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Scottish Castles, Cities and Lochs

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Scottish Castles, Cities and Lochs
From £795 Apr to Oct
Accommodation Type: , ,
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Easy Moderate Trip code - LGC13

Combining Scottish castles, two of Scotland’s iconic cities and the Lochs and Glens, this 7 day tour combines culture and beauty. The Scottish Cities and Lochs starts with a stay in Glasgow; one of the most lively and cosmopolitan cities in Europe. Rich in architecture from the Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian times. Glasgow is stylish with tea rooms, bars, boutiques, upmarket hotels, clubs and restaurants. Visit the famous Willow tea rooms, Botanic Gardens & Kibble Palace and the many art galleries. The end of your stay takes you to Scotland’s capital; Edinburgh. With its atmospheric cobbled streets of the Old Town to the beautiful Georgian avenues of the New Town, discover its diversity, stroll down the Royal Mile or along the Water of Leith. The city center boasts first class restaurants, galleries and boutiques against the dramatic silhouette of Edinburgh Castle.

Appreciate the stark contrast of the Lochs and Glens as you follow a delightful mix of ancient drovers paths, military roads, disused railway lines and picturesque lanes from Loch Lomond, north through the Southern Highlands to the rich farmland of Perthshire.

This is iconic Scotland: it is fantastic cycling country. Riding along the shore of Loch Venachar, over the viaduct at Glen Ogle or along the River Tay might be your personal highlight, but there’s not a dull mile.
There are hills in the Highlands, after all but your efforts are consistently rewarded with grand descents, and an endless stream of majestic views of the forests, rivers, waterfalls, wild moorlands, Munros and dark lochs.
Sleepy tea rooms, a distillery tour, welcoming pubs, watching salmon leap, a recreated Iron Age loch dwelling, a castle or even a refreshing wild swim may tempt you from the saddle temporarily, but never for long cycling the Lochs and Glens route is just too good.

  • Tea and cake in Glasgow''s Willow''s tea room
  • Botanic Gardens & Kibble Palace
  • Loch Lomand
  • Riding along Loch Venachar
  • Spectacular views of Ben Lawers and the ridge of Munros above Loch Tay
  • Sampling specialist scotch whiskey in Pitlochry
  • Pedalling over the viaduct at Glen Ogle
  • Cobbled streets of the Edinburgh Old Town
  • Strolling down the Royal Mile
   Dates Adult(PP)
From 1 April 2017 to 31 October 2017
based on 2 passengers sharing a twin / double room
£795.00

Supplements:

This tour is based on a mixture of 3* B, guest houses and small hotels. The prices are based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room. Applicable supplements to this tour are as follows on a per person basis:

Single supplement - £300

Bike hire – £90

Airport transfers - Price upon request

Additional nights - Price upon request

Solo Traveller Supplement - £525.00 per person

Departures:

Tours run every day between April and September upon request

Day 1: Arrival in Glasgow

Arrive in Glasgow. Your holiday starts of with the chance to explore this iconic city at your leisure. Check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day and tomorrow browsing the cities attractions . Your information pack will detail the best places to visit.

Day 2: Day at leisure in Glasgow

Day at leisure exploring Glasgow

Day 3: Balloch to Callander – approx 33 miles

After breakfast you make your journey to Balloch to the start of the Lochs and Glens cycling tour. Your train tickets are included taking approx 45 minutes. Upon arrival you will meet your Bikecation rep who will meet you, bring your bikes (if hired) and answer any last minute questions you may have about the ride. The route heads through the Balloch Country Park:  Just before the village of Croftamie, you pick up a cyclepath which leads over Endrick Water.  Having crossed the River Forth follow another traffic-free path through Aberfoyle and on up, now on forest trails, over Duke’s Pass. There is a lovely descent through a forest to the shores of Loch Venachar. This final section of the day along Loch Venacher is delightful. Head to the lively town of Callander, straddling the River Teith.

Day 4: Callander to Killin – approx 25 miles

Out of Callander alongside the dashing River Leny to the shores of Loch Lubnaig. Leaving Loch Lubnaig, you’re back on a wee lane  towards the village of Balquhidder.  Highland view – across Loch Voil.  Rob Roy MacGregor strode this landscape in the 18<sup>th</sup> century. His grave in the churchyard at Balquhidder. Loch Earn  to Lochan Lairig Cheilie. The rest of the day’s ride is downhill, to Killin, and the Falls of Dochart.

