Latest Posts

  1. Environmental Impact of Mountain Bike Tours :: Our Position

    We were asked a very important question recently on Instagram about the environmental impacts on Scotland’s trails of running our mountain bike tours. This is a crucial discussion and we’d love to hear your thoughts. It’s a long read – here’s our position:

    Mountain Bike Tours Scotland UK

    :: QUESTION :: Just out of interest, and in no way is this intended as a dig etc, but do you contribute anything financially to the upkeep of these trails? Given the increased MTB traffic, particularly of the commercial venture variety on them, it seems prudent that they’re maintained properly to offset any damage caused. I ask this as the majority have been funded by the various mountaineering/climbing/nature trusts over the years and the recent increase in traffic from bikes is definitely having an impact.

    :: OUR ANSWER :: It’s a great and very necessary question – thanks for asking. We don’t have all the answers but we do take sustainability and environmental impacts of mountain biking very seriously.

    The key to this conversation relates to ‘responsible access’ in relation to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and as an ethical business with our amazing guides, we’re fortunate to have some influence over the way our clients interact with the environments we ride, to explain the sensitivities, responsibilities and politics of the Scottish landscape. We are also able to be selective and avoid certain areas at certain times, and by keeping the size of our groups and the number of trips to a small footprint level, we hope to minimise any negative environmental impacts of running our business. We operate responsibly, but beyond our own small sphere of influence, we cannot control the way other operators or the majority of the mountain biking population may choose to ride.

    We’re also engaged in various positive conversations about this issue at a local and national level with DMBinS and Scottish Natural Heritage, and in trail days and various ad-hoc on trail repairs, as well as the formation of community initiatives, for example, Tweed Valley Trails Association, to help address these issues. Whilst these conversations progress with public and private stakeholders, we will continue our membership of the key mountain and environmental organisations e.g. 1% for the Planet where it is hoped we can eventually channel monies into local trail initiatives.

    It’s not enough though – as riders and businesses, don’t you agree we all must do more to be responsible if we want to keep on doing this thing we love? We’d encourage the entire mountain biking community in Scotland and elsewhere to engage with this issue and we’d welcome hearing from you or any others about how we, and the mountain biking community at large can do more around this important subject.

  2. Mountain Bike Guides :: We’re Hiring

    We’re hiring! Go-Where Scotland is looking for a confident, physically fit, qualified and experienced freelance mountain bike guide (minimum: MBL / Level 3) with solid on-bike abilities and an infectious personality to join our team. Knowledge/experience of our operational areas (or willingness to learn) also preferred.

    Go Where Scotland Mountain Bike Guides

    If you love working in a hands-on environment, thrive on customer service, have plenty of enthusiasm and experience working in the outdoors, and a passion for sustainable mountain bike tourism, then we’d love to hear from you.

    For more details, in the first instance please send us a note of interest and CV or call Andy McKenna for an informal chat on 07713151773.

  3. #TravelTuesday :: January Offer (Save 18%!!)

    It’s 2018. Nearly 10 years since we started. Our New Year’s resolution: share Scotland’s phenomenal riding, culture and hospitality with as many of you as we can.

    Let’s kick the year off with the January #TravelTuesday SPECIAL OFFER. Use code TRAVELTUESDAY at the online checkout and save 18% (!!) on a select few spots on epic ‘Torrid Affair’ mtb adventures :: offer is only active in January so get booking now! T&Cs apply.

    📷: @svenmartinphoto

  4. #WomanCrushWednesday :: Anka Martin

    Who better to kick off our #WomanCrushWednesday stories than @ridehousemartin!

    For anyone who doesn’t already know Anka, as well as being an extraordinarily great lady and good friend, Anka Martin’s a professional mountain biker, ex-elite DH, enduro racer and guide.

    Anka Martin

    She travels the world adventuring, searching for beautiful places, mountains for stories, events, photo shoots and does a heap of good in the world for those that need it through her amazing bike charity work. We’re proud to be associated with her and are very much looking forward to announcing more trip collaborations with her in 2018 very soon.

    📷: @svenmartinphoto

  5. 1% for the Planet

    Did you know that our motto is “TRAVEL. RIDE. EXPLORE. SCOTLAND.”

    We encourage mountain bikers from all over the world to travel to Scotland and sample what we believe makes Scotland one of the most special places to mountain bike on earth. We also know travel’s not cheap on the pocket, or the environment we hold so dear. Only one thing matches our desire to enjoy and share Scotland’s amazing outdoors with guests from around the world – our commitment to contribute to sustainable adventure tourism in Scotland.

    1% for the Planet

    That means we only operate ‘small footprint’ mountain bike adventures to minimise negative environmental impacts of running our business; we encourage our clients to consider their interaction with the environments they are riding and wherever possible we give back to the trails; we make use of local hospitality, products and services to ensure our trips contribute economically to the rural environments we enjoy so much.

