Coast-to-coast Scotland: award-winning adventure!

Matt Hunter and Thomas Vanderham on our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain bike tour, taking in the view on their biking holiday, coast-to-coast scotland award winning
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Coast-to-coast scotland award winning mountain bike tour

What makes our coast-to-coast scotland award winning? Just ask Outside magazine!

Earlier this month (March) Outside Magazine in the United States voted Scotland as the Best Biking Destination 2014, and showcased our coast-to-coast Scotland mountain biking adventure in the award.

Obviously, we’re delighted about this and are very proud of the tour and our exceptional guides, and very thankful to the glaciers and continental shifts that shaped this beautiful country into what we see today as we cross the Highlands from east to west; from Bonar Bridge to Applecross.

But what makes our coast-to-coast scotland award winning and worthy of an award? Let’s delve a little deeper into some of the contributing elements of this celebrated Scottish adventure.

The tour

Mountain biking from coast-to-coast in Scotland is not a new idea, with the first route having been devised in the eighties. This ‘classic’ coast-to-coast route is good fun, but was created when mountain biking was fairly new, bikes were a lot less capable and people’s mountain biking skills were in their infancy.

With this in mind, we set about creating a coast-to-coast that would inject some 21st century energy into this classic route, complementing the bikes we now ride and challenging the skills we’ve gained over the past 30 years.

In order to do this we moved our focus a couple of hours further north from where the original coast-to-coast route crossed the country, to the northern Highlands. This area is more technically demanding, a lot more remote and has a greater percentage of singletrack than its old counterpart, allowing us to create a more challenging mountain bike adventure, where the whole team has to work together to make the most of the experience and achieve their goal of riding across the Scottish Highlands.

The guides

Alex is one of our most experienced guides and loves to call the coast-to-coast his own. He must have crossed the country from Bonar Bridge to Applecross 20 times over the years! He loves it.

Alex also ventured out to Nepal on our Himalayan adventure, which he takes great delight in telling all of our riders that join him on the coast-to-coast – be prepared to sit through his holiday snaps!

Kevin is just as experienced as Alex, and is becoming a regular on the coast-to-coast tour, as well as our Tastes and Trails, and Cairngorms Adventures. Kevin is our resident poet and artist, and is always willing to share his varied life experiences over a ‘wee dram’ in the evenings!

The glaciers

Our mountain bike playground is the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Our coast-to-coast snakes through the far north of Scotland, to the north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, which runs from Arran to Stonehaven. The Highlands and Islands are generally mountainous with the Great Glen slicing its way west to east, from Fort William to Inverness. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK, standing tall at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft). Scotland’s coast line is also littered with more than 790 islands, ranging from the Shetland Isles in the far north, to the border with England.

Glaciers have played a vital roll in forming our rugged, diverse and dramatic Scottish landscapes, and we as mountain bikers have glaciers to thank for our adventures and indescribable photo opportunities right along our coast-to-coast.

The whole package

All of these unique attributes have collectively created a tour that has enthralled riders from all over the world for the past few years, and we are always out looking for new trails and experiences along the way…

We look forward to sharing with you our fantastic, award-winning coast-to-coast Scotland adventure soon!

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