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Road Cycling – Casks and Castles

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Highlights

Explore Scotland’s famous Whisky region on an exhilarating 7-day road cycling whisky tour and experience biking through the spectacular Highland scenery.

Journey from the home of Glenlivet Whisky and gaze at the stunning scenery as you cycle amongst Scotland’s incredible landscapes and finish your holiday at the historic Cawdor Castle in Nairnshire.

Enjoy riding along beautiful scenic roads, visit famed distilleries, travel through lush green forests, explore stunning castles, visit the historic Culloden battlefield and even search for Nessie along the banks of Loch Ness, all during our unforgettable Casks and Castles cycling whisky tour!

This tour’s flexible itinerary makes it perfect for seasoned riders and novices alike. With options of cultural experiences or going out for an additional spin on the bike in the afternoon, you can make this trip as challenging or relaxing as you want it to be.

Region: Cairngorms and Central Highlands
Trip Type: Road Cycling
Difficulty: 2/10

  • Enjoy a mixture of cycling and culture on a laid back itinerary in Highland whisky country
  • Ride quiet roads through beautiful scenery in the mornings, before relaxing in the afternoon with visits to local sites of interest
  • Cycle to iconic locations such as Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle and Loch Ness
Videos
Itinerary

Day 1Glenlivet circuit

This morning we meet in Aviemore station at 11.00am and transfer to the Highland village of Tomintoul in the Cairngorms National Park. Here we enjoy a café lunch before doing a bike fitting to make sure everyone is happy on their machine. We then ride a circuit from Tomintoul into whisky country, passing by several distilleries and cycling alongside the river Avon. Afterwards, we transfer to our country hotel near Grantown-on-Spey and enjoy a welcome dinner. (L, D)

Distance: 36km / 21 miles | Elevation gain: 361m | Time: 2-3 hours riding

Day 2Grantown to Aberlour

This morning we start from Grantown and follow the north side of the River Spey. The beautiful and scenic back road winds it’s way downstream with great views over the river valley (or ‘strath’). We end the ride by crossing a Victorian footbridge which takes us into the Speyside village of Aberlour. At Aberlour we have lunch and then a tour of a local whisky distillery. Afterwards, short transfer back to Grantown. (B, L)

Distance: 37km / 23 miles | Elevation gain: 335m | Time: 2-3 hours riding

Day 3North to Findhorn

At the start of the day, we leave the hotel and after a 5-minute transfer reaches the picturesque Dulnain Bridge to avoid a short section of busier road. Ride from Dulnain via Duthil, Ferness and through the historical town of Forres to reach the coastal community of Findhorn. After lunch in a local café, enjoy a tour of the community and then a leg-stretching walk on a stunning sandy beach. Then, we travel back to Grantown for a delicious dinner and a chance to relax in the evening. (B, L)

Distance: 57km / 35 mile | Elevation gain: 321m | Time: 4 hours riding

Day 4Across the Moors to Culloden Battlefield

Starting again from Grantown, we head across the Dava Moor by a different road that bisects yesterday’s route to reach the historic Dulsie Bridge over the Findhorn. From here, we ride through forests and farmland to reach the famous battlefield at Culloden where the last Jacobite rebellion was crushed in 1746. We have lunch at the visitor centre, then enjoy a privately guided tour of the battlefield. Afterwards, a short transfer takes us back to our hotel. (B, L)

Distance: 50km / 31 miles | Elevation gain: 433m | Time: 3-4 hours riding

Day 5Riding Strathspey

A short transfer takes us to the picturesque old station of Broomhill, now only used as part of the Strathspey Heritage Railway. From here we follow the beautiful and quiet roads along the east bank of the River Spey. We’ll pass through the villages of Nethy Bridge, Coylumbridge, Kincraig and Feshiebridge before we cross over the River Spey to reach the town of Kingussie. A couple more miles and we reach Newtonmore, where we finish the ride at the Highland Folk Museum. After lunch in the café, enjoy some free time to explore this fascinating outdoor museum. Afterwards, a short transfer back to the hotel. (B, L)

Distance: 55km / 34 miles | Elevation gain: 429m | Time: 3-4 hours riding

Day 6West to Loch Ness

From the hotel, our route takes us to Carrbridge before we gradually climb to the high pass of the Slochd and the nearby village of Tomatin. We then cross the moors before enjoying a wonderful descent to reach the banks of Loch Ness and where lunch awaits. At the loch’s edge, we’ll enjoy a pint in the Dores Inn followed by a 1 hour leisurely cruise on the loch. Afterwards, a short transfer back to Grantown for a final night celebration dinner. (B, L, D)

