Cycle your way through Scotland with Caledonian Sleeper

Photo: Mogens Engelund

Scotland’s biggest bike event, Pedal for Scotland, returns for its 19th year on 10th September.

Organised by Cycle Scotland, the one-day event features the return of the 45-mile Classic Challenge ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh and the 10-mile Wee Jaunt, which departs from Edinburgh and shares the final 10 miles of the Classic Challenge. Riders can also take on the imposing 93-mile Big Belter from Glasgow to Edinburgh if they wish.

Inspired by the challenging yet fun event,  Caledonian Sleeper has picked out some of Scotland’s other cycling routes. Whether you’re looking for difficult terrain, stunning scenery or a relaxing cycle in the countryside, there’s a route for everyone to enjoy.

Deeside Way, Aberdeenshire

Nearest station: Aberdeen

Best suited to family cycling, the Deeside Way follows the route of the Old Deeside Railway Line used by Queen Victoria that closed in 1967.

Travelling through city, woodland and farmland, the 43-mile route is a mix of off-road, road and tarred segments with a gradual incline.

Budding rail historians are treated to views of repurposed bridges and railway infrastructure, with the opportunity to explore local paths along the way set against the backdrop of the Cairngorm Mountains.

Flexible bike hire is available from Aberdeen station via Bike & Go, while mountain bike hire can also be arranged at the end of the route at the Bike Station Ballater

West Highland Way, Fort William

Nearest station: Fort William

As the outdoor capital of the UK, Fort William is blessed with many sublime and often challenging routes. One of the most popular journeys spans from Glen Nevis to Blarmachfoldach and is definitely one for the experienced rider.

The 14-mile trail takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete, but with beautiful forest and tricky rocky sections to navigate, riders pass along an old military road before descending into Fort William for a well-earned rest at the end of the route.

As you’d expect from the home of the Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William offers an array of bike hire services. Locally-based Nevis Cycles offers different bike styles, with adult prices starting at £25. 

Glentress Routes, Glentress

Nearest station: Edinburgh

Only an hour from Scotland’s capital city by car is the picturesque scenery of Glentress and the Tweed Valley Forest Park. Riders have a selection of routes to choose from graded by difficulty, with the shortest trail just over two miles and the longest, and most demanding, Black Route at over 18 miles.

Glentress is perfect for a mixed-ability group or a solo rider wishing to learn new skills amidst secluded woodland, and bikes to hire or purchase are provided locally via Tweed Valley Bike Hire at Alpine Bikes Glentress.

Tarbet to Crinan Route, National Cycle Route 78, Argyll and Bute

Nearest station: Glasgow

A hidden gem, the 40-mile route between Tarbert Quay and Crinan takes in fantastic views of the Isles of Jura and Islay.

Cyclists will pass Loch Tarbert, before cutting through woodland in the direction of Lochgilphead.

To reserve bikes for hire, visit Cruise Loch Lomond, who also offer trips around the loch .

To find out more about the Caledonian Sleeper or to make a reservation, visit
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