Ultimate Scotland Mountain Bike Tour

The Ultimate Scotland Mountain Bike Tour is the jewel in the crown of our Scotland MTB holidays, 6 days of absolutely awesome mountain biking, taking in 6 must-do rides right across the Scottish Highlands. Our fully-guided trip leads you from the sinuous singletrack of Aviemore and Rothiemurchus forest trails, to the remoteness of Glen Tilt and the slick rock descents of Torridon and Skye.

Why ride the Ultimate Scotland Mountain Bike Tour with Tom Hutton MTB?

If you are up for a challenge mountain biking really doesn’t get any better so dive in deep and join us on this incredible Mountain bike tour of the Scottish Highlands.

You can expect 50 km+ and 1000m of climbing in a day and that shouldn’t phase you. Join us on this jam packed mountain bike tour in the Scottish Highlands and read some of the highlights below. See more about the incredible mountain biking in the Scottish Highlands HERE.

Ultimate Scotland Mountain Bike Tour Highlights

  • Big days out in big mountains with breathtaking scenery around each corner
  • Monumental Alpine style descents in Torridon beneath towering peaks
  • From caledonian forests to granite slabs the landscape is unique
  • Local food, cultures and maybe a whisky or two

What’s included on this Ultimate Scotland Mountain Bike Tour?

  • Accommodation – 7 Nights accommodation in B/B, Guest House and Hostel
  • Meals – Hearty, cooked breakfasts with local ingredients and Deli packed lunches
  • Travel – All travel whilst in Scotland is in our own custom 9-seat VW Transporter swamper mini bus with professional driver and bike trailer
  • All guiding –  6 Days of guided riding with 2 qualified guides giving a 4 – 1 client to guide ratio
  • Safety Equipment – First aid kits and emergency shelters carried by our guides alongside your personal equipment packs
  • Financial failure insurance – Ensuring your money is 100% protected from the second we receive it until we have delivered your trip of a lifetime.

(Everything but evening meals, beer & spares!)

Price per person: £1299

Dates Available 2022

  • 24th April – 01st May

Book now

“By far the most beautiful place I have been mountain biking. Really good organised and superb guiding. Thanks a lot for this awesome week!” Jeroen Hoek, Holland”

  • Torridon river crossing mtb
  • Ultimate Scottish Road Trip 2

Is this Ultimate Scotland Mountain Bike Tour for me?

We try to run relaxed trips where everybody pulls together and the Ultimate Scotland Mountain bike Tour is no exception – it’s a team effort. But this is big country and there are always some big ups (including a fair bit of pushing), some long days, and some technical downs. A sense of humour is often required. The trips also involve riding 6 days back to back, although it’s possible to take voluntary rest days if needed.

Technical:

You are more than happy on the Red trails and you’ll tackle Black section with confidence even across loose, rocky, rooty and wet terrain – You might well walk some sections

Fitness:

You’ll give all the climbs a go and can ride for a good, solid half day (at least 4 hrs actual riding time – possibly a lot longer), with around 1000m of ascent at a steady pace.
If you are at all concerned about whether the trip is right for you, please call us on 01173751360. We will be more than happy to advise.

Sample Itinerary and Trip Notes

Big mountains, awesome trails and stunning scenery make the mountain biking in the Scottish Highlands among the best in the world. This is a real trip of a lifetime: we sample a little of everything on offer as we journey east to west across the Highlands, riding different trails every day.

The scenery is amazingly diverse: from the Caledonian pines of Rothiemurchus to the slabby, bare slopes of Torridon. The riding is equally as varied. During the week we’ll enjoy a little of everything – from remote 4×4 tracks, miles from the nearest road, to long, rocky mountain paths and sinuous peaty singletrack that sneaks through heather-covered glens.

What to expect

Getting ready for a week-long trip anywhere is complicated. Getting ready for 6 days of mountain biking in fairly full-on, remote locations is a pretty major task. With 7 guests, all with different levels of fitness and experience, there’s plenty of room for misunderstanding. These notes will help you find out what to expect during the trip and what to bring. If there’s anything else you need to know or want to check, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Day 1

Travel Day – Details to be confirmed.

