Scotland is enjoying a surge in popularity, with 3.4 million overseas visitors enjoying its stunning scenery this year, according to the latest Office for National Statistics’ tourism data. From rugged mountains to spectacular night skies, the northern tip of the United Kingdom has something special to offer every traveler, and in particular, those on two wheels can experience something truly unique. Whether you’re planning a solo vacation or looking for a trip you can share with friends, touring Scotland by motorbike will make for the trip of a lifetime.
Start your engine
Scotland is a hugely popular choice with motorbike riders, but is also one of the safest places in the UK to explore on two wheels, according to a recent survey. Choosing the right bike for your trip will improve both your safety and your comfort levels, so do your research carefully. Mid-range motorbikes or touring bikes are good choices for longer trips, although you may have some fun with an off-road bike, particularly in areas such as Lochaber and Kinloch.
Known among the biking community as Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the North Coast 500 offers exhilarating beauty with plenty of amazing food and drink opportunities along the way. From towering mountains to twisting roads, peaceful Lochs to fairy tale castles, there’s something for every traveler (and their Instagram followers) to feast their eyes on. The route also offers opportunities for fishing, surfing, white water rafting and even gold panning, so if you want to enjoy a little time off the road, too, there’s plenty to do.
Bite sized biking
If you’re shorter on time and can’t quite squeeze in the North Coast’s 500 miles, Scotland also offers plenty of shorter, bite sized rides. “Nessie’s Hook” takes you past the iconic Loch Ness, or you can start your journey in the Cairngorms National Park, passing several whisky distilleries on your way. If it’s history you’re after, head for Galloway for beautiful roads (don’t miss The Dalveen Pass!) and breathtaking castles, some of which are actually still in use today.
Wherever you roam in Scotland, you can be sure of a warm welcome. With its stunning natural scenery, friendly locals, and a ‘wee dram’ awaiting the end of your ride, it’s a place unlike any other. Whether you take the high road or the low road, you’re bound to come back from Scotland refreshed and firing on all cylinders.