Balneden is the ideal place to escape and enjoy a week, or a few days, cycling . We are perfectly situated in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, within close proximity to the excellent mountain bike trails on the Glenlivet Estate and to many more, further afield.
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 that’s OK as you have the option of cycling round those bits. There is also a new Orange route available from July 2020. 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.
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 those on the Glenlivet Estate and in Glenmore Forest Park.
And road cycling, well, there are picturesque roads galore, with challenges to suit every ability whatever your age and fitness, from flat and undulating lanes around Moray to steep mountain passes closer to home.