GALLOWAY HIGHLAND RIDES
The area inland from the coast
Beyond the coast the land rises to higher ground and the population thins to almost nothing. These are wild glens with a raven dark night sky. This is the place for battles, the Outlaw King - Robert the Bruce and history to be written. The cattle thieving of the Border Reivers and the brutality of the clearances took place here. Today it does a good impersonation of the Scottish Highlands, but mostly without the midges.
It feels like another world as you gain height and the world slows. Their are views across to Ireland, the Lake District and the Isle of Man and a quiet filled with the sound of Skylarks and birds of prey.
We offer a long tour that starts and returns to Dumfries with 6 days of riding or a shorter version shown below of just 4 days .
Galloway Highland - Tour
Ride of the birthplace of the pedal bicycle
Time: Any Time
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 your start point in 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 descending 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” - said 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 and you stay here for your second night. You can book an extra day here which gives you time to explore Clatteringshaws Loch and the beautiful off-road route, the Raiders Road. Moving on, you ride along the banks of Loch Ken to Lauriston and the start of what we think is the finest stretch of road in Galloway. You gain height through forest and beech tree avenues to moorland with views to Ireland on a clear day.
If you are on the 4 day tour, you turn left at Lauriston and begin to close the loop. You ride to Castle Douglas where there are fine cafes and those wanting something stronger, a microbrewery. The following day it is as little as 19 miles to ride back to Dumfries. There are longer routes for your final day that can take in the coast and Sweetheart Abbey on the way. You have not biked so very far but seen wonderful things in four days of cycling.