For our Highland Drover tour, we’ve connected our favourite gravel tracks, roads, munro mountains, special places to stay, and a whisky distillery on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, to bottle the best of Scotland within four-days of ace cycling through her Central Highlands. Bikepacking in Scotland doesn’t get much better…
17-21 September 2020
Meet at the base hotel in Glen Coe. Say hi, check-in, sort kit, build bikes and head out for out-and-back intro/social ride through Glen Etive – the Skyfall Road – before dinner and drinks.
Accommodation: Hotel / Bunkhouse
90km // +1000m
The tour starts proper – riding a stunning section of the West Highland Way, along old drove roads, before heading East on gravel and forestry tracks towards Aberfeldy…
80km // +700m
We ride north on the old military road, to one of the highest whisky distilleries in Scotland, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, for a tour and tasting. Overnighting at a mountaineering hut.
55km // +600m
After an optional run down Laggan’s forestry trails we head back into the hills – through the Arverikie and Corrour Estates on a section of popular Highland Trail 550 track – to one of our favourite places to stay, on the shores of stunning Loch Ossian.
35km // +500m
Ride the windswept ‘Road to the Isles’ old drover route before crossing the infamous Rannoch Moor and making our way back to civilisation for a well-earned feed, back in the shadows of “the herdsman of Etive”…
– 4 days adventure cycling with Pannier guides
– 4 nights accommodation in huts and bunkhouses
– All breakfasts, 3 evening meals, 2 lunches, hot drinks and snacks
– Distillery Tour & Tasting
– Pannier Tourer Pack / Goodies
– Travel to and from Glen Coe
– Riding/Travel Insurance (required)
– Alcoholic drinks and souvenirs
– Lunch and food/coffee stops not listed in the itinerary
– Bike/Equipment Hire
The boring stuff. Sorry.
To confirm your place(s) on the Camp, we require a 50% deposit. At which point, we’ll be in touch via email or over the phone to have a chat about your requirements / arrangements. Please don’t book travel to Wales until the Camp is 100% confirmed by us 🙂
Pannier (Pannier Ltd) is a Tour Operator, and is compliant with the Package Travel Regulations 1992. We do not arrange or book travel to and from our Camps/Tours.
Our Booking T&Cs need to be agreed to/signed in order to secure a place on our Camps.
Our Hire T&Cs will need to be agreed to/signed on arrival at a Pannier Basecamp, if you are hiring anything from us.
In accordance with the Package Travel Regulations, Pannier Ltd is is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. At no extra cost to you, and in accordance with The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Pannier Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Pannier Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through Zurich Insurance PLC. Exclusions: Travel Insurance, and any claim relating to Air Flights.
FAQ / Field Notes
‘Highland Drover’ Bikepack
Joining instructions >>
This tour starts and finishes at a historic traveller hotel & bunkhouse in Glen Coe. Detailed joining instructions will be issued 2-3 weeks before the tour starts. The start is a short ride / taxi journey from Bridge of Orchy station train stations. There is parking available at the start/finish point, for those looking to travel by car.
We recommend you arrive at the start hotel by 13:00 at the latest on day one to allow time to check in, sort kit out and meet the Pannier team before heading out for an afternoon ride. Please let us know if you plan on arriving later than this.
Please do not book non-refundable travel before a tour has been guaranteed to go ahead [see our general FAQs]
Getting there >>
TRAIN – Bridge of Orchy is the closest station to the start/finish point. Bridge of Orchy is well connected with Edinburgh and Glasgow and is a stop on the Caledonian Sleeper from London.
DRIVE – Parking is available at the start/finish point. There might be opportunities for car shares, once we know who has booked on.
FLY – We recommend flying to either Glasgow or Edinburgh, then connecting via train to Bridge of Orchy, and then booking a taxi to Glen Coe.
Food & Drink >>
All breakfasts, two lunches and 3 traditional evening meals are included on this tour.
Vegetarian and vegan diets can be catered for, however options are limited. Please let us know of any dietary requirements and allergies once booked on!
Riding snacks are included throughout but please bring a selection of your favourite snacks with you as well.
Cafes and alcoholic beverages are sporadically available during the trip. Please make sure to bring some cash for these.
We spend four nights in basic bunkhouse accommodation. The accommodation is clean, comfortable and warm and set in spectacular locations. Please note all rooms are dorm style and no single rooms are available.
What to bring >>
Adventure bike (Off-road tourer, gravel bike, CX bike, XC mountain bike), unless hiring
Bike packing bags, unless hiring
Cycling kit, shoes, helmet, pedals
Off the bike clothes – warm layers for mornings and evenings + clothes for travel days
Cold / Wet Weather Riding Kit
Cold / Wet Weather Gloves
Sleeping Bag Liner
Head Torch / Flashlight
Bikes & Bags >>
The hire bikes on this tour are Surly Straggler gravel bikes. We must have your required size at least two weeks before the tour date.
If hiring bags you will receive a full set of Ortlieb Waterproof bikepacking bags for the duration of the tour.
Other nationalities should check with your relevant Embassy before travel. It is your responsibility to obtain the relevant visas (if needed) before travel.
Passports must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to make sure your passport is valid before travel.
There are no specific health risks or required vaccinations for Scotland.
Average temperatures in the Scottish Highlands range from highs of 15degC – lows of 5degC. The mountains can be cold / wet / windy, especially in the evenings, but we would expect to be cycling in shorts and single layers during most of the day. Bring appropriate layers for adverse weather…
Money / Local Currency >>
Local time >>
Route info >>
The route is roughly 50% on paved roads and 50% on gravel/unsurfaced roads. The unsurfaced sections are well maintained but some previous experience of cycling on gravel would be recommended. There are some sections where you will need to push your bike, these are only short sections but allow us to link up some incredible off-road routes.
Health and fitness >>
Please read the full tour information regarding distances and elevation before booking. The route is undulating with some long climbs and descents, some on gravel, so previous cycling experience is required.
You will need to inform us of any ongoing injuries or health issues once booked, this information will be requested before departure. It is vital for us to know about anything before traveling into remote areas.