If you are looking for bikepacking routes in Scotland, look no further. We will publish new routes here regularly. The following routes have been designed and tested by Bikepacking Scotland. You can also purchase ‘Great British Gravel Rides’, ‘Big Rides’ or ‘Bikepacking Scotland’ in our books section.
Cairngorms National Park Loop While the Cairngorms are home to four of the five highest mountains in Scotland, there are no extreme climbs and descents on the route, which is suitable to ride on gravel and mountain bikes. Several businesses along the route offer bike hire and bike-friendly accommodation. You can find out more here.
Bikepacking Argyll’s Islands Argyll’s islands, the Inner Hebrides and Bute, offer fantastic bikepacking filled with beautiful beaches, some of the world’s best distilleries, great gravel tracks and local food experiences. You can find out more here.
Bikepacking the North Coast 500 A shorter and more off-road orientated version, combining parts of the NC500 route with gravel tracks and a classic coast-to-coast route. You can find out more here.
Cateran Ecomuseum Trails We worked with the Cateran Ecomuseum on the development of seven new road, gravel and mountain bike journeys of varying lengths. You can find out more here.
Explore your Boundaries In a joint project with Mark Beaumont we have mapped gravel biking routes from 30 miles to 315 miles around the boundaries of Scotland’s Local Authorities. For more information click here.
The Go East Lothian Trail At 63 km the Go East Lothian Trail is perfect for families, microadventures or a long day ride. The route is suitable for gravel, mountain and e-mountain bikes, and can be ridden in all seasons. For more information click here.
The Capital Trail The Capital Trail is a 251 km route starting and finishing on Portobello Beach in Edinburgh, ideal for a long weekend expedition around Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Scottish Borders. For more information click here.
The Central Belter The Central Belter is our longest route at 1200 km, starting and finishing on Portobello Beach, connecting the Capital Trail, the Highland Trail 550, Cairngorms Loop and Deeside Trail. Experience the very best of Scotland. For more information click here.
Wild About Argyll Trail At 655 km (407 miles) this is Bikepacking Scotland’s first long-distance trail on Scotland’s Adventure Coast that is suitable for gravel and mountain bikes alike. For more information click here.
The Reiver Raid The Reiver Raid is a 175 km weekend expedition in a wild part of Scotland. Starting and finishing at Tweedbank Station it crosses the beautiful Ale Water Valley in the Scottish Borders. For more information click here.
The Highland Perthshire Drovers Trail An enjoyable off-road journey steeped in history through a wide variety of Scottish landscapes and small market towns and villages, featuring the remote and scenic glens in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland’s longest river, Scotland’s smallest and oldest distillery, the last surviving oak tree from the wood that inspired Shakespeare’s Macbeth, waterfalls that heartened Robert Burns, Wade’s Military Roads, drove roads and some of the best gravel paths that the Highlands have to offer. For more information click here.
The John Muir Way One of Scotland’s Great Trails, the John Muir Way offers a unique coast to coast bikepacking journey through Scotland’s landscapes, history and heritage, passing through Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, and offers a journey of contrasts and the chance to connect with nature, taking advantage of the green spaces that link coasts, villages, towns and even the capital city, Edinburgh. For more information click here.
We have also developed the Perthshire Gravel Trails Network, with plenty of inspiration for day rides and overnight trips. Check out perthshiregravel.com.
Planning your own route?
Sustrans has a great network of cycling routes which are suitable for bikepacking. As a starting point we would recommend this site here, which lists the long distance routes in Scotland in the Sustrans network.
If you want to plan your own route, here are more useful resources:
Over the last years we have worked with the award-winning team at Vertebrate Publishing – the 2022 Small Press of the Year – on three titles. All books are available with free postage in the United Kingdom. International shipping varies – we will let you know how much the postage is for international orders before your payment. Payment for all books is handled with secure payment links over Zettle/PayPal.
The book features routes of different lengths which take in the best of the country, from the Ayrshire Alps, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders in southern Scotland, through Perthshire’s unique drovers’ roads and the grand architecture of the Central Belt, across to Argyll’s islands on ferry-hopping adventures around Islay, a paradise for whisky connoisseurs, and Jura and Mull to spot magnificent golden eagles. And of course the Scottish Highlands with an epic tour of the Cairngorms National Park, home to 25 per cent of Britain’s rare and endangered species, as well as the author’s own take on the North Coast 500 and more.
Researched and written by us and mostly accessible by public transport, each route includes all the information you need to help you plan your ride, with points of interest along the route, food recommendations and accommodation options, in addition to stunning photography and overview mapping. Downloadable GPX files of the routes are also available. Alongside further information on access, seasons and what to pack, and valuable insight from Scottish cycling personalities including Mark Beaumont and Jenny Graham, this book is full of practical tips and advice for both experienced bikepackers and those who want to try it out for the first time.
REVIEWS IN THE MEDIA
‘This is a guide I can wholeheartedly recommend.’ Sam Waller, Cycling UK
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘Beautifully illustrated, easy to use and with a ton of useful information … perfect for exploring on two wheels.’Richard Bath, Scottish Field
‘Bikepacking Scotland is a well-edited book whose many route suggestions are just for jumping on the bike and riding. It can also be used for inspiration when planning your very own personal route.’ Torben Finn Laursen, cykelportalen.dk
‘this is scottish adventure at its best, writ large with a capital ‘a’ (if i actually employed capital letters in the first place). markus’ unbridled enthusiasm for his metier shines out of every page.’ brian palmer, thewashingmachinepost
‘Highly recommended cycling inspiration.’ brian palmer., The Ileach
‘This book is far more than a visual aid; it’s an adrenaline shot, to get you out on open tracks adventuring.’ Eoghan McHugh, Sportive.com
‘The book is well laid out and packed with useful information. The photography is excellent and inspiring.’ Fiona Russell, FionaOutdoors
‘The book is extremely well illustrated as he is not only good at plotting routes, but Markus is a fine photographer which adds to the tease of the book.’ Jeff Price, fat-bike.com
Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
A treasure trove of information
Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 13, 2023
A brilliant book jammed pack full of information. It’s comprehensive and I love that there are routes of varying difficulty fore both beginner and seasoned bikepackers. I love that you can scan the QR codes and then you’ve got the GPX files on your phone. Markus has covered everything in the book, from this beginner’s point of view.
Great British Gravel Rides pays homage to the very best gravel cycling across England, Wales and Scotland. I have curated a collection of 25 routes across Britain – each a favourite route of a well-known gravel cyclist. You can join round-the-world cycling men’s record holder Mark Beaumont in East Lothian, experience a different side of East Anglia with ultra-endurance racer Josh Ibbett and GBDURO20 winner Gail Brown, embark on a coast-to-coast trip across Scotland with round-the-world cycling women’s record holder Jenny Graham, or see the best of Scottish Borders with diversity in cycling champion Aneela McKenna.
‘Never mind gravel, this book is a real gem: highly recommended.’ Sportive.com
Big Rides: Great Britain and Ireland is an inspirational guide to the most iconic, epic and popular long-distance cycle trails in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland, including two excursions from mainland Britain to Northern France. The twenty-five featured routes showcase the best of Britain on two wheels. For those who prefer to pedal on-road, the routes take you along the historic Way of the Roses trail through Lancaster and York, as well as across Scotland’s Atlantic perimeter on the Hebridean Way. The trails head off-road to Northern England’s hills on the Sea to Sea (C2C) and past iconic monuments in Southern England on King Alfred’s Way. Mountain bike enthusiasts will find plenty to challenge them in the Sarn Helen and through the Scottish Highlands on the renowned Highland Trail 550. The routes then head offshore, to Ireland’s coast on the Wild Atlantic Way and from Devon and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast to Normandy’s alabaster cliffs on the Tour de Manche. Vertebrate Publishing’s Big Rides books are designed to inspire big adventures. Rather than being carried along the route, this guide provides everything you need to plan and explore further, including a general overview of the trails, specific technical information, overview mapping, key information and stunning photography. As well as this, each route specifies approximate timings which allows for you to plan your adventure at your own pace. Whether you’re completing routes at a leisurely speed or racing towards the finish, let Big Rides: Great Britain & Ireland be your guide.
You can also buy signed copies of my books also at the following local shops:
‘Home Is Where The Trails Take You’, a new film from Bikepacking Scotland and filmmaker Markus Stitz, documents a gravel bikepacking journey through the Cairngorms to meet the people that call the National Park home. Featuring Sally Devlin and Calum MacGregor from Aviemore Bikes, Toni Vastano from the Old Post Office Cafe Gallery, David Keegan …
In December 2022 Steve Bate attempted to ride the Highland Trail 550 in some of the most challenging winter conditions we have seen in 13 years living in Scotland. In 2011 Steve was diagnosed with a condition that is slowly reducing his eyesight. He has now lost most of his vision. As the condition is …
After the success of their first two Explore Your Boundaries films, round the world cyclists Mark Beaumont and Markus Stitz have teamed up with Jenny Graham, the fastest woman to cycle around the world, and filmmaker and photographer Maciek Tomiczek to explore the boundary of Scotland’s Adventure Coast. Their journey is beautifully captured in a …