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  • Scotland, campervan, mountain bikes, wife.
  • ganic
    Free Member

    Looking for some recommendations for places to go in Scotland in May.  Going to take the camper and the MTB and my wife.  She won’t be on a bike but likes outdoors, trail running etc.

    Van is fully self-sufficient, so can go “off grid” for a week or so, but ideally looking for good campsites near good MTB trails.

    Also heard East Scotland is less midge prone.  Does anyone have any wisdom on places to go?


    Free Member

    Early May: no midgies.
    Go to the NW; Torridon.

    Full Member

    “Off grid” isn’t really a viable option come May. It’s just too busy for that. All the good spots will be rammed.

    In general, the NW is considered more scenic and wild but has less in the way of accessible MTB (and running to an extent). You could still keep yourself busy but you’d have to do a bit of searching.

    Argyll remains (relatively) quiet and has a few options for campsites, MTB (especially the gravel kind), running etc. but can start to be a bit midgey in May.

    You won’t run out of ideas in the Cairngorms – either Ballater side or Aviemore side – and there are some decent sites. Usually less midgey at that time.

    Dumfries and Galloway should also be considered if you’ve not been down that way, though away from trail centres, the MTB tends to be gravelly.

    Free Member

    Campsites at Shieldaig & Torridon villages; both basic. Kenmore – Applecross (9 miles) for the trail runner; great lunch at the other end in the Walled Garden. So much else to do there, before even considering the stunning trail riding.

    Full Member

    Scotland, campervan, mountain bikes, wife.

    Is this one of those ‘choose three’ things… ;0)

    Full Member

    Wot Scotroutes said 🙂

    Full Member

    I think you will be fine off grid we did 2 weeks in July 2021 and had nothing booked. We were supposed to goto the appoint Boris put pay to that. Anyway we went tweed valley dunkeld aviemore torridon and down the west coast. We found loads of places and only had 3 night on a campsite

    Full Member

    Comrie Croft and Glassie Bikepark (Aberfeldy) both are lovely places to stay with good trail running options.

    Full Member

    Galloway’s nice, as previously mentioned very good option for gravel riding and Kirroughtree is my favourite of all the 7 stanes. Will be quiet in May, lots of nice beaches, plenty of campsites and I would think some options for “off grid” camping

    Free Member

    Early May: no midgies. — but could still be snow!
    Go to the NW; Torridon. — there’s a lot going for Torridon but presumably the OP is coming from England so its a long way and a lot of driving, past some options that might be 90% as good.

    Free Member

    You cant go wrong in Aviemore or Braemar areas. Endless wild mountain biking to do there – including ticking off some summits by bike with rowdy fast descents…dreamy! The cairngorms are peppered with campsites that you could look up. Polite note from a highlander: Make sure to at least shop locally if you are going to be “wild” camping and support local eateries etc, don’t just be a layby hogger with a van full of tesco shopping from down south.

    If you do one route around here I would recommend carrying up Beinn a’ Bhuird (you can cycle to the foot of the steep bit no bother) and descending all the way down to Linn of Quioch. It’s pretty technically easy and not steep, but its a sustained flowy downhill all the way down from the top of one of the biggest mountains in the country – so cool. You could also just push straight up the descent path if you don’t fancy the long cycle in for the loop – would be a pretty quick day as you can get down in about 20 minutes.

    More scenic, and better riding IMO: head to Torridon. There are less routes there and more midgies, and shops etc are more sparce. But the riding is world class – The Lollipop loop is unmatched despite the huge day out – big mixture of fast and flowy, techfest, slabby but all perfectly rideable. The Beinn Damh loop in dry weather in fantastic. There’s plenty of paths around there that lead to kind of nowhere too so great for exploring. Scenery is basically unmatched especially on a dry sunny day.

    Make sure to stop off at Laggan Wolftrax for an hour or two’s smashabout as well if you’re travelling. Small trail centre but great fun with comparably minimal climbing.

    Full Member

    Dumfries and Galloway , some lovely bits, often overlooked. (Forestry tracks, forest drives, tracks near Clatterringshaws, bluebell coast near Kippford/rockliffe
    Arran, mini Scotland seal shore campsite, forestry tracks loops to giants graves/whiting bay. (Then to ) Lamlash, clauchlands, Brodick, forestry tracks back
    Argyll, lovely, Crinan canal, best bimble me and mrs have done, also track loop on coast then inland s of crinan (which poss overlooks Jura on a clearer day) ,

    Free Member

    Torridon is as amazing as people are saying, but with your brief OP I’d lean toward the eastern side of Cairngorms – Braemar & Ballater.

    You haven’t said how long you’re looking at being away for, but if you have a week or more, why not head up past Loch Lomond, across Rannoch Moor to Glencoe, Kinlochleven & Fort Bill – then cross to the Cairngorms and back down the A9?

    Is this one of those ‘choose three’ things… 

    We’re gonna need pics of them all.

    Full Member 5 of the 7Stanes and plenty of running routes. Lots of off-grid campervan spots on searchforsites and park4night. May is generally a good month weather wise in D&G.

    Some nice camp sites around Dalbeattie which is quite central for all the Stanes. Lots of trail runners in the area including Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Newton Stewart(Galloway Hillbillies and Hardrock Hoodlums amongst others)

    Full Member

    +1 on what scotroutes said.

    May = busy = book a site. Even last week on Royal Deeside there were people being numpties because ‘wild camping’…

    South, Galloway should not be ignored.
    Argyll and upto Mull, including day trips to Islay, Jura, Mull, Kerrera, Lismore etc, is ace.
    Perthshire around Pitlochry is also superb, lots of riding, running and lovely spots.
    Southern and Northern Cairngorm area is endless for rides and walks.
    North and West is wilder and wetter..but don’t get sucked into any NC500 shenanigans, there’s just as nice places without being a sheeple.

    Choose one area and explore it well, don’t travel silly distances each day.

    Full Member

    If you need somewhere in the mid-highlands then Invernahavon near Laggan Wolftrax is a nice site south of Kingussie.

    Full Member

    Scotland, campervan, mountain bikes, wife.

    Is this one of those ‘choose three’ things… ;0)

    I though the thread belonged in the classifieds and someone was having a bit of a shed clearance

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