Video & Photo Story: Unreal Single Track in Scotland with Scotty Laughland

Nov 24, 2021 at 12:39
by Scott Laughland  

I'm stoked to share episode 2 of my first ever short film series aptly named, 'Scotty's Scotland Showcase!'

Aberdeenshire is an emerging destination within Scotland, the region’s mountain bike trails are developing at a rate of knots thanks to the strong local riding community and the management of the Aberdeenshire Trail Association. It’s got a style of trail for everyone whilst keeping things completely natural.

In this episode the trails we explore are the infamous Lightning Bolt trail through Balmoral Estate that finishes at Loch Muick, the hand-built trails around Ballater, Mastermind and Heartbreak Ridge and the Munro, Beinn a' Bhùird.

Climbing out of Ballater and up towards Mastermind.

Mastermind is a belter of a trail, it's got a bit of everything, big compressions and tight through the trees.

Huge ferns amongst the forest floor.

Climbing up to Heartbreak Ridge.

The views at the top of Heartbreak Ridge are incredible and you can see right over to Lochnagar. This past summer the ATA have really done a lot of work to make the trail more sustainable and suitable for more riders.

It's fast, it's flowing and it's a load of fun.

Plenty of rock features to play with as you make your way down to the treeline.

Climbing up to the Lightning Bolt, the views over Loch Muick are incredible.

The descent makes up for the climb, it's jaw dropping and technically challenging.

Plenty of huge rocks to navigate on your way down to the loch.

After an unbelievable descent you sometimes just need to sit there and take in your surroundings.

The variety of trails in Aberdeenshire is amazing, here I'm atop the Munro, Beinn a'Bhùird on a sublime Scottish day.

Can we talk about the views?

Then there's the views out the other way.

Dust. Enough said. Munro's can be quite arduous descents but this one just flows from start to finish and makes for an epic adventure.

Endless singletrack.


In this episode the sustainability focus was around trail etiquette. Here in Scotland we're fortunate to be able to ride locations like Beinn a'Bhùird and these are privileges that we as MTB’ers can’t take for granted. We need to respect these fragile landscapes, ride to the terrain, conditions and acknowledge the wildlife they’re home to.

The entire series is being created carbon neutral. All our journey emissions will be offset and the advertising revenue generated from viewership will be split between planting more native trees in Scotland and the local trail associations.

Produced by Scotty Laughland
Cinematography by Glen Thomson
FPV by Max Rendall
Photography by Jonny Cook


  • 9 0
 Sunny weather and no rain during the whole video? This can't be Scotland.
  • 16 0
 Shhhh! We just pretend the weather is rubbish to keep the trails quiet....
  • 2 0
 As a relatively new resident of Scotland, I actually managed to ride in a lot of the places in this video series over one awesome week-long road trip. But there is just so much more in each location, let alone the places not even mentioned here- I feel very lucky to live here! Beautiful videos Scotty!
  • 2 0
 Welcome, stoked you're enjoying the videos and the trails, there sure are plenty to explore! It's a good place to be living right now...
  • 1 0
 Amazing! I have been to Aberdeenshire quite a few times as my parents are from Aberdeen.
Managed to surf last visit off Aberdeen beach 15 years ago but I haven't had the chance to mountain bike.
This makes me want to go back for a visit! Thanks so much for sharing Smile
  • 2 1
 These videos are amazing but I do think you need to mention what kit is needed, it's not always a sunny day. People will follow your example but don't have anywhere near your skill level or experience.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Richard and that's good feedback, perhaps an idea I'll look into that as a standalone video in the future using some of the content gathered here!
  • 1 0
 @ScottyLaughland: I dont know if I missed it in this video but the Torridon video is perfect with the quick gear reference at the start. But it is a bigger loop, still on my todo list. Again, an excellent video.
  • 4 3
 Seem a bit hypocritical to do a piece on trail erosion whilst riding the same section three times and skidding/sliding in every other corner.
  • 4 0
 Trying my best to ride sensibly and smart for the location whilst also going at a good trail speed. It's a hard thing to demonstrate and even easier to be critiqued upon when it's on film!
  • 1 0
 @ScottyLaughland: Tough job ay. Just a couple of the downsides to being a supported rider representing brands whilst also trying to advocate responsible access. By putting yourself out there you do also leave the door wide open to criticism (justified or not). Either stay low-key or practice what you preach to avoid the rotten tomatoes being thrown would be my recommendation.
  • 1 0
 Some of my local trails, awesome selection, it pisses down between Jan and Dec but we get used to it .
  • 3 1
 Great video and trails. Just stop trying to greenwash it all
  • 2 1
 Thanks, if you watch the intro video to the series you'll understand my reasons behind the storyline!
  • 1 1
 @CM999 are you trying to say carbon neutral is nothing but green PR and spin?
  • 1 0
 Aberfeldy is a gem. Top of the world is pretty epic. This is great for the area. Keep up the good work!
  • 4 2
 nice hardtail
  • 1 0
 Where's the shock?
  • 1 0
 And not a midge in sight either! Good luck enjoying it anytime after May.
  • 1 0
 Unless you have sunshine like this, not a single midge and we were there in mid July!
  • 1 0
 I always liked Scotty on GMBN. Seems like a genuine dude.
  • 2 0
 Thank you just out there riding bikes, having fun and trying to share the stoke!
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