Day 5: Killin to Pitlochry – approx 38 miles

Killin down to the mighty Loch Tay. For fourteen lovely miles, you wheel along the loch.   The village of Kenmore.   You follow the Tay – the longest river in Scotland – through the curiously named Appin of Dull, passed Aberfeldy where there’s a distillery. Once over the old railway viaduct at Logierait, you climb out of the Tay valley and then descend, gently down to the River Tummel, and the town of Pitlochry.

Day 6: Pitlochry to Edinburgh– approx 32 miles

You head south, through the large farms and woods of Perthshire. This region is known as ‘Big Tree Country’. As you are following the river, the trend is downhill. On a cycle path beside the river, you pass Dunkeld House formerly a private residence where Beatrix Potter wrote <em>The Tale of Peter Rabbit</em>. The final run brings you into the heart of Perth, the elegant and ancient county town, and your journey’s end of the tour. You will be met by your rep who will collect your bikes and transfer you to Edinburgh.

Day 7: Departure

After breakfast the hotel will store your luggage to give you the day to explore Scotland''s capital until its time for your departure. Transfers to the airport and additional nights in Edinburgh may be pre-booked

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Frequently asked questions

1. How fit do I need to be for these holidays?

Our Bikecations are designed to attract people of all ages and levels of fitness. All the holidays can be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. Some holidays involve greater distances or frequency of cycling and some will cover hillier terrain than others. Our tour gradings and itinerary descriptions should help guide you towards the most suitable holiday options for you. If you are not sure, give us a call.

2. How many miles a day can I expect to cycle?

This depends on the Bikecation you choose. These have been graded so you know what to expect.

For a bikecation leisure cycling holiday a gentle pace is about 7-8 miles per hour, so, if you cycle for four hours, you can expect to cover 25-30 miles comfortably. This leaves plenty of time for sightseeing, picnics, visiting castles or churches, stopping for morning coffee or whatever you want to do. You have all day to get to your next stopover, so you can relax and enjoy the countryside. We can also include rest days when you can enjoy other activities if you require.

For our road cycling and bespoke tours for groups we will advise you what is best for the particular trip you wish to ride on. Usually we try to cover 60-100 miles at an average speed of 13.5 to 14.5 mph but this can be slower or faster depending on the group.

3. What do I wear for leisure cycling ?

It is important to be comfortable when cycling so we suggest wearing thin layers of clothing. Padded cycling shorts, a zipped top, windproof light jacket and trainers are standard fare. Fast drying and hardwearing synthetic fabrics are ideal as a base layer as these allow your skin to breathe and wick the moisture away from your skin to the next layer, avoiding the chill which cotton T-shirts can cause. In mid-summer you may just need shorts and a t-shirt. Safety helmets are strongly recommended on all Bikecation holidays and are a legal requirement in some countries so please bring your own helmet. We will send out a What to wear document to you well in advance of your Bikecation.

4. Are cycling holidays suitable for children?

Cycling can make an ideal family holiday, provided the right distances are chosen for the younger members of the party. We would suggest that you call us to discuss the most suitable tours for your children. In most places we are able to offer children’s bikes and child seats, if you have toddlers or babies.

5. How much luggage can I bring?

Your luggage is transported for you every day so bring what you need to make your holiday relaxing and comfortable. Please try and limit it to one item of luggage per person and that it is clearly labelled. On some tours there is a weight limit per item.

6. What happens to my luggage?

We want you to enjoy your Bikecation to the full so, for your comfort, we arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next. The only thing we ask is that you leave your suitcases in reception on setting out each morning, and the hoteliers will ensure that it is waiting for you at your next hotel. We will provide luggage labels for you. All you need carry with you are drinks, a camera, waterproofs and sun cream.

7. Is my money safe if anything happens to Bikecation?

Your money is safe when you book your Bikecation. To protect your payments fully, all monies paid by you to us for your holiday are held in a separate Client’s Trust Account and are not released to Bikecation until your holiday has taken place. This practice fully satisfies the requirements of EC and UK law. Please call us if you would like to discuss this further.

