put that top of the list because I am often asked which is the best
time of the year to come to Scotland. It is a very difficult question
to answer because we can have beautiful days at any time of year...
and terrible days also! In general the summer temperatures are 60-80
degrees Fahrenheight and 45-60 degrees in spring and autumn. Recent
years seem to have produced warmer, drier summers but the countryside
would not be so wonderfully green if there was not occasional rain.
You can have all four seasons in one day... a bright morning can
turn into a wet afternoon and vice versa. In general the rainfall
is greater in the west than in the central and eastern regions and
the spring and autumn are drier than July and August. Perhaps the
best time to come to Scotland is the early or late season avoiding
the main tourist months of July and August. However do not be disapointed
if your vacation time does not permit this as our routes use quiet
roads and cycle paths where possible.
The accepted principle of "layering" should
be followed. Several light layers are preferable to one thick garment
and the outermost layer should be windproof, waterproof and made
from a breathable fabric. T-shirts and shorts or preferably padded
cycling shorts are fine for a warm summer day but you should also
carry your waterproof top and trousers. Strong trainers are suitable
for cycling and also comfortable for walking. A hat, cycling gloves and
warm fleece type jacket are wise additions for any cold weather
in early or late season.
In general our routes are designed for the tourist
who likes cycling rather than the serious biker but where possible
each day's route includes a choice of distances. We use minor roads,
cycle paths, tow paths and forest trails and where it is necesary
to avoid a busy main road a train journey will be included. All
routes will have some hills... but not mountains... and the best
way to judge the difficulty of a route is by the daily distances.
What may be an easy ride on a sunny day can seem twice as long when
wet and windy and for that reason we advise between 20ml(32km) and
30ml(48km) per day. The difficult tours are indicated and together
with the mountain bike routes they require a higher level of fitness.
For your own comfort we advise that you prepare with some cycling
before arrival. If you are creating your own itinerary it is wise
to remember that the roads wind there way through glens and over
hills and what looks a short distance on a map may not be practical
in the time at your disposal. This is particularly true in relation
to the Hebridies where ferry travel is required and one week is
not sufficient time to enjoy the magic of these special Islands.
In some cases we advise the use of trains as on some roads the traffic
is not cycle friendly. For advice on any matter connected with routes
in Scotland please contact our office.
Your cycle provided by ourselves will be in excellent
condition and serviced before departure. If you are bringing your
own bike a pre holiday check is advised and bring suitable spare
parts- there may be no bike shop for many miles!. Dress in bright
or reflective colours and it is wise to wear a helmet. Always lock
your cycle when leaving it unattended. Leave space between members
of a group and watch for loose road surfaces. A compass and navigation
skills are advised for mountain bike tours and two persons is the
minimum safe number in the party. Take care when sharing a route
with walkers and give adequate warning of your approach.
require your own insurance for cancellation cover, personal injury
and for any injury to a third party. Please purchase the appropriate
travel insurance in your home country before departure.
Buses are the cheapest form of public transport and
there is a good network throughout Scotland.. but unfortunately they
do not usually carry bikes. Trains do but only very limited numbers
and a reservation is essential. Cycle charges on ferries are minimal
and reservations are not normally required. Car hire is widely available
both from international companies and local garages. We can arrange
transfers from airports and bus/rail stations and a transfer is
normally necessary if you are bringing your own bike particularly
if it is boxed. We can arrange parking for visitors arriving by
car but there is not always secure parking available. Please feel
free to consult Scottish Cycling Holidays for advice about any transport
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87 Perth Street, Blairgowrie, Perthshire
Scotland PH10 6DT
Telephone 01250 876100 Fax 01250 873383