With exotic foreign MTB destinations lining up to vie for the attention of your holiday wallet, it’s little wonder that spots closer to home can be unfairly neglected. Step forward Scotland, classified by MTB advocacy organisation IMBA as a “global superstar” and host to the massively successful World Cup and World Championships at Fort William.
Regular readers will be aware of the prodigious rate of purpose-built trail development in Scotland, but the trail centres are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s an awful lot of Scotland and very few people in most of it, making it just the ticket for the kind of “out there” bike experience that you may think you need to travel half way around the world to discover.
Naturally enough, the best way to experience non-waymarked, natural trails in unfamiliar terrain is to enlist the services of a local, which is where new-to-us holiday company Highlands and Islands Adventures comes in. It offers guided MTB holidays “specialising in the less well-worn and often more rewarding trails in the wild, unpredictable environment of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.”
H and I Adventures is based in Inverness and offers flexible itineraries for weekends or weeks. Some of the trips that caught our eye include the Skye singletrack weekend; the “170 mile glens” trip from Glasgow to Inverness; and the “naturally high” weekend in the Cairngorms, including a spot of Munro-bagging.
Some trips use B&B or guest house accommodation, while some involve carrying all your gear in a trailer. HandI emphasises the social aspect of this kind of trip, with everyone mucking in with setting up camp, cooking and so on. And yes, trips to the man-made trails are also available…
Want to know more? Head over to www.handiadventures.co.uk.