Our Cairngorms Big Mountain MTB Tour takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery and Mountain Biking trails anywhere in the world, with its arctic-alpine mountain environment the tundra-like landscape and wild reindeer will transport you to a land of days past. With the upland plateau of the cairngorms being well over 1000m and home to the second highest single track descent in the UK at 1309m, this is a bucket list Mountain Bike Holiday in Scotland.
Not only will you ride some of the best single track in Scotland flowing through towering granite hillsides and along deep dark lochs but we will explore the local culture, history and cuisine of the area. Whisky tasting tour in a castle anyone?
Exploring the Cairngorms National Park on your mountain bike allows you to explore deeper into this stunning landscape, cover large areas of terrain and immerse yourself in this vast wilderness.
- 4 days of guided riding in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park + additional evening welcome ride*
- 4 Nights in 4* Stunning Scottish-style Guest houses in Twin/Double rooms
- Professional Level 3 Guides, 4-1 guide to client ratio
- Hearty, cooked breakfasts with local ingredients
- Transport within Scotland and collection/drop off at Aviemore railway station if required
- Secure bike storage, bike wash down and works area with stand, brushes, tools and pump
- Passenger protection insurance
This is a pure mountain bike experience in Scotland where big effort = a big reward. It is one of the tougher Scotland Mountain bike trips we offer and suited to a high intermediate/advanced rider which will enable you to really experience these trails at their very best. You should be happy riding technical single-track, rocky descents with big and occasionally loose boulders all the way through to Caledonian pine needle-strewn forest trails. And don't forget the climbs as there will be some decent hours spent in the saddle taking in this stunning landscape. There are no jumps, bike parks or drops on this tour and it is certainly not a race, no one will be left behind, it is an adventure.
NOTE - The weather and conditions will have a huge bearing on what we can actually do – the itinerary is likely to change from day to day to make sure we make the most for the riding and terrain available to us. Everyone knows you can experience four seasons in one day in Scotland so as long as we are prepared with the right kit and mentality it will be an amazing trip!
To secure your place on the Cairngorm Big Mountain Magic MTB Tour A 30% per person, booking deposit is required. Deposits are non refundable and the full balance is due 8 weeks before your arrival in Scotland.
If you prefer your privacy or simply want to spread out and would like your own room there is a single occupancy option available. This depends on availability and is limited to a certain number of rooms per property per week.
If this is of interest then please contact us for prices, your deposit will then be calculated at 30% of your total holiday cost.
Prices range from £200 - £300 depending on the room available / required.
Day 0: Arrival Day (10km, 300-500m descent)
Day 0 allows for plenty of time to arrive at the guest house. If you make it before 4 pm our guides will take you on a pre-trip ride. This gives you a chance to finalise any bike setup and have a tinker. This will be a 10k loop local to the guest house taking in some of the local forest trails. Dinner will be booked for 7:30 pm and the trip brief commences! If you don't make the pre-ride we will see you at the guest house from 6:30 pm onwards.
Day 1: Ben Alder, out and back (Ben Alder, 60km, 1200m descent)
Starting from Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie we'll warm up on a loch-side track that leads to a stalker's bothy. From here we begin our ride on 40km of rolling singletrack. The trails here are maintained by the estate. Their sweeping, smooth curves make these trails unique in the highlands. The high point is the Bealeach Dubh (the black pass) where there is a view of Ben Nevis and the west coast. Then we pick up the pace on these flowing trails down to lunch at a lochside beach. An easy climb after lunch leads to another 10km of silky descent, and a wee dram at the distillery.
Day 2: Sgor Gaoith High Mountain Descents (40km, 1300m descent)
Day 2's riding takes on descents from Sgor Goaith, a Scottish Munro that towers over the picturesque Glen Feshie. These are classic high mountain trails falling over 700m on a continuous single track from the plateau, with views over the Cairngorms, to the forest below. We'll make full use of our bike's climbing capability to complete this loop trying to save some energy for the roaring descents on water bars, boulders and switch-backs.
