Discover the best of Scotland on our 13 day self-guided motorcycle/Spyder tour. Arrive at Celtic Rider around 9.30am please, meet and greet, small amount of paperwork, introduction to your BMW bike or Can-Am Spyder.  After packing ( we provide inner liner bags) enjoy our award-winning Safety Orientation video, followed by the safety ride-out led by one of our team members, for roughly one to two hours, on the route today to Belfast city, which really is important to settle riders into left side of the road riding.

The ferry departs the next morning at 11.30am, from Stena in Belfast port to Cairnryan port in Scotland, this is the start of your Scottish adventure. Ride to Edinburgh, the city of the Royal Mile. Whiskey tours are in abundance in Edinburgh, the city is shrouded in history. The highlands of Scotland make for some spectacular riding on route to Pitlochry. Castles and ocean vistas await you as you visit historic sites on each day’s route. Pass through the stunning Cairngorm National Park on your way to Inverness. Restaurants and pubs offer hearty meals with locally produced food usually on the menu. The relatively recent North Coast 500 route starts from Inverness, it’s a stunning ride. The Norse coastal town of Thurso offers some great scenery. Ruined castles and sea stacks are dotted along the coast. Quaint fishing villages and peninsulas are passed as you continue your tour to Ullapool, then the Isle of Skye (Western Hebrides Island), on to Oban, then Ayr. Although this new tour is created as 13 days duration, please feel free to extend it to make it a more relaxing tour, this is simply done by staying two days in every place, making it a 19 day tour.

Day 1 – Celtic Rider to Belfast

(One Night in Belfast)
(210Km, 3hrs 30mins)

Today’s ride will bring you to Belfast after enjoying our Safety Orientation video followed by a 90-minute ride-out with one of our Celtic Rider team members, skirting through Trim heritage town with its magnificent Anglo-Norman fortress castle, along today’s route to Belfast. Belfast city is where you stay for the evening. Wander around Belfast, visit the Titanic Museum or take the political Black Taxi tour ride. Belfast is a bustling University City with plenty to see and do.

Day 2 & 3 – 11.30am ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan port is Scotland then ride to Edinburgh. Your Scotland Experience starts today!

(Two nights in fabulous Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland)
(200Km, 3hrs 30mins)

Cairnryan to Edinburgh – Discover the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. Before leaving your hotel in Belfast, go to favourites and enter Stena Ferry Belfast, your Ferry Reservation number is on your Rental Agreement. The reservation number is all that is asked for on arrival at the port, and it’s the same number for the return ferry. On arrival in Scotland, start the route Cairnryan to Edinburgh. Arriving in Cairnryan, Scotland, todays ride avoids any motorway riding and initially hugs the west coast on the A77, then the A71 into Edinburgh. Hilly Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city is a medieval old town and an elegant Georgian new town, blended, like so many old cities across Europe. Looming over the city’s hilltop is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s magnificent crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, traditionally used in the coronation of Scottish rulers.

The Edinburgh Castle tour is a brilliant tour, and as you go through the history it becomes obvious how little the world has changed. A great town to relax and enjoy, I suggest on your second day to take the Tour Bus of this lovely city, with its great museums and galleries, and the whisky tour located near the castle is quite popular. Edinburgh, like Dublin, has become a modern cosmopolitan city with good restaurants and pubs, interesting and varied architecture, well worth spending time exploring.

In Scotland, especially where you are going, its important to gas up regularly.

Day 4 & 5 – Edinburgh to Pitlochry via Trossachs National Park

(Two nights in the small town of Pitlochry – A favourite place of Queen Victoria to visit)
(250Km, 5hrs)

Interesting ride today, this can be a long day, so I advise not spending too much time at each stop along the way. Departing Edinburgh, our route takes you over the Forth Bridge, over the Firth of Forth, a magnificent piece of engineering, onwards into Stirling where you pass by the great monument to William Wallace (think Braveheart) optional visit to Stirling Castle, (located in Stirling). This is one of the largest and most important monuments, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. From Stirling, the route quickly reaches beautiful Lough Lomond, where the route heads north along the Lough, right through the heart of Trossachs National Park, truly a beautiful place to experience. There is a newly opened wooden pyramid shaped viewing area in Inveruglas Visitor centre called An Ceann Mor, yes, Gaelic Irish language, just like us Irish, worth stopping at for the great view of both Lough Lomond and the surrounding mountains. Take plenty of photos as places like this are hard to find in the world we live in today.

