On this guided motorcycle tour you will ride some of the best motorcycle roads in Scotland starting and ending in Glasgow
This is relatively relaxing tour and offers riders an oportunity to sit one day out if they don't want to ride all seven days. It is a variation of a Scottish Circuit tour that we have been offering for the last 20 years with some aspects of this particular offering changed to offer better hotels and to embrace parts of the route Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's coffin passed through.
This motorcycle tour traverses some great Scottish roads and visits scenic locations to offer a flavour of all that Scotland has to offer.
Look at this itinerary and discover some of the most interesting motorcycle routes in scotland.
Day 1 - Glasgow Sightseeing
You will begin the tour in one of Glasgow's city centre best quality hotels. With clients arriving at various times of day this day is intended to offer rest for those who have travelled long distances and offers others a chance to sightsee around Glasgow.
There is much to see and do in Glasgow. For those wanting somewhere free and indoors we have the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum other museums and art galleries include The Riverside Musuem of Transport and Travel, The Burrell Collection, The House for an Art Lover, Huntarian Art Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gallery of Modern Arts, Glasgow Science Centre, The Peoples Palace and Winter Garden, The Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace, Scotland Street Museum, The Police Museum, The Tenement House and many more. The city has a plethora of historic buildings and if you simply want to perambulate the streets and look up and down you will find no shortage of interesting architecture. Glasgow means 'dear green place' and hosts many large and interesting parks. If you want entertainment you will find live entertainment in many of the city's bars, concert hall and theatres. If you are into sports there are many stadia and arenas. The city also has places of worship for all religions so there are cathedrals, churches, synagogues, mosques etc. In short you will find little difficulty finding something to do in Glasgow.
Day 2 - Lanark, Peebles, Kelso, Carberry ~ 150 miles ~ 4 hours riding
The first days riding is a relaxed ride through lowland countryside though at first we take the motorway to escape Glasgow then join country roads passing through the Clyde Valley to Lanark where we take our first stop at the New Lanark Visitor Attraction, a restored 18th century cotton mill and workers village on the banks of the River Clyde. The mill exploration can take a few hours so when we leave we continue east to Peebles where we break for lunch.
After lunch we continue further east through Melrose to Kelso taking a few short breaks along the way for photographs such as the Eildon Hills where the triple peaks are a distinctive landmark in the Scottish Borders and the abbey ruins in each town, Melrose dating back to 1136 and is the burial ground of several Scottish kings including the location of the heart of Robert the Bruce. Kelso is of similar age dating from 1128 though largely destroyed under the orders of Henry VIII in 1540. We shall take a short refreshment break her then head north through Duns to the Royal Burgh of Haddington a picturesque market town before deviating course to the west to end the day at Carberry Tower the former home of Lord Elphinstone. The 16th Lord Elphinstone, married Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon, sister of Queen Elizabeth, the Mother of Queen Elizabeth II. Today Carberry is a Hotel and if you are fortunate you may be allocated one of the bedrooms where the princesses Elizabeth or Margaret slept when staying at Carberry.
Day 3 - Aberdour, St Andrews, Glenshee, Ballater ~ 160 miles ~ 4.5 hours riding
Departing Carberry we circumnavigate Edinburgh as we make our way to the Forth bridges. The iconinc Forth Rail Bridge from 1890, the 1964 Forth Road Bridge will both be seen from the Queensferry Crossing that was opened most recently in 2017 and will be the one we are on.
As we cross into Fife we begin with a coastal route to Aberdour before passing through the Fife countryside to take a short refreshment break at Falkland where some might want to visit the Palace.
We next make our way to another ancient religious settlement and the site of Scotlands oldest University, St Andrews, better known as the birth place of golf where I'm sure some will want to stop to take pictures, then we progress north to cross the River Tay and break for lunch near Dundee.
After lunch we cross Glenshee to Braemar then pass the Royal residence of Balmoral to end the day at Ballater.
Day 4 - Dufftown, Nairn, Dornoch ~ 150 miles ~ 4 hours riding
Leaving Deeside we north head into Speyside, those who appreciate Scotch Whisky will see many familiar names as we pass through the likes of Glenlivet and Glenfiddich as we snake our way around the eastern side of the Cairngorm National Park. We shall stop for morning coffee in Dufftown where some might want to go for a stroll to visit the Whisky and Heritage Centre or the local purveyors of our national drink.
Our route progresses through soft rolling hills and moors to Nairn where we break for lunch. Those more interested in history may prefer we visit nearby Fort George or the Culloden battlefield site.
The final section of this route will bypass Inverness and cross the Beauly and Cromarty Firth's to end they day at Dornoch.
Day 5 - Dunrobin Castle, Lochinver, Ullapool, Strathpeffer ~ 200 miles ~ 6 hours riding
Our first stop of this day will be a visit to Dunrobin Castle, the stately home of the Earl of Sutherland, with turrets more reminiscent of a French chateau than a Scottish Castle. This castle is the work of architect Sir Charles Barry (who built the palace of Westminster) and constructed between 1835 and 1850. A fire largely destroyed the building and it was later restored by a famous Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer. We take a tour of the castle before continuing with our ride.
