scottish trails
  • Ride in the mountain plateaux of the UK’s only Arctic environment
  • Enjoy the freshest Highland produce from land and sea
  • Experience the rugged majesty of the Torridon mountains
  • Learn from the experts how to build and maintain sustainable trails
  • Relax in the evenings with a post-ride dram or local craft ale
  • Receive a jam-packed EWS goodie bag

WELCOME TO OUR PLACE!

“There’s a reason that we at Enduro World Series, and our friends at H+I Adventures, choose to make Scotland our home. For a small nation Scotland delivers more than its fair share of incredible riding, and on this EWS Travel adventure you’ll experience the full range of trails, landscapes, food, drink and personalities that keep our wandering wheels coming back home to Scotland.”
Enduro Travel Madeira - Chris BallCHRIS BALLEWS Director

EWS Travel Scotland Itinerary

This EWS Travel Scotland tour is the pinnacle of mountain bike adventuring in Scotland. Starting with the world-class singletrack of the Tweed Valley, just south of Edinburgh, you’ll travel north through Dunkeld, the Cairngorms National Park, and into the wild, rugged landscapes of the north-west Highlands. This is the perfect mix of man-made trails and natural, backcountry singletrack, and will test your skills and stamina to the full.

+Day 0 - Arrival in Edinburgh

We advise arriving in Edinburgh the day before your tour start date to make sure any flight or luggage delays don’t spoil your trip, and so that we can make an early start on day 1.

We recommend staying at the Hilton at Edinburgh airport, since this is where your guides will collect you the following morning, and it’s within easy access of Edinburgh city centre via the tram. If you are driving, you can also leave your car at the hotel or the airport.

+Day 1 - Transfer to Innerleithen - bike build + warm-up ride

Your local guides will meet you at the Hilton Edinburgh Airport in the morning, and we will transfer you to Innerleithen, approximately 90 minutes’ drive away. We’ll get bikes built and ready to roll, then around midday your guide will go through the pre-trip briefing, then build bikes or set up rental bikes, before hitting the trails in this beautiful part of southern Scotland.

After a short pedal we’ll start climbing into the dense forest of Innerleithen, and hidden in the trees are some lovely flowy trails, the perfect introduction to the riding in the Tweed Valley. As bikes and bodies get fired up we’ll venture onto some of the steeper trails in the area, descending down into the arena area where many a race run has passed through the tape.

The singletrack is smooth and flowy, before getting steeper with berms and the iconic Innerleithen forest corners, with a moderate amount of climbing involved. There are several trails that link together on this ride, so you will have around 2-3 hours of grin-inducing biking before heading back for a Scottish BBQ accompanied by local beers.

Distance cycled: 18km (app. 3 hours)
Accommodation: 4* family-run guest house, Innerleithen
Meals included: Barbecue dinner

+Day 2 - Tweed Valley Gold

After a traditional Scottish breakfast, we’ll meet our mechanic for some pro advice and we’ll be treated to a professional suspension setup. With bikes now at their optimum, a short pedal takes us to the Golfie. Home to some of the most iconic trails in the Tweed Valley, the Golfie has hosted numerous races and is widely regarded as one of the all-time favourite venues of the EWS.

We’ll spend the morning linking the technical singletrack that is tucked away in the dense forest, and climbing up and out of trees we’ll be gifted with views across Innerleithen, before a final effort that takes us across the heather carpeted moorland. Once at the top the reward comes quickly, in a rollercoaster of berms, rocky shoots and tight turns that threads itself from the open moorland and into the trees, all the way back to the valley floor. This is the perfect end to a great morning, before grabbing coffee and a bite to eat in one of Innerleithen’s famous rider’s cafes.

After refuelling it’s time to get pedals turning again, this time heading for one of the Tweed Valley’s lesser known gems. A steady fire road climb gets our legs warmed up again, before a final punchy section that pops out onto of the tops of the rolling hills that make this area so picturesque.
Once above the tree line we are treated to views over the whole of the Tweed Valley and glimpses of everything we have ridden so far.

The quiet moment doesn’t last long, as we drop into another fantastic descent, this time rockier and more open. Suddenly we are back into the now familiar Tweed Valley corners, tyres digging into the perfectly built turns and over rocks and rollers that bring us whooping and smiling back to the river and the end of our first big day of riding.

Distance cycled: 40km (app. 7 hours)
Accommodation: 4* family-run guest house, Innerleithen
Meals included: Breakfast

+Day 3 - Early ride Walkerburn + transfer to Dunkeld

After another hearty breakfast, we will be fuelled up and ready to cap off our time in the Tweed Valley. We’ve been saving the best for last, and a pedal through Innerleithen sees us passing alongside the River Tweed, as we head out to the home of one of the best trails in the area, and possibly one of the best in Scotland! We’ll let you decide if you agree with us…

We start off climbing a fire road that hangs high above the valley, before heading into a thick blanket of lush green trees and moss, which finally opens up into the high heather moorland. Our climb brings us to the top of Walkerburn, and everything we have ridden in the previous days has set us up for our last descent before heading north.