On day two in Pitlochry, there are many things to see and experience, such as a nice walk alongside the Pitlockly Tummel river and fish ladder. Annually 5,000+ salmon pass through the fish ladders each year, to spawn. The fish ladder has 34 pools, built in the 1950s, extraordinary stetch of river. Blair castle and gardens, located 15 minutes from Pitlochry, are well worth a couple of hours and the smallest Whisky distillery in Scotland, Edradour, only 10 minutes’ drive from Pitlochry, are another two favourites of mine to visit.

Day 6 – Pitlochry to Inverness

(One night in the City of Inverness, gateway to the highlands.)
(230Km, 4hrs)

Pitlochry to Inverness via Cairngorm National Park, the highlands. Follow the route through another one of Scotland’s most impressive national parks, Cairngorm National Park, and the stunning Grampian and Cairngorm’s mountains. This is personally one of my most favourites day ride in the world, as it is spectacular, a perfect driving road. And a walker’s paradise too. You will notice the occasional road signs saying ‘Highland Tourist Drive, or Welcome to the Highlands. Weave along the old military roads and through Rothiemurchus Forest, arriving in Grantown on Spey, a famous Whisky distillery town. From Grantown on Spey continue up the A939 then taking a left down the A909 to Cawdor Castle, a castle perhaps best known for its literary connection to William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, in which the title character is made ‘Thane of Cawdor’. Take some time during this trip to enjoy Cawdor Castle which dates to the late 14th century. Rich in history, enjoy the various great gardens the castle has to offer, the Wool shop, the Highland shop, and the Courtyard Café. Leaving Cawdor Castle, you’re 15 kms away from Inverness, where you’ll stay for the night. Relax and enjoy the ‘Capitol of the Highlands of Scotland’. The river Ness flows from Lough Ness into the Beauly Firth.

Day 7 – Inverness to Thurso

(One Night in Thurso)
(224Km, 3hrs 30 mins)

Following your Garmin, today’s route brings you to the northeastern town of Thurso, an old fishing town. Soon after departing Inverness, ride over the lovely suspension bridge and your route brings you along the coastal highway on the A9, where views of the North Sea are aplenty. Crossing Canon bridge, you are now on the North Coast 500 route, relatively newly named. It always truly amazes me to see the sheer volume of wild yellow flowered Gorse that grows so profusely on the eastern coastal section of Scotland. After you pass Dornoch Firth Bridge, lovely wide ocean views, most attractive, which takes you onto the north of Scotland your first optional stop off is Dunrobin Castle. This castle is the largest stately home in the northern Highlands and boasts an impressive 189 rooms along with French influence gardens. The style of the stately home is very much French influenced, and we recommend that you have a wonder around before continuing your trip today. When you gaze over the ocean to your right, there are countless offshore wind turbines, Scotland leads most countries in the way it harnesses green energy and has been 100% self-sufficient for all its electricity needs for many years, it’s a great credit to them. Continuing your route, the next optional stop of to see the Emigrants Monument, which is situated in Helmsdale. The inscription on the monument, in Gaelic and English, reads: “The Emigrants commemorates the people of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland who, in the face of great adversity, sought freedom, hope and justice beyond these shores. They and their descendants went forth and explored continents, built great countries and cities, and gave their enterprise and culture to the world. This is their legacy. Their voices will echo forever thro the empty straths and glens of their homeland.” This non-political and international project focuses on the commemoration of the huge amount of people evicted from their homes who then set sail for Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. We Irish suffered greatly too from English colonisation. Continuing from here on the A9, you’ll be weaving in and out of the coastline among Moorish greenlands. The highlands of Scotland offer lush green landscapes which is a treat for many overseas riders. Continue towards Berriedale, the Berriedale Braes Viewpoint offers a nice view of the ocean from its tight, hairpin stopover. Continue to Latheron, from here you have the option to make you way to John O’Groats, by turning right up the coast road, the town of Wick, and ride over the most northerly part of mainland Scotland, or you can take the left which takes you directly into Thurso. Taking the northerly detour adds 30 miles to your tour although the ride is very scenic and enjoyable.

Day 8 – Thurso to Ullapool

(224 Km, 3 hrs 30 mins)

Today’s ride is lovely, with the route continuing over the north Scotland coastline until Tongue, continuing the official NC500 route, skirting Loch Eriboll the Klye of Durness, water, water everywhere, it’s relentlessly gorgeous scenery. When the sun is out, the inland corrie lakes are the deepest blue colour. After Tongue, the highland views are breathtaking.

