Without even trying Scotland has become a Mecca for gravel bikers. There always have been hundreds of miles of tracks criss-crossing forests, moors and penetrating deep into remote mountain areas but now this bewildering mishmash of tracks have been organised into very adventurous multi-day routes by local enthusiasts who know the areas intimately. These routes will take you far from the crowds and require self-sufficiency for days at a time. Search online for maps and GPX files.
An Tuaras Mhor (565km; 8-days) and the Badger Divide (340km; 4-days)
The ANT is the daddy of them all. Billed as a non-technical ride that starts in Glasgow it is almost entirely off-road on its journey north via the West Highland Way and the Rob Roy Way before branching-off up Glen Lochay for the big climb into Glen Lyon.
This is the point where it gets serious. The climbs are hard but the descents are awesome. The views are of seemingly endless mountains and this proves to be the case all the way to Cape Wrath in the extreme North-West where the ANT ends. As you cycle north the country grows increasingly remote. No public roads penetrate the area around Loch Ossian and wild camping is the only reasonable option.
The crux of both routes is the Corrieyarick Pass which is crossed by an 18th century military road that rises-up to 770-metres in a series of hairpins before the long descent to Fort Augustus. Here the BD and the ANT part company. The BD goes NE to Inverness via the Great Glen Way while the ANT continues into the empty far north-west. On arriving four days later in Durness all that remains is to wait for the ferryman to take you across the inlet for the out-and-back to the lighthouse on the cliff top at the suitably named Cape Wrath. Be sure to factor in getting back to Glasgow.
The Capital Trail (244km; 2-3 days)
This is a jewel of a route developed by round-the-world cyclist Markus Stitz. Centred on Edinburgh the loop exploits the paths that lead first along the shore of the Firth of Forth and then south through the Pentlands before encountering high Border Hills. Ancient drovers’ roads and forestry tracks make up most of the route that is surprisingly wild and lonely for being so close to Edinburgh. There are however many towns and villages en route that save you the need to carry all your supplies and a tent.
This however is a more technical route than the ANT and involves sections of single track and boggy ground where it is usually necessary to get off and push. There is also a loop that explores the best of the mountain bike centre at Glentress but this can easily be missed out to reduce the mileage.
These two routes or the ultimate figure-of-eight that combines them both are for the hardcore. Exploring the heart of the Cairngorms takes fitness and preparation. There are potential pit-stops in Blair Atholl, Braemar and Tomintoul but for the purists this is one that just has to be fully self-supported in order to truly immerse yourself in the vast wilderness that is the Cairngorms National Park.
The permutations of outer and inner loop can get quite complicated but suffice to say there is plenty of double track of the type used by Land Rovers, far too much single track that is soft, boggy and technically challenging and sections where it is just downright impossible to stay on the bike.
You might think you are doing well on the tarmac that leads all the way to Fealar Lodge but from then-on over to Linn of Dee it is very tough. Other tough section include beyond Gaick Lodge where double track becomes single track past Loch an Dun and on the Inner Loop over the 740-metre high Lairig an Laoigh in the depths of the Cairngorms. A true delight however is the long stretch of good track down Glen Avon to Tomintoul on the Outer Loop.
There are bothies but plan to camp and even if it is summer plan for snow and low temperatures. For those who are interested in the ultimate test you might want to try the Cairngorm Loop Challenge where the target is to complete the Outer Loop in under 56-hours. Not for the faint-hearted.
Biking with Intrepidus Outdoors
At Intrepidus Outdoors, we provide Mountain biking experiences across Scotland from our base in Edinburgh. Our experienced and qualified instructors will take you to our favourite Mountain biking trails in Scotland where you can ride and jump down some of Scotlands most well-known trails.
Paul Lamarra is one of Intrepidus’ experienced guides. A qualified mountain leader he has climbed, cycled and explored extensively in Scotland. He is also an award-winning writer and author of several books on Scotland including the Ultimate Scottish Cycling Book. His work has also appeared in many publications throughout the world.
To deliver the highest quality adventurous experiences to entertain, thrill and inspire.
