Cycle Scotland - The Alladale Challenge

Cycle from coast to coast across the Scottish Highlands and support HOWL: the Highland Outdoor and Wilderness Learning programme. 

June 13th - 16th 2019

The Alladale Challenge is a 3-day cycling adventure that explores the central Scottish Highlands from the Cromarty Firth on the East coast to the town of Ullapool in the West.

The ride takes us through wild and rugged landscapes; from ancient forests and remote hill lochs to glacial valleys and stunning coastal firths.

The hospitality and ranger teams at Alladale Wilderness Reserve provide professional support for the entire trip, and you’ll enjoy healthy, honest and local food – as well unparalleled access to one of the UK’s leading rewilding projects.

THE IMPACT: EDUCATION

Visiting Alladale Wilderness Reserve directly contributes to the conservation, wildlife and educational projects on and around the reserve. Your contribution in joining us on this ride will be directed to the educational programme HOWL (Highland Outdoor and Wilderness Learning), which is an integral part of Alladale’s mission and vision.

The programme began in 2007 and offers a specially designed and expert-led environmental education journey for school children across the UK. It allows students to improve their understanding about the natural world, ecology and conservation but also to learn key life skills within one of the most progressive conservation projects in the UK.

Since its inception, HOWL has engaged thousands of children, several of whom now work as rangers at Alladale Wilderness Reserve!

THE JOURNEY

DAY 1 | STOREHOUSE TO ALLADALE

Land at Inverness Airport at midday and transfer directly to the Storehouse restaurant on the shore of the Cromarty Firth, with beautiful views out over the water and to the
mountains beyond.
Meet your hosts for the week and enjoy lunch altogether before being fitted for bikes and helmets. Once kitted out, set off over the hills off-road to Alladale Wilderness Reserve.

After a few hours hitting the off-road, afternoon refreshments will be awaiting you on the tranquil banks of the stunning Loch Glass. Continue through ancient pine woods and
rolling hills, looking out for red squirrels, grouse and other Highland wildlife on the outskirts of Alladale Wilderness Reserve.

On arrival at Alladale Lodge, you will be greeted by the hospitality team and shown to your rooms to relax and freshen up. Over drinks before dinner, there will be a short
presentation about the work of The European Nature Trust. We then enjoy dinner together and retire for an early night.

DAY 2 | ALLADALE TO ULLAPOOL

After a hearty breakfast, begin today’s journey cycling down from Alladale Lodge through the cover of ancient Caledonian pines. We peddle gently uphill along Glen Mor and the River Carron; stopping by to meet local schoolchildren participating in the Highland Outdoor Wilderness Learning (HOWL) program and enjoy some coffee or tea.

We bike through newly established native woodlands planted over the last 15-20 years, passing crumbling bothies and sheepfolds all the while on the lookout for Alladale’s fold of Highland cattle. On the way to our BBQ lunch spot, by the shores of Loch Vaich we stop by Deanich Lodge, probably one of the most remote buildings in the UK, and home to the Bear Grylls Survival
Academy and Wim Hof Method cold exposure retreats!

After lunch we cycle past Strathvaich Lodge and Keeper’s Cottage onto the surfaced road and final push alongside Loch Broom, to the small picturesque coastal town of Ullapool.

 

After settling into the charming Ceilidh Place, we have an amazing seafood dinner or the best fish & chips in town, followed by well-earned rest in preparation for the final day.

DAY 3 | ULLAPOOL TO ALLADALE, VIA RHIDORROCH

We depart Ullapool and head inland fueled by a local breakfast and strong cup of coffee – this will be a challenging day on the bike, but hopefully with prevailing winds on our backs!

Cycle into the hills past Rhidorroch Lodge, Loch Achall and onto East Rhidorroch Lodge for our morning break. After which, the most challenging part of our off-road journey takes us deep into the Highlands and past the most remote Knockdamph Bothy and onto our lunch spot at Duarg Bridge where the Alladale catering team will be waiting for us.

After lunch we continue eastwards through Corriemulzie Estate and onto Croick Estate, stopping by the historic Croick Church for a well-deserved tea break. For the final push we have little over an hour’s ride back to Alladale through the ancient Amat woods, cycling alongside the rocky canyons of the Carron river and into Alladale Wilderness Reserve whilst on the lookout for red squirrels and leaping salmon!

We arrive back at the Alladale Lodge in the late afternoon to enjoy a sauna, and/or a massage, or simply relax!

Enjoy a whisky tasting from one of the local distilleries (no trip to the Highlands is complete without a wee dram) and enjoy some live Celtic music followed by dinner and further celebrations! Relax and take stock of what you have achieved during this adventure in Britain’s most secluded and remote wild landscape.

DAY 4 | DEPARTURE

After a leisurely brunch, and a final chance to stretch your legs around the Reserve, transfers will be provided back to Inverness Airport for your flights home.

Cost

£1,850 pp (single occupancy)

Fitness

Average to high

Travel

Meet at Inverness Airport at 12pm on 13th June

What’s included

Two nights at Alladale Lodge, one night at the Ceilidh Place, all transfers, food and drink, bike and helmet rental, support vehicles, guides, massage, and donation to The European
Nature Trust (TENT)

What’s not included

Flights and travel insurance

Bookings and enquiries

Please send an email to: hq@theeuropeannaturetrust.com or call +44(0)1863 755338