MTBing in Scotland

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  • MTBing in Scotland
  • So me and other half are thinking about spending a week or so up in Scotland for our summer holiday this year and going around some of the trail centres. I see that 7 Stanes has a great website for the MTB centres and accommodation etc.

    However was thinking there is bound to be loads of people on here who have done it so any suggestions? Which are the best trail centres? are there any worth avoiding? been to any great places for food/accommodation that you can recommend.

    We are up for some X country and some downhilling (nothing knarly!). For the last 6 years we have done a week DHing in Morzine with friends however this year we simply can’t all get together the same week. So we are going to do the Passport du Soleil and then a week in Scotland.

    Any ideas would be great!

    Premier Icon rockthreegozy

    Glentress, Innerleithen, Fort William, Laggan.


    yeah, Glentress has got some decent xc routes and Innerleithen just down the road has got some good DH. Definitely recommend it…get the map from the 7 stanes site and have a gander, i think there’s one that covers both


    If you are staying in the one place for the week. Then I would somewhere central around the 7stanes and spend the week doing the 7stanes (except Glentrool). You could spend much more than one day at Glentress. We stayed just outside Dumfries (even though I live in Edinburgh anyway) and all the stanes were within a good distance. If you are going to be moving around during the week then Fort William and Laggan are definitely worth the visit.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    I’d get some natural riding in too – something epic like the Devils Staircase (Rannoch Moor), a big day out in proper Scottish wilderness where you’re not forever bumping into overbiked muppets round a big Scalextric track.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with Glentress obviously… 😉

    Kirroughtree is one trail centre that’s definitely worth a visit. Good local accomodation at The Break Pad in Castle Douglas and it’s convenient for Dalbeattie and Mabie as well.

    Premier Icon stuartlangwilson

    There is uplift at innerleithen on weekends.

    Please don’t just ride trail centres for a week!


    I would go Futher North, Fort William, Laggan, Golspie , Contin, Learnie etc all really good & could always do a few Day’s in the Hills


    7stanes and surrounding area is more accessible, but the highlands provide the better riding if you have the time to find it.


    Went up for a weekend last year with a group of friends and thoroughly enjoyed it. Glentress and Innerleithen are both awesome.

    If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in that area (about 15 minutes from Glentress and Innerleithen out the back door), I would thoroughly recommend Innerhaven. Top end accomodation for bargainous prices and Andy is only too happy to sort people out with ride advice to get the most out of your trip.

    Premier Icon geoffj

    If you must do the 7 stanes, then don’t forget Drumlanrig.

    Personally I’d go for Aviemore as a base and do the natural stuff plus days out to Laggan & Golspie

    Premier Icon RRD

    From your description of your riding you MUST get a trip to Kirroughtree in.

    I would say 1 full day doing Kirroughtree and Dalbeattie (both doable in 1 day), then up to Glentress and Innerleithen for 1 1/2 or 2 days. Then heading up north taking in the “natural” stuff (2 days worth)… Kenny Wilson’s book Mountainbike Scotland The Highlands is a must for route selection. Include Laggan/Aviemore on your way home (1 day) and head south. A lot of driving in my plan unfortunately but well worth it

    Premier Icon kennyp

    Stanes are great, but the natural stuff is way better. The Kenny Wilson book is great (but check his website as it has a few corrections to the routes). So much good natural riding I don’t know where to start. Torridon, Cairngorms, hills behind Blair Atholl, Southern Uplands, Harris, Pentlands, endless.

    There’s a wee brown book by Andy McAndlish is great too. Most bike shops have it. Speak to Bothy Bikes if you’re in the ‘Gorms; they know a lot of good local stuff. Bike across Rannoch Moor if you’re prepared to push a fair bit. Devil’s Staircase…great descent. Take a tent and go exploring. Buy an OS map and follow the dotted lines; you can ride anywhere here as long as you’re responsible.

    Make sure you’re equipped for a day in the mountains though, and can use a map and compass. And don’t expect your phone to work. And beware of the midges. Seriously, BEWARE of the midges. And drink loads of whisky. And don’t spell it “whiskey” or we’ll deport you!! And try haggis.

    Post here nearer the time and you’ll probably get some guides for the day.

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    Kirrougtree then in summer, natural trails all the way. Get out west, get the best from the countryside and from the hospitality.