Outdoor Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland
Our values reflect those of a business started by a small group of rock climbers and mountain bikers. The experiences that we have had adventuring, and our passion for the outdoors, has led us to choose a lifestyle dedicated to sharing our love for the outdoors with others. The approach that we take to the experiences that we provide, and the business that we run, is that of sustainability, and an unapologetic quest for quality.
For us at Intrepidus Outdoors, we recognise that our experiences kayaking in clean rivers, surfing on unpolluted beaches and climbing frozen waterfalls have contributed to who we are as people. Therefore, protecting the planet so that the next generation of adventurers can have their own experiences, is hugely important for us. We believe that for people, communities and businesses to make the choice to minimise their impact on our planet, they must first value the planet that we have. We feel that the best way for people to value our blue planet, is to have first hand quality experiences in nature. They can then see the beauty of a forest, feel the power of an ocean and learn to love what is outside our towns and cities, so that they then fight to protect them. We strive to through the products that we deliver make a small difference to peoples understanding of the impact that they have on our world.
Our experiences adventuring have made us who we are and Intrepidus Outdoors is a reflection of us. We provide real adventurous experience that we hope you will cherish.
Adventure Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland
There are cities where stuff is happening all year round and where you will never get bored. Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of these cities. It’s an extraordinary place, full of history, festivals, impressive architecture and plenty of attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention that we are located on the door step of so many amazing adventures and outdoor experiences.
We would like to introduce you to this extraordinary city, giving you a full range of possibilities that can be found north of the wall! Edinburgh has a huge dose of beautiful history, world-famous festivals, fantastic attractions, adrenaline fuled expereinces and great food. Edinburgh is calling you and you simply cannot refuse its invitation.
There are a many outdoor and adventurous experiences to be had in Edinburgh. If you are a thrill seeker visiting Edinburgh and interested in a canyoning, coasteering or mountain biking adventure in Scotland, Get In Touch!
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a fantastic destination with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Here are 11 reasons why Edinburgh is a great city to visit with friends:
Historic Architecture: Edinburgh is known for its historic and impressive architecture. Explore the medieval Old Town, with its narrow alleys and the iconic Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock. The contrasting Georgian New Town offers elegant streets and squares.
Edinburgh Castle: Dominating the city’s skyline, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit. Explore the various sections of the castle, learn about its history, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its vantage points.
Royal Mile: The Royal Mile is the main street of the Old Town, running from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s lined with shops, pubs, and street performers, making it a lively and entertaining stroll.
Festivals: Edinburgh is famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. If you visit during August, you’ll be treated to a vibrant atmosphere with countless performances, events, and shows.
Scenic Views: Climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano located in Holyrood Park, for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. It’s a great place for a hike or a picnic with friends.
Cultural Museums: Edinburgh boasts several excellent museums, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Gallery. These institutions offer a diverse range of exhibits, from art and history to science and technology.
Whisky Tasting: Scotland is renowned for its whisky, and Edinburgh is a great place to sample some of the finest Scotch whiskies. Explore local pubs and whisky bars to experience the rich and varied world of Scottish spirits.
Haunted History: Edinburgh is known for its haunted history, and there are various ghost tours that take you through the city’s spookiest spots. It’s a fun and eerie way to learn about the darker side of Edinburgh’s past.
Dynamic Arts Scene: The city has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and performance spaces. Whether you’re into traditional or contemporary arts, you’re likely to find something that suits your tastes.
Friendly Atmosphere: Scots are known for their friendliness, and you’ll likely find the welcoming atmosphere extends to the city itself. The friendly locals and the convivial ambiance of Edinburgh make it an excellent destination for a memorable trip with friends.
Outdoor Activities on your Doorstep: Edinburgh is on the edge of the Pentland Hills, Ochil Hills, East Lothian, the East Neuk of Fife and a hour and a half drive from the Cairngorm National Park. We deliver outdoor adventures, activities and exciting pursuits to all of these amazing locations.
It’s no secret that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From the rural coastlines to vast mountain ranges, we have it all. Whatever kind of experience you’re after you’re sure to find it here, so we’ve put together an adventurer’s guide to Scotland to help get you started. Our guide breaks down all the outdoor activities Edinburgh has to offer and many more adventures to keep you entertained on your holiday.
