"Scotland... is one of the top mountain biking vacation destinations in the world"

In a very short space of time, Scotland has established itself as one of the leading mountain biking vacation countries in the world, according to experts in the field.

One of the key elements in this respect has been the 7Stanes project, over 160 km (100 miles) of the world's finest mountain biking trails in the South of Scotland, created by Forestry Commission Scotland.

Mabie, Ae, Dalbeattie and Kirroughtree are just four of the seven, all located in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland's southwest. We are in fact just ten miles from Kirroughtree, on the southern edge of the Galloway Forest Park, the largest forest park in Britain.

Still in the west, but quite some way further up the country, namely at Fort William and Lochaber, is an area that styles itself as the Outdoor Capital of the UK: their website provides a guide to everything you can do there, from mountain biking to sea kayaking.

George W. Bush: "When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall. Otherwise you're not riding hard."

Nevertheless, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Scotland's mountain biking vacation opportunities, as President George W. Bush also discovered while attending the 2005 G8 conference at Gleneagles.

As you can see at BBC News Online, Bush "urged people to get on their bikes and tour Scotland's 'beautiful' countryside". As the BBC reported, he was speaking after crashing into a Strathclyde Police officer while riding his mountain bike on the Gleneagles Estate in Perthshire.

Addressing the media at the end of a news conference with Tony Blair ahead of the first G8 session at Gleneagles, Bush said: "For those of you who like to mountain bike, I would strongly suggest getting out in this beautiful countryside. It's a spectacular part of the world... just be careful on the finish line."

Referring to the incident, he also pointed out that "when you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall. Otherwise you're not riding hard."

The official Scottish tourism website bears witness to the increasing popularity of the sport, recently even offering an online mountain biking game where you could test your skills using your keyboard to win a top piece of mountain biking equipment. (I must confess, the time it took me to "complete the course", some of those whose scores were quoted on the site would have already gone home and been in bed....).

Destinations across Scotland for a mountain biking trip

Across Scotland, you can now choose a number of destinations for your mountain biking vacation, including:

  • The Highlands and Skye

  • Scotland Castle and Whiskey Country – Royal Deeside to Speyside

  • Perthshire, Angus and Dundee, and the Kingdom of Fife

  • West Highlands & Islands, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs

  • South of Scotland

    Take a look at these regions to get an idea of the variety of mountain biking vacation options available to you in Scotland and use this information to plan your own Scotland mountain biking vacation.

    By the way, speaking of planning, would you like to get hold of the FREE official "Scottish Mountain Biking Trails Guide", with loads of information on mountain biking all around the country, including contact details, best times and where to stay? Of course you would!

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