Day 2

  • Rothiemurchus/Lairig Ghru
  • Distance: Various options
  • Ascent: Various options

We’ll have an easy ride on day 1, riding from the door of our accommodation into the lovely Rothiemurchus Forest. We’ll enjoy some great, reasonably easy singletrack as well as some incredible scenery. We’ll round off the morning with the bottom section of the Lairig Ghru, one of the best short trails we’ve ever ridden, and then meet the minibus for a late-ish lunch. Anybody wanting to save themselves for day 2 (a biggie) can spend the afternoon relaxing. Those with energy left will ride west into Glen Feshie and the Inshriach Forest, where the singletrack gets a little steeper. This section can all be done as a linear route so we can meet the bus in the Inshriach Forest and head back to Aviemore from there. Second night in Aviemore. Dinner in La Taverna Italian restaurant, Aviemore.

Day 3

  • Glen Tilt
  • Distance: 55km
  • Ascent: 1,000m

The classic Glen Tilt circuit is about 55km with 1,000m of ascent. It sounds huge, but it’s actually nothing like as tough as it sounds. The big attraction of this route is the scenery and the remoteness of it all. A lot of the miles are on good 4×4 tracks that literally fly by, and after an afternoon swim under the Falls of Tarf (anyone brave enough?), the last 20km are gently
downhill. It may be possible, for those that want it, for the bus to drop some of us at the trail head cutting out around 200m of tarmac climbing! Second night in Aviemore. Dinner in the Winking Owl pub, Aviemore.

Day 4

  • Glen Affric
  • Distance: 20km (short route)
  • Ascent: 400m (short route)

After a big day yesterday, there’s an option for this to be a much shorter day with some easy forest road climbing and some great, mainly non-technical singletrack. All among some of the Highland’s best scenery. But there’s also an option of another epic – including some of the best technical singletrack we’ve ever ridden (29km/500m of ascent) –we can make a final decision the evening before. Fourth night in the Torridon Hostel. Dinner in the wonderful Torridon Inn.

Day 5

  • Torridon
  • Distance options from 25km to 46km
  • Ascent: 600m to 1,200m

There are a few options for this day depending upon weather, what we did the day before and how everyone’s feeling. The biggest of the classic loops is around 46km with 1,200m of ascent and is a real monster – probably best done in good weather only. Opt-outs are available if anyone’s really feeling it (this is a holiday after all!). Whatever happens, we’ll have an epic day in one of our favourite places to ride.

Fifth night in the Torridon Youth Hostel. Dinner in the amazing loch-side Gille Brighde restaurant in Diabaig.

Day 6

  • Torridon
  • Distance: 17km (or 34km for an out and back)
  • Ascent: 300m (600m for out and back)

A shorter day that sees us cross the Applecross Peninsula on some sumptuous singletrack that delivers us to a great pub or tea shop. It would be rude not to grab lunch here. The trail is fantastic to ride in the other direction too, if anyone’s got the energy to ride back! Sixth night in the Torridon Youth Hostel. Dinner in the Torridon Inn.

Day 7

  • Sligachan, Skye
  • Distance: 18km
  • Ascent: 270m

We’ll have a lot of travelling today as we head to Skye to ride, then south for our final night in Spean Bridge. The Sligachan Glen trail is awesome – we follow sandy and rocky singletrack the length of the glen, passing beneath the jagged peaks of the Cuillin Ridge (of Danny Macaskill fame). The trail visits a stunning remote beach, where toe-dipping (or more) is
optional Seventh night in Coire Glas in Spean Bridge. Last supper in the acclaimed Old Station.

Day 8

Travel home!

What’s included on this Ultimate Scotland Mountain Bike Tour?

