Highlands & Stewartry Tour
The magic of the Galloway Highlands and Galloway's coast in one wonderful tour.
Time: Any time
The birthplace of the bicycle
The pedal cycle was invented in 1839 by Kirkpatrick Macmillan in a blacksmiths at Keir Mill near Dumfries. Visit the old Smithy and the grave of Macmillan on your ride out along the River Nith valley from Dumfries. There is also the 12 Apostles Stone Circle to visit as you cycle by and Ellisland Farm the home of Robert Burns our national poet.
After your first night in Thornhill you visit our favorite castle in the area, the stunning Morton Castle. You pick up the old Edinburgh road through the hills before returning to ride through the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle. Known as ‘ The Pink Palace ‘, it is one of Britain’s grandest castles.
Moniaive, “This buzzing little musically gifted community is probably home to more festivals per capita than any other place in Britain” - The Guardian, is your next destination, before you climb up over the hills and down to New Galloway. For a small village it has two of the finest cafes in the area. You can stay two days to explore Clatteringshaws Loch and the beautiful off-road route, the Raiders Road.
A stunning ride along the banks of Loch Ken brings you to Lauriston and the start of what we think is the finest stretch of road in Galloway. Over you ride, first climbing through forest and beech tree lined avenues to moors with views to Ireland on a clear day. The descent into Gatehouse of Fleet is rather exhilarating. The ride now joins the Magical Stewartry tour.
The magical Stewartry Tour
Gatehouse of Fleet is where you begin with a ride along the coast. Vikings, smugglers and pirates sailed the hidden harbours of this beautiful stretch of coast. Whenever possible the route takes off-road tracks by the side of the sea. You will probably have golden beaches to yourselves here all the way around to Kirkcudbright.
A two day stay here would be a good plan. This is The Artist Town, with pastel coloured houses, cafes and enough shops and galleries to pass the time. Day two can be a ride to Threave Castle or ancient rock art.
The ruined Abbey of Dundrennan and the usual quiet roads through to Castle Douglas by a variety of routes to end in the award winning microbrewery. The ride continues along the coast, usually with the wind at your back to The Scottish Riviera and the quaint sailing harbour of Kippford for the night, before a final coast ride to Dumfries, visiting Sweetheart Abbey on the way. You can stay at a number of locations along the coast as far on as New Abbey and give yourself a short ride to the end in Dumfries the next morning. Just ask about the options that fit your plans.