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Summer 2024 Series - Inspiration for your mountain bike vacation - Cairngorms Edition.

The Cairngorms is an incredible place to enjoy as a mountain biker, from beginners to advanced riders, families, adventurers or just riders who like a nice simple pedal in some incredible scenery. We thought we'd share some ideas and information that may persuade you to take your first trip to the area, or return if its been a while.

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Badenoch and Strathspey, the area of the Western Cairngorms around Aviemore, have long been a favourite with outdoor enthusiasts, including mountain bikers. This summer why not explore the areas based from one of the villages - there's plenty to do on and off bikes for a longer vacation, especially if you are willing to do some pedalling and explore beyond the well known MTB trails.

The area has some awesome, well established trail centres at Laggan Wolftrax and Bike Glenlivet that are always well worth a visit, especially as they both have recently developed exciting new trails - with something for every level of rider. Great cafe's and bike hire too AND Bike Glenlivet have this Spring, added a Zip Wire Trail! In addition to this, there are many great rides and places to explore directly from the villages through Badenoch and Strathspey.

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Lachlan Blair at Laggan Wolftrax throwing some excellent shapes! Image Brodie Hood.

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Glenlivet Credit Paul Masson

Bike Glenlivet

The villages through the area offer great alternative mountain bike experiences based directly from communities - each of the villages have their own attraction and opportunities for cycling.

Kingussie to the south is has great facilities for cyclists, a local bike shop, and some lovely mountain bike, road and gravel rides from the village. Boat of Garten has its amazing Velosolutions pumptrack and local bike shop. To the North Grantown on Spey has a small network of trails in the community woodland in the village, including a recently revamped dirt jump area, as well as a local bike shop.

Visit Cairngorms has put together an exceptional resource for visiting cyclists - Cycling the Cairngorms – with routes based from villages along routes that avoid sensitive environments, pass though amazing scenery and where possible visit cafes and attractions along the way.

With these resources you can plan your journey, download routes for free with voice navigation in the RideWithGPS app or print off PDF maps and cluesheets. A whole route library and a carefully curated collection of circular rides in and around the communities awaits!

And if you need that extra reassurance when exploring the outdoors, you can now hire a Garmin device with routes pre-loaded giving you turn-by-turn guidance with your bike hire, so you can explore more of the stunning trails with confidence.

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Aoife in Cairngorms
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With Cairngorm Mountain having a newly developed bike park that is specially aimed at the family market, with easily progressed trails a magic carpet uplift AND with the new Aviemore Adventurer, it is possible to leave the car behind and get the bus from the centre of Aviemore up to the mountain to ride the trails.

With stunning views down to Loch Morlich and beyond, bike hire, cafe, tubing and more its a pretty cool day out for all the family.

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The area is a well established holiday destination and there are plenty of off bike activities too. From tree top adventures at Landmark Forest Adventure Park, Treezone and Glenlivet, steam train on the Strathspey Railway, water sports at Loch Insh Outdoor Centre, zip lining, gorge walking and rafting at G2 outdoor, ice skating at Aviemore Ice Rink, wildlife at Highland Wildlife Park and The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd and history at Highland Folk Museum!

And if you just fancy leaving the wheels behind and hiking or walking there are loads of places to explore on on foot too.

The villages in Badenoch and Strathspey are an amazing base for an active cycling holiday – with trail centres, gravel and road rides, big mountain rides, family cycling and local trails maintained.

Whilst you are in the area you could even see what Badenoch and Strathspey Trail Association are up to and volunteer to maintain the trail network. The trail association will also be able to help you make good choices about where to ride and ways to avoid damaging the sensitive habitats of the Cairngorms National Park.

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