Steep, perfectly shaped corners, rollers and rocks demand the best from both rider and bike as they reveal themselves plunging through the forest. It’s impossible not to finish with a smile as we reach the bottom of this super fun trail!

After a bite to eat we’ll meet the van and start making our way north, and on to our next accommodation. We’ll have time to freshen up before dinner, which is in a quaint and idyllic pub on the banks of the River Tay.

Distance cycled: 20km (app. 4 hours)
Accommodation: 4* country hotel, Dunkeld
Meals included: Breakfast

+Day 4 - Going deep in Dunkeld

Dunkeld is home to many of the familiar names in Scottish racing and has developed a reputation for amazing riding, having hosted many national events across multiple disciplines. A mixture of secret, natural singletrack and bucket list trails makes this a must ride venue on our journey through the best of Scotland’s riding.

We’ll get the day started by heading out of town onto the western hills, home to a dense network of trails. The riding here is extremely varied, from flat out open trails that carve across the hillside, to the tight corners filled with dark, peaty loam that have featured in many a famous riding photo and have become a symbol of Scottish riding.

After the morning piecing together the best trails, we’ll drop into one of our favourite bakeries for lunch. A quick stop sees us ready to head back up into the hills, this time heading for some of our firm favourites, threading between birch trees, bursting out onto open hillside, and kicking up loam all the way – these trails will have you smiling for the whole van journey up to the Cairngorms National park where we’ll stay tonight.

Our day of riding is rewarded with beers from the local Cairngorm Brewery and another hearty Highland meal.

Distance cycled: 35km (app. 6 hours)
Accommodation: 4* family-run guest house, Aviemore
Meals included: Breakfast

+Day 5 - Munro-bagging in the Cairngorms

Waking up in the Highlands means one thing – a proper Highland Breakfast!

It’s just as well, because the flavour of the tour is about to change. The Cairngorms National park is the largest national park in the UK and home to some of the most spectacular landscape in the country. Vast mountains formed by glaciers make up this Arctic landscape – the only one in the UK – which makes it a unique and special place to ride, and today we’ll be getting our first taste of big mountain riding!

Heading out to one of the lesser-travelled glens in the Cairngorms, we’ll start with some of our favourite local singletrack; a fast, flowing trail with plenty of roots to spice things up will show you just one side of the riding in this area. It’s then time to head up and out of the trees.

A technical but rewarding climb starts to reveal itself as it winches us high into the Cairngorms mountain range. We’ll be working hard as we reel in the climb and get closer and closer to the high Arctic plateau that looms above us, eventually a final hike-a-bike gets up onto what first seems like Arctic tundra. Working our way across the top, suddenly a view into the heart of the mountains and the valley 1118 metres below us appears, it’s impossible not to be in awe of this magical place.

What goes up must come down, and all the height we have gained is lost in the most spectacular of ways – an open mountain descent that is as fun as it is physically demanding.

With a Munro under our belts, we’ll load up the van and move on to Torridon, home to the Northern Giants, and some of the most dramatic mountain landscape anyone can hope to put tyres on.

Staying in a traditional Scottish coaching hotel, a cosy bar and a some of the best Highland home-cooked cuisine await us.

Distance cycled: 40km (app. 6 hours)
Accommodation: Historic Highland hotel, Kinlochewe
Meals included: Breakfast

+Day 6 - Big mountains in Torridon

After a good breakfast, today we start from the accommodation, riding into the imposing Glen Torridon. Our trail points steeply up into the mountains, and is a rocky, technical climb that weaves its way up into the peaks. An amphitheatre of rock slowly reveals itself to us, but this humbling and inspiring environment doesn’t give itself up too easily! One last hike-a-bike sees us at the top, a steep saddle nestled between mountains.

From here an 8km descent lays beneath us, from loose rocky turns at the top, the trail evolves into a rollercoaster of rocks, that for many of our guides, is their all time favourite trail in Scotland. All this and we are only halfway through the day!

Climbing back up from the opposite side of the mountains we’ll finally reach another plateau – this time we are high above Torridon Bay, and the reward for this long day of big mountain riding is descent that should be savoured, and if we time it right, we’ll enjoy this breathtaking trail in stunning golden light as it takes us from the high mountain top, all the way down to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

A much deserved cold beer waits at the bottom before we head to a small fishing village for some of the best seafood on the West Coast. We’ll tuck in while overlooking the boats that were out catching our meal that very morning!

