• This topic has 25 replies, 22 voices, and was last updated 3 days ago by dknwhy.
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  • Road cycling base in Scotland?
  • Premier Icon dknwhy
    Full Member

    Any ideas on a good Scottish base for road cycling?
    Looking for somewhere for 5 of us to base ourselves for 4-5 days and head out on scenic 50-60 mile loops.
    Pure road only/tarmac cycle paths really as a couple of the guys only have 25mm tyres.
    Trip is planned for September.

    Also, any links to GPX routes would also be great.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    My gut feel is Stirlingshire or Perthshire – you presumably want to be able to head different places each day so you need to be at a major intersection of roads. I suspect availability of accommodation will be your limiting factor, it may be a little better in September but still not great. I guess the other consideration would be – do you drive 15-20 miles in the morning to get a better starting point on some days.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    The North East too – much overlooked. You can take on some hillier days – Cabrach, Lecht etc – some interesting coastal stuff around Cullen, Pennan and lots in-between.

    Some ideas here https://www.ride-the-north.co.uk/rtn153/

    Premier Icon aberdeenlune
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    My suggestion is Ballater. You could do a loop over Gairnshiel and the Lecht. Do a day over to Glenshee Linn O Dee. Do a Cairn O Mount day. There are also flatter options along the Dee and Don valleys.

    Roads are in better condition and it’s quieter than Stirlingshire.

    Premier Icon highlandman
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    Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, Blairgowrie & Alyth spring to mind. There’s a lot of circular routing available from all of those bases, each with a good spread of variety.
    One of my fav road days out is to circle Loch Tay on the south side from Kenmore to Killin, then up over the Lawers road to the cafe at Bridge of Balgie, descend the very quiet & scenic Glen Lyon and back to the start via Keltneyburn.
    Lots of loops available; Kirkmichael & Glen Isla can be done from Dunkeld or Pitlochry start points. Circuits of Tummel & Rannoch. It’s all good.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
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    All great suggestions so far. If you are travelling up from down south don’t over look Borders or Dumfries and Galloway.

    I say Border because I live here and there are loads of routes I enjoy. But D&G is the most overlooked area of Scotland and if jammed full of amazing riding, but everyone just drives on past it on their way up north!

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
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    Borders, D&G and Ayrshire all have road cycling as good as anything in the north IMO.

    http://www.ayrshirealps.org/piste/

    Premier Icon Yetiman
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    Tour of Britain will be visiting the North East in September so if you time it right you could ride part of the stage and watch it.

    https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/stages/stage-eight/

    Premier Icon swavis
    Full Member

    scotroutes
    Full Member
    The North East too – much overlooked.

    Agree with scotroutes here, some great wee roads about and reasonably quiet too. I must do more myself…

    Premier Icon Merak
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    I’d echo southwest Scotland. Some great riding there and quiet wee roads too.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
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    Borders, D&G and Ayrshire all have road cycling as good as anything in the north IMO.

    yep totally agree. I also agree with most of the other comments to be fair

    Premier Icon Robz
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    As mentioned above I would suggest Aboyne or Ballater in the NE – access to Donside and Deeside – some fantastic quiet (and less quiet) roads and climbs.

    Also another vote for Pitlochry area – load of great routes round the various local lochs and glens and can access Deeside too.

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    +1 Borders plus loads of gravel for those who’d fancy an ‘away’ day.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
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    Pitlochry would be my vote. Get to do several iconic climbs from there as a base on both sides of the a9

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Pitlochry would be my vote. Get to do several iconic climbs from there as a base on both sides of the a9

    Mine too. I think the variety you can get from there is hard to beat. Also not as bad a drive and reasonable choice of facilities as well if you want to do stuff other than cycle.

    Borders, D&G etc all great but I think if you’re coming from down south Pitlochry area will give you something very different to enjoy.

    Although the NE is considerable drier if that matters.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    I was also thinking that the NE might be easier for finding accommodation.

    Premier Icon paton
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    Premier Icon highlandman
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    Local intel suggests that east of the Spey and north of the Gorms has much more accommodation available than further south or west, so if you cannot find anything in the more obvious places further south, I’d then think of going with Scotroutes’ suggestions.

    Premier Icon Waderider
    Free Member

    Having cycled in most parts of Scotland and lived in many parts, I reckon the best road cycling is in the SW. I’ve always liked Moniaive so that’s my suggestion for a base.

    Premier Icon Oblongbob
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    Pitlochry was my immediate thought as a great hub for routes east and west.

    Premier Icon vmgscot
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    D&G and Borders – less hours spent in the car getting here.

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
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    As much as the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire has some cracking roads if you are after the Scotland factor then I’d say go further north. Travelling time will be longer and if you are on the west or anywhere near the nc500 then it might be busy traffic wise, north east does seem to tackle some of this mind you. A half way house could be Dunoon, plenty accommodation, loads of quietish roads, chance for a bit of island hopping, scenery pretty good (has the lochs and mountain factor), reasonable travel links.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    Inverness. Job done.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
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    Some good suggestions, but as a bit of a left field option I’d go for Blairgowrie. Excellent options in all directions.

    Premier Icon vmgscot
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    Add a daytrip on the ferry to Arran if you want the “Scotland Factor” added to D&G/Borders base 🙂

    Premier Icon dknwhy
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    Thanks to everyone for the advice. I’ve floated the ideas with the guys and the general consensus is that we’ll aim for something around the Pitlochry area to give access to east and west of the A9 and cut down on travel time north.
    A few of us with gravel bikes are keen to do more in the Inverness area/island hopping at a later date as part of a different trip, which will hopefully be a bit more leisurely.

    Once again, thanks for all the ideas. Pics to follow!

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