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Where to Ride Road

Where to Ride: Cycling in Perthshire, Scotland

Road cycling in Perthshire is some of the best in the world.

Road cycling in Perthshire is some of the most scenic in the world. Photo Chris Milliman

Riding in Scotland is magical. I have been fortunate enough to have ridden in a number of locations across the world, and my conclusion after a trip to Scotland is always the same – nothing else compares.

Having ridden my mountain bike in Scotland before, it was my first time experiencing it on my road bike. Well I was actually lucky enough to experience it on the Liv Avail Advanced SL – a bike that I am pretty sure would make any road ride enjoyable.

But aside from the bike, Perthshire, just an hour and a half from Glasgow, offered two days of utter serenity. Exceptional road surfaces, no cars and stunning vistas were just the tip of the iceberg. With the help of Wilderness Scotland we were treated to two breathtaking routes – the first 86km in length and the second, 112km.

If you are heading off on a road cycling holiday be sure to check out our comprehensive checklist before you go.

The Routes:

Day 1 Ride: Loch Tay and Glen Lyon

Distance: 53.3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Starting from our base just outside Kenmore – we cycled along the south side of Loch Tay to the village of Killin. The first 25 miles of this route included few undulating hills, some of which were sharp enough to raise the heart rate, but nothing too hectic.

Killin itself was beautiful. Standing on the Bridge of Dochart we took a moment to take in the scenic falls below us.On our way again, we continued around the left side of the loch towards the Ben Lawers mountain range. The scenery here took my breath away – in fact I was so distracted, I barely even noticed the four mile climb to the reservoir.

We then took a fast descent into the wild Glen Lyon which as 30 miles is Scotland’s longest glen.

Thinking at this stage, the ride could not get any better – we were treated to the most phenomenal tea stop. Buttery, sugary, goodness filled my mouth as I tucked into the most incredible homemade shortbread I have ever tasted.

Back on the bikes again, we headed towards Fortingall, home of the famous Fortingall Yew Tree which is said to be a staggering 5,000 years old making it the oldest organism in Europe.

6 flat miles brought us back to the Lodge so a well earned bath.

Here is a snapshot of the route profile:



Day 2: Schiehallion and Glen Errochty

Distance: 112km

Difficulty: Moderate

 


Again we were treated to spectacular scenery on day 2. Leaving the Lodge, we had a short spin to warm up the legs before hitting out first climb of the day, heading around the iconic mountain of Schiehallion which is one of Scotland’s best known hills and dominates the Southern Highlands.

We then followed the trail towards Loch Kinardochy and around to Braes of Foss, before descending towards Kinloch Rannoch. From there the route climbs towards Trinafour before flowing downhill to the the village of Blair Atholl and Blair Castle.

Blair Castle is well worth a pit-stop. Cycling up the long driveway to the Castle we were treated to the sound of bagpipes in the distance. Much to our delight Blair Castle were very cycling shoe friendly so we ever squeezed in a quick tour of the castle.

Blair Castle is well worth a pit-stop. Cycling up the long driveway to the Castle we were treated to the sound of bagpipes in the distance. Much to our delight Blair Castle were very cycling shoe friendly so we ever squeezed in a quick tour of the castle.

From there we followed a winding back road, through the Pass of Killiecrankie and onwards to the finish point at Fonab Castle in Pitlochry.

 A snapshot of the profile:


Wilderness Scotland planned and guided the routes above. The guys in Wilderness Scotland know every single inch of incredible road and mountain biking in the highlands so if you are planning a trip up there sometime soon and want to make it one to remember, we would highly recommend checking them out.

Also worth a read: 

How to get the best road bike for your budget

10 of the best road cycling helmets

6 Healthy Bites for the Bike

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