  • Accommodation – 7 Nights accommodation in B/B, Guest House and Hostel
  • Meals – Hearty, cooked breakfasts with local ingredients and Deli packed lunches
  • Travel – All travel whilst in Scotland is in our own custom 9-seat VW Transporter swamper mini bus with professional driver and bike trailer
  • All guiding –  6 Days of guided riding with 2 qualified guides giving a 4 – 1 client to guide ratio
  • Safety Equipment – First aid kits and emergency shelters carried by our guides alongside your personal equipment packs
  • Financial failure insurance – Ensuring your money is 100% protected from the second we receive it until we have delivered your trip of a lifetime.

(Everything but evening meals, beer & spares!)

 

Not Included in the Ultimate scotland MTB tour price

  • 
Getting to and from the meeting place in Fort William
  • Travel insurance and personal equipment
  • Evening meals
  • Incidental personal expenditure, such as drinks, snacks and laundry

It’s quite likely that no 2 days on this trip will be the same. But we can try…

We’ll have breakfast together at a time agreed the previous evening, and then load the bikes onto the trailer and hop on the bus. Most days, it would be good if we were ready to ride at this stage so there’s no major faffing when we’re dropped off (where parking might be awkward for a bus and trailer). But this won’t always be possible so we can discuss it in the briefing or on the day.

Remember to bring a small post-ride bag to leave on the bus with dry clothes and shoes to put on after the ride. On days when we’re moving to different accommodation, we’ll obviously have to pack all our overnight stuff too. In the evenings, it will be ideal if we can meet for a pre-dinner drink and have a chat about the plans for the next day. Armed with the latest weather forecast and a few maps we’ll come up with something that will suit everybody.

Riding skills and fitness

Many people ask us about the riding and their skills and fitness. It’s a hard one to answer as difficulty is so subjective and we can have up to 7 different riders, all with different fitness levels and technical abilities.

Riding skills

Firstly, the riding isn’t as tough as it sounds. We’ve chosen routes that give a real Scottish flavour but still make for an enjoyable holiday.

There will however, be some big ups (including a fair bit of pushing for sure), some long days (possibly 6-8 hours or more) and some technical downs (some of which probably everybody will walk a few metres). As long as you can keep smiling when you’re tired and pushing your bike then you’ll be fine.

In terms of riding ability, this trip won’t suit anyone who isn’t happy riding red grade trails in typical UK trail centres (please ask us if you would like more detail).

Fitness

It’s much more about stamina than speed or strength. There are some long days and we won’t be racing anywhere. On the bigger days, we’ll ride at a relaxed pace that can be kept up all day. We’ll also take more care than we would at a trail centre as a bad fall in a remote place is not good news.

The best training for this kind of trip is actually just getting out riding – preferably longer distances at a steady pace. 30km at a steady pace will be more useful than 15km at racing speed, so if your local trails are short, slow it down and do 2 laps!  Check out this blog by Matt Mooney of MTB Fitness regarding preparing for this kind of holiday https://mtbguiding.co.uk/uncategorised/guest-blog-6-top-training-tips-get-mtb-holiday/

I’m sure everybody will have their own strengths and weaknesses and everybody will have good days and off days. If we pull together as much as possible, a strong team will achieve way more than a bunch of fit individuals.

There is always the option to sit out a day at any point if your

Bike cleaning and maintenance

We’ll have secure storage for bikes overnight and a hose, brushes and a full cleaning kit, supplied by Fenwick’s Bike Products, so you can clean your bike after riding. We’ll also have a bike stand and some tools for fettling and repairs. Please bring any tools that are specific for your bike.

Maps

Yup, we’re guiding so you don’t need them. But if you like following routes on your own maps, it’s best to discuss that with us in Scotland in case plans change and you bring the wrong ones! If you just want printouts or GPX tracks of where we’ve been when we get home, let us know and we can sort it.

There’s no getting around it, 9 mountain bikers will be pretty conspicuous and we’ll have some impact on the landscape and other trail users.As a company, we’re 100% committed to minimising our impact in every way we can.

We operate a strict ‘pack it out’ policy for all litter (including banana skins and orange peel), and we try to leave as little trace of our passing as possible.While we’ll enjoy some epic descents and trails, please ride in control and at a speed that reflects your line of sight and abilities.

