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East Scotland - Howe o' the Mearns to Kingdom of Fife
24th May 2020 - 31st May 2020 (8 days)
This is a relatively tourist (and midge!) free area of Scotland with a wealth of quiet roads for cycling. The first four nights will be spent in the coastal town of Montrose, which lies between Dundee and Aberdeen. We then cycle 30 miles to Dundee for the remaining three nights. Dundee is famous for Captain Scott's RSS Discovery launched in 1901, the V&A Museum which opened in September 2018 and the University of Dundee Botanic Garden. Sociable rides with refreshment stops where available. Approx 40-50 miles most days in undulating terrain.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Pat & Ron Harrow
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Multi-centre
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 03456
Sunday 24th May
Arrive at the Park Hotel, Montrose in time for dinner at 7pm. Stay 4 nights. Meals: D
Monday 25th May
Loop ride alongside the River North Esk climbing gently to the small village of Tarfside, the impressive Invermark Castle and the small ruined chapel of Glenesk Church by Loch Lee at the head of Glen Esk. We may picnic here if the Retreat Visitor Centre remains closed. We enjoy a lovely run back down the glen with a tea stop near the Rocks of Solitude. Meals: B D
Tuesday 26th May
Loop ride through Edzell Woods, Edzell with its Dalhousie Arch, Balfour to Fettercairn (optional Distillery visit), Clatterin' Brig (at the foot of Cairn O' Mount) and Drumtochty Glen to the village of Auchenblae. Climb over Hill of Garvock and descend, with views, to the coastal village of St Cyrus. Meals: B D
Wednesday 27th May
Loop ride to Scurdie Ness lighthouse overlooking Montrose, then around Montrose Basin to Brechin. A short steep climb passing the Caterthuns with their Iron Age forts into Glen Lethnot, the smallest and probably least well known of the Angus glens. We return via the House of Dun. Meals: B D
Thursday 28th May
Cycle to Dundee on National Cycle Network route 1 via Lunan Bay and the coastal town of Arbroath, famous for its smokies and Signal Tower Museum. Arriving in Dundee the cycle path passes the V&A Museum and RSS Discovery. There should be time to visit some of Dundee's attractions. Stay 3 nights at the Best Western Invercarse Hotel near Dundee Botanic Garden. Meals: B D
Friday 29th May
Loop ride across the Tay Road Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife. From Newport-on-Tay, we have an easy climb before skirting Tayport and around Tentsmuir Forest. A climb to Strathkinness rewards us with views of the estuary and Angus before swooping down into St Andrews. We return via Guardsbridge and Tayport harbour. Meals: B D
Saturday 30th May
Loop ride along the quiet roads of the Tay Estuary and into the Sidlaw Hills with short steep climbs to an area feeling quite remote although not far from Dundee. We are rewarded with views over to Fife. There may be the opportunity for a longer ride around the Tay Estuary to Perth. Meals: B D
Sunday 31st May
Tour ends after breakfast. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
Accommodation & Meals
Four nights will be spent at the Park Hotel in Montrose followed by three nights at the Best Western Invercarse Hotel in Dundee, both awarded 3-stars by Visit Scotland, in ensuite double or twin rooms. Single occupancy may be available for a supplement. Breakfast and dinner are included. Special dietary requirements must be indicated on the Booking Form.
For those who choose to cycle to Dundee on the Thursday, the panniers of those who arrive by train will be transferred from the hotel in Montrose to the hotel in Dundee. Those with cars parked at Montrose can either drive their car to Dundee or cycle across and be transported back to Montrose to collect their car later that day.
Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your Cycling UK membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks. Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.
The price of £510 is based on a minimum number of 15 people taking part in the holiday. If there are insufficient bookings by 15th March 2020, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- 7 nights hotel, sharing room
- 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
- Transfer of panniers from Montrose to Dundee on the Thursday
- Transfer of drivers from Dundee to Montrose on the Thursday to collect cars
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to the start and finish of the tour
- Drinks with dinner
- Lunches or other refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£15 per night, subject to availability)
A deposit of £100 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £410 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 15th March 2020.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 15th March 2020
From 15th March 2020 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
The Howe o’ the Mearns is part of South Aberdeenshire and is best known as a productive agricultural area producing arable crops such as wheat, barley, potatoes and oil seed rape. The Grampian Mountains are to the west. To the south and east lies the Hill of Garvock, the remains of a volcanic ridge, separating the area from the North Sea. To the south in the county of Angus is Montrose, with its tidal basin and Wildlife Centre and Arbroath famous for its historic Abbey and smoked fish (smokies). Cycling into the Angus Glens it is hillier, but the scenery is rewarding.
The city of Dundee, famous for Jute, jam and journalism, is on the River Tay estuary. It is in the midst of a one billion pound redevelopment of its waterfront. On the north of the River Tay, bordering the coastal roads, lie the Sidlaw Hills. Spanning the River Tay from Dundee are the road and rail bridges over to the Kingdom of Fife, another area rich in agriculture and the home to Scotland's first university at St Andrews.
Rides & Rest Days
The countryside is generally undulating. There will be a led group ride each day at a relaxed pace. Refreshment stops will be made where available but it is important to carry a snack, etc as these may be minimal on some days. Please note that the rides listed in the Itinerary are only suggestions and may be amended.
There are railway stations at Montrose and Dundee, both on the East Coast Mainline. A cycle reservation is necessary. Car parking and secure cycle parking is available at both hotels.
The maximum number of participants will be 18 excluding the Tour Manager.
Weather & Clothing
Scottish weather is well known for being very variable so there is a possibility of both warm sunny days and cold wet weather. Layers of lightweight clothing, suitable for a range of temperatures, is needed, and waterproofs are a must, as is warmer clothing for the evenings.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable, but this must be in good working order, especially the brakes. A bottom gear of around 30 inches or less is recommended, as are mudguards, though they are not essential. Lights will not be necessary. You will not need to carry luggage, but a bar bag or rack-top pack will be needed for spare clothing, camera, sun lotion, snacks etc. Each participant will be expected to bring/carry sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
Maps & Guides
You are advised to carry a map of the area in case you leave the main group. A page from a 4 miles to 1 inch Road Atlas should suffice or for more detail OS Landranger Maps nos 44. 45, 53, 54 and 59 cover most of the area.