Gleneagles Townhouse

My Scotland: Sir Chris Hoy

20 February 2024

Here, we catch up with Sir Chris to unveil his favourite routes for enjoying the Scottish countryside in the saddle, ahead of his two-night cycling and culinary breaks he'll be hosting at Gleneagles in 2024.

Not only is Sir Chris Hoy MBE the world’s most successful track cyclist in history, but he’s one of Great Britain’s most decorated athletes overall. So as an eleven-times world champion and six-times Olympic champion, you can trust that he knows a thing or two about cycling. And as Scotsman, Sir Chris also knows a thing or two about exploring the Highlands.


What makes Scotland so special to you?

No matter where I live in the world, Scotland will always be my home. It’s special because of the people, their humour, the beauty of the landscape, the history, and the disproportionately significant contribution Scotland has made to the world of science, music and the arts despite its size.


What are your top tips for making the most of the colder months in the Highlands?

Being prepared is a good start! Having the right clothing to meet the weather will mean you can be comfortable and have fun no matter what nature throws at you. The best thing about this time of year is that Scotland is less busy — tourists tend to flock here in the summer months, so you can enjoy exploring the country at your own pace and be more spontaneous in where you go without necessarily having to book months in advance.



Where are your favourite places to cycle in Scotland?

You’re really spoilt for choice in terms of cycling destinations in Scotland. There are some of the best mountain biking trails in the world up at Fort William, the North Coast 500 route for an extended cycle holiday, Loch Lomond and surrounding roads for stunning scenery and smooth tarmac. I suppose for me it would be the nostalgia of going for a ride on my mountain bike up into the Pentland Hills. I used to go there in my teens and just loved how close the trails were to Edinburgh centre and how quickly and easily you could get away from it all on a bike.

"You're really spoilt for choice in terms of cycling destinations in Scotland"

What do you miss most when you’re away from home?

My family and friends, and the feeling of belonging. But we never leave it too long between visits.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from a fellow Scot?

Sir Jackie Stewart once told me: “never complain about being busy”. I didn’t really get what he meant until COVID hit and I was desperate to be out and working with a busy diary. After the last couple of years, my perspective has definitely changed and I try to appreciate it when there’s a lot going on.


What’s Scotland’s best export?

It’s got to be whisky! A globally recognised drink that people immediately associate with Scotland.


Where do you and your friends like to celebrate?

Back in the day, when I was back in Edinburgh after a race season, my parents always used to book a table at the Canny Man’s, or sometimes a room depending on how many of us there were. I loved the atmosphere there, you’d settle into a lunch that could last for many hours!


What was your proudest Scottish sporting moment?

Scotland’s 1990 Grand Slam. It still gives me goosebumps to watch replays of David Sole leading the team onto Murrayfield.

Join us at The Glorious Playground on 26-28 April or 13-15 September, when Sir Chris Hoy will be hosting a series of two night cycling and culinary breaks. Experience exhilarating rides immersed in the tranquil Perthshire countryside, coupled with world-class hospitality, dining and deep Relaxation.

For more information or to book, call our Playground Planners on 01764662231 or email