    We took another small step in the right direction today in becoming members of ‘1% for the Planet’. But we must do more. Much more.

  6. #GuideLife :: Battling Demons

    Balancing being a mountain bike guide with a healthy competitive streak can be a tough game to master – our man Paul shared a quick insight with us from his recent weekend on the hill.

    Border Raid enduro Weekend Paul Cunningham Scotland

    “How a weekend can change! Only popped down to Inners to go ride a couple of stages for fun with my mate Ritchie…thanks to Andy and Fraser from No Fuss Events and fast forward…I only went and got a late entry to the Innerleithen round of the Scottish Enduro Series!! Gulp.

    Race day came – my awesome new Santa Cruz #HightowerCC was primed and ready to go…hit Stage 1 & 2 flat out feeling ‘sweet’ then on the way to Stage 3 I found out about my fellow Teammate @janeykennedy and her brutal crash!

    With demons in my head I slipped and slid my way through 3, backing off a little and keeping the wheels firmly planted through the final stages.
    What an epic race and event, buzzing with my bike and feeling confident in my Sweet Protection – so chuffed with 10th in the Vet’s. Get well soon Janey!”👊 👍

    📷: Finlay Anderson

    Like riding enduro? Then check out our Border Raid weekend trips.

  7. #TravelTuesday

    It’s #TravelTuesday and we’ve got two pretty compelling end of season reasons to squeeze in a last-minute #mtb trip to Scotland.

    Mountain Bike Holidays Scotland

    1. Save 25% on our last remaining Level 3 Border Raid enduro weekend (8th to 10th September) :: use discount code RAID25 at the checkout and the final spot is yours for just £235.
    2. Mega-cancellation deal on September’s ’Torrid Affair’ (16th to 23rd) :: use discount code TORRID350 and two places are available for £645 (a whopping saving of £350).

    Available on a first come/first served basis – grab them while they last! BOOK NOW

    T&Cs apply; not available in conjunction with any other offer.

    Photo: Sven Martin

  8. Soul Trails and Torrid Affairs

    @svenmartinphoto recently spent a few days in the Northwest with a bunch of RAD women as part of our second Soul Trails mountain bike adventure in partnership with our friend Anka Martin – this time around, it was an extra special Torrid Affair.

    By all accounts it’s going to be one for the history books and we were super lucky to have Anka’s hubby and world-class snapper Sven along for the ride on this one – check out his image gallery!!

    Soul Trails Scotland Torrid Affair Womens Mountain Bike Holiday

    We hope you’ll all agree, Scotland is INCREDIBLE!! In 2018, we hope to run another Soul Trails adventure with Anka…WATCH THIS SPACE.

    p.s. there’s one Torrid Affair trip left this year (Sept 16 – 23) and with limited availability. 

  9. Mountain Royale :: August Special Offer

    Feedback on the revamped Mountain Royale tour is blowing us away right now! New trails, new accommodation, new hospitality – check out the latest trip photo gallery for a flavour.

    It’s all come together just the way we’d hoped, and to celebrate we’re offering the last available spot on the August 12th to 18th trip for just £670 (a 25% saving of £225).

    Cairngorms Mountain Bike Holiday Mountain Royale

    Available on a strictly first come, first served basis – to grab this killer last-minute deal, simply hit ‘BOOK NOW‘ and enter the code #mountainroyale at the checkout! [UPDATE :: NOW SOLD OUT]

    *T&Cs apply.

  10. Mountain biking with friends in the Cairngorms

    The Cairngorms has always been a special place to me. It’s where I first started mountain biking in the 90s, when my partner, Andy McKenna, who introduced me to mountain biking, dragged me around the Cairngorms to do the infamous Cairngorms tour.  I wasn’t very experienced back then and what I remember most is the suffering, thinking how many more miles have we got to go, not really taking in the scenery or much of anything. If you asked me what I rode I wouldn’t be able to tell you because all my energy was focused on the physical effort to get me around the loop.

    Cairngorms and bikes

    Times have changed. 20 years on and I have taken to love my bike and the places it takes me. I’ve been lucky to ride all over the world and meet the most amazing people along the way. But for some reason, at the start of this year, I had a strange urge to go back and do the tour, although a version which would would keep me motivated and challenged. I wanted to go back, not just as the passenger but to do it because I wanted to do it and knowing I have the confidence to take myself and my friends away into the mountains for four days. I had also ruptured my calf the year before and I was keen to do the tour around the one year anniversary to show myself I could do something substantial on a bike again.

    Cairngorm map

    So early in the year, I started to plan.

    Maps, and bike bag.

    The first thing on the list was knowing who to do it with. Lynne, Anna and Emma immediately came to mind, strong, resilient women that I knew could cope with anything thrown at them. These skills were essential, what if the weather turns, we get lost, we run out of daylight, someone gets injured – all eventualities had to be covered.

