Friday, 11 June 2010

Fab Coast and castles cycle route

Gourdon, Montrose

Arbroath Harbour

Montrose beach

Sustrans have been a huge bonus in the UK helping to develop a massive network of cycle-friendly routes for all kinds of cyclists. One of my favourites in Scotland is the Coasts and Castles route. This route, also called National Route 1, actually starts in Newcastle and heads to Aberdeen, via Edinburgh. There's a neat guide book to the Coasts and Castles route produced by Pocket Mountain Guides.

The Coasts and Castles route is an epic cycle stretching almost 600km along the North Sea coast from Newcastle to the granite city of Aberdeen via Northumbria's clifftop castles and smugglers' havens, Edinburgh's medieval Old Town and iconic bridges and Aberdeenshire's fishing villages and sandy beaches.

The route could be completed in one go and over a week or so (for fit cyclists) or it can be split into day-long outings. Last month I assisted a group of cyclists heading from Edinburgh to Aberdeen on this route. I had a lot of fun helping to transfer their baggage between accommodations. The group of 12 cyclists were keen to simply cycle and enjoy the trip, but without having to worry about the extra weight of their luggage. Baggage transfer for walkers and cyclists is a growing part of the Glentrek business.

The group of cyclists rode for four days:

Day 1: Edinburgh to Freuchies, Fife

Day 2: Freuchies to Carnoustie

Day 3: Carnoustie to Inverbervie

Day 4: Inverbervie to Aberdeen.

They had a ball and I was able to take some great pictures along the route. If these don't inspire you to head off for this long-distance cycle then I've no idea what will!

Glentrek now plans to offer the Coasts and Castles cycle as a holiday option for our customers. We can help you to arrange accommodation along the route, baggage transfer and bike hire. We can also pick you up from Edinburgh station and set you on your way with your hired bikes, and then collect you at Aberdeen.

This summer is the ideal time to head to Scotland for a cycling holiday.

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