This 3 day ride explores the hills, valleys and forests of the picturesque Southern Uplands, south of Edinburgh. Over the 3 days we follow The Capital Trail - a route acknowledged as one of the best Bikepacking routes in Europe and which offers an amazing variety of singletrack, Land Rover tracks, forest roads and quite country lanes. Timed to coincide with the Edinburgh Festival, it’s the perfect excuse to mix adventure and culture.
Deposit / Total€250,00 / €650,00
Reserve your place today. Your balance is due 60 days before departure.
Day 1 - Edinburgh to Melrose (85km / 1,400m)
The route starts down by the Firth of Forth, in Edinburgh and heads east along the coast towards Musselburgh Harbour and the River Esk Path to the dunes of Whitecraig. Having left the city behind, the route continues along farm tracks and minor roads, through the picturesque village of Pencaitland and up onto the Lammermuir Hills, the first real climbing of the tour. From here we’ll enjoy panoramic views of Edinburgh, across the Firth of Forth to Fife and the Scottish Highlands beyond. The joins the Southern Upland Way long distance path, passing Thirlestane Castle and onto the border town of Melrose, our stop for the night.
Day 2 - Melrose to Cardrona (80km / 2,500m)
Leaving Melrose, we follow the traffic-free Borders Abbeys Way through historic countryside and then climb onto the tops again via a beautiful single track to the top of Cribbs Hill, Three Brethren and Minch Moor. Up here we’ll get a true taste of majesty of the Scottish Borders scenery. Passing Traquair Mill, there is a short and steep section of hike-a-bike up to Dun Rig, the highest point of the tour at 750m. A superb downhill run takes us into Peebles and onto the trails of Glentress Forest, one of the best locations for mountain biking in the UK. From there it’s just a few short miles to our hotel on the banks of the River Tweed, in Cardrona.
Day 3 - Cardrona to Edinburgh (75km / 1,200m)
The final day sees us heading north, back towards the Capital. Our morning riding takes us up over the beautiful Meldon Hills, past the quaint villages of Romano Bridge and West Linton, on a variety of forest tracks, old drove roads and singletrack. After West Linton, the route continues up onto the Pentland Hills overlooking Edinburgh, a popular mountain biking destination of locals and host to various MTB races in the early days of the sport. Leaving the Pentlands and entering the outskirts of Edinburgh we follow the banks of the Water of Leith, the Union Canal and cross the Meadows to enjoy a slightly different sightseeing tour on 2 wheels! Having completed the entitre Capital Trail, we’ll decamp to a local pub to toast our achievement.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The route encompasses a variety of terrain from quiet tarmac roads, easy gravel tracks to technical singletrack. It is recommended that you have experience of MTB riding and a good level of fitness. The route can be ridden on a light XC MTB or a gravel bike with minimum 40mm tires recommended.
LEVEL OF SUPPORT: The group will be lead by guides who will carry essential spares but each participant should aim to be self sufficient, carrying their own spare clothes and overnight essentials. A suggested packing list will be supplied after signing up.
What's not included?
Flights / travel to / from Edinburgh
Drinks with meals
Accommodation in Edinburgh
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