cycling routes in inverness
Cycle Inverness
  • Flat traffic free cycling in Inverness
    Gentle traffic-free cycling in Inverness
  • The Viaduct near Culloden Battlefield
    The Culloden Viaduct
  • Guided cycling tour in Inverness
    Friendly cycling guides

Cycling Around Inverness

There are lots of options for day trips by bike from Inverness. We've collected the three most popular routes into our leaflet which includes maps and directions too. All the routes start and finish from our bike hire centre at Bellfield Park in Inverness. Pick one route or do them all to make a cycling mini-break. You can pick up a free copy from us when you hire bikes. or download it here.

Most visitors to Inverness will want to make a trip out to Loch Ness. The busy A82 on the north side of the Loch is best avoided by cyclists. The south side of the Loch offers quiet country roads and an easy to ride, easy to navigate route from Inverness with options to extend the ride if you've got more miles in your legs!

Loch Ness Cycle Trip

The first couple of miles out of Inverness are not usually busy but the cars can be fast. At Scaniport, two miles from Inverness, turn left for a quieter, more scenic route. There is a path which links to the school at Aldourie and from the school there's a path all the way to Dores. You can refuel at the excellent Dores Inn, explore the beach and look out for the monster! From Dores you can continue along the banks of Loch Ness or head up the (big) hill for amazing views over the Loch and an alternative route back to Inverness and a long freewheel at the end.

Elevation profile Inverness to Dores Cycle

The leaflet contains directions and a route map for all three trips, but of course there are lots of alternative routes and we're always ready to advise on those too.

Time of year - we recommend cycling this tour between April and October inclusive.

Check availability:

@ Enquire

This trip is traffic-free, flat follows paths through islands on the River Ness and the towpaths of the Caledonian Canal. Not surprisingly it's the favourite route for day trips and especially popular with families.

Follow the Great Glen Way signs through the Ness Islands until you reach the Caledonian Canal. Turn left onto the towpath to Dochgarroch. This is a really scenic stretch as you cycle between the canal and the river. At Dochgarroch the canal and the river meet Loch Dochfour. The Oakwood Restaurant is a great place for lunch or even just an ice-cream.

Cycling by the Caledonian Canal in Inverness

Take time to explore the tracks by the river and Loch Dochfour. Return along the same path to the swing bridge then cross the road and follow the towpath on the far side of the canal past the marina and Muirtown Locks to Clachnaharry.

The Clachnaharry Inn serves great food and they have won awards for their selection of real ales. Behind the Inn is a footbridge over the railway line. Either carry your bikes over the bridge or lock them up and set out on foot to the sea lock where the Caledonian Canal enters the Beauly Firth. Follow either side of the canal to return to the Islands and Bellfield Park.

Elevation profile Inverness Caledonian Canal Cycle Route

The leaflet contains directions and a route map for all three trips, but of course there are lots of alternative routes and we're always ready to advise on those too.

Time of year - we recommend cycling this tour between April and October inclusive.

Check availability:

@ Enquire

This is the longest (18 miles) of our day trips and there's a climb for a couple of miles as you leave Inverness but you're soon clear of the town and enjoying views north to Ben Wyvis and east to the nairn valley. Visits to the bronze age site at Clava and the visitor centre at Culloden Battlefield are recommended. This route can easily be extended to include a trip to Cawdor Castle too.

Clava Cairns

This route passes through the outskirts of Inverness then climbs steadily for three miles towards Culloden Moor. The views north over the Moray Firth are worth the effort. As you reach the top of the climb, turn right on to very quiet backroads across the River Nairn. Continue past the railway to the bronze age burial mounds and standing stones at Clava.

From Clava you get great view of the impressive Culloden railway viaduct. Re-cross the river Nairn and climb the short steep hill to Culloden Battlefield, home to a great visitor centre. The route returns past the battlefield with a long freewheel into Inverness.

Elevation profile Inverness Culloden Cycle Route

The leaflet contains directions and a route map for all three trips, but of course there are lots of alternative routes and we're always ready to advise on those too.

Time of year - we recommend cycling this tour between April and October inclusive.

Check availability:

@ Enquire
Author: Lindsay Mackinnon