Passing places, lots of these road signs today as much of today’s route is on single track, all tarmac, no issues there, but narrow. The road edges can be pot marked, so exercise common sense while riding. Beautiful blue cold-water lakes from the last ice age abound everywhere. Also, it is obvious how volcanic Scotland was in its creation countless millions of years ago.

Multiple single-track riding along the north Coast 500, not many trees though, due I think to savage cold winter winds, and of course the fact that it’s so rocky, just underneath the wild grasses and heathers, it’s all rock. This northwest part of the Scotland highlands is a geo Park. Volcanic activity from millions of years ago. The oldest exposed rocks in the World can be found in this area.

The route today is firstly along the A836 where you’ll be riding along plenty of watery areas, rivers with sparce lakes and plenty of shrubbery and wild, peat and moorland in a mountainous Moorish landscape. The smell of the ocean is a very common and I think a lovely experience over here. Lots of logging trucks, and again the ocean is brimming with wind turbines. The A835 takes you the last leg of the journey into the picturesque fishing town of Ullapool on Lock Broom where you will stay for the night. Approaching the town from uphill is very nice, with ocean and mountains framing this pretty backdrop.

Day 9 & 10 – Ullapool to Isle of Skye (Portree)

(Two Nights on Isle of Skye)
(251 Km, 5 hrs)

Departing Ullapool today’s route offers some more ocean hugging coastal roads. You’ll continue southbound, darting in and out of inlets, passing lake after lake along the way. . On the original route I had riders going over the infamous ‘Applecross pass’ , which you are free to deviate onto if you so wish, but unless you’re on a Spyder, or riding solo on a motorcycle, I will recommend not attempting it. You’ll arrive at Braemore Junction and take a right, onto the A832 where you continue. Little lock Broom on your right, towering Rocky Mountains around you, plenty of bends, huge granite builders strewn around, and oyster beds can be seen.

Also gorgeous sandy beaches, Just after turning right, you have the option to pull in and stretch your legs and take a stroll to the Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve (don’t forget to pay the parking fee!) where you can look out over a high bridge over the waterfall and forestry around you. There is a second pull-in with another footbridge 1 kilometre up the road also offering similar viewpoints. Continuing weaving along coastal roads again as you eventually hit the area of Gairloch. Good place for a coffee. Another optional stop off is to Gairloch Heritage Museum which offers visitors an insight into living in Scotland from hundreds of years ago. You’ll be on the last leg of today’s journey now and eventually come across the magnificent Skye Bridge, leading you onto the Isle of Skye where you will reside and enjoy an evening’s rest in this small but nice coastal village of Portree.

Day two on the Isle of Skye can be a part rest day or ride the island itself. Its stunning, some optional places to visit are Bride Veils falls, Rha waterfalls, little stroll form the parking area, Gesto Bay viewpoint, to name a few.

Day 11 – Isle of Skye (Portree) to Oban

(One Night in Oban)
(244 Km, 4 hrs 30 mins)

Departing Portree today’s ride takes you past Eilean Donan Castle after riding over The Isle of Skye Bridge, which is curved and very high, with spectacular views. Eilean Donan Castle, this is arguably the most recognisable of Scottish castles. It has featured in several films so you may recognise it from The Highlander or some of the James Bond films! One of the most photographed castles in the World. Tide in or out, spectacular either way. Ride through the Five Sisters Mountain Range to Fort William along the edge of Lock Locky, where the route then deviates near to Glencoe before you reach tonight’s destination. I always stop at the Commando Memorial located just after Lock Locky. Again, it goes to show how the world works in terms of war. Continue up to Fort William, skirting around this town, skirting around lock Linny. Approaching Oban, you are on the Argyll coastal route, it’s lovely, nice twisty roads, trees each side.

Oban, beside Oban Bay, is a busy town with great accommodation, cafes and restaurants, and wide selection of activities and day trips. This popular town is also known as the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’ offering a remarkable number of award-winning restaurants. One outstanding feature within Oban is McCaig’s Tower, the Colosseum lookalike which stands above the town and features in many of the postcards to be found on George Street. The Tower is 10 minutes hard walk uphill from the center of the town but provides spectacular views over the town and onto the neighboring islands.

Oban Distillery is well worth the visit too. Nestled right in the heart of the town beneath the steep cliff that overlooks Oban, it is easily recognizable by its tall chimney. Built in 1794, this is one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt Scotch whisky. Regular ferries depart daily to the nearby islands. If you wish to experience a boat tour just let us know and we will have you stay another night.

