Aviemore loop by Chris Boardman

Ride level Regular cyclist
Distance 28 mi / 45 km
Type of bicycle Mountain bike
Traffic free
Circular route
Boardman bike

Olympic champion and world-record holder Chris Boardman is also now Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, here's one of his favourite cycling routes in the UK. 

Starting from the centre of Aviemore head south out of town. This 10 minutes of tarmac is the only bit of road you’ll see for the next 2:30h. Once out of town it’s the 45 minute climb of the old Burma Road that takes you well above the treeline and gives spectacular views. 

Once over the top it’s a long descent on rough fire trail through the heather all the way down to the 1800’s - or that’s what if feels like! A beautiful valley with almost no signs of habitation. Even the road disappears as you head along the grass-covered floodplain on the edge of the river Dulnain and back towards Insharn. From here, signs of life reappear in the form of lone hunting lodges. You’ll pick up another unmade trail, General Wade’s Military Road, a heavily-wooded track with some stiff inclines to get back over to Aviemore side of the ridge.

There are a couple of streams to cross on this section so you’ll need keep an eye on the weather if you don’t want to get wet. From here, you can wind your way along logging trails to the outskirts of Aviemore and a welcome shower. It’s the perfect mix, solitude of the ride followed by proper hotels and decent beer!


Intermediate + level, comfortable on rough track, take a CX bike or hard tail MTB

Pack for wilderness! There is no phone signal or place to get food, or help, so best done in company.