Tour of the Cairngorms – Day 4

Braemar to Blair Atholl

The final day of our Cairngorm loop, taking us up to 200km. The sunshine of yesterday was gone, and in its place overcast skies and headwinds…

Iain was recovering well from his stomach upset, but Malcolm had succombed in the night (plus he was already empty from the exertions of yesterday). However, all the team set off, and there was an initial rolling 10km along an undulating road to the (spectacular) Linn of Dee.



After some sightseeing at the Linn, it was time for some off road estate track riding upstream alongside the Dee to the (inappropriately named) White Bridge.


At this point we turn for home and head south west for a river crossing, then past Bynack Lodge.


The track gets smaller, rougher, more undulating and certainly boggier as we head towards the watershed.


We are eventually in the upper reaches of Glen Tilt, which is a very long dead-straight valley (and also allegedly superb mountain biking). The upper reaches are steep, super technical, and consequently slow progress.


Eventually we arrive at the Bridge of Tarf for a lunch stop and to take in the amazing place we find ourselves in.


From here on the riding becomes easier, but even as the River Tilt descends towards. Blair Atholl, the headwind ensures we are still working hard.


After a nasty little climb, we reach nearly 60km/h on the way into Blair Castle. Having seen virtually nobody over four days in the remote hills, it’s a little surreal to be dodging tourists as we speed through the castle grounds on our dirty bikes.
On hitting the main road we head immediately to the water mill cafe, where we started this journey fours days ago. Lap one complete!
Absolute kudos to Iain and Malcolm for getting around when not feeling 100%. A massive challenging ride in wild, hard terrain, but with good company!

https://www.relive.cc/view/1022944493


Overview/inspiration on Bikepacking.com.  Today’s route: 48 km, 672m of climbing.

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One thought on “Tour of the Cairngorms – Day 4

  1. More than just a tad jealous! Looks like you guys had a blast! Epic blog with some amazing pics! I have to try this adventure biking!!!!
    Many thanks Gareth for taking the time to write this! Next time I’m coming!!!!! 😁

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