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Wonderful Cycling Tour in the UK

Imagine your own spacious, comfortable holiday barge, complete with an attentive crew to look after you. An excellent cook spoiling you with delicious food and a friendly skipper making sure you get the most of your holiday! Over the 7 days you will traverse the wonderful Highland countryside from Inverness to Fort William on your bike. With high and low paths, through semi-wilderness and long stretches of pathways, this cycling tour offers views, the length of the sixty plus mile-long Great Glen. While you cycle and enjoy the scenery your comfortable accommodation with a top-grade cook moves forward to await your arrival after your day of exploration.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point-to-point
  • Terrain: Forest trails, mostly two paths roads along the canal
  • Starts in: Inverness
  • Ends in: Banavie
  • Difficulty level: Easy (Cyclist doesn't need to have a certain level of fitness, mostly flat terrain though occasionally they will ride in unpaved or hills, 10-30 miles per day)
  • Total Distance: 83 Miles / 134 Kilometers
  • Type of bike: Hybrid bike
  • Number of participants: Maximum 12 persons


  • Some adventure therapy cycling along the Great Glen Way
  • The company of a knowledgeable, local and friendly guide
  • Spectacular cruise through three lochs, including the iconic Loch Ness
  • Inclusive use of bike and crash helmet for the tour
  • Freshly prepared meals by the resident chef
  • 6 nights of accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

6 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:


  • Luggage room / storage
  • Laundry

The barge will be Fingal of Caledonian that has been running successful cruises since 1996. She is 39 meters long and has the capacity to carry 12 passengers and up to six crew members. Fingal of Caledonia has seven steep steps down from the deck into the boat at both ends. These have good handrails and Caledonian Discovery is very used to helping people up and down but the boat is in no way wheelchair accessible.

Occasionally at anchor, access to and from the shore is by the smaller RIB support boat. Access to this boat is by a short ladder up to Fingal’s deck. Down below in Fingal, there is a single step at each end of the cabin passage and single steps again up into the en-suite and into the shower.

You will be accommodated in a twin en-suite cabin with wonderful power showers. As you explore, your accommodation moves forward to meet you at a new location every day. There are six ensuite cabins with a large (three feet and six inches) lower berth and a standard (two feet and six inches) berth above.

All berths are six feet and three inches long and have underfloor heating, heated towel rail, good storage, and a large opening window. Bed linen and towels are provided. There is plenty of hot water and the showers are good and powerful. There is also a laundry / drying room on board. Please advise the crew should you wish to use the washing machine.


Imagine, on this tour, instead of struggling along with a heavy load on your bike from one hostel to the next you gloriously find, your hotel with en-suite accommodation and top-grade cooks wait for you at the end of the day. Absurd? Not at all except for the substitute barge for the hotel. It's a concept that is not only fascinating but also proven as the popular "bike and barge holidays" across Europe now and it is available here in the UK.

Caledonian Discovery, with two comfortable barges, each carrying a dozen guests, has operated activity holidays up and down the Caledonian Canal, including Loch Ness, for over twenty years. They are now promoting their bicycle itineraries through the "bike and barge” idea which is aimed at those who want to combine comfort with as much exercise as they are in the mood for that day.

The biking on this seven-day cruise offers a variety of options. Each day, your experienced guide will show you the best of the trails and rides around and beyond the Great Glen. Caledonian Discovery looks for a mixture of trail, forest track, towpath, and scenic road that they don’t have time to offer on their shorter ‘Cycle the Great Glen’ cruise.

You will venture into the famous Leanachan forest trails around Nevis Range, home to the Fort William 'UCI' World Cup. There will be the opportunity to cycle on the old Great Glen Cycle way which takes you high above Loch Ness offering some fantastic views. If you wish a day off, you are welcome to stay on board and relax as you cruise to the next stopping point.

The Trials and Glens cruise leaves from Inverness at 14:00. Leaving Inverness to Dochgarroch, the first day is a gentle cycle ride to Dochgarroch and the small loch, Loch Dochfour. You will have a wonderful start for day two with a cycle along the shores of iconic Loch Ness on secluded trails and quiet roads.

There is then a climb with an approximate height gain of 240 meters, offering fine views of Loch Ness from a forest road before finishing by a gorge and the spectacular Foyers Waterfall. The third day starts with a short climb out from Foyers Pier for a morning of rides along quiet roads and purpose-made cycle tracks before descending down into Fort Augustus, the largest village between Fort William and Inverness.

In the afternoon, you will have a chance to cycle along some forest trails offering further spectacular views of the southern end of Loch Ness. New day, new lochs. Leaving Loch Ness and Fort Augustus, you will cruise to Loch Oich and leave the barge for a journey.

