Mountain Biking in Southern and Central Scotland

By Peter Edwards

This guidebook describes 21 mountain biking routes in central and southern Scotland, including the 7stanes in Dumfries and Galloway, and cross-country routes in the Campsie Fells, Pentland Hills and Lammermuirs, the Galloway Forest, Tweed Valley, Cheviots and Lowther Hills. The routes range from 17 to 66km, graded from moderate to very hard.



Dry weather is hard to guarantee in Southern and Central Scotland though summer is the likeliest time for dry trails. However, every season has its charms - so long as rain and mud doesn't scare you - and winter really can be a wonderland.


Glasgow, Milngavie, Greenock, Lochwinnoch, Glentrool, New Cumnock, Moniaive, Durisdeer, Wanlockhead, Sanquhar, Hownam, Kirk Yetholm, Peebles, Traquair, Innerleithen, Longformacus, Gifford, Balerno.


The routes are intended for mountain bikers with at least some experience and a reasonable degree of fitness. There are no 'easy' routes in this guidebook, hence routes are graded 'moderate', 'hard' and 'very hard' Any 'difficult' or 'technical' sections are indicated. The general lack of signposts and other waymarkers endemic to Scotland makes navigation more of a challenge than in other parts of the UK
Must See

Must See

The Campsie Fells, the Pentland Hills and the Lammermuirs, the Galloway Forest, the Tweed Valley, the Cheviots and the Lowther Hills of Dumfriesshire.
16 Jun 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook describes 21 mountain biking routes in central and southern Scotland. It includes the 7stanes trail centre in Dumfries and Galloway, as well as cross-country routes in the Campsie Fells, Pentland Hills and Lammermuirs, the Galloway Forest, Tweed Valley, Cheviots and Lowther Hills. The routes range from 16.5 to 66km and are graded from moderate to very hard. Taking between 2 and 7 hours to complete, they are intended for reasonably fit mountain bikers with at least some experience.

    Detailed route descriptions are accompanied by 1:50,000 OS mapping, and the selected routes set out from various points across the area, including Greenock, Glentrool, Peebles and Milngavie, with good access from both Glasgow and Edinburgh. The guidebook also gives an overview of what the region's MTB trail centres have to offer, including the famous 7stanes trail centre, along with advice on equipment, maintenance and safety.

    Southern and Central Scotland is renowned for its superlative MTB trail centres, but the region's rolling hill country is also traversed by an extensive network of tracks, paths, forest roads and other trails providing endless possibilities for 'free range' mountain biking.

  • Contents

    Mountain biking in southern and central Scotland
    About the routes in this guide
    Getting there and getting around
    When to go
    Tools and maintenance
    Rights of way and other users
    How to use this guide
    Abbreviations and symbols used in the route descriptions
    The 7stanes
    Ae Forest
    Other trail centres
    Drumlanrig Castle
    Carron Valley
    Cathkin Braes
    Whitelee Wind Farm
    Route 1 Durisdeer, Daer Reservoir and Wedder Law
    Route 2 Lowther Hills loop
    Route 3 Shinnel Water and Scaur Water loop
    Route 4 Carrick Forest Four Lochs loop
    Route 5 Glentrool and the Galloway Hills
    Route 6 Windy Standard loop
    Route 7 Belford to Cocklawfoot: Windy Gyle loop
    Route 8 Kirk Yetholm and the Pennine Way
    Route 9 Minch Moor and the Three Brethren
    Route 10 Stake Law and the Gypsy Glen
    Route 11 The Tweedsmuir Hills: Natural Tweed
    Route 12 The Lammermuir Hills: Longformacus and Wedder Lairs loop
    Route 13 Gifford and the Hope Hills
    Route 14 The Pentland Hills: a rollercoaster route around the reservoirs
    Route 15 Misty Law
    Route 16 Greenock Cut
    Route 17 Kilpatrick Hills loop
    Route 18 The Campsie Fells: Dumgoyne and Earl’s Seat
    Route 19 Mugdock Country Park loop
    Route 20 Carbeth – Cameron Muir loop
    Route 21 Glasgow waterways loop

    Appendix A Bike shops and mechanics
    Appendix B Other useful contacts

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    June 2017

    Ride 8 : the required OS Landranger map number is 74 not 80.

  • Reviews
    Very clear, concise and helpful

    The route instructions are very clear, concise and helpful. The book itself is pretty robust and an inspiring read.

    Eleisha Fahy, Scotways

    A welcome guide encouraging adventurous off-road days out; most welcome and really useful.

    Fitting nicely into a jersey pocket this guide has all you need. Even a dyed-in-the-wool-road-tourer is likely to feel the urge to get out the the knobbly-tyres and head off into the wilderness for a ride …. well, probably a bike and hike …. and the keen rough-stuffer or off-roader will be licking their lips.

    Seven Day Cyclist

    "The thing I liked most about this guide is the plenty food for thought it's given me for planning my own routes in the hills and new ideas for places to explore - especially as almost half the routes are easily accessible by train. Route instructions are concise but very clear and helpful. The book got quite wet whilst changing route plans in January's icy sleet yet survived unscathed, so it's pretty robust. 

    An inspiring read - and not just for mountain bikers."

    Eleisha Fahy, ScotWays

  • Other eBook Retailers

    Google Play

    Google Play Books available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

    Google Play


    Kobo eReader devices plus Kobo App available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS



    Kindle Reader devices plus Kindle App available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

  • Downloads

Peter Edwards

Since moving to Scotland from the south of England in 2006, Peter has developed a passion for the Hebrides. He lives at Rhenigidale on the Isle of Harris with his wife, Fiona and their Labradors, Dougal and Mara.

View Articles and Books by Peter Edwards