    Lynne was too busy coaching for Air Maiden, Anna got sick two days before the trip so that left me and Emma. At this point I didn’t think the trip would happen. I felt it was important for there to be three of us, for safety reasons, but more importantly if the banter dried up, would there be enough of us to spread it around. But I knew Emma would be the right person for the job, she is tough, her banter is certainly of a very high standard and she was training for the Trans Provence, which was in 6 weeks time. She’d never done a four day trip around the mountains before so it was going to be a good experience for her before heading to France.

    Emma looking at map

    Our trip started in Blair Atholl on what was a very sunny day. It was the beginning of May and this was the first of the sunshine we’d had after a long winter. Andy, my other half drove us to start of the the trail head, we compared our EVOC bike packs for weight distribution, discussed spares, tools, food, water and had a quick check on the map.

    Emma and Aneela checking bags

    It was the first time Emma had carried so much on her back which I found quite amusing. I am used to the weight with being a MTB guide for Go Where Scotland but for Emma it was a first. For someone who is a top end rider, it was funny to see her wobble on single track as we made our way across the Gaick. But she soon got used to it.

    Emma on the Gaick

    It was a fantastic first day. We talked the whole way until we came to the junction for Inveruglas for Aviemore where we had our first stop of the day. The sandwiches were out, and just as we were starting to chill in the lovely sunshine, a young Ozzy Osbourne look-alike stopped his vehicle on the dirt track and asked, ‘Hi girls are you alright? Do you know where you are going? Have you got enough scoobie snacks? ‘You got everything you need?’ We politely said we were fine and off he went with his business disappointed that we didn’t take up his offer. We were surprised by his chat, we couldn’t believe that in the middle of nowhere, we would come with no map, nor would we have enough ‘scoobie snacks’ to keep us going!

    In fact, this kind of chat happened to us for the rest of the trip, like ‘have you got enough medical supplies on you’ to ‘I hope you have an emergency signal up the top’ to ‘have you been watching too much Danny Macaskill’? We wondered if we were two men would we have received the same chat?  Were we not capable of looking after ourselves? Surely not! I think they couldn’t believe seeing us carrying bikes in places they might not have ever imagined seeing a bike. Our ‘Danny Macaskill’ comment was on day 2 where our ‘alternative’ tour took us over Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second highest mountain. We wanted to ask back but were too polite ‘have you been watching too much Bear Grylls?’

    Hike a bike on mountain

    Day 2 and again the sun was shining but we knew that there would be snow near the top, but didn’t realise how much. Our hike a bike took us longer than expected and we were pleased when we got to the top. We also had plenty of friendly walkers to keep us entertained as we climbed to the summit. ‘Nice bikes‘ was a comment we heard often.

    Bike on top of a mountain

    But when we got there a funny thing happened. We wanted to get down as soon as possible! Quick photo and a snack and off we went looking for the trail that would take us to Braemar.

    Mountains with snow

    On the plateau there is no defined path, the snow was covering large sections of the mountain but our map reading skills were spot on and we found our path after descending snow fields that were hiding the path. It was down all the way to the Lin of Dee. From here we took to the road to Braemar.

    Our next day took us up Lochnagar. We knew this was going to be another big day, but for some reason it was more chilled than the day before. Think it was something to do with knowing that we had got over Ben Macdui even though the technical and endurance skills needed were just as hard. My favourite part of the day was when a cloud came over as we passed the waterfall route down to Loch Muick. We hadn’t had felt a cloud in the sky for three days. Emma even named her strava day as the ‘one cloud in the sky’ route.

    Hike a bike

    After a couple of hours hike a bike we took the descent all the way to the bothy at Glen Callater which we could see in the distance. We had all that to descend, it made us happy.

    Bikes descending mountain

    When arriving at the bothy we had a wander inside and had a debrief on our aches and pains and started to laugh at ourselves at how much of our conversation focused on this!

    From there we carried on back to Braemar. Another epic day in the bag.

    Bike and bothy

    Our final day was through Glen Tilt. For some reason we were on a mission (or maybe I was on a mission) to get to our final destination.

    Glen tilt

    Again we had beautiful sunshine and even had time to stop and see the waterfalls before we made our last leg towards Blair Atholl. We hardly saw anyone, we talked less and enjoyed the peace and tranquility. After 5 hours it was over. We were in Blair Atholl and back a lot quicker than was planned.

    Swimming in waterfalls

    If you asked me if I remembered anything from the last time I rode around the Cairngorms, my honest answer is that I wouldn’t have even known that I’d been there before. It certainly felt a lot easier, there was no suffering and agreed that we could have done that trip in three days instead of four. It was a good feeling to know that we both still had lots more to give. We’d already started talking about plans for the next one during the journey back home.

    Women on top of mountain

    Thanks to Emma for being such a brilliant partner, I couldn’t have asked for one better and all her hard work paid off with an amazing 5th place at Trans Provence 2017!

    Emma smiling at bothy door

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