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Review: Bikepacking Scotland book by Markus Stitz

Written by Fiona

April 25 2023

I have been sent an early copy of the new book, Bikepacking Scotland: 20 Multi-day cycling adventures off the beaten track. It has been written by Markus Stitz, who is a well known bikepacker based in Scotland.

All the routes have been mapped/devised by Markus, as well as offering a wealth of information about bikepacking as an activity and Scotland as a travel destination.

There are also four portraits of acclaimed and experienced bikepackers: Jenny Graham, Mark Beaumont, Ross O’Reilly and Alan Goldsmith.

The Bikepacking Scotland book is published by VP Adventure Books priced £20.

  • To buy the book see Adventure Books. I receive a small commission for sales through this link

Markus, who also wrote the book Great British Gravel Rides, rode a singlespeed bike around the world cyclist and he is the founder of bikepackingscotland.com.


My thoughts: Bikepacking Scotland by Markus Stitz

First impressions are good. The book is well laid out and packed with useful information. The photography is excellent and inspiring. The is a good mix of weather conditions on display in the photos, too, so it’s not all bright blue skies and sunshine. This gives a more realistic view of Scotland for cycling. 

The routes are divided into Southern Scotland (3), Central belt (7), Argyll and the Isles (4) and Highlands (6).

The routes each include a range of terrain, from road to dedicated cycle path, path and singletrack. It’s easy to quickly assess if this is a route you will enjoy and what bike to use.

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The shortest route is a distance of 62km, while the longest is 676km and many around the 100km to 250km length. You can go as fast or as slow as you want when bikepacking, which means all the routes are open to a range of different fitness levels and experiences.

Although, saying that, you might need a longer holiday for routes such as the 676km Wild About Argyll Trail and the 612km Argyll’s Islands route. Equally, you could aim to complete a section and not the whole thing.

The routes have good maps, useful info, great descriptions and all can be downloaded as a GPX file, enabling you to follow them in real-time on a navigation gadget or your phone. 

A couple of the routes will appear similar to those that are already signposted as official trails, such as the John Muir Way and Borders Three Abbeys Loop, but Markus has created his own versions so they are well worth checking out.

There is also a suggested alternative bikepacking route to the popular North Coast 500 route. 

Further routes are listed across Scotland, so you could easily ride your bike for months if you wanted to. 

One small negative for me is that I’d like to see a wider geographic spread of routes. While Central Scotland is a popular destination and it’s fine to have lots of routes detailed there, but what about the quieter and more remote northern Highlands?

Markus lives in the Central Belt so it’s also understandable he is familiar with more routes in that area, but maybe next time we could have a book that offers more in the south and north?

Note: Markus has replied to say that he is aware that there is a lack of routes up north and he is hopefully going to address this.

If you are getting into bikepacking, or you are looking for new places to explore, this is a really lovely book. 

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