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Mark Beaumont’s top 10 cycle routes in Scotland

Written by Fiona

April 13 2017

This week, Scottish adventure cyclist Mark Beaumont is riding around Scotland’s coastline, from Dumfries to Edinburgh, as part of his training for the Artemis World Cycle in July.

The Artemis World Cycle will see the ultra-endurance athlete attempt to travel 18,000 miles around the world in a record-breaking 80 days.

Mark has revealed his 10 favourite rides in Scotland.

Top 10 cycles in Scotland

Hebridean Way, Outer Hebrides

Hebridean Way, Butt of Lewis. Pic credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Following part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) route 780, this terrific, long-distance route spans the length of the enchanting Outer Hebrides island chain. Along the way, enjoy paradise beaches, the Calanais Standing Stones and the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse.

Isle of Bute

The sea views are fantastic as you travel around this beautiful island. Challenge yourself to the 23-mile loop around the island or use pedal power to visit attractions such as Mount Stuart House and Ettrick Bay.

Lerwick to Scalloway, Shetland

Cyclists on the B9074 between Asta and Scalloway, Shetland. Pic credit: VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

Travel from Shetland’s main town of Lerwick to the ancient capital of Scalloway. The rotue heads through stunning island scenery to be rewarded with a panoramic view of Scalloway and the sea.

Loch Leven Heritage Trail, Perthshire

Keep an eye out for a wonderful variety of wildlife, including osprey, kingfishers and otters, on this flat, circular route around the banks of Loch Leven. Enjoy the views to Lochleven Castle, which is situated on an island in the loch.

Four Abbeys, Scottish Borders

4 Abbeys Cycle Route, Scottish Borders. Pic credit: VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

 

Melrose Abbey. Pic credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Tour four famous abbeys, Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh, on this scenic but challenging route through the beautiful Borders countryside.

Ayrshire Coast Cycle Way

Culzean Castle, near Maybole, Carrick, on the Ayrshire coast. Pic credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

This beautiful linear route along the coast from Irvine to Ayr takes in some of Ayrshire’s most picturesque scenery, from the coastline with views out to the Isle of Arran to the marshland and woodland of two Scottish wildlife reserves, Gailes Marsh and Shewalton Wood.

Devilla Forest, Fife

The paths at Devilla Forest pass through atmospheric expanses of woodland, which are the perfect habitat for wildlife including red squirrels.

Formartine and Buchan Way, Aberdeenshire

The harbour village of Crovie in Aberdeenshire between Fraserburgh and Macduff. Pic credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Set on a former railway line, this traffic-free cycle route passes through the rolling countryside. At Maud you can travel on to Fraserburgh or Peterhead, both with beautiful beaches.

North Coast 500, The Highlands

Bealach Na Ba. Pic credit: VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

 

The road to Kinlochewe with Loch Maree beyond. Pic credit: VisitScotland/Kenny Lam

Never-ending back roads, wide meandering country tracks and beautiful bends take cyclists through some of Scotland’s finest coastal scenery on the North Coast 500, which is billed as Scotland’s answer to Route 66. The route includes the famous Bealach na Ba (pass of the cattle).

Montrose Basin, Angus

The view over fields towards the Montrose Basin, Angus. Pic credit: Paul Tomkins / VisitScotland

Cycle around this stunning tidal estuary and soak up beautiful views of a wildlife haven.  Look out for summer highlights such as osprey and kingfishers, or waders and ducks in the winter months, and pop into the Montrose Basin visitor centre for a cup of tea or coffee.

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