Galloway - Scotland
10- 16 May 2019
the Big Magic Stewartry tour
As you all know Jerry Newman (and his wife Amy of course, too!), are fine connoisseur of good cycling, culture and above all fun and friendship. This is why he has chosen to return and spend more time in Galloway in the Southwest of Scotland. It is a beautiful place, and few have said it better than our local poet -
the galloway landscape with its bleak mists and mudflats, glens and mountains, empty moors and ancient moss covered stones has been the backcloth for countless poems, novels and films. it's a place where people have left and ghosts and whispers fill the gap.
All you need to do is link up with Jerry and get the wheels rolling. Scotland and Galloway Cycling Holidays are very excited to have you here and share this little gem with you. So take a look around this little introductory website and see what we have to offer for SPRING 2019.
This route is one of the best showcases of Dumfries and Galloway, starting in the hills and going down to the coast at Kirkcudbright. It is not flat but has just one major and walkable climb of just over 1 mile, and is very manageable for beginners. You begin in the dramatic Galloway Highlands where you visit Drumlanrig Castle, the local seat of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch (you may know this castle from Outlander). You also get to pay your respects to the local man who invented the pedal bicycle - Kirkpatrick MacMillan. You visit his grave and see the site of his workshop. There is an old carved cross nearby, one of the very few from the 9th century, as Christianity entered the celtic way of life. If you are lover of art , you may have come across the name Andy Goldsworthy ( look him up if you have not )- this is where he lives and gets much of his inspiration.
You move on into the wild highland moors and big skies of the Glenken area - riding old trading routes that came from the West coast of Scotland all the way to Edinburgh on the East coast. Enjoy the beauty of the UNESCO protected landscape of Gatehouse of Fleet and make your way along the wild shoreline to Kirkcudbright. This is the coast of vikings, pirates and John Paul Jones the father of the US Navy.
Kirkcudbright is a vibrant and quaint little town with a small active harbour, galleries and craft shops. A perfect place to end your journey, or stay longer for Jerry’s Kirkcudbright Hub Week.
Arrival 9 May - Departure 15 May
8 days - 7 nights
up to 8 people
Various options in Thornhill
Brookford B&B (Dalry) or Kenbridge Hotel (New Galloway)
Ship Inn in Gatehouse of Fleet
Fludha in Kirkcudbright
based on two people sharing
What the price includes
Transport from Lockerbie train station to Thornhill and back to Lockerbie
Welcome introduction and setting up of bikes.
6 nights in a B&B, 6 x breakfasts
Maps/ guiding material
A wonderful Galloway Cycling water bottle
The last dinner at the Selkirk Arms Hotel.
Extras (not included)
We have not included the bike hire as you have two options:
Hybrid @ £15 per bike per day
Ebike @ £30 per bike per day
Bike hire includes: helmets, bike kit, bike bags.
Additional things that can be arranged
Do you need a wellness massage at the end ?
a music evening at Moniaive - it should be the folk festival weekend!.
Type of tour and terrain
This is a self-guided tour. We will give you the guiding material and point you in the right direction. We will be there for you, if you need any help.
The route starts in the hills and goes to Kirkcudbright by the sea, the Solway Coast. It is not flat, but apart from one steep short hill, very manageable even for beginners. If you are a more experienced rider and want to go longer, we can give you a different route on “Loop”-days in Thornhill and Kirkcudbright.
our hire bikes
Some nitty-gritty stuff
We request a 25 % non-refundable deposit by January 15th.
The final payment will be requested 6 weeks prior to the start of your holidays. Please check with Jerry if you would like to stage the payments.
Payment via Transferwise please. Jerry is happy to assist you.
Please see our Terms & Conditions, and Cancellation Policies
The time table
1st day: Arrival Day. Setting up of bikes. We will introduce you to the land and the region and give you your maps. Happy to answer any questions about your trip.
2nd day: A day around Thornhill. Explore the Drumlanrig Estate and see the grave of the inventor of the modern pedal bike : Kirkpatrick Macmillan. In the evening you could go to Moniaive (voted the most cultural village in Scotland 2018) and enjoy some traditional folk music in the bar.
3rd day: Thornhill > Dalry/New Galloway
The beautiful Highland moors and valleys of the Glenkens to the waters of the River Dee and Loch Ken.
4th day: Dalry/New Galloway > Gatehouse of Fleet
Cycle along the gentle waters and the nature reserve of River Dee and Loch Ken to Gatehouse of Fleet. There is one steady hill that will give you the most spectacular view towards the Sea flanked by the round backs of hills. You are descending to the UNESCO protected Biosphere of Gatehouse of Fleet. Have a look at Cally Palace if you’ve got time or just meander through the little town and down to the old mill (info centre, museum, 2nd hand book shop) and a fine place for scones.
5th day: Gatehouse of Fleet > Kirkcudbright
Secluded beaches, craggy shores and some eccentric houses inhabited and used by the Romans, Vikings, smugglers and “normal’ people. You could stop by the ice cream factory of Cream o Galloway before your routes leads you to a quaint little town of Kirkcudbright. You might want to finish that day with Fish & Chips by the harbour.
6th day: Kirkcudbright Loop: the options are varied. Fancy a cycle to Threave Gardens , a well looked after Botanical Garden near Castle Douglas and have a stroll through the town of Castle Douglas, or go further along the coast to Dundrennan Abbey where Mary Queen of Scots stayed the last night before she was shipped off to England where her cousin to make her a head shorter.
7th day: Depart. We will bring you back to Lockerbie train station or Dumfries bus station.
What the 2018 - NV teams said …
…. some of the many reviews …
Anita & Ben
We had the best vacation we've had in many years with Esther, Warren, and Galloway Cycling Holidays. Southwest Scotland is absolutely beautiful and made all the more so by the enthusiasm […] We truly felt that we were able to experience Galloway & Dumfries like locals. Thank you Galloway Cycling Holidays!
Charlie & Marti
Southwest Scotland is an under discovered Mecca of quiet, scenic back country roads for bicycling. Our group signed up with Galloway Cycling Holidays. What a great idea that was! Esther & Warren (co-owners) took fabulous care of our group while taking us to amazing picturesque and historic sights. They even offer electric assist bicycles to level the hills for some and kept our group closer together. Their stories of their four year bicycling trip around the world kept us entertained. You might just find that the highlight of your trip is meeting Ester and Warren. It was for me.
I spent 10 days cycling with Galloway Cycling Holidays in Scotland and loved every beautiful country road that I cycled! Outstanding beauty, outstanding people and wonderful food. Esther and Warren Tacke who own and operate Galloway Cycling Holidays are so welcoming and accommodating to your every need. I highly recommend anyone that is looking for a Scottish adventure to do it by bike and do it with Galloway Cycling Holidays! Thank you Esther and Warren!
Galloway Cycling Holidays provided a superior experience in every way. The cycling routes went through bucolic towns and stunning landscapes. I especially appreciated the proprietors knowledge of local history, flora, and fauna. I will definitely return to ride with GCH.
small B&Bs and hotels
Below are images of some of the hotels and B&Bs you will be using on your route: Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel, Brookford B&B (or Kenbridge Hotel).