Bikecation is also fully licensed by ATOL ( no. T7462) that is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). for full details how how your payments are protected, please read our Your Financial Security page.

8. Do I need to bring my own bike? What type of bike should I bring?

We arrange for hire bikes to be provided for your holiday or tour. However, if you would prefer to bring your own bike then by all means bring it with you, but it must be in good working order. We recommend either a hybrid or a mountain bike fitted with road tyres for our leisure cycling holidays.

For our road cycling trips we can advise on what is best for your situation but we regularly transport bikes to the start destination.

If you do bring your own bike, you should insure it separately. Most household insurance policies can be extended to cover your bike whilst on holiday.

9. What happens if I have a problem with the bike or any other problem en route ?

If you are provided with a bike it will be well-maintained and serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems however, there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.
If you have brought your own bike and you are unable to fix it, we will find you a replacement for the rest of your holiday.

Our road cycling trips will also have back up support with a mechanic unless requested otherwise with a possible spare bike for any major problems.

10. What should I do about holiday insurance?

If you choose a holiday abroad, you should have adequate insurance to cover you for medical expenses and for cancellation or curtailment of your holiday. For holidays in the UK we recommend everyone should have holiday travel insurance. Not all insurance policies cover cycling daily so we recommend Campbell Irvine. For full information, please read our ‘Trip Preparation’ page

11. Where will I leave my car for the duration of the leisure cycling holiday?

In most cases you can leave your car for the duration of your holiday in the car park of the hotel used for the first night’s accommodation. Where parking is not available at the first hotel, you will be advised of the alternative arrangements made for you.

12. I’m on my own – Which holidays are best for me ?

Nearly all our holidays are open to single travellers, but our Group guided holidays may be of most interest. Group holidays give you the opportunity to meet others of like mind and to enjoy cycling together. The group ‘vibe’ continues into the evening if you decide to eat together. A guide will help you appreciate the history and culture of the area you’re visiting.

13. What type of accommodation can I expect?

There is a variety of accommodation ranging from Castles and Chateaux to small boutique hotels and good quality B&Bs, thereby offering a range of different priced holidays. If you have any questions regarding which accommodation is used in the trip you are interested in riding please contact the office.

14. What are the routes like?

The descriptions of our Leisure Bikecations indicate the main types of routes we use on each holiday, such as provincial roads, country lanes, dedicated cycle ways, some tracks and Casa Verdes (disused railway tracks). While we try to use quiet routes wherever possible, you should be comfortable riding occasionally in traffic. Traffic volumes can vary even on minor roads, especially in more popular tourist areas; we sometimes have to use short sections of busier roads to cross rivers or connect scenic routes, and traffic will inevitably be heavier in and near towns.

Some routes include occasional sections on unsurfaced tracks, but these don’t require any specific technical riding skills. If you are unsure of your level, or would like to know more about the cycling on specific holidays, then please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable reservations team.

15. Do I need to bring money for food?

All the holidays include a hearty breakfast each day. Some also include lunch and an evening meal. Where they are not included, you are free to choose where and when to eat. Some hotels will provide you with a packed lunch on request, but most people like the freedom of stopping at the place of their choice to experience the local cuisine. Some routes have been designed to incorporate gastronomic delights and will include an evening meal. Details are given with each individual tour.

16. Is it possible to extend one of the holidays from a few days to a full week?

We have the resources to design a tour to suit your requirements, incorporating rest days if desired, taking in places that are of interest to you. Give us a call and we will try to accommodate your wishes. The only constraint may be the availability of the accommodation.

17. Can you arrange flights for the overseas tours?

Flights are not included in the tour price, however we can book flights for you. Holding an ATOL licence means that if you book a tour and flight together with us you will have the added piece of mind of the financial protection offered by ATOL. If you prefer to book your own, we recommend that you wait until your tour booking is confirmed before you book any flights and booking separately means you will not be covered by ATOL. For full information on our flight services please contact us on email@bikecation.co.uk

18. When are the tours available?

Departure dates are shown for all tours. Please be aware that the holidays are very dependent on the availability of the selected accommodation. These have been chosen carefully, looking for a high standard to ensure you are comfortable at all times. During busy periods this is not always available, so we advise that you should book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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    +44 (0)1435 884368

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