Day 3: Eastern Cairngorms, Beinn A'Bhuird (38km, 1300m descent)
This route starts on a rolling single track through the ancient Caledonian forest of the Eastern Cairngorms. Technical, precise climbing, with just the right balance of torque and traction, on the stalkers' paths, brings us to the base of Beinn A'Bhuird, the table hill. The trail contours onto the summit where there are mind-blowing views over the corries and lochs back towards our start point far below. After taking in the view and exploring the rocky tors on the summit, we'll set up for the longest descent of the week; eventually reaching a bothy and swimming spot at the head of the River Dee for a rest and cool down..
Day 4: Royal Deeside, Heart Break Ridge and Beyond (40km, 1200m descent )
Ballater, a hotspot for Aberdeenshire's mountain biking, is our base for this day. From the picturesque town square, we'll warm up and try some granite slab test pieces overlooking the river and the lochs. We climb onto the grouse moors and the start of trails on long granite ridge lines. The views live up to Aberdeenshire's strapline - from the mountains to the sea. Then it's full throttle, enduro descent, and back to the village for lunch. We'll make a southern loop in the afternoon, this time with views across Lochangar, the Queen's Mountain, and Balmoral Castle. This sets us up for a run on the legendary local trail Heart Break Ridge.
We aim to leave Ballater at 3 PM to return to Aviemore for a 5 pm departure.
We don't experience many Midge's problems in the Cairngorms due to it being drier and the riding higher than the West Coast.
Included in the price is all your travel whilst on the trip with us in Scotland and including collection and drop off from Aviemore train station. If you are planning to self drive there is parking at the accommodation and as we will be based here for the duration of the trip you car will be safe and secure with out need to be moved.
If you are flying into the UK and travelling to us by public transport there are great rain link from Aviemore to Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Edinburgh - Aviemore
First jump on the bus or tram in to the city for £5 then your train will depart from Edinburgh Waverley Station
- 12 trains per day
- £17.50 each way
- Average travel time 3h20m
- Fastest travel time 2h45m
- First train 06:48
- Last train 23:19
Glasgow - Aviemore
Slightly more tricky, but jump on the bus for £7 and head to the city centre and Glasgow High Street Station
- 12 trains per day - none direct
- £23.10 each way
- Average travel time 3h24m
- Fastest travel time 2h44m
- First train 06:50
- Last train 23:11
Virgin Trains East Coast - www.virgintrainseastcoast.com
Caledonian Sleeper - www.sleeper.scot - A very popular service with a late evening departure from London and and early morning arrival into Aviemore. Depart London 21:15 Arrive Aviemore 07:40 ready for coffee and bikes! £170 ish
- Advised bike - 140mm - 170mm Enduro bike *
- Fitness - 3*
- Skills and Technical ability - 3*
- Riding Style - All Natural / Spirit of Adventure
The riding standard and fitness level required to ride the Cairngorms Big Mountain MTB Tour is of a high intermediate/advanced standard. This is not only for your enjoyment and personal safety, but it is also for the group as a whole. The riding can be technical and challenging so your ability should be suited to the trip.
Please read our ability assessor and ask any questions before making your booking.
Follow our Ability Assessor to see if this holiday is for you
We need to do our bit! 7 mountain bikers will be pretty conspicuous and we’ll have some impact on the landscape and other trail users. As a company, we’re 100% committed to minimising our impact in every way we can. We operate a strict ‘pack it out’ policy for all litter (including banana skins and orange peel), and we try to leave as little trace of our passing as possible. While we’ll enjoy some epic descents and trails, please ride in control and at a speed that reflects your line of sight and abilities. We’ll certainly meet walkers and we want any interactions to be as positive as possible. It’s important to give mountain bikers a good name.
It is essential and a required part of your booking process that you have holiday insurance in place for your trip that covers against medical and personal accident and all the activities including mountain biking you will take part in.
We have worked with Yellow Jersey Cycle insurance for the past 3 years now and feel they offer the perfect Travel and Bike insurance package. All Atlas Ride Co clients also receive a 10% discount on their Mountain Bike and Travel policies. Your discount code will be in your booking confirmation.
Kit List - The weather can be very varied in Scotland so we need to be prepared. We’ll have a briefing every evening to give you an up to date weather forecast and plan the next day. We can share some of the kit to keep packs as light as possible, although on very remote days we need to cover all eventualities.
