If you want a multi-day biking adventure in the wilderness, then the Cairngorm Carousel is perfect.

It’s a four day ride through some breath taking scenery, but each day you are returned to a local village for rest and beer. 

The route map and description can be obtained here. These maps are essential, great to use, and weatherproof :


We started the adventure early October – long enough away from the midge season, but at the back of our mind conscious that long summer days had been left behind. We travelled light – just one set of evening clothes packed into this neat little seat pack

Altura Vortex 2 SeatPack and a tool bag that fitted to the top tube Altura Top Tube Pack and a 10 litre rucksack

There were three of us in our group, riding a variety of bikes.  We all had full suspension MTBs, however a hardtail would also be suitable (and perhaps lighter when lugging the bikes across some of the more challenging fords).  Two of us rode 29’ers, and one was on an old school 26”.  The 29'ers ability to cover rough ground more efficiently was evident.

Being of a slightly paranoid disposition, and working in a bikeshop I pulled together our spare parts list for the trip.  This comprised ;

- Inner Tubes, Patches, Tyre Levers, Glue, Pumps

- Brake Pads

- Brake Cable Inner

- Multi-Tools

- Quick Links for chain

- Mech Hangers

- Spare Spokes and Wrench

- Zip Ties

- Spare SPD cleats

- Cassette Lockring Remover

In terms of clothing, with it being Autumn we included arm + leg coverings, plus waterproof jackets.  All three of us used waterproof socks , and they worked brilliantly.  

Whilst the official route description starts with Day 1 at Blair Athol we decided to start at Kingussie – the only reason being that we were catching the sleeper train up from Euston and starting the ride at 7:30am seemed more appealing than a 6:40am start. In retrospect that was a good call – more of that later.

Llanbedr Hill MTB Hay-on-Wye
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Cairngorm Carousel Day 1
Kingussie to Tomintoul...
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