A CONSERVATION CHALLENGE
13TH – 16TH JUNE 2019
A three-day coast-to-coast cycling adventure in the Scottish Highlands, from the Cromarty Firth on the east coast to the picturesque town of Ullapool in the west.
The route winds through wild and rugged landscapes; from ancient forests and remote hill lochs to glacial valleys and stunning coastal firths.
The ride will be guided by the fantastic Go-Where team – Scotland’s mountain biking experts whose knowledge of Scotland’s trails and motivational attitude is unrivalled.
The hospitality team at Alladale Wilderness Reserve will also provide professional support for the entire trip, along with healthy, honest and local food – as well as unparalleled access to one of the UK’s leading rewilding projects.
DAY 1 | STOREHOUSE TO ALLADALE
Land at Inverness Airport at midday and transfer directly to the Storehouse restaurant on the shore of the Cromarty Firth, with beautiful views out over the water and to the mountains beyond.
Meet your hosts for the week and enjoy lunch altogether before being fitted for bikes and helmets. Once kitted out, set off over the hills off-road to Alladale Wilderness Reserve.
After a few hours hitting the off-road, afternoon refreshments will be awaiting you on the tranquil banks of the stunning Loch Glass. Continue through ancient pine woods and rolling hills, looking out for red squirrels, grouse and other Highland wildlife on the outskirts of Alladale Wilderness Reserve.
On arrival at Alladale Lodge, you will be greeted by the hospitality team and shown to your rooms to relax and freshen up. Over drinks before dinner, there will be a short presentation about the work of TENT. We then enjoy dinner together and retire for an early night.
DAY 2 | ALLADALE TO ULLAPOOL
After a hearty breakfast, begin today’s journey cycling down from Alladale Lodge through the cover of ancient Caledonian pines. We peddle gently uphill along Glen Mor and the River Caron; stopping by to meet local schoolchildren participating in the Highland Outdoor Wilderness Learning (HOWL) program and enjoy some coffee, teas etc.
We bike through newly established native woodlands planted over the last 15-20 years, passing crumbling bothies and sheepfolds all the while on the lookout for our small Highland cattle herd.
On the way to our BBQ lunch spot, by the shores of Loch Vaich we stop by Deanich Lodge, probably one of the most remote buildings in the UK, and home to the Bear Grylls Survival Academy and Wim Hof Ice retreats!
After lunch we cycle past Strathvaich Lodge and Keeper’s Cottage onto the surfaced road and final push alongside Loch Broom, to the small picturesque coastal town of Ullapool.
After settling into the charming Ceilidh Place, we have an amazing seafood dinner or the best fish & chips in town, followed by well-earned rest in preparation for the final day.
DAY 3 | ULLAPOOL TO ALLADALE, VIA RHIDORROCH
Depart Ullapool and head inland fuelled by another big breakfast and strong cup of coffee – this will be a challenging day on the bike, but hopefully with prevailing wind on our backs!
Cycle into the hills past Rhidorroch Lodge, Loch Achall and onto East Rhidorroch Lodge for our morning break. After which, the most challenging part of our off-road journey takes us deep into the Highlands and past the most remote Knockdamph Bothy and onto our lunch spot at Duarg Bridge where the Alladale catering team will be waiting for us with another lovely al fresco meal.
After lunch we continue eastwards through Corriemulzie Estate and onto Croick Estate, stopping by the historic Croick Church for a well-deserved tea break.
For the final push we have little over an hour’s ride back to Alladale through the ancient Amat woods, cycling alongside the rocky canyons of the Carron river and into Alladale Wilderness Reserve whilst on the lookout for red squirrels and leaping salmon!
Arrive back at the Alladale Lodge in the late afternoon to enjoy a sauna, and/or a massage, or simply relax!
Enjoy a whisky tasting from one of the local distilleries (no trip to the Highlands is complete without a wee dram) and enjoy some live Celtic music followed by dinner and further celebrations! Relax and take stock of what you have achieved during this adventure in Britain’s most secluded and remote wild landscape.
DAY 4 | DEPARTURE
After a leisurely brunch, and a final chance to stretch your legs around the Reserve, transfers will be provided back to Inverness Airport for your flights home.
Visiting Alladale Wilderness Reserve directly contributes to the conservation, wildlife and educational projects on and around the reserve. Your contribution in joining us on this ride will be directed to the educational programme – HOWL (Highland Outdoor and Wilderness Learning), which is an integral part of the Alladale Wilderness Reserve vision. The programme began in 2007 and offers a specially designed and expert-led environmental education journey for school children across the UK.
The programme allows students to improve their understanding about the natural world, ecology and conservation but also to learn key life skills within one of the most progressive conservation projects in the UK.
Since its inception, HOWL has engaged thousands of children, several of whom now work as rangers at Alladale Wilderness Reserve!