- Hydration pack big enough to carry everything in the list below – suggested size 15L to 20L •
- Water and snacks – gels, energy bars, flapjacks, jelly babies
- Lunch (we supply it but you need to carry it!)
- Dry bag to keep everything dry inside your pack
- Mini pump for your valve type
- 2 inner tubes plus spare ones in the minibus (even if you use tubeless) – Scotland is very rocky!
- Tube patches (preferably self-adhesive)
- Tubeless repair kit (if you use tubeless)
- Tyre boot or patch
- Tyre levers
- 2 spare spokes that fit your wheels
- 1 set of spare brake pads
- Rear gear hanger for your bike - essential
- Cable ties
- Duct tape (we suggest wrapping 1m around your pump)
- Power link for your chain type and speed
- Mobile phone - in a waterproof case or plastic bag
- Small personal first aid kit
- Insect repellent (we recommend Smidge)
- Sun screen
- Any medication you need Recommended clothing
- Helmet – not full face
- Knee and elbow pads
- Cycling shorts and/or waterproof shorts (or trousers)
- Wicking base layers or cycling jerseys
- Mid layer (fleece or soft shell)
- Windproof jacket
- Waterproof jacket
- Insulated jacket or warm emergency layer
- Woolly hat or buff
- Riding glasses
- Gloves (worth having a spare pair if it’s wet)
- Waterproof socks
- Cycling shoes (you must be able to walk in them!) For the minibus
- Small ‘hand luggage’ bag for post-ride clothes
- Plastic bags for wet and dirty kit
- Chamois cream if you use it
Your guides will carry
- Chain splitter
- Emergency spokes
- Spoke key
- Adjustable spanner
- Cassette tool and chain wrench
- Shock pump
- Puncture and tubeless repair kits
- Small bottle of chain lube
- Spare chain links/joining pins
- Assorted nuts and bolts
- Emergency shelter
- Emergency blanket
- Warm insulated jacket
- First aid kit
- Mobile phones
- VHF radio
Absolutely brilliant experience. The accommodation (Ravenscraig guest house) and food was spot on for both quality and the location. Bike security and facilities for wash and repair was excellent. Our guide, Mike Wilkes couldn't have done a better job of informing and including all the riders in our group. The routes ticked all the boxes and the trails and views will be memories to last a lifetime. Bought the ticket, had a great ride.
What an amazing few days riding!!!
This had everything from big mountain ascents, descents, and ridgelines to local hidden trails.
Secret bothys and river crossings all added to the experience.
The accommodation was fantastic and had everything you needed from bike storage, charging and cleaning facilities!! The rooms and particularly the breakfasts were amazing and left you fuelled up for the big rides ahead.
The guides were very knowledgeable, funny and helpful with particular sections of trails.
My eyes and neck also got a very good workout as the scenery is just unreal.
Highly recommended and would certainly be doing this again.
Brilliant holiday in the Cairngorms well planned, quality rides, guides and accommodation. If you've not done the Cairngorms with these guys your missing out. Premier League standard!!!
Booking and Availability
Please select your desired date below to start the booking process. We also offer several Cairngorms E-MTB tour dates so please check HERE if the normal bike tour dates don't work for you.
We have many groups and individuals that wish to ride this incredible destination so please book live below or send an enquiry form to us with your preferred dates regardless of the numbers in your party and we will do the rest to make the trip happen. We have a long waiting list and a little flexibility can make all the difference.
Dates - It is possible to run our Cairngorms Big Mountain Magic trips from early May to Late September. The choice is yours.
PRIVATE GROUPS - please contact us for a custom tour on a specific date and one of our team will get back to you ASAP with a price.
dim, 10/18/2020 - 22:39
Fantastic week of riding in Finale Ligure. Top class guiding, excellent hosting, nothing was too much trouble for the MTB Beds team. Will definitely use again.
ven, 09/17/2021 - 12:18
Just home from the Tweed Valley Enduro Long Weekend with MTB Beds. Wow what a weekend. Epic riding, superb guides, great accommodation and some more epic riding. A superb intro to the Tweed Valley and the riding on offer at Glentress, The Golfie and Innerleithen. Rich and The MTB Beds team are superb - helpful, knowledgeable and responsive and Murray and the Team at Glentress Hotel were brilliant. Thoroughly recommended.