Scotland’s allure for outdoor adventures is rooted in its unparalleled natural beauty and diverse landscapes. From the rugged peaks of the Scottish Highlands to the tranquil shores of its countless lochs, the country provides a stunning backdrop for a myriad of outdoor activities. Hikers can traverse historic trails like the West Highland Way, while mountaineers are drawn to the challenge of scaling iconic peaks such as Ben Nevis. The expansive coastline and intricate network of rivers offer opportunities for water enthusiasts, from thrilling white-water rafting to peaceful kayaking. Scotland’s commitment to preserving its wilderness allows for accessible exploration, inviting both seasoned adventurers and casual nature lovers alike. With a rich cultural heritage woven into its landscapes, including ancient castles and historic sites, Scotland stands as an exceptional destination for those seeking not just outdoor excitement, but a profound connection with the untamed beauty of the natural world.
Moreover, Scotland’s outdoor appeal extends to its diverse range of activities, accommodating adventurers with varying interests and skill levels. Cyclists can navigate scenic routes, taking in the breathtaking views of rolling hills and coastal panoramas. As winter blankets the land, the Cairngorms and Glencoe transform into playgrounds for skiers and snowboarders, offering a thrilling winter sports experience. Wildlife enthusiasts find solace in the country’s natural habitats, where red deer roam freely, eagles soar overhead, and seals bask along the rugged shoreline. The proximity of Edinburgh, the capital city, further enhances the Scottish adventure, providing a seamless transition from urban exploration to the untamed wonders that lie just beyond its borders. In every season, Scotland’s outdoor wonders beckon, promising a tapestry of experiences that blend natural splendor with a rich tapestry of history and culture.
If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our Trip Advisor, Youtube channel, Visit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us! Equally, if there is any gear that you would like us to review, drop us a DM.
Here is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Adventures from Edinburgh!
What are the best outdoor activities in and around Edinburgh?
Canyoning, Coasteering, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Canoeing and Rock Climbing!
Is Edinburgh a good venue for adventures?
Edinburgh is on the doorstep of incredible locations for outdoor adventures. Only a short minibus ride and you are in world class venues for coasteering, canyoning, mountain biking and hiking.
Are your adventures suitable for beginners?
Yes. Our outdoor adventures are great for everyone!
Do you provide all the equipment?
We provide all technical equipment for your outdoor adventures with us. This includes canyoning and coasteering boots!
Is Edinburgh good to visit?
Yes. Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.
Is Edinburgh expensive?
If you live in the south of England, No. If you live in the Midlands or the North of England, Yes.
How much is a pint in Edinburgh?
Between £4 and £6
Do you collect us from our hotel for adventure tours?
Yes. On our private adventure tours we collect clients from their hotels.
Where do you collect open group tours from?
Edinburgh Waverley Train Station – The Market Street Entrance.
What is the age range of your adventures?
Open groups 14+. Private groups all ages!
How extreme are your outdoor adventure tours?
Canyoning and coasteering has jumps up to 10meters and the canyoning has waterfall abseiling uptimes 17 meters. So you tell us?!
How much are your adventure tours?
Days trips from £95 per person including transport.
What is the most popular outdoor adventure from Edinburgh?
Canyoning. People LOVE canyoning. We also love canyoning!
Do you take pictures?
Yes. All instructors will take pictures with their iPhones and GoPro’s. They will send them to you after the adventure.
What is your favourite outdoor activity?
Our team like lots of different adventures! Some like the extreme trips like canoeing while others like the more mellow tours like canoeing.
How are your trip advisor review so good?
We aim the exceed the expectations of our clients on all our outdoor adventure tours from Edinburgh!
Where do you run adventure tours from?
We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed Valley, Perth, Fort William, Bruar, Dollar, Alva, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay. .
What are your group sizes for private outdoor adventure tours?
Between 8 and 80!
Do you provide transport for your outdoors experiences?
Yes! We have a National Operators License to operate our own fleet of 17 seater minibuses.
Who is the best adventure tour provider in Edinburgh?
With over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews the Intrepidus team aims to exceed our customers expectations in every trip!
What provider runs the best outdoor experiences in Scotland?
Intrepidus Outdoors run canyoning, coasteering and hiking almost every day and we have over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews!
Edlin Industrial Estate