Cycling Holidays 2013 – Customer Comments
A 6 day tailored cycling break throughout Galloway
What a fantastic vacation! Robin at Galloway Holidays made everything so smooth and enjoyable. Robin was very easy and fun to work with, diligent at adapting the trip to our needs, and was in-tune and supportive throughout our 6 day bike tour.
When planning the trip, I was not only wanting details about bike tours, but needed help figuring out how to propose to my girlfriend. I asked for Robin's assistance and he quickly became my point person for Scotland ensuring that everything worked smoothly to make this a special trip for the two of us. Not only did Robin promptly respond to my endless stream of questions through e-mail but he also made sure that every detail was top notch. And of course... she said yes!
During the trip we saw everything we wanted to see and more - castles, towers, beautiful rolling hills, the coast, distilleries, and even a creamery. We biked on some highways with mild-moderate traffic, but were primarily on paved C class roads where we could go hours without seeing a car. There were also some great bike-only trails that were so peaceful. The weather in Scotland can be a little unpredictable, but we did not have any trouble with this. The one day that it was really storming and cold, Robin quickly appeared with his van to see if we needed a ride. We accepted and he made sure to show us all of the best sights by car so we would not miss anything. We loved the hotels and B&B's Robin booked for us - all of them unique, interesting, and beautiful.
I had looked into several bike tour companies in Scotland prior to booking Galloway Holidays, but had a lot of trouble getting e-mail replies or help with planning the trip. For the kind of trip I was planning it was important to me to know what I was getting in to and to know that I would be working with someone who could support me when I needed a ride to the train station or help on a rainy day.
After the bike tour, we rented a car and spent a few days exploring the highlands. We saw so many big group bicycle tours on small busy highways in the highlands and just thought to ourselves, "There is no way they are having as much fun as we did!"
Thanks Robin. We had an unforgettable experience!
James and Natalie
Salt Lake City, UT April 2013
The North Solway Coast Tour – Mull of Galloway to Gretna Green
3 person group tour with bag transfer - Comments by Alasdair Paton, Ivan Bielby and Andy Dixon – August 2013 and pics link.
I've got home now and uploaded routes, pictures and had a chance to digest our experiences on tour. It was a good trip with lovely views and quiet roads, and generally good hills (not too steep, even Wanlockhead - the worst was on the Thornhill extension but we had wisely dropped off our bags before attempting it). The daily miles gave us a good balance of cycling, sightseeing and cake stops.
Your on-route food and cake suggestions were spot on. We enjoyed those a lot. Almost enough to compensate for the miles cycled!
Just one route quibble - your route for the last day had one typo which had us slightly confused in Dumfries (day 5, bottom of the first page, should be RT into Nith Ave. not LT). Otherwise the maps and road book were spot on.
Our B&Bs were very good, hard to tell who won the Golden Spirtle award for breakfast but it was a close run thing. Newton Stewart B&B had probably the best traditional breakfast but the Thornhill B&B was lovely and won it for me.
Best day's cycling was... hard to tell. Extra loop on day 3 was really good although there was a section of 20% gradient in there on the optional extension. Wanlockhead was also good run and lovely to have a long run up into the hills. Day 1 was a great trip through very quiet country and the section to Mull of Galloway so good we did it twice. (Well, so misty the first time we had to do it again to get the view!) Day 2 was good and would have been super without the very heavy rain in the morning. And the last day had a lovely mix of river valley at the start and coastal section at the end. We took some of your suggestions for stops (Coulthard museum at Twynholm, Caerlaverock Castle, Gatehouse Mill, Cycle museum at Drumlanrig, Wanlockhead lead museum) and they were good too.
A good tour and an area I'd return to on the bike, even though it is 400 miles from home. I think my friends thought the same, and there's certainly lots of potential for exploration in the area on quiet roads with good views.
I've got a few pics which you could use if you wanted:
I also have the 5 days' routes as TCX files if you have other folks who want Garmin friendly files; let me know if those are of interest.
