Cycling in Inverness

A thriving city in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is a fabulous base for scenery loving cyclists. From the history and romance of the Jacobite era to the murky mysteries of nearby Loch Ness (and Nessie), there's something for everyone in this fascinating corner of Scotland. 

What's more, its remarkable natural beauty and endlessly varied terrain make it a brilliant place for cyclists of all abilities. 

Feeling adventurous? Get on your bike and head out on some of the most stunning cycling trails in Inverness.

Best for adrenaline junkies: Learnie Red Rock Trails

Located just south of Inverness, the Learnie Red Rock Trails are the perfect destination for mountain bikers eager to test their skills in a spectacular setting. With green, blue and black graded trails that cater to a range of abilities, plus a dirt jump and some thrilling descents, rock features and tabletops all set against impressive views of Ben Wyvis and the Moray Firth, this is a mountain bike experience you won't soon forget.

Best for history: Inverness to Nairn

Starting in Inverness's historic city centre, this Inverness to Nairn cycle route passes along the tranquil banks of the River Ness as you head east toward the famous Culloden Battlefield, site of the decisive Jacobite defeat in 1745. You can stop to visit the excellent interpretive centre before traversing the vast Culloden Moor to see the well-preserved Clava Cairns, three Bronze Age burial mounds surrounded by stone circles. The ride next takes you through pretty woodlands and along the shores of the River Nairn, to finish in the quaint seaside fishing town of Nairn.

Best for variety: Loch Ness Tour

Enjoy fabulous views on this circular tour of the world-famous loch. 

Starting in Inverness, you'll travel down the north shore, passing the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle before arriving at the canal locks at Fort Augustus, at the loch's southern tip.

From here you'll head north once more along the South Loch Ness Trail, which takes you past the dramatic Falls of Foyers, bridges built by General Wade, Iron Age forts and more – all within breath-taking vistas of mountains, forest, loch and moorland.

Best for peaceful waterside cycling: Caledonian Canal Towpath

Cutting across the Great Glen from Inverness to Fort William, the Caledonian Canal was built in the 19th century to allow ships to safely pass between the North Sea and Scotland's Atlantic Coast. By following the canal's towpath you'll pass through historic towns and villages and through areas of incredible natural beauty, along a well-maintained route that's largely traffic-free, flat and level. You can also connect from here to mountain bike trails and other forest paths in the Great Glen.

Bike hire and more

Don't fancy carting your bike up to the Highlands? The following local shops and companies offer bike hire, plus parts, accessories, repairs, route info and other cycling essentials:

Inverness Bicycle & Fitness
Monsterbike
Inverness Bike Hire
Ticket to Ride Bike Hire

Want a true cycling challenge? Sign up for the Etape Loch Ness and embark on a 106 kilometre (66 mile) race around the renowned loch on traffic-free closed roads – a memorable opportunity for any cyclist!

Find a hotel in Inverness

Looking forward to a good night's sleep after all that Highland cycling? Find Inverness hotels with Premier Inn for a comfortable, convenient place to rest up after your adventure.