Day 12 – Oban to Ayr town, via Lock Lomond and Trossachs National Park

(201 Km, 3 hrs 45 mins)

The second last day of your Isle of Man & Scotland tour takes us to the small town of Ayr, located south-east of Glasgow, this makes the ride to the 11.30am ferry in Cairnryan the following day a lot easier, as Glasgow traffic is a nightmare, as it is parking in that city. You will ride alongside Lock Lomond, the A82, which is the largest inland body of water in the UK. The Trossachs national park is a place of real contrasts, from lowlands to high mountains, and is just full of Locks, rivers, forests, and woodlands.

Ayr is a popular seaside resort in south Ayrshire. Located 37 miles southwest of Glasgow, Ayr is a popular seaside resort, complete with charming sea front, leafy suburbs, and range of places to stay. Ayr has a fantastic esplanade with a long sandy beach which is perfect for walking. It’s famed for its beautiful golden beaches, fascinating attractions, and vibrant local culture. You can also see the deep history of Ayr in every piece of architecture and park the town has to offer.

Day 13 – Ayr to Celtic Rider, to include ferry sailing to Belfast from Cairnryan

Ayr to Cairnryan Ferry (70Km, 1hr 30 mins)
Belfast to Celtic Rider (194km, 2hrs 30 mins)

Departing Ayr, the ride to Cairnryan is about 90 minutes in duration (70 kms) and the ferry crossing to Belfast takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. It is very important to be at the ferry at least 45 minutes before departure or you may not get through. After arriving in Belfast, it takes approximately two and a half to three hours to get to Celtic Rider. Today is about enjoying the ferry crossing, and skirting around the dockland area of Belfast where Samson and Goliath are clearly visible, these are the huge Gantry cranes on the Belfast docks. You’ll also see the Titanic Museum, a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built, then riding back to Celtic Rider to return the bikes or spyders, after a most wonderful tour of Edinburgh, the North Coast 500, and the majestic highlands of Scotland. A late return of bikes is acceptable as we appreciate that this is a long day due to the ferry crossing and circa 190 miles of riding.

Returning to our rental station, we can assist with unpacking, your motorcycle or Spyder check-over, and complete the paperwork and pre-auth. If you don’t have a taxi App on your phone we can call one for you.

Pricing & Details *please note that we endeavor to keep all prices as stated below, however due to certain peak times some accommodation providers costs increase and this can be reflected on your quote. All prices below are ‘From’ the price stated but more often they are the actual price stated.

Category A

  • From €8,645 Rider + Pillion
  • From €12,225 2 Riders Sharing
  • BMW F750GS

Category B

  • From €8,925 Rider + Pillion
  • From €12,785 2 Riders Sharing
  • BMW R 1250 GS, BMW R 1250 GS Adventure

Category C

  • From €10,325 Rider + Pillion
  • From €14,185 2 Riders Sharing
  • Can-Am Spyder F3

Optional Extras

Hire of premium guaranteed waterproof KLIM riding gear is €25 per day.

The Celtic Rider Package

  • Rental of motorcycle , which includes, top box, side cases and inner bags
  • Accommodation in Irish owned B&B guesthouses of a very high standard, personally hand selected by Paul Rawlins, founder and owner of Celtic Rider

  • Award winning 2 hour long orientation course specifically designed for riders from countries that ride on the opposite side of the road to Ireland which is guaranteed to enhance your overall riding experience, here in Ireland

  • Third Party insurance, with an excess of €1,500 which is the maximum charged for accidental damage or theft

  • Full tank of fuel on departure, to be returned with full tank of fuel, tank bags are free of charge if you want one.

  • The latest Garmin Zumo 590, with our award winning routes pre-programmed for each days ride, map and comprehensive advice, prior to your departure
  • Helmet – Approved European Standard plus Richa Rainsuit

  • Breakdown cover, (excludes punctures as all bikes are supplied with repair kits)

  • Celtic Rider merchandise, Including t-shirt, baseball cap, neck bandana.

  • Free secure storage of luggage cases at our premises

  • Breakfast every morning at your lodgings

  • Not included are fuel, food, drinks, ferries, parking, entrance to tourist sites, fines, tickets or any other personal costs you may incur during your trip

Some of Our Small Print

Riders must have a full license for riding the category of motorcycles that we rent and the rider must be 25 years of age or older.A pre-authorisation for damage excess of €1500 will be reserved on your credit card on collection of the motorcycle. For motorcycles going abroad the damage deposit is €2500. This is the maximum cost charged in the event of accidental damage or theft. Your signature on the rental agreement page shall constitute authority for us to debit the final total charges against your account and your specific card-issuing organization. Celtic Rider office staff must be notified immediately of any accidents.

Please refer to our Terms & Conditions