2010 Scotland Bicycle Tour – Route Planning

Our annual cycle tour will take us north from Edinburgh following the east coast of Scotland to Arbroath, home to the famous Arbroath Smokie. From there, the route takes us inland to Forfar before we make our ascent up through the Cairngorms to Braemar. A tough day follows taking in Balmoral and Lecht before joining the Speyside valley in Craigellachie. The fifth day promises to be a relaxing journey following the river Speyto Aviemore. From the burble of the Spey, the route then heads south through whiskey territory and the Drumochter pass before winding through dramatic scenery to Callander and eventually back to Edinburgh. 

Day 1 – Edingburgh to Vicarsford (58 miles)

Quick Route:
Edinburgh Airport (0) – Kirkliston (3) – Forth Road Bridge (6) – Inverkeithing (10) – Aberdour (16) – Burntisland (18) – Kirkcaldy (26) – Glenrothes (32) – Craigrothie (43) – Ceres (45) – Strathkinness (51) – Leuchars (55) – Vicarsford (58)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 1

Description:
A long but relatively flat start to the tour. Starting from Edinburgh airport, probably the cheapest secure long term parking in the Edinburgh area, we will join the Sustrans NCN 1/76 route north passing over the Forth road bridge. The route then follows the coast towards Kirkaldy before heading inland towards St Andrews. The overnight stay is in a tiny hamlet called Vicarsford.

Route - Day 1

Day 2 – Vicarsford to Forfar (46 miles)

Quick Route:
Vicarsford (0) – Tayport (2) – Dundee (6) – Broughty Ferry (12) – Carnoustie (21) – Arbilot (28) – Arbroath (32) – Forfar (46)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 2

Description:
The day begins with a ride to Dundee over the Tay road bridge before skirting the coast to Carnoustie and Arbroath, hopefully just in time for a lunch of smoked fish. From Arbroath we head inland and the start of the inevitable climb into the central Scottish Highlands. Our overnight stop will be Forfar, bringing to a close a relatively short day.

Route - Day 2

Day 3 – Forfar to Braemar (48 miles)

Quick Route:
Forfar (0) – Kirriemuir (8) – Kirkton of Kingoldrum (12) – Kirkton of Glenisla (21) – Brewlands Bridge (23) – Cray (27) – Spittal of Glenshee (32) – Glenshee Ski Centre (38) – Braemar (48)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 3

Description:
Day 3 marks the first hard day of the tour. Continuing inland from Forfar, there is a 38 mile long climb up to the Glenshee Ski Centre. The scenery promises to be spectacular although the route makes use of the A93 for a considerable distance. After reaching the Ski Centre, the day ends with an 10 mile long descent into Braemar.

Route - Day 3

Day 4 – Braemar to Craigellachie (54 miles)

Quick Route:
Braemar (0) – Balmoral (8) – Garnshiel Lodge (13) – Corgaff (ph) (20) – Ski Centre (24) – Tomintoul (ph) (31) – Knockandhu (36) – Tomnavoulin (s) (37) – Dufftown (s/ph) (49) – Craigellachie (54)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 4

Description:
From Braemar the route takes us further into the central highlands. Day 4 promises to be the most physically demanding day, with a number of sharp climbs up to Lecht Ski Centre before we head north east towards Craigellachie and the start of the Speyside valley.

Route - Day 4

 

Day 5 – Craigellachie to Aviemore (42 miles)

Quick Route:
Craigellachie (0) – Archiestown (5) – Upper Knockando (8) – Grantown-on-Spey (24) –Nethy Bridge (30) – Inverdrui (40) – Aviemore (42)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 5

Description:
With a tough day behind us, day 5 promises to be a relaxing and short journey following the Spey down traditional whiskey territory.

Route - Day 5

Day 6 – Aviemore to Pitlochry (65 miles)

Quick Route:
Aviemore (0) – Inverdrui (1) – Drumguish (12) – Kingussie (15) – Newtownmore (18) – Balgowan (24) – Laggan (26) – Catlodge (27) – Dalwhinnie (33) – Calvine  (53) – Blair Atholl (57) – Killiecrankie (60) – Pitlochry (65)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 6

Description:
The final 3 days promise to be both spectacular and challenging. The distances increase as we head for home through the Pass of Drumochter and onwards to Pitlochory.

Route - Day 6

Day 7 – Pitlochry to Callander (62 miles)

Quick Route:
Pitlochry (0) – Balnamuir (4) – Strathtay (s) (9) – Weem (s/ph) (14) – Comrie Castle (18) – Kenmore (s/r) (21) – Ardeonaig (s) (30) – Killin (s/r) (37) – Lockhearnhead (44) – Balquhidder (49) – Strathyre (s) (52) – Callander (62)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 7

Description:
A ‘lumpy’ day of following the river Tay and onto the banks of Loch Tay. Here we follow the Sustrans NCN Lochs & Glens route to Callander. We’re hoping that the current Sustrans trend of routing the cyclist over poorly gravelled surfaces hasn’t made it’s way this far north otherwise we’ll be looking for alternative, tarmac’d routes.

Route - Day 7

Day 8 – Callander to Edinburgh (72 miles)

Quick Route:
Callander (0) – Aberfoyle (13) – Port of Menteith (17) – Fintry (28) – Carron Bridge (37) – Banknock (43) – Falkirk (51) – Linlithgow (60) – Kirkliston (68) – Edinburgh Airport (72)

Detailed Route (gpx):
Day 8

Description:
Are we nearly there yet? The last day of this years tour takes us from Callander back to Edinburgh through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park before we follow the Forth and Clyde canal to our destination.

Route - Day 8

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