Join Peter Thomson, our CEO, on a magnificent ride through the mountains of his native Scotland.
Oct 18 update: just 5 spots left!
Our CEO, Peter Thomson, was brought up in Scotland and before taking up road-racing, he’d spend many a holiday cycle-touring around the mountains of Scotland. 40 years later he returns to Scotland to share with you the best of these holiday routes.
To enjoy Scotland at it’s best we’ll stay in luxury accommodations throughout the trip, including the world-famous 5-star Gleneagles Hotel, the magnificent 5-star Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa and the Fife Arms, described by the Financial Times as Scotland’s Hottest Hotel!
This trip focuses on the Grampian mountains in the North-East of the country which includes Perthshire, Royal Deeside and the legendary Speyside Malt Whisky Trail. The trip starts at Gleneagles - maybe come in a few days early and enjoy a round of golf on the famous King’s or Queen’s courses. The first couple of days feature some of Peter’s old training rides through the beautiful Dunning Glen and the Trossachs National Park.
From Gleneagles we head north into the Highlands and the Grampian mountains, through Royal Deeside where the Royal Family have their summer residence in Balmoral, then finally into Speyside and the Malt Whisky Trail. We’ll organise at least one distillery visit and sample many wee drams throughout the course of the week!
We finish the trip in the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, with a fantastic ride that takes us along the shores of Loch Ness (keep your eyes open for Nessie!).
Join Peter for this one-off opportunity to ride the mountains of Scotland and the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail. Priceless!
Banner Photo Credits:
VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins, Damian Shields, Kenny Lam & John Duncan
North East 250/Damian Shields
Welcome to Scotland
Our trip starts at Edinburgh Airport where our staff will be there to welcome you.
From the aiport we have a short transfer to the world-famous Gleneagles 5-star hotel in Auchterarder.
After check-in we’ll have our usual Orientation Meeting followed by lunch, then we’ll get the bikes ready for our first ride in Scotland. Our ride takes us onto some of Peter Thomson’s old training grounds: over the Dunning Glen climb to Yetts o’Muckhart and then back through Glendevon to the hotel. A beautiful ride to kick off an exceptional week of riding!
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 9:00am - at EDINBURGH Airport or at the Hilton Edinburgh Airport Hotel.
Duke's Pass and The Trossachs
Today’s route was one of Peter’s favorite training rides way back many years ago when he lived in Scotland. A beautiful ride through some of the most picturesque scenery in Scotland - but also with a few wee bumps along the way to test the legs!
From the hotel we head south to Dunblane, home of Scots tennis-star Andy Murray then across the Kippen Flats to the village of Kippen. In Kippen we hit the first climb of the day, the 6km climb to the “Top of the World”. A great descent takes us back down to the flats and on to the Lake of Menteith where Mary Queen of Scots, at the age of 4, took refuge from English King Henry VIII before being smuggled to safety in France.
Next up is the Duke’s Pass climb which leads into the Trossachs National Park. The road over the pass then along the shores of Loch Achray and Loch Venachar to the town of Callender is one of Scotlands most scenic. From Callander we follow the River Teith all the way back to Dunblane and Bridge of Allan where the final surpise awaits - the steep climb onto Sheriffmuir through Logie Kirk.
Into the Highlands
A fabulous ride today which sees us leave behind the Lowlands and ride into the Highlands. The entry to the Highlands is through the 7km Sma’Glen which leads onto the first wee bump, the short but steep climb through Glen Quaich. A fantastic descent takes us down to the North shore of Loch Tay, another favorite destination for local riders.
We’ll ride along Loch Tay for 15km to Morenish where we turn onto the single-track road that leads up the climb towards Ben Lawers. Enjoy the wild landscapes that greet you when you get to Lochan na Lairige reservoir at the top of the climb. The descent takes us to Bridge of Balgie, over the River Lyon, which we’ll follow for the next 20km. The famous climb to the Schiehallion is next before dropping down to Tummel Bridge and the final run-in to Pitlochry and our hotel for the evening - the luxury Castle Fonab.
Braemar is our destination today. Situated in the heart of Royal Deeside and only 10km from the Royal Family’s summer residence in Balmoral, Braemar is steeped in Highland history and tradition and each year hosts The Braemar Gathering, the most prestigious of all the Highland Games.
To get to Braemar we have to cross over the Grampian Mountains and over one of Scotland’s most notorious roads in the winter season, the Spittal of Glenshee. From Pitlochry we head south to Aberfeldy, over the Crieff Road where local hill climbs are often held and then continue on through the picturesque towns of Dunkeld and Blairgowrie. The climb through Alyth Forest takes us to Forter Castle and the start of the long climb through the wild but incredibly beautiful Glenshee. From Glenshee, enjoy the 15km descent into Braemar and our hotel for the evening, the Fife Arms.
Speyside Malt Whisky Trail
From Braemar we head deep into malt whisky country through some of the most spectacular terrain in Scotland - little wonder that the Royals chose their summer residence in this neck of the woods. After 12km we’ll ride past the Queen’s residence, Balmoral Castle, and maybe stop for a cup of tea - or maybe not. A beautiful single-track road runs along the shores of the River Dee to Ballater where we’ll cross over the River Dee and start our journey north into Speyside.
Before reaching Speyside we have a few wee bumps to contend with. Leaving Ballater we start the 16km climb to Gairn Sheel followed quickly by the notorious Lecht Road - always the first road in Scotland to be closed by snow each winter. The Lecht Road continues from the summit down into Tomintoul and the start of whisky country. We’ll ride by numerous distilleries on our way to Craigellachie in the heart Speyside - including Tamnavulin, Glenlivet, Dufftown, Glenfiddich and Balvenie.
In the afternoon, we’ll organise a guided visit and tasting to one of the local distilleries.
Our ride through Speyside continues, following the Spey River and passing by famous distilleries like Tamdhu, Knockando, Cardhu, Tormore and Cragganmore. After 50km we leave the Spey river behind and start our journey westwards towards another famous body of water, Loch Ness!
We follow the Findhorn River though vast, remote landscapes where heather, pines and the ever-present flocks of sheep are all we’ll have to keep us company. Along the shores of Loch Duntelchaig and Loch Ashie then a steep descent takes us down to the south shore of the famous Loch Ness.
We’ll ride up the south shore of the Loch for 20km, keeping our eyes peeled over the dark waters for maybe a fleeting glimpse of Nessie. At the end of the loch we arrive in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands and the end of our fabulous ride through history and the magnificent landscapes of Scotland.
Haste ye back!
Sadly our trip has come to an end. Our staff will drop you off at Inverness Airport or Railway Station.