Iceland has been grabbing more than its share of the northern climes’ spotlight lately. Well, waterfalls, schmaterfalls, Scotland has Scotch. Oh, and subtly gorgeous landscapes that charm with flinty passive aggressiveness. And a network of trails that let you ride a mountain bike from coast to coast across ancient bones-of-the earth granite, along windswept lochs, and–take that Iceland–side by each next to pristine waterfalls.

Pro riders Thomas Vanderham and Matt Hunter saddled up for a 250-kilometer spin from Bonar Bridge north of Inverness to Applecross, with only about 12km of that on pavement (that’s east to west for those of you a little rusty on Scottish geography). The route they followed gets progressively more sporting as the week goes on, culminating in day five, with 5,000 feet of climbing, the most technical trails, and seven hours clipped in. Sound like a dream? It’s $1,800 with guides…though not Thomas and Matt.

Sterling Lorence shot the pix and down below you’ll find the filmic talents of Anthill Productions, who made a moving portrait that lyrically captures the unique appeal of a long Scottish ride–be sure to watch…full screen.




Matt Hunter and Thomas Vanderham in the northern highlands of Scotland



Scotland coast to coast trips are available in 2017 beginning in May. See Mountain Bike Worldwide for more info.

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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.