We enjoyed our tour. And the local cakes are good.
I think it’s fair to say the trip exceeded expectations with the route, recommendations and accommodation. As for the 20% gradient, it made those of us from North Yorkshire feel right at home – but glad we’d dropped off our luggage in Thornhill!
The 50 mile days were just right. Plenty of time for sightseeing without being rushed to reach the destinations in time for the evening meal.
Yes, agreed, I really enjoyed it too. The route took us along some fantastic cycle routes around the coast and up across country to Thornhill. All the B and B’s were great and different. The land lady at Castle Douglas must get special mention for washing and drying out our cycle gear on Saturday night after a wet days ride. The combination of a map and the written instructions made for an effortless navigational exercise. All in all a cracking cycling experience, and no punctures or accidents!!
Father and Son Short Cycling Break
Many thanks for organising a most enjoyable cycling break for Edward and myself.
From the initial contact via email and phone, through to the final farewell, your friendly professional approach meant that we were able to relax and enjoy our break.
The maps and directions, both verbal and written were spot on, the cycles provided were good quality, the routes were interesting, traffic free / low traffic for the most part and at times the scenery was spectacular.
The attention to detail shone through, you obviously work hard at your business and it shows.
We will be back soon,
Derek and Edward Gough, Knutsford Cheshire. December 2013
On my way from London to Aberdeen where I was to visit a friend of mine, I wanted to take a short cycling tour somewhere in a countryside in Scotland. I had only two and a half days, and Mr. Robin Hogg tailored an excellent cycling tour for me. On the first evening, when I arrived to Castle Douglas I cycled to an old fortress which is not far from Castle Douglas and is situated in the middle of a little lake. On the second day we made about 35 miles: along the coast called Scottish Riviera, passing little towns with parks and old churches, beautiful countryside landscapes, another small medieval fortress, stopped by a teahouse. On the third day we went to an ancient port and county town Kirkcudbright, which is often called an artists’ town because a lot of artists lived and worked there. I spent wonderful three days, and I will come back there one day for a longer tour.
Yakimova Oksana, Russia, May, 2013.
A couple on a tailored cycling tour
Thanks again for the amazing holiday. The weather was perfect and the cycling route you put together was better than we could have imagined. The b&b and hotel accommodations were the best. Looking forward to doing this again in the future.
Jennifer and Rick Gibson USA July 2013.
Grandmother with two grandchildren on a short daily cycling distance cycling holiday based from Summerhill
Many, many thanks Robin and Tina for such a wonderful stay – you have both been so generous, friendly, helpful – you couldn’t have done more. We have had a really wonderful time in your lovely house – and pool. Will certainly recommend you.
Liz Greig, Ella and Dan from Cambridge, England. May, 2013.
Two Guided Group Tours
"We had 2 groups of 15 pax in Gallaway in August 2013 and our bikers were very happy
about the organisation of these tours. We all have appreciate the professionalism of Robin and his staff and even some nice and typical accommodations. We hope to come again with new bikers.
Many thanks ! "
René and Michèle - Cyclorando – Switzerland August 2013.
Two Couples Cycling Together
We can't thank you enough for making our trip to Scotland one of our best ever! You are amazing and we need to come back! I wrote the following for Trip Advisor but they don't seem to have a place for posting info about tours. If you know of any place to post this, please let me know. In the meantime, feel free to post on your website!
Hugs from Canada!