We’ll certainly meet walkers and we want any interactions to be as positive as possible. It’s important to give mountain bikers a good name. For more information check out Do the Ride Thing and also the websites listed at the end of these notes.

Weather

In the Scottish Highlands we could experience everything from hot sunny days, wet and windy days to full on winter blizzards. We’ve made many trips to Scotland at this time of year and had a real mix. When packing, please bring winter and summer clothing so we can make more informed decisions about what to wear and carry on the day or the night before. Midges could possibly be an issue at this time year so please bring a good repellent – we recommend Smidge

Insurance

We don’t need medical insurance in Scotland, but I strongly recommend travel insurance just to cover you should you get injured or fall ill before the trip or during it. Try YellowJersey and use the discount code – MTB75

Useful websites

www.outdooraccess-scotland.com

www.wild-scotland.org.uk

Kit list

The weather can be very varied in Scotland so we need to be prepared. We’ll have a briefing every evening to give you an up to date weather forecast and plan the next day. We can share some of the kit to keep packs as light as possible, although on very remote days we need to cover all eventualities.

General

  • Midge spray
  • Suncream
  • Midge net (optional but useful)
  • Earplugs
  • Pyjamas
  • Small hand luggage bag for spare clothes/shoes for after the day’s riding

Riding kit

Please let us know if there’s anything you haven’t got that you may need.

Essential, please make sure you have the following

  • Hydration pack big enough to carry everything in the list below – suggested size 15L to 20L
  • Mini pump for your valve type
  • Inner tube (even if you use tubeless)
  • Tubeless repair kit (if you use tubeless)
  • Puncture patches (if you don’t use tubeless)
  • Tyre levers
  • Multi-tool
  • 1 set of spare brake pads
  • Rear gear hanger for your bike
  • Power link for your chain type and speed
  • Any medication you need

Recommended

  • Dry bag to keep everything dry inside your pack
  • Cable ties
  • Duct tape (we suggest wrapping 1m around your pump)
  • Mobile phone – in a waterproof case or plastic bag
  • Small personal first aid kit

You’ll also need the following  

  • Water and snacks – gels, energy bars, jelly babies etc
  • Lunch (this will be provided but you’ll need to carry it)

Recommended clothing

Essential, please make sure you have the following..

  • Helmet 
  • Waterproof jacket (a full-on waterproof is recommended)
  • Insulated jacket or very warm emergency layer
  • MTB shoes (you must be able to walk in them!)

Recommended

  • Knee and elbow pads
  • Cycling shorts and/or waterproof shorts (or trousers)
  • Wicking base layer or cycling jersey
  • Mid layer (fleece or soft shell)
  • Woolly hat or buff
  • Riding glasses
  • Gloves (worth having a spare pair if it’s wet)
  • Waterproof socks

Bikes

Your bike needs to be ready for the rigours of the mountains – steep and rocky climbs and very rough descents. A lightweight x-country bike probably won’t be strong enough for the descents and a downhill rig will be too heavy for the climbs. Just about everything in between will do the job.

Tyres are important too. Lightweight racing tyres are easily torn. We recommend good trail or all-mountain tyres such as Maxxis High Rollers/Minion DHR/DHF in a Double Down casing and possibly with inserts. 

Please make sure your bike is ready for 6 days of hard riding. Anything that looks slightly suspect will almost certainly break.

There are good bike shops in Aviemore but nothing very convenient beyond there. 

There are only 7 spaces available on a first-come for the Ultimate Scotland Mountain bike Tour, first-served basis. A 30% deposit secures your place with the balance payable 8 weeks before your travel date. We’ll also keep a waiting list in case anyone drops out.

Please select your prefered date below to start the booking process for our Ultimate Scotland Mountain bike Tour or feel free to call on 01173751360 or email info@tomhuttonmtb.co.uk to discuss further. You can always amend your booking at a later date if you so wish.

PRIVATE GROUPS – please contact us for a custom tour on a specific date and one of our team will get back to you ASAP!

Email – info@tomhuttonmtb.co.uk | Phone – UK +44 1173751360 | Toll Free USA +1 888 510 8376

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