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+44 (0) 1463 417707

Itinerary - Scotland Custom Tour

Bespoke tours of Scotland tailored especially for you

Day 1: Inverness

Bruce's tour in Scotland begins in the Highland capital, Inverness. Flights to Inverness are routed from destinations across the UK and Europe, there are also  good coach and rail links into Inverness. Taxis are readily available from the airport, bus or train station to take you to your accommodation which for your first night is at Inverness House.   Depending on when you arrive, you will have a free afternoon to explore the area. You could visit the Old Town and Victorian Market or St Andrew's Cathedral. You can also take a circular walk from the castle along the river and through the Ness Islands.

There will be a group meeting at 6pm this evening at your accommodation with a tour briefing. 

Accommodation:  Inverness House Bed & Breakfast (B)

Day 2: Inverness to Grantown- on-Spey

Cycling out of Inverness you will soon arrive at the historic Culloden Battlefield, a significant period in Scottish history, when the Jacobite Revolution came to a dramatic end. Many of those that died in this horrific battle did so at the hands of other Clans who fought with the Government soldiers. You will get an opportunity to visit the battlefield and cairn and experience the poignancy of the area. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Culloden Exhibition Centre which features artefacts from both sides of the battle and interactive displays which reveal the background to the conflict.

Nearby is Clava Cairns, a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves; ring and kerb cairns and standing stones in a scenic location. Around 2000 BC a row of large cairns were built, three of which remain today. Use of the cemetery resumed about 100 years later when new burials were placed in some of the existing cairns. Three smaller monuments were built including a 'kerb cairn'. The remains of a smaller cemetery can also be seen at Milton of Clava, a short distance away.  Archaeological excavations have found evidence of farming on the site before any of these monuments were built.  These are atmospheric monuments worth a visit.

The route then follows a section of the military road, sometimes called General Wade's Military Road, that was constructed as an attempt by the British Government to bring order to a part of the country which had risen up in the Jacobite rebellions.  A 13-mile (21km) climb takes you to the Slochd Summit mountain pass before a superb 15-mile (24km) descent and onward to Grantown-on-Spey, on the edge of spectacular Cairngorms National Park. Here you can relax and visit one of the local hostelries for a wee dram. A well-deserved reward for your day of cycling.

Cycling Distance: 68km
Total Climb: 690 m
Total Descent: 480 m
Accommodation: The Speyside Hotel (B)

Day 3: Grantown- on-Spey to Dufftown

Today’s destination is Dufftown, the 'Malt Whisky Capital' of the world. Your day starts with a 15-mile (24km) undulating ride to Ballindalloch Castle. Known as the ‘pearl of the north’.  The 16th Century fortification is regarded as one of the best examples of a Scottish Baronial Castle - the well-maintained walled gardens are spectacular, this is truly a hidden gem.

You are now in the heart of the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail, an area with seven world-famous working distilleries. After a further 7 miles you will reach the Glenlivet Distillery in the remote and secluded Livet valley. King George IV visited the still in 1822 for a discreet, illicit tasting. Two years later, owner George Smith became the first legal distiller in the parish of Glenlivet much to the displeasure of his bootlegging counterparts. Glenlivet's stills are lantern shaped with long, narrow necks, which helps to produce a light flavour

If you’re a whisky lover and partial to a glass at the end of a long day’s cycle, or just interested in discovering more about this ancient art, we would suggest visiting the Glenfiddich distillery after you arrive into Dufftown. 

Cycling Distance: 56 km
Total Climb: 520 m
Total Descent: 550 m
Accommodation: The Commercial Hotel, Dufftown (B)

Day 4: Dufftown to Elgin

On leaving Dufftown, you will pass the 13th Century Balvenie Castle, which has a rich and at times bloody history - Mary Queen of Scots was a guest here in 1562.  From the castle you will gradually cycle north, riding along the River Spey, which is probably the most famous river in the world for salmon and sea trout fishing.

On route you pass Gordon Castle,  which has the oldest and largest walled kitchen garden in Britain. Their café is a perfect place for lunch where most of the seasonal produce is grown in the garden

Near the end of the day there is a 2-mile detour to reach Spey Bay, a beautiful coastal reserve with the largest shingle beach in Scotland - the Scottish National Dolphin Centre is based here.  

From here you’ll head inland passing Elgin Cathedral just before the end of the day. Described as the 'Lantern of the North' this majestic medieval ruin has two towers: West Front and Chapter House - which remain intact.  Climbing to the top of one of these towers will reward you with magnificent views of the area. 

Cycling Distance: 53 km
Total Climb: 360 m
Total Descent: 530 m
Accommodation: Moraybank Bed & Breakfast (B)

Day 5: Elgin – REST DAY

For your “day off” we have two suggestions.  You can either explore the historical town of Elgin filled with rich medieval history – visit the spectacular ruins of Elgin Cathedral or walk the delightful cobbled market streets.  Or - cycle along the Moray coastline and take in the stunning landscapes, craggy cliffs, caves, and wide sandy beaches. This area is teeming with wildlife.  Kestrels and buzzards are usually seen here and sharp-eyed cyclists may spot the rare Scottish wildcat, the UK’s rarest mammal and inhabitant of Scotland for over two million years. There is also a bottlenose dolphin population to look out for along the rugged cliffs between Lossiemouth to Burghead.

Cycling Distance: 40.5 km
Total Climb: 230 m
Total Descent: 230 m
Accommodation: Moraybank Bed & Breakfast (B)

Day 6: Elgin to Inverness

Todays ride is longer but considerably flatter than on previous days. After 33 km you’ll come across your first major point of interest Brodie Castle. This 16th Century castle is situated in 71 hectares of peaceful parkland and was the grand ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years. More recently, it is used as a popular film location for TV productions, including Highlander.

From here, it’s 11km before reaching Nairn a Victorian seaside resort and fishing town that boasts miles of golden sandy beach, hedged by grassy sand dunes and looks out on to the Moray Firth.  One of the sunniest and driest places in Scotland, it has a population of just under 10,000 people and is also home to actress Tilda Swinton. For lunch, The Classroom Bistro and Sun Dancer Bar and Restaurant are two very popular venues.

After a “flat” start you now have 2 short climbs before reaching Inverness. The first one takes you to Cawdor Castle which is surrounded by beautiful gardens and woodlands.  The 14th Century ancestral home is filled with fine furniture, beautiful portraits, and amazing tapestries.  This ancient castle is often associated with Shakespeare's “Macbeth”, as the lead character in that tragedy is named Thane of Cawdor. 

The second climb takes you under the Culloden Viaduct also known as the Nairn viaduct.   This magnificent structure built in sandstone is the longest of its kind in Scotland, at 549 meters. The last 15km leg of our journey will bring you back to the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness where it all started 6 lovely days before.

If you are looking to book a place on our Scotland Custom Tour cycling holiday in Scotland, then please call us on +44 (0) 1463 417707.

Alternatively, you can email us on for more information on this adventure holiday.