What better way to explore Scotland's best locations than cycling? Cycling is one of the best things you can do to truly experience the locations you visit and immerse yourself in the beauty of every stop you make. It can be challenging to choose where to go as there are so many great locations to take your bike out for a spin. Luckily, VisitScotland can give you a hand with that. They have teamed up with UNESCO to create the first-ever digital trail.
UNESCO aims to recognise, preserve and educate people about the world's most extraordinary places. These locations are truly unique. Not only do they have the power to help us travel through time, but they enhance the world's cultural and environmental diversity as well.
Scotland is the first country in the world to combine 13 locations recognised by UNESCO as 'Designations' in one interactive digital map. You can explore the trail online first to learn more about the history of each spot, or you can visit all of them physically and truly see everything they have to offer. Keep on reading for our list of some of the best destinations for cycling lovers.
Whether you fancy some city cycling or something a little bit more challenging, there's something for everyone. But why not immerse yourself in the natural beauty of a Biosphere Reserve or Global Geopark?
The South West of Scotland is a cyclists paradise, and the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere is no exception. A place of natural beauty and heart-stopping views, cyclists can easily explore the region.
The area, which covers 5,268 square kilometres in southwest Scotland, offers some of the best beaches you'll ever see, along with deep woodlands and forests, all providing habitats for a rich diversity of plants and wildlife. If you head further north, you will find the Wester Ross Biosphere. Pristine beaches, gleaming lochs and enchanting forests, this spot offers unique biodiversity, where communities live in harmony with the land and sea, preserving a time-honoured way of life. It's also home to one of the oldest geologies in the world.
Shetland Global Geopark offers many quiet roads in excellent condition for cycling. If you want to take a break from the bike, there’s plenty to do. From walking on an ancient ocean floor to exploring an extinct volcano or even just strolling across shifting sands. This giant geological jigsaw can help you travel through time with rocks that range from 3 billion to just over 300 million years old.
The North West Highlands Global Geopark makes for an ideal day with its white sandy beaches, rocky mountain ridges, atmospheric rock caves, grass, peatland, moors, and forest. The earliest evidence of life anywhere in Europe was found in this area.
Ready to explore the UNESCO Trail? Head over to the VisitScotland site.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.