Nanci and Tom
There were 4 of us wanting a Scottish adventure to celebrate a 60th birthday. Although hesitant to try a cycle adventure in Scotland, where foul weather seems to dominate the landscape, we were blessed with perfect weather and an ideal tour operator. Robin listened to our wish lists and made our trip to Scotland one of our best ever. The cycle routes were on national bike ways that were in great shape and only obstacles were occasional sheep. The accommodations along the way ranged from basic to outstanding, but all were welcoming and had hearty breakfasts to kick start our days. Our luggage was always transported and waiting and any questions and concerns were more than adequately addressed. The best part were the surprises. Robin treated us to some delightful Scottish charm, whether it was the welcoming drinks or the musicians waiting to play along with our fiddler friend at the local pub. He and his wife,Tina, hosted us at their own B and B with a most welcomed infinity pool that eased the pain of biking and left only smiles on our faces.
we did want to thank you so much for your incredible hospitality and organization. first class all the way. I suspect our friends here will become impatient with us because we can't stop talking about how much fun we had on the trip!
I think your idea of building in a music evening in Wigtown is a good one. it was a wonderful evening, and a real highlight. Bill called it one of the highlights of his life -- so it's hard to beat that!
Our best to Tina. Hope you two have a delightful summer and a busy season. we'll keep in touch.
And also, via tour agent,
we just arrived back last evening from Scotland. can give you a full de-brief with photos when we get together, but wanted to let you know we had a fabulous trip. we hit Scotland's longest heat wave in 30 or so years, so never used all the wet/cold cycling clothes we took! but no complaints. Robin put together a first class trip and was v helpful and thoughtful in so many ways. I had told him that our friend Bill was a budding fiddler, and so he arranged for some local musicians to play at a pub at one of the places where we were staying -- and Bill actually ended up sitting in on a couple of songs and playing with them! an absolute highlight of the trip for him.
the cycling route Robin had for us was really enjoyable -- some high lonely hills and plateaus, some coastal vistas, and of course the "wee small villages". all in all, just a great time. but we must be the only people who can go away on a cycling trip and still gain weight. I'm blaming the "full Scottish breakfasts", but it might have been the shortbread, or the cold beers at the end of the day...
Nanci and Tom Shillington and Collette and Bill McCollum, Canada and USA, July 2013.
I first like to thank you for a great cycling holiday.
Everything was organised perfectly. Great locations and a wonderfull route, with a fine mix of length and scenery (beaches, hills, moors, woodlands).
Equipment was very good. We rode like the winds (sometimes against them).
We surely recommend you!
Paul Habets and family, Holland July 2013.
Single Lady Tour
Just wanted to drop a quick note to tell you how pleased I am with Galloway cycle. They exceeded my expectation in every way.
Robin met my train and assist me with carrying my bags. He gave me the time I needed to get my bike together. (I am still some what slow putting it together) He was respectful enough to ask if I needed anything and when I asked him to make sure the bike was together he did.
He reviewed the maps with me and how he had set up my trip. He provided me with both a map each day ride and written directions including the mileage to the next site as well as cumulative miles. There were very few hills (which I asked requested). The route each day reflected this request.
Each night I had a lovely room. The managers of the bnb always where helpful and answered my questions. There was a restaurant within walking distance. The bnb's always secured my bike for the night.
Robin made sure that the routes included tea rooms as often as possible. His routes also indicated where WC's where.
Comments from Nell shared by her Canadian cycling travel agent.
Also direct comments
NOW this is FLAT. A picture of my home town, Tuscola Illinois in central Illinois. Must admit your flat was not too bad. You did a wonderful job
A 5 star tour run by a 5 star person.
Everything about this bike tour exceeded my expectations. Looking forward to my next tour.
Nell Nunn from USA. May 2013.
Short Father and Son Cycling and Other Activities Break
Dear Robin & Tina
Just a short note to say thank you so much for sharing your home this week. We both enjoyed our trip immensely.
It was lovely to meet you both and experience such sincere and genuine hospitality where nothing was too much bother. Robin’s route preparation and directions were first class, whilst Tina’s breakfasts were just perfect. Indeed the whole set up you have at Summerhill is as good at it gets - you really offer the comforts and facilities of a hotel with a great personal service.
Many thanks again
Keith & Stuart Thomson Dundee September 2013.
A Tour of Galloway
Dear Tina and Robin
Thank you for an excellent 6 days cycling tour.
The tