Freewheel along the shores of Loch Ness, stopping as you please en route to catch a glimpse of the elusive Nessie and for a hearty pub lunch at local favourite, The Dores Inn. Immerse yourself in history with a visit to Culloden battlefield, the site of the last full-scale battle to take place on British soil. Learn about the local legends at the castles of Cawdor and Brodie, stuffed to the turrets with antique furniture, paintings and ceramics. Ride through pine forests, past sweeping sandy beaches, under a monumental viaduct, and amidst verdant rolling hills dotted with grazing sheep. Sample local whisky at a traditional Scottish distillery en route and explore a pioneering Eco-village at Findhorn. It’s all part of the magic of a Highland fling!
- Price from Luxury £1,320 per person based on two people sharing a room
- Duration 4 nights
- Start and Finish: Starts daily and is circular from Inverness. Inverness has an airport and the station is 3.5 hours north of Edinburgh. We can also arrange private transfers to/from the airport or from Glasgow or Edinburgh
- Hotels: Luxury Scotland’s finest – Rocpool Reserve Hotel with its Chez Roux restaurant in Inverness and Boath House Hotel in Nairn, with its Michelin starred restaurant
- Activity level: Gentle cycling (3)
- Electric bikes: Available
- Mileage: 3 days of cycling 16 to 27 miles (26 to 43 km) per day with optional additional cycling
- Terrain: Undulating on day 3, otherwise mostly downhill or flat
- Traffic-free: 10 % with the rest on very quiet lanes.
Day 1: Arrive Inverness.
Arrive in Inverness, capital of the Scottish Highlands and settle into your hip hotel The Rocpool Reserve in the heart of the city. You stay 2 nights here, leaving plenty of time to enjoy their wonderful Roux restaurant. Close by is Inverness castle. There are walks along the riverside, and the city itself has many restaurants and shops, where you can get kitted out in traditional Highland dress.
Day 2: Loch Ness and Inverness.
After breakfast our host will meet you with your bikes and brief you on the adventure of the next few days. We will then whisk you away to the shores of Loch Ness where your cycling begins. With most of the riding gently downhill, you have plenty of opportunity to take in the magical setting of this vast and beautiful lake. Ride along the water’s edge passing one or two pretty villages and their harbours. Enjoy some forest pedalling and lunch at the delightful Dores Inn, located on a picturesque beach. You also have the option of extending your ride across the Ness islands and along the Caledonian Canal towpath and the banks of the River Ness, before heading back into Inverness. Optional 21 or 30 miles (34 or 48 km)
Day 3: Inverness to Nairn.
Today is a completely different scene as you head east to survey the battlefield of Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie fought in 1746. Pedal under a breath taking viaduct and then up a few slopes, after which you’ll be rewarded with an idyllic scene of grazing sheep and gently folded hills. Beyond lies the most romantic castle in the Highlands - Cawdor Castle & Gardens, which Shakespeare chose for the setting of Macbeth. Stop awhile here and then let quiet roads and a pretty landscape lead you to the ancient fishing port and market town of Nairn with its harbour and expansive beach. In the countryside nearby is your hotel for the next two nights, Boath House. This Georgian mansion boasts a Michelin starred restaurant, art gallery and walled garden. 27 miles (43 km)
Day 4: Nairn to Findhorn and back.
Heading to the remarkable community at Findhorn in a beautiful bay on the Moray coast, the riding is flat but always interesting. Tiny bridges lead over streams whilst 16th Century Brodie Castle is stuffed to the turrets with antique furniture. Spin past forests and stop at a distillery if you wish, before pedalling along the waters edge of the tidal bay, a haven for ornithologists. Findhorn village is cosy with a pub or two and is sandwiched between the bay and a stunning 7 mile beach. Here too is a spiritual community that is self sufficient, has its own currency and is also known for producing gigantic vegetables. Explore the village and unique marine setting before pedalling on to the town of Forres. From here you can take a short train hop back to Nairn or ride a fresh route to return to the hotel. Optional 16 or 32 miles (26 or 51 km).
Day 5: Depart Nairn.
After breakfast we will transfer you back to Inverness for your onward journey.
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