Scotland is a place of wonder – towering mountains, breathtaking scenery, and a wide expanse of space… Perfect for a cycling holiday then! There are some really great family cycle routes in Scotland, from those that are short and not too taxing, to the harder rides which are perfect for families with older kids. Let’s get stuck in to some of the best.
Family Cycle Routes In Scotland
1. Speyside Way, Cairngorms
This route is perfect for a family with some little legs joining in; it’s an easy route along quiet lanes and off road cycle paths.
The route goes along the Speyside Way, with expanses of heather moors and local artists’ sculptures to spot along the way.
You will find a lot of picturesque places to stop for a picnic, and you can enjoy a bit of steam train spotting along the Strathspey Railway too, if that’s your thing.
You will end up at Boat Of Garten, where you can pop into the local post office for snacks and supplies for the way back.
You can either cycle back the way you came, or catch a steam train back to Aviemore – perfect for those young cyclists who are worn out at the end of the day, and will add a little more fun to the trip.
2. The Caledonia Way
Another fairly flat and easy route, this one boasts some really stunning scenery, plus some interesting history in the preserved railway tunnel and station platforms.
You can take in Lochs and locks (Oich and Laggan, respectively!) and choose a beautiful spot to sit and eat a picnic and admire the scenery.
Both ends of this route are easily accessible, so you can start whichever end you fancy, and there is parking, cafes and toilets along the way.
This one is a great introduction to the wonderful world of cycling through beautiful nature, and is sure to give your kids a lifelong passion.
3. Lochwinnoch Loop
This is a sightly longer route, at 10 miles altogether, but it winds along some smooth tarmacked roads, making it an easy ride.
The cycle path is almost completely traffic free, so it’s perfect for a family cycle ride to keep the kids safe.
To keep everyone entertained along the way, look out for the Broken Pencils and the Bedrock Bike, and keep an eye open for wildlife spotting.
When you’ve made it to Lochwinnock, you can stop at the Visitor Centre for tea, cake and ice cream – this will fuel you for the journey back!
For the avid bird spotters, there is an RSPB reserve right by Lochwinnock Station, so you can take a detour there, and have a break from the bikes for a bit.
At this point, either turn around and head back, or you can go on another 4 miles and catch the train back to Paisley.
4. Helix Park
An easy 16 mile circular cycle trip, this one takes you past some fantastic artwork, including well known The Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel.
It is a mainly traffic free cycle path, and you will also ride on a towpath and through some beautiful woodlands.
The Callendar Park And Estate is a great stop off along the route; you can spot some local wildlife and learn about some local history.
There are also a lot of welcome breaks for picnics, and cafes dotted along the route so you can stop and rest the youngsters’ legs.
If you really fancy a challenge, this route can turn into an almost traffic free ride from Edinburgh to Glasgow!
A good track to get little ones into the joys of cycling, this one is sure to inspire them to a lifelong love of cycling.
5. The Rob Roy Loop
A 13 mile circular route, this one is quiet and rural, and features some dedicated off road cycle paths too.
You will ride through some beautiful forest, where the sharp-eyed can occasionally even spot some native red squirrels.
Once out of the forest, you can learn about some fascinating local history as you pass the grave of legendary outlaw Rob Roy!
The views are impressive, and you can stop to admire some beautiful lochs and mountains along the way.
You will end up right back where you started, before you even know it! Bikes are available to hire on this route if you haven’t brought your own.
6. Strathyre To Lochearnhead
This route is perfect for those just setting out on their cycling journey – you can choose between a 5 or 12 mile route, and it is mostly flat with gentle gradients.
Start with a cuppa in the cafe at Strathryre, then cycle through some breathtaking forest for wildlife spotting.
There are cafes en route that you can stop at, or power on through until you get to Lochearnhead.
You will also pass by some amazing sculptures by local artists, so keep the kids entertained looking out for Scottish nationals like the Highland Cow and West Highland Terrier!
7. Logierait To Dunkeld Loop
This route is ideal for the more proficient cyclists; it’s a 21 mile ride, with some slightly steeper gradients in sealed cycle paths.
This pretty route runs along Scotland’s longest river, the Tay, and it boasts some truly stunning views over Perthshire.
You can stop to visit Dunkeld Cathedral if you fancy a bit of culture, and also enjoy one of the many cafes in Dunkeld to give you a bit of a boost for the way back.
If you want to avoid starting the trip at Logierait in the car, you can go the other way around and start at Dunkeld & Birnam Railway station – a bit of extra fun for the kids!
Cycling in Scotland is one of the best things you can do there – it’s a really great way to get a proper look at the breathtaking scenery.
Now that you have a few routes planned out there is really no excuse – get the bikes out and head up North. Just don’t forget the bike pump as getting a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere is less than fun! For other options, please check these routes in the Lake District, these routes in France or Ireland.