More than 14,000 visitors used The Crown Estate’s mountain bike trails on the Glenlivet Estate in the first year of operation since they were officially opened last November by Richard Lochhead MSP.
Initial projections aimed at attracting 10,000 cyclists but this target was exceeded within nine months.
The attraction, known as BikeGlenlivet, comprises two mountain bike trails (red and blue graded), a cafe and cycling hub for bike hire and equipment. The facilities received a 4-star rating from VisitScotland earlier this year and hosted the inaugural Rock&Road bike festival, which is set to become an annual event.
Recently The Crown Estate created a pump track at the hub to provide a short but exciting warm-up for riders before setting off on the longer trails or as an alternative for children if their parents are relaxing with coffee and cake.
The popularity and appeal of BikeGlenlivet is reflected on their Facebook page where visitors often post live recordings taken on the trails or comment on the scenery, wildlife and thrills. The Coffee Still Cafe, based at the hub where the trails start, is also proving popular. Operated by local Tomintoul couple Dianne Dunlop and Steve Sacks, their home-cooked fare is a key factor in the overall success of the venture.
We were very pleased to be able to award the attraction four stars earlier this year and its visitor numbers speak for its success – so much so that they have even added an extra feature in the last month.”
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director
Vicky Hilton, Countryside Manager for the Glenlivet estate, said: “We wanted the bike trails to be a fun day out so we have worked at providing additional facilities beyond the trails themselves, such as the pump track. Dianne and Steve have made a huge success of the Coffee Still cafe where the quality of the home-cooking seems to rate as highly as the cycling.
“We are delighted that so many people have discovered the natural beauty of the Glenlivet Estate while doing something that is both exciting and active. We’re very pleased and proud to be providing the best visitor experience we can.”
VisitScotland has also recognised the success of the facilities. Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “I am delighted to hear that the Glenlivet Mountain Bike Trails have been such a success and that on their first anniversary they are celebrating even higher visitor figures than anticipated.
“We were very pleased to be able to award the attraction four stars earlier this year and its visitor numbers speak for its success – so much so that they have even added an extra feature in the last month.
“The Highlands are known for their stunning beauty and are an obvious must-visit for any outdoor enthusiasts and the local visitor economy has also benefitted from the extra visitors. Hoteliers in and around the Glenlivet area have reported increased bookings – a trend we would hope will continue.
“In the year when Scotland has welcomed the world with a line-up of global events, including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and the second Year of Homecoming, it is encouraging to hear that our attractions are also doing so well.”
The Crown Estate works on a commercial basis, taking a balanced approach to ensuring its assets are managed effectively and sustainably at all times. As part of that long-term commercial approach, the business invests in stewardship and educational activities to help maintain the value of the estate and build strong links with local communities.