First, you pass through the small village of Invergarry before taking the UK's longest no-through road. From there, you join a forest trail and leading to a bridge crossing the next loch, Loch Garry, before returning on a different forest trail to Loch Oich. In the morning, a spectacular cruise through the peaceful center Laggan Avenue is taken before leaving the barge for a ride through another forest trail on the length of Loch Lochy.

Near the end of the loch, you arrive at the small hamlet of Clunes, the start of the Dark Mile, an amazing road with trees and walls adorned with a rich carpet of mosses and lichens. After crossing the bridge at the foot of your sixth loch, Loch Arkaig, you head through the Achnacarry Estate, home of Cameron of Lochiel. Here, the Clan Cameron Museum makes an interesting stop, offering information about the history of the area.

The last leg of the day takes you along The Great Glen Way to meet the barge at Gairlochy, another quiet hamlet at the south-west of Loch Lochy. The final day from Gairlochy, you cycle past the impressive Commando Memorial to the village of Spean Bridge. You then head off onto forest tracks through the spectacular scenery of Nevis Range, the local ski center and home to the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Here, you can take the optional gondola ride up to 650 meters for spectacular views and a high-level café stop. Later, you take the cycle track towards Fort William passing the local distillery before returning to Banavie for your last night aboard the barge. Your final morning is to cycle the towpath and explore the local features of the dramatic Caledonian Canal.

You will see one of the aqueducts carries the canal over the tributary rivers to the River Lochy and visit Corpach where the canal meets the sea. You will then cycle back to reach journey's end at the top of the spectacular flight of eight canal locks, known as Neptune’s Staircase. A fitting end to an inspirational adventure.


At the end of each day, you will discuss where the following day cycle will be heading for, with the information on the weather and local knowledge from the guide.


You will be cycling through the Great Glen from your cruise ship, from Inverness to Fort William in Scotland, UK.


Caledonian Discovery understands after a day of exploring the Great Glen's trail and paths, food is hugely important. The resident chef prepares meals for all dietary requirements. Caledonian Discovery has a great reputation for freshly prepared good food and their chefs are happy to cater for all dietary needs.

Breakfast includes porridge, cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruit, followed by toast and a hot cooked option. At lunchtime, you have homemade bread, soup, and fresh salads. Packed lunches are individually prepared for guests who are out and about. Dinner consists of a main course with two options, dessert, and cheeseboard.

A local produce is sourced wherever possible including fresh fish from Mallaig, wild Scottish venison, and Aberdeen Angus beef. Home-baking often welcomes you back on the boat after an afternoon of activities. Meals are informal with guests and crew sitting together around a large table. Stories about adventures are shared and plans are made for the following day.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Cycling along the Great Glen Way
  • Spectacular cruise to Loch Oich and Lagan Avenue
  • Stunning Views of Fort Augustus after long climb from Foyers
  • A service of local guides and maps to enhance each days excursion
  • Instruction and equipment for the activities (including cycles and crash helmets)
  • Freshly cooked meals
  • 6 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • Alcoholic drinks (reasonably priced)
  • Transport to the start point of the cruise (if required)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving direction from Inverness town center

  • Follow the A9 to Inverness and head into the city center.
  • Follow the A862 to Beauly and turn right before crossing the Caledonian canal.
  • The colorful barge will be situated ahead of you.
  • There is car parking available by the barge.

Driving direction from Glasgow to Fort William

  • Take the A82 from Glasgow.
  • Drive through the town and follow the signs for the A830 towards Mallaig.
  • Turn right after a mile before crossing the Caledonian Canal and follow the small signs for Caledonian Discovery
  • Follow the track up onto the towpath.
  • Follow this track and the barge will be on the last pontoon on the right.
  • There is open car parking available by the pontoon.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Inverness Airport (INV), Glasgow International Airport (GLA), or Edinburgh Airport (EDI).

From Inverness Airport (INV), a shuttle bus service is available hourly to the city center from where a 10-minute taxi ride to the canal and the start of your holiday is available. Taxis are also available from the airport.

From Glasgow International Airport (GLA), there is a bus and train service to Glasgow city center. Trains and bus service are available to Inverness and Fort William from Glasgow.

From Edinburgh Airport (EDI), a shuttle or tram service is available to the city center from the airport. From the bus station and railway station, there are direct services to Inverness and services via Glasgow to Fort William.

Arrival by train

There are good connections to Fort William and Inverness by rail and coach from Glasgow. There is an overnight sleeper service from London Euston to both Fort William and Inverness.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
7 days / 6 nights
from --

Maximum group size- 12 persons

Thursday August 8, 2024
(7 days / 6 nights)

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