Up here in Sutherland we are lucky enough to have some of the quietest roads in the UK which along with the beautiful scenery make this a great place to cycle.
If you are interested in Mountain Biking why not visit some of our superb mountain bike trails. Highland Wildcat Trails located on the east coast of Sutherland adjacent to the village of Golspie. The trails feature the longest descent in the UK from the summit of Ben Bhraggie and the longest technical singletrack climb. Highland Wildcat offers trails for all abilities that link directly to Golspie village and its local services. The Coffee Bothy in the village makes for an excellent post cycle coffee and cake.
Further inland lies the Kyle of Sutherland Mountain Bike trails. These trails overlook the inner Dornoch firth and provide a chance to explore this special woodland scenery of central Sutherland.
Road Cycling and Touring
There are many lovely routes that you can take on your road bike. Here are a just couple of our favourites.
The Kyle of Sutherland loop is a thirty five mile route which twists and turns along single track roads passing through the central Sutherland villages of Bonar Bridge, Invershin, Lairg and Rosehall. If you take this route in the spring and summer seasons, why not stop Rosehall Craft Shop and Eating Place or the Invershin Hotel for a cup of coffee on your way.
The North and West of the county of Sutherland boast some fantastic hills for road cycling. Starting at Lairg in the morning and heading west along the A839/A837 to Lochinver, taking in the breathtaking mountain scenery of Sulliven and Ben More Assynt along the way, arriving in Lochinver in time for lunch. If your legs are not tired yet, take the B869 for an exciting 37 mile loop of rolling hills taking you north out to Clachtoll, Stoer, Nedd and back along Loch Assynt into Lochinver.
One of Sutherland’s local community cycle clubs, the East Sutherland Wheelers runs a seasonal touring programme so keep an eye out for details of planned tour rides on their website, http://www.eastsutherlandwheelers.org.uk.
Sutherland also plays host to a number of cycling events throughout the year.
The village of Durness on the North Coast of the county held its first charity dualthon in October 2012. The event was run by the local community and raised funds for the village hall. It is hoped that this will be an annual event. If you don’t have a bike but would like to enter, the Durness Community also have a bike hire facility. Further South and west Sutherland features in the very popular cycling sportive, The Ullapool Beag and The Ullapool Mhor, held annually in September. The East Sutherland Wheelers also host an annual Race Weekend on the east coast for road cyclists of all ages including Time Trial events and a closed circuit Criterium race. The East Sutherland Wheelers also runs weekly indoor spin cycle classes throughout the darker months of the year to help keep the legs turning throughout the winter.
Cycling friendly accommodation and services
Sutherland boasts an array of cycling friendly accommodation including the Rogart based Sleeperzzz. Sleeperzzz offers a discount to those guests arriving by bicycle. If cycling in the North and West of the county, why not stop at The Crask Inn, on the A837 12 miles north of the village of Lairg provides a welcome stop to any weary cyclist with good food along with very friendly and welcoming hosts. The Altnaharra Hotel also offers cycle friendly accommodation and also provides a special LEJOG Cabin for end to enders at a very reasonable rate. For those who don’t have their own cycles they can also provide bikes for guests who wish to explore Sutherland on two wheels. For servicing and fixing your bike, there is also a qualified bike mechanic in the local hardware shop in Golspie which comes in very handy.
We look forward to seeing you on your bike in Sutherland!