Cycling in Peebles
Whether you’re new to cycling, or a total pro, there’s a route in Peebles to suit you.
From long flat stretches of old railway line, to steep, fast mountain bike trails, the Borders is knows as a cycling haven.
Bike hire hotspot
We’ve teamed up with British bike brand Genesis to create a bike hire hotspot.
Hire a bike for all the family from right here at Peebles Hydro, and explore the dozens of trails in and around Peebles. With lots of different sizes of mountain bikes to rent, Craig in our team is on hand to kit you out and offer some top tips on how to make the most out of your time on the tracks.
Mountain biking at Glentress Forest
Glentress Forest has some of the best mountain bike trails in Britain, with routes to suit everyone from novice to pro. The centre backs on to the Peebles Hydro Estate – so you can get there in minutes, without going on the road.
Bring your own bike, or hire one at our hotspot – they’ve got all the kit you might need. There are five trails in all. For experienced riders, the black trail will test your skills to the limit: 30km of steep climbs, long descents, fast singletrack and plenty of jumps. There are red, blue and green routes too, all with magnificent views of the Tweed Valley at convenient stopping points.
Back at the visitor centre, you’ll find the bike wash, toilets and showers – as well as the Glentress Peel Café, to refuel after your exertions.
From a seven mile jaunt to a 53 mile day long circuit, there are some excellent routes on the roads and paved cycle paths around the Peebles Hydro. Here’s some of our favourites:
Easy: cycle to Innerleithen on the old railway
The cycle path from Peebles to Innerleithen follows the route of the old Borders railway line, so it’s ideal if you haven’t been on a bike in a while. The flat tarmac path starts at the hotel, goes through a tunnel under the road, and carries on for the five miles to Innerleithen. And because you never go near a road, the only traffic you need to worry about is the occasional squirrel, walkers and fellow cyclists. Perfect for families.
Medium: Cademuir circuit
This 7.5 mile circular route takes you south from Peebles to Cademuir hill, with spectacular views. From Peebles, the road climbs steadily, hitting a steep section towards Edderston Manor. The climbing is worth it for the views over Peebles and Dunslair at the summit – a perfect place to stop and catch your breath. The road then descends into Kirkton Manor, with yet more views over the Tweed Valley. The route follows the river for a while, then turns east and continues along the slopes of Cademuir Hill before returning north to Peebles.
Medium: Manor Valley
An undulating there-and-back route that covers just over 20 miles on quiet country roads. From Peebles you head south into open countryside and climb up to Edderston Manor – the last bit is quite steep, so you might need a breather at the top. The road then drops into the Tweed Valley, descending to Kirkton Manor and climbing up to the Glack. After this, you can follow the Manor Water for as far as you like before turning back the way you came. It’s a long-ish cycle, so make sure you take the essentials: puncture repair kit, packed lunch, snacks, and a waterproof.
Medium: Dreva and Dawyck
The Dreva and Dawyck route covers 26 miles, taking you high above the Tweed Valley to an excellent café stop at the Dawyck Botanic Gardens. You head west from Peebles, climbing up to the Glack, where the Tweed Valley comes into view. The route heads down towards Lyne Station, and you continue to Stobo.
Follow the signs towards Dreva, where the road climbs back up and runs high above the valley, with spectacular views. The road drops down to Rachan, then heads north. Stop off at the Dawyck Botanic Gardens for exceptional cakes, coffee and lemonade before returning back to Peebles. It’s a long-ish cycle, so make sure you take the essentials: puncture repair kit, packed lunch, snacks, and a waterproof.
Hard: Megget and Talla
This is the big one. The circuit is about 53 miles in all, and gives you the best bits of the Borders. You start out on the cycle path to Innerleithen, then head south to pass Traquair House and along the Paddy Slacks towards Gordon Arms. From there, you take a right into the Yarrow Valley and pedal on towards Tweedsmuir. There’s a steep climb up towards Megget Reservoir, with great views toward Broad Law, the highest hill in the Scottish Borders. It then descends towards Talla Reservoir. When you reach Tweedsmuir, the route turns north past Dawyck Botanic Gardens and skirts round the south side of Cademuir Hill before descending into Peebles. The end of the route follows the south side of the Tweed Valley back toward Peebles.
It’s a long cycle, so make sure you take the essentials: puncture repair kit, packed lunch, snacks, and a waterproof. If you prefer to travel light, you can have lunch on the way – the café at Dawyck Botanic Gardens is excellent.