You don’t have to drive round the Heart 200 route. If your preference is to cycle it instead, then we have prepared an alternative cycling route of roughly the same distance, just taking in some quieter, more peaceful roads.
Whether you want to cycle round in two days or seven, the same great accommodation options are available, as well as all the eating and drinking establishments and the vast array of entertainments.
Cyclists love a mid-afternoon stop for a hot chocolate and piece of cake, well, Heart 200 has some real delights in store for the thirsty and hungry cyclist.
Check out the map of our suggested cycle route and use this website to plan the rest of your itinerary.
This route is just a suggestion, so use your imagination and free spirit to adapt it to your own liking.
The Heart of Scotland boasts some truly awesome mountain bike trails. Here’s a list of the main mountain bike venues that can be found close to the Heart 200 route:
- Kinnoull Hill and Deuchny Woods, Perth
- Pitmedden Forest, Abernethy, 4 miles southeast of Bridge of Earn
- Comrie Croft, Comrie
- Queen Elizabeth Forest Park including
- Loch Ard Forest, Aberfoyle
- Achray Forest, Aberfoyle
- Strathyre Forest, Strathyre
- Tay Forest Park including
- Drummond Hill, Kenmore
- Loch Faskally and Killiecrankie, Pitlochry
- Craigvinean Forest, Dunkeld
- Black Wood of Rannoch, Kinloch Rannoch
- Falls of Bruar and Glen Tilt, Blair Atholl
- Atholl Woods and Loch Ordie, Dunkeld
Information on these, and other venues can be found on the Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland(DMBinS) website.
As well as the option of cycling round the Heart 200 route, there is also a great selection of circular routes from various points along the route. Here are a few suggestions just to whet your appetite. As circular routes, you might choose to start and finish in a different place to our description and where these routes are described in a particular direction, it is of course possible to go round them in the opposite direction if you prefer.
- Round the Tay from Perth
- Kinross – Dunning circuit
- Loch Rannoch circuit
- Birnam – Strathbraan – Glenalmond – Bankfoot circuit
If you don’t have your own bikes with you, then it shouldn’t be a problem because there are lots of bike hire facilities around the Heart 200 route.
McLaren Leisure in Callander.
Community Bike schemes for local residents and tourists are available in certain locations.
Synergy Cycles in Auchterarder.
Likewise, there are lots of great bike shops around the Heart 200 route where you can get your bike serviced, buy some bike gear or just pick up some useful hints and tips on local rides.
Synergy Cycles in Auchterarder.
If you are looking for a qualified cycling guide to show you some great local rides or even take you on a multi-day trip around the whole Heart 200 cycle route, then contact:
Synergy Cycles in Auchterarder.
Round the Tay from Perth – 53 miles / 85 kilometres
This route offers a great way of seeing Scotland’s biggest river from a fascinating range of viewpoints. Starting in Perth, make your way over the Queen’s Bridge, turn right then left at the Isle of Skye Hotel and climb steeply up to a mini-roundabout. Turn right then follow the road round several left bends to a T-junction. Turn right and make your way between Kinnoull Hill on your right and Deuchny Woods on your left.
When the road drops down to a T-junction, take the left turn and after another 3 kilometres you arrive in the village of Glencarse and turn right. Follow the road across the bridge over the A90 and cycle to Errol and then head north eastwards past the disused Errol Airfield on your right. Shortly after crossing the Perth to Dundee railway line, take the right turn towards Dundee. Make your way through the streets of Kingoodie to the Riverside Drive (A85) main road along Dundee’s waterfront. There is a good foot and cycle path all the way to the centre of Dundee. Pass beneath the Tay Rail Bridge and look for the stumps of the old rail bridge that was swept away in a violent storm on 28thDecember 1879. Before reaching the Tay Road Bridge, you will pass the RRS Discovery and the V&A Museum.
On reaching the Tay Road Bridge there is a lift to take you from ground level up to the central walking and cycle path. Use this to cross the bridge and pause somewhere in the middle to enjoy the view up the estuary on your right and out to the North Sea on your left. On reaching the Fife side of the bridge, turn left into the car park, then left onto the road and left again at the T-junction to cycle into Newport-on-Tay. Follow the road through, Newport, Woodhaven and Wormit, before taking the right turn towards Gauldry.
The road climbs up to Gauldry then stays high with fantastic views to the Tay on your right. At Hazelton crossroads turn right and follow the “coast road” to Newburgh. Take a stop at some point along here to look back towards Dundee. Turn right when you reach Newburgh and make your way through Abernethy and Aberargie. At the roundabout just after Aberargie, turn right then left onto the Dron road. At the Wicks o’ Baiglie crossroads turn right and follow the road to Kintillo then Bridge of Earn. At the T-junction turn left, cycle through the village and head to Craigend and then drop down into Perth and find your way back to your starting point.
Pick a good day for this ride and you will be rewarded with a great day out.
Kinross – Dunning circuit – 38 miles / 61 kilometres
From the centre of Kinross, head south along the B996 then turn right to pass underneath the M90 motorway. Follow this unclassified road for over 3 kilometres before turning right onto the B9097 towards Crook of Devon. Turn right just before Crook of Devon to cross the A977 at Drum. Now follow the unclassified road through to the A91 where you turn left and make for Yetts o’ Muckhart. Turn right at the “hard to describe” junction and then right again onto the B934 road over to Dunning. After the navigation up to this point you can now just enjoy the road and take in the views to the north as you go over the top of the Ochils.
Dunning is an interesting village, so take a bit of time out when you reach your halfway point for the day. When you are ready to roll again, take the first turn to the right and follow the unclassified road toward Forgandenny. At a minor junction in the forest, take the right turn (more of a straight on) and then right at a T-junction followed quickly by a left at another T-junction. Follow this road for about 8 kilometres to reach the village of Glenfarg. Turn right, then right again and leave Glenfarg on the road to Milnathort, and from Milnathort follow the main road back to your starting point in Kinross.
Loch Rannoch circuit – 23 miles / 37 kilometres
The description for this route is pretty simple. Decide whether you want to go clockwise or anti-clockwise, then set off from Kinloch Rannoch and make your way round the loch. If you want to extend your ride by a few more miles then you can cycle the extra distance to Rannoch Station when you reach the western end of the loch. The road on the south side of the loch is the quieter of the two roads.
Birnam – Strathbraan – Glenalmond – Bankfoot circuit – 42 miles / 67 kilometres
At the northern end of Birnam, cross the A9 and make your way onto the A822 road up Strathbraan to Amulree. Keep following this road past Newton Bridge and through the Sma’ Glen then take the left turn onto the B8063. Stay on this road by taking the left turn at Buchanty.
You then have a choice of two routes to get to Bankfoot. Option 1 is to take the left turn to Little Glenshee, where the road turns sharp right then heads towards Bankfoot. Option 2 is slightly shorter and involves going past the Little Glenshee turn-off, then turning left at a remote crossroad to go to Moneydie, straight on at another crossroad, before eventually reaching Bankfoot. Choose from these two options, then make your way through Bankfoot to Waterloo and then down to the junction with the A9 near Birnam. At this point you could cross the A9 and cycle into Birnam on the road, or go onto the cycle path (NCN77) and follow this to Dunkeld and Birnam railway station then use the underpass to go under the A9 and back into the centre of Birnam.