Distance: 33km / 21 miles | Elevation gain: 542m | Time: 542m

Day 7North to Cawdor Castle

Riding from the hotel door, we once again cross the Dava Moor, but this time diverting past Lochindorb with its iconic castle on an island. We then follow a rolling route across farmland to finish at the historic Cawdor Castle. We enjoy lunch in its café and explore the castle and its grounds before a short transfer takes us into Inverness for the trip end. (B, L)

Distance: 49km / 30 miles | Elevation gain: 369m | Time: 3-4 hours riding

Map
Whats Included

Accommodation

During this trip we will be based from a country house hotel on the outskirts of Grantown on Spey. We will be based here for the entire trip so you can settle in and not have to repack during the trip.

Meals

Accommodation is on a bed and breakfast basis, and lunch will be provided each day either at a local cafe or a Wilderness picnic. Dinner is provided on the first and last evenings. On the other nights, we will normally eat as a group with the guide recommending a local restaurant.

Transportation

You will be met by your guide at 11.00am at Aviemore Railway Station on Day 1 of your trip. On the last day you will be dropped off and the trip will end at Inverness Railway Station for 4.00pm.

Not Included

Bikes

Bring your own or rent in Scotland

Most Dinners

Dinner is provided on the first and last evenings. On the other nights, we will normally eat as a group with the guide recommending a local restaurant.

Airfare

Q & A

What is a green graded difficulty grade?

Green graded trips are suitable for people with a reasonable level of fitness who enjoy cycling and are looking for an active but relaxed trip. They are also suitable for active people who are new to cycle touring and looking for a new way to explore the countryside.

Distances each day will be between 25 – 40 miles, cycling at an average speed of around 12mph. We will ride on mostly straightforward rolling terrain with one or two more notable climbs during the trip, where some riders may opt to ride in the support vehicle. We will be in the saddle for 4-6 hours each day plus the odd longer day. There is also time each day for breaks and lunches, plus visits to sites of interest.

Can I rent a bike?

Yes. For all our cycling trips we have an excellent fleet of bikes available to hire.
Each bike comes equipped with a bike computer, compact handlebar bag plus a saddle bag with spare tube, tire levers and pump. Helmets and water bottles are included.

• Road bikes £175: Trek Chec kpoint ALR 5 – 49, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61 cm frames available – all bikes are fitted with road tires

• Hybrid bike £175: Trek FX Sport 4 – Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large available

• E-bike £300: Trek Verve+ – Small, Medium or Large available

Availability Calendar

Pick your date and add it to the booking calendar above.

7 Days | May 18, 2019 – May 24, 2019        $2249

Terms & Conditions

If you are affected by an illness or medical condition which may affect your or other people’s enjoyment of the holiday, you must advise this at the time of booking or in advance of travel (if you did not have the illness or condition at the time of booking). Similarly, you must advise about dietary requirements at the time of booking. Failure to disclose a medical condition that could affect you during the trip could place you at risk. Accommodation is usually in twin or double rooms unless stated otherwise and we request that clients who book individually share a twin room. Where a single room is requested, we will try to accommodate this but a single supplement will often apply – please check at the time of booking. When making a booking you accept that this additional supplement may apply and, where appropriate, you will be advised and invoiced for the relevant amount. On some itineraries please note that no single accommodation is available.  It is a fundamental booking condition that you accept the hazards involved in this sort of trip and you accept that in visiting remote and mountainous regions there is an element of on-tour flexibility. The itinerary stated in the trip dossier is indicative only and not a guarantee that a particular route will be followed or place reached. You must acknowledge that delays and alterations and their results, such as inconvenience and discomfort, are possible where unforeseen circumstances arise. You must have a level of fitness commensurate with your chosen trip and you are responsible for bringing the appropriate equipment, details of which will be sent to you at the time of booking. All minors travelling must do so with an adult parent or guardian who is responsible for their well being and behaviour throughout their holiday. If after booking a trip and paying a deposit and/or full payment, would like to change onto an alternative trip that may be possible, however, we can not guarantee this. If we are able to move your booking an administration fee is charged as well as any non-refundable payments. If the trip originally booked starts within 8 weeks of the request to change trips being made, any such change may be treated as a cancellation by the client, in which case the cancellation conditions will apply. Any cancellation must be notified in writing by the person who made the booking. If you cancel your holiday more than 56 days prior to the start of your holiday, you will only be charged your deposit; between 56 and 30 days, you will be charged 50% of the holiday cost; 30 days or less before the start of your holiday, or on or after the commencement of the holiday, you must pay the full holiday price.

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