Loch Morlich bothy overnighter — British wild swim spots
Mountain Biking Highlight
Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)
Includes a very steep uphill segment
You may need to push your bike.
Includes segments in which cycling is forbidden
You will have to dismount and push your bike.
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
April 29, 2020
The longest and probably hardest route of the Collection, this Scottish contender of Loch Morlich is a popular swimming spot for all ages. It can be easily ridden to from nearby Aviemore, but here I’ve put together a much longer route that you can either enjoy as a challenging day ride, or more suitably as a two day ride, including a night in Bob Scott’s bothy and visiting Loch Morlich for a swim near the end. The Cairngorms are a bikepacker’s paradise; endless trails, lochs, bothies and mountains, all with open access thanks to the Scottish Right to Roam act (see more at scotways.com/faq/law-on-statutory-access-rights). You can really feel lost out here, so make sure you’re well prepared for every eventuality. You’ll definitely need a mountain bike for this Tour, due to the rough terrain and rocky trails that you find here. The golden beach of Loch Morlich is possibly one of the least remote areas on this ride, and of course you can choose from many other spots along the route if you fancy a dip. The shallow waters along the shore are a great attraction though, as is the presence of a beach cafe for a much needed snack, no doubt! On the first day, you’ll leave the train station at Aviemore and start the loop heading clockwise. You’ll actually pass Loch Morlich here near the start, so you could even enjoy a dip on both days if you fancied! Along this eastern stretch of the loop, you’ll pass through the Abernethy Estate and down past Loch Avon to the Mar Lodge Estate National Nature Reserve, where you’ll find the brilliant Bob Scott’s bothy at the end of the Glen Derry trail. You’ll be ready for a generous cook up and sleep there after enjoying all that delightful singletrack.On the return leg, you’ll ride along Lairig Ghru, more singletrack that’ll blow your socks off. It can be really rough in places so you might need to make the occasional hike, especially with a bike laden with overnight gear. After the pools of Dee you’ll descend for the rest of the way past Rothiemurchus Lodge, to cool off your aching legs in the beautiful water of Loch Morlich, before returning to civilisation in Aviemore a short ride away.