Anyone who prefers a rest day could head back to the hotel after visiting Dunrobin Castle.
The scenery will change dramatically as we make the relatively short journey across Scotland from Dunrobin on the East coast to Lochinver on the West. We shall take a stop at Altnacealgach, a pretty spot overlooking Loch Borralan, for an early lunch.
Lochinver remains an important fishing port en-route we shall pass the steep sided Suilven and other mountains that help emphasise the stark contrast between east and west.
The coastal route we take will bring views across the Summer Isles as we make our way to Ullapool then back to the east to the spa town of Strathpeffer and to see the Mermaid of the north and the pretty fishing village Portmahomack then after a short stop for photos we complete the circuit back at the hotel in Dornoch.
Day 6 - Beauly, Drumnadrochit, Eilean Donnan Castle, Skye ~ 190 miles ~ 5 hours riding
Group of Riders with Loch Duich in the backgroundWe depart Dornoch heading south to Beauly and onwards to Drumnadrochit where we join the eastern shore of Loch Ness and break for morning coffee. We then traverse the eastern shore of Loch Ness for about 10 miles before deviating to the west and on our way towards the Isle of Skye we stop at Eilean Donan Castle which is probably among the most recognised Scottish castles. A fortress was first established on this tiny island as long ago as the 6th century but the castle we se today was created from ruins between 1911 and 1932 and recreates what stood on the site around 1719 when it was destroyed during the Jacobite uprising. The castle has a good café and so we break here for lunch.
Next we cross to the Isle of Skye, Scotlands largest island, and make our way up the coastline with views over to the islands of Scalpay and Raasay as we make our way to our next stop at Portree, the islands capital, its largest town and also voted one of the most beautiful villages in the UK.
Our final leg continues up the coast to The Storr, a rather distinctive rocky hill and Kilt Rock, a 90 meter tall cliff whose structure resembles a pleated kilt as make our way to the Skye Museum of Island Life at Kilmuir. This cluster of thatched cottages offers an insight of the living conditions of crofters on the island around the 19th century. We end the day at a hotel in Uig.
Day 7 - Dunvegan, Mallaig, Ft William, Oban ~ 175 miles ~ 5 hours riding
Today we begin our return journey first heading to Dunvegan Castle the home of the MacLeod Clan chief. After the visit we continue south to Sligachan and onwards to Armadale where we take a ferry back to the mainland port of Mallaig.
From Mallaig we head east towards Fort William where you may catch a glimpse of the steam trains that operate along the line here which are particularly impressive as they cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct. We shall stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre where you can learn more about the Jacobite uprising or simply enjoy a light refreshment and the views of the viaduct and monument.
Our next stop is just before Ft William at Neptune’s Staircase, the work of Thomas Telford, an impressive rise of 8 locks at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal. Built between 1802 and 1833 it is the longest canal staircase in the British Isles. We then progress to Ft William where Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, is in the backdrop.
Our final part of this route takes us south to Oban where we end the day at a hotel overlooking the bay and out to the island of Kerrera and further away Mull and behind the hotel McCaigs tower, modelled on the roman Colosseum the folly was erected between 1897 and 1902 to provide work for local stonemasons.
Day 8 - Seil, Crinan, Inveraray, Luss, Glasgow ~145 miles ~ 4 hours riding
We complete our return journey to Glasgow by first visiting the Isle of Seil. This takes us across the "Bridge over the Atlantic" and onwards to Easdale which was once the centre of slate production in Scotland. The Island of Easdale is the smallest inhabited Island within the inner Hebrides. We don’t plan to cross just stop for some pictures and then we get on our way again.
From Easdale we retrace our steps a bit then turn south to Dunadd Fort, the iron age capital of Dal Riata one of the Kingdoms of Scotland. Parts of Scotland united in 843AD and Dal Riata / Strathclyde was conquered in the 11th century.
We take our next stop and a refreshment break at Crinan where the Crinan Canal joins the Atlantic Ocean. The canal has operated since 1801 and connects Ardrishaig on Loch Gilp with the Sound of Jura to afford shorter navigation between the Clyde and the Inner Hebrides. After coffee we follow the canal to Ardrishaig then turn north to Inveraray. In 1747 William Adam drew up plans for a model town. The work was carried out by John Adam and later Robert Mylne to create the town we see today. We stop here for lunch and for those who want to take a tour of the castle or visit the jail (it's a tourist attraction, honest!).
We make our way around Loch Fyne, Scotlands longest loch, then cross the "rest and be thankful" to Arrochar and onward to Loch Lomond making a stop at another model village, Luss. There has been a settlement here for centuries because it is known the Christianity reached Luss in the 6th century. The current conservation village largely dates from mid 19th century. We take a brief stop here before completing our journey and the tour back in Glasgow. Hired bikes are returned and you retire to the hotel where you started the tour for dinner, bed and breakfast. The following day you continue your travels or head home.
Day 9 - Onward travel or homeward bound