Distance cycled: 60km (app. 8 hours)
Accommodation: Historic Highland, Kinlochewe
Meals included: Breakfast

+Day 7 - Final fling

As our bodies may be aching, we’ll have a slightly later start this morning. After a relaxed breakfast and some much needed coffee, we’ll gear up for one last venture into the mountains, finishing our week’s adventure with the most rewarding trail in the area. This descent offers up views for miles high above the trees and is packed full of supreme bedrock, leading us all the way back to the valley floor, as a final train of new found riding friendships makes its way down the mountain.

After meeting the van we’ll transfer south, to Fort William, the Outdoor Capital of the UK. We’ll get settled into our last cosy guest house, overlooking Loch Linnhe, then head to the foot of Ben Nevis to one of our favourite eateries, where we’ll enjoy a celebratory meal accompanied by some fine local ales and, hopefully, some traditional music.

Distance cycled: 20km (app.4 hours)
Accommodation: Lochside guest house, Fort William
Meals included: Breakfast

+Day 8 - Departure day

Sadly this is the end of your EWS Travel experience in Scotland. It’s time to pack your bike and head for home. We’ll transfer you back to Edinburgh in time for your return journey.

Meals included: Breakfast

Please note: Your EWS Travel mountain bike tour Scotland 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 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 on our EWS Travel Scotland adventure.

+Tour price

EWS Travel Scotland Mountain Bike Tour Price

£1,850 GBP / $2,683 USD / €2,313 EUR per person (ex. flights, based on two sharing a room)

Price includes:

  • Services of fully-qualified, expert local mountain bike guide(s) for the duration of the trip
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in small hotels and guest houses
  • 7 breakfasts, one dinner
  • Professional suspension set up in the Tweed Valley
  • Meet and ride with EWS trail builders
  • A whisky tasting
  • EWS goodie bag
  • Edinburgh airport transfers on day 1 and day 8
  • All group safety equipment
  • Global Rescue medical and evacuation services

Price excludes:

  • International/ domestic flights
  • Bike rental – we can arrange bike rental for you at a cost of £350/ $508/ €438 for the duration of the trip
  • Travel and activity insurance
  • Tips in restaurants and hotels
  • Alcoholic/ non-alcoholic beverages
  • Personal safety and cycling equipment
  • Any other items not mentioned as included

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 £300/ $435/ €375 will be payable also.

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.

+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 mountain bike tour for you. Be honest with yourself, if this adventure isn’t right for you, we have other mountain bike 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.

SKILL LEVEL: ADVANCED

  • You are very confident handling most types of riding and obstacles, including drops (up to 1 foot mandatory and 6 foot optional), 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 ride at least twice a week and rarely get off and walk sections
  • You can climb and descend comfortably on technical singletrack for as long as required

Fitness level: 6

  • 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

  • In the Tweed Valley, you’ll experience riding EWS race trails through forests and across moorland, including some steep descents and technical singletrack sections
  • Other trails you’ll ride on this EWS Travel Scotland adventure are natural ‘rustic’ ancient walking paths of varying trail surface, that will increase in technical difficulty as the tour progresses
  • Double track: undulating and sometimes steep jeep tracks made up of a hard-packed and loose dirt surface; forest roads
  • 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 one occasion, for up to 45 minutes, and there are river crossings to contend with
  • You will have wet feet!


+Arrival + departure details

Your EWS Travel Scotland mountain bike tour will start and end in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

We advise you arrive the day prior to your tour start date and spend one night in Edinburgh, at the Hilton Edinburgh airport, allowing for any delays to flights to luggage and being ready for your guide to meet you there the following morning. Your guide will meet you in the foyer of your hotel and he/she will be holding an H+I Adventures sign and wearing an H+I ride top.

On the last day of the tour, your guide will ensure you are dropped off at Edinburgh airport in time to catch your flight home. Therefore, we would advise booking your flights home no earlier than 4pm on your day of departure.

If your departure flights differ from this, we would be happy to help book you into an airport hotel overnight, if needed.

+Travelling to Edinburgh

Your EWS Travel Scotland adventure will start in Edinburgh. Edinburgh airport is well-served by many major airlines from all over the world.

For up-to-date timetables and booking visit:

Here are some tips and video on how to pack your bike for travel.

Visas

Citizens of most countries do not require a visa to visit Scotland. For more information on visa requirements visit the the UK government website.

+Preparing yourself + your bike for your adventure

Please read the full kit list before you start packing for your EWS Travel Scotland MTB tour, so that you have everything you need!

