Off road or on road? The choice is yours! If you want a cycling holiday Balneden could be your perfect escape.
Our nearest downhill tracks are just a few miles away – you could even cycle by road to them. The BikeGlenlivet Centre claims to have “adventure for all”. It even has cycle hire for those of you who have left their bikes at home, or in case you are tempted to “give it a try”. A short Pump Track is great for little ones and anyone who wants to practice their skills before venturing out on the trails.
There are two trails. The blue trail is shorter (9km) and has gentler descents for the less experienced. In contrast, the red trail (22km) has plenty of thrills, breath-taking views and interesting jumps for the fearless – some are graded black, but it’s OK as you have the option of cycling round those bits. In addition, there is a choice of paths to explore on foot, without bumping into bikes, for those of you who prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground – you can even climb to the summit of Carn Daimh, with far-reaching views in all directions. After a few hours on the trails the Still Café makes a very welcoming retreat. It offers tasty homemade snacks and delicious home-baking to help refuel tired limbs.
Another attraction at the centre is the annual Rock and Road Festival, held in June. Here there is much to entertain everyone, including a night ride on the Glenlivet Estate, skills sessions, kids races and a treasure hunt for them too.
Laggan Wolftrax, about 1hrs drive away, also has interesting routes for all abilities and is well worth a visit. Venturing north eastwards there are many more centres for you to discover, including the Moray Monster Trails at Fochabers.
If downhill is not for you then the Cairngorms National Park has lots of natural trails ready for you to discover and enjoy, including the Glenlivet Estate and Glenmore Forest Park.