    Drink the haggis and eat the whiskey……. soak up the atmosphere..

    Premier Icon rickmeister

    Hmm. just as a knock on from another thread from the chat forum… do a trail centre then head north and get close to “Scotland” as well as get some world class biking in…

    Get out and away from the trail centres…. Scalextric is a very good term for them as good as they are, live a little, risk a little, have an adventure… head north !

    As kennyp said, post a bit closer to the time and I bet someone will see you right..


    glentress is the best of the parks in the south
    north, learnie golspee are all worth the day out

    but as stated the natural stuff is best some plesant stuff in aviemore
    speak to the guys at the tennis club or fat tread
    dundee has the sidlaws
    fife the lomonds
    carronshore near falkirk
    north ,some good stuff at fort agustus
    the woods at the back of dyce airport in aberdeen are good too
    as with most places if there’s country side there’s trails


    Avoid the breakpad in Castle Douglas if you might find yourself wanting to access your room between the hours of 10am-5pm, or dry wet riding gear. Stay at Innerhaven, it’s comfortable, functional and friendly.

    ‘carronshore near falkirk’ Mikee
    Am I missing something I live in Carronshore and it is completely flat

    ‘carronshore near falkirk’ Mikee
    Am I missing something I live in Carronshore and it is completely flat

    I take it you mean Carron valley


    well its a bloody sight nearer than engurland

    carron valley near denny

    that better 🙂

    Yes Mikee I wasn’t trying to be smart I was a bit perplexed that all this good riding was on my doorstep. Then it occurred to me that it was Carron valley near Falkirk and not Carronshore beside Falkirk 😆

    Premier Icon jimmy

    Kirroughtree, Mabie, GT (red and black) and Innerleithen are the best IMHO. If you want some natural stuff without going too far, there’s plenty round Stirling. Plenty for a week without driving too far North.


    To be honest i wouldn’t bother it’s only the telly that make Scotland look mountainous it’s actually flat like Holland. Aviemore is really rubbish, nothing to see here move along.


    My list of Stanes in order are Kirroughtree,AE,Inners and if you like old school roots Drumlanrig. If you decide GT make it a weel day w/ends are murder!! Away from the Stanes Laggen is spot on.

    Second the other that said you need to get north and get out into the wild. I am sure the southern centres are good, but probably not that different to the better trail centres in England. Head for Aviemore or Fort William as a base and go from there

    Want to do the stanes. Had a fab day messing about at Laggan last winter. There’s stuff there that’s too knarly for me too.

    Although my fav riding is up north in Torridon, the local trail centre’s – Glentress and Innerleithen – are pretty special too but in a different kind of way from the Highlands. They’re a different kind of challenge from the big epic remote routes up north. For me, it’s all about exploring all the natural riding around here, finding sneaky new routes, dipping in and out of the trail centres, that keeps things interesting. 😀


    Kirroughtree is by far the best of the Stanes then Innerleithen.I would say G/T but I think its a victim of its own success especially if going at the weekend.
    Drumlanrig as it is the way it should be IMO.
    Carron Valley 😆

    crumbs so many ideas now I don’t know where to start! we are more than happy going for some “proper” rough riding however often it’s difficult finding the decent stuff without spending 1 hour riding up some gash fire road to miss all the best trails .. then the domestics start and it’s not worth it! at least with the trail centres they are easy to find waymarked and when I looked at the 7 Stanes website they look awesome!
    Don’t get me wrong I love Afan adn Glyncorrwg but looks like there is far more! And therei s nothing better than at the end of the day sitting in a “proper” MTBer cafe with large chunks of banana cake!!

    So I’m not sure if I have deduced what is the best riding for a week? Think I’ll have to got through this thread again when I have more time and see what gets the best votes!

    cheers though lots to think about.

    Have to agree with Andy@innerhaven – if you want superb ‘natural’ singletrack riding its hard to beat Torridon.

    More here:

    It is a long way(6ish hours) from the 7 Stanes though. As others have said, Golspie, Learnie and some of the other Northern Trail Centres are as good if not better than any of the Stanes.

    Basing yourself somewhere near Inverness or Aviemore gives you access to loads of options within a reasonable drive. Just my tuppence worth


    Nice pics Phil – that looks like that tasty descent down to Annat?

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