Our EWS Travel Scotland tour is for Advanced riders with level 6 fitness. The ideal bike for the Scottish trails is a good quality full-suspension bike with around 150-170mm of front travel.

To get the most out of your mountain bike tour in Scotland you should plan some training in advance of your tour.

If you are travelling with your own bike, you must ensure that it has been properly serviced before the trip.

We have some handy tips on how to do this, however if this isn’t possible for you we can arrange rental of a high quality full suspension mountain bike for the duration of your EWS Travel Scotland adventure.

+Your mountain bike guides in Scotland

Our mountain bike guides in Scotland are of the highest level.

They are qualified in first-aid and they have the knowledge and experience to lead a group safely in these remote, wild and beautiful parts of Scotland, from south to north.

Our guides have years of experience in the saddle on the trails of Scotland and will be able to enhance your holiday with facts and fables on local history, flora and fauna. They’re also genuinely nice people and will do their best to make sure that everyone in the group has a great time.

+Accommodation + food

We aim to use the best, locally-run accommodation in each country, and that which is traditional to that specific area, whether it be city or mountain.

On this EWS Travel Scotland mountain bike tour you’ll be staying in a variety of small, family-run accommodations, typical of the areas you are visiting.

We will enjoy a wide array of local food and drink on our EWS Travel Scotland tour, all of which is prepared with the greatest of care and skill, using the finest local ingredients.

+Health + safety

No vaccinations are required for visiting Scotland, however you must stay up-to-date with travel requirements related to Covid. If you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 you will find it much easier to travel into the UK.

Tap water in Scotland is safe for consumption. Bottled or filtered water will be readily available throughout the trip.

Also, please let us know if you have any special food requirements, allergies or pre-existing conditions your guides should know about.

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 our EWS Travel mountain bike tour Scotland is 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 official currency of Scotland is GBP. ATM machines are readily available throughout Scotland.

Tipping

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 your mountain bike tour of Finale, you can tip at your discretion.

It is not compulsory to tip in restaurants, however should you wish to tip your servers, 10% of your meal cost would be acceptable.

+Travel 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 who specialise in adventure travel. You can arrange your insurance cover directly with them and we ask that you send us your policy details.

Please note: Your EWS Travel mountain bike tour Scotland 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 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 on our EWS Travel Scotland adventure.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) EWS Travel Scotland MTB Tour

  • Q. How many people will be in the group?

We only run small group mountain bike tours to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible, and there will generally groups of 8 people on this experience. We can stretch to a maximum of ten if it’s a group of friends. The minimum number of people we require to run this mountain bike tour in Scotland is 4.

  • Q. What’s the age range of people who come on this holiday?

Our EWS Travel Scotland adventure caters for a wide age range; typically between 30- and 55-years-old.

  • Q. What style of mountain bike tour is it?

This EWS Travel Scotland MTB tour is a guided mountain bike vacation, ideal for advanced mountain bikers. The terrain you’ll be riding consists of double track and singletrack through forests, across moorland and mountain plateaux, and in remote, open landscapes. You’ll encounter some steep descents and rooty trails, as well as very technical rocky trails, tough climbs, and hike-a-bike sections. The trails in the Tweed Valley are part of the EWS racing series, so can be technical. Altitude is not a factor here.

  • Q. How far will we be mountain biking each day?

The distances we cover each day range from 18km to 60km, in accordance with the altitude and height gain/ loss on each stage. We will gain a lot of your height via shuttle, but you will still need to ride and climb. 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 day pack with you whilst riding with all of your spares and repairs, warm and waterproof clothing. Your main bags will be transferred in the vehicle to your next accommodation throughout the tour.

  • 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 help during your trip to help improve your confidence and your enjoyment of your EWS Travel Scotland 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 to the south and north of Scotland and experienced professionals who have a real passion for mountain biking and for the culture and landscape of southern Scotland and the Highlands.

Your safety is their number one priority, closely followed by your enjoyment of your mountain bike tour of Scotland. They will always be on-hand to answer any questions or requests you may have throughout your trip.

  • Q. What sort of accommodation will we be staying in?

On this EWS Travel Scotland MTB tour you will be staying in a range of different accommodations as we travel from the south of Scotland to the north. These will generally be small, family-run guest houses and hotels, traditional to each area.

  • Q. Which meals are included in the tour price?

All breakfasts, and dinner on the first night are included.

  • Q. What type of mountain bike is best for the trip?

A good quality full suspension with 150-170mm front travel would be ideal for this EWS Travel Scotland adventure.

  • Q. What clothes and kit should I bring?

Read the full kit list to find out what you need to pack for your mountain bike adventure.

  • Q. Will there be a chance to get laundry done?

There may be the opportunity to do some laundry on day 4, if you have time.

  • 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.

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