Highlights of The Highland Collection tour
- Cycle in the iconic “accessible wilderness” of the Scottish Highlands
- Experience the sound of the pipes en route from one of our local pipers
- Cycle to the historic ruins of Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness
- Visit Glen Ord distillery, home of the famous Singleton Malt Whisky
- Experience the history of Castle Leod home to the clan Mackenzie of ‘Outlander’ fame
- Enjoy the local history, culture and scenery
- Quality farmhouse accommodation on Brahan Estate
Day 1: Strathpeffer Total cycling distance 34 km
Following arrival at your accommodation at Brahan Estate, we will take you through forest paths, tracks and quiet country roads showing spectacular scenery including Ben Wyvis, Loch Ussie and the mountains of the Fannichs to the West. This area commonly sees local fauna such as Red Kites, Ospreys, Deer and Red Squirrel. Stopping at the Highland Spa Village of Strathpeffer where you will have the opportunity to experience what the quaint Victorian Village has to offer. This area is home to Castle Leod, the seat of the Clan Mackenzie and recently celebrated through the popular television series-Outlander. For the more adventurous cyclists, the annual Strathpuffer 24 hour endurance cycle course is at hand to experience the thrill of the event at a more leisurely pace.
Day 2: Loch Ness Total cycling distance 43 km
We will transport you to the capital of the Highlands where we will set of from Inverness Castle. Our cycle will take us through the Ness Islands to the banks of the Caledonian Canal following the River Ness, arriving at the locks of the Thomas Telford canal at Dochfour. Next, we will embark one of the Jacobite Cruise vessels for a short excursion on Loch Ness prior to disembarking and touring Urquhart Castle at Drumnadrochit. A leisurely cycle will return us to Inverness and a visit to the local Botanical Gardens.
Day 3: Cairngorm National Park Total cycling distance 51 km
A short mini-bus journey to Rothiemurchus will start our day in the Cairngorm National Park. Cycle paths will lead us to Loch Morlich, from where we will travel around the Loch to the Internationally renowned outdoor centre at Glenmore Lodge. From here picking up natural paths and trails to the “Green Loch”, past “Ryvoan Bothy” and onto the village of Boat of Garten, via Loch Garten nature reserve. We then board the steam train to Aviemore before getting back on the bikes for the last leg back to Rothiemurchus.
Day 4: The Cuillins, Isle of Skye Total cycling distance 45 km
An early start, where we will be transported to the Gaelic “Eilean a Cheo" (Isle of Mist) Skye. The road journey will pass some spectacular scenery along the way prior to the days cycle. On arrival in Skye, with constant views of The Black and Red Cuillin, we will set out from the village of Sconser and follow the unspoilt route to the inner hebridean village of Kylerhea. From here we will take short ferry sailing 10 minutes across to Glenelg. Quiet meandering single track roads will take us to Shielbridge.
Day 5: Orrin Reservoir Total cycling distance 51 km
We will cycle from Brahan Estate along wooded tracks to Moy Bridge where we then travel along quiet country roads which lead us to Altgowrie. Leisurely paths across open scenic moorland leads us to the head of Orrin reservoir where we are surrounded by the hills of Wester Ross. This accessible wilderness continues all the way as we contour the hills of Erchless Forest on our way to Aigas. A visit to the Glen Ord distillery at Muir of Ord and experience a tour and taste of the famous Singleton Malt Whisky.
Day 6: Lochaber Total cycling distance 51 km
A mini bus trip to Fort William will take us by road along the entire length of Loch Ness.
As you approach Fort William, the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis will be visible and no matter what the weather is well worth a photograph or two. From Fort William we travel east following the major natural fault line (the Great Glen) which divides Scotland from coast to coast. The route is a generally low level ride alongside the Caledonian Canal. We pass the ruins of Inverlochy Castle, built in the 1200’s before joining the canal towpath with Neptune’s Staircase which is a flight of eight canal locks, the longest staircase locks in Britain and built by Thomas Telford. The route has a lot of history and your guide will inform you of some of this during the trip which finishes in Fort Augustus. This village also has a lock system and you will see this in operation as numerous leisure vessels traverse the locks. You will have some time to visit some of the quirky shops before heading back to your accommodation.
Day 7: Black Isle and departure Total cycling distance 40 km
Despite being referred to as the Black Isle, it is not an Island but a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Moray Firth to the east, Cromarty Firth to the north and Beauty Firth to the south. The reference to "Black Isle" is to do with the rich dark farming soil. The area is famous for its large population of dolphins, with over 200 recorded there. The route we follow is mostly quiet country roads which wind through the area, bordered by farmland and forests. We will pass through some quaint Highland villages before stopping at Chanonry Point, one of the best places for viewing the dolphins from the shore. Looking directly over the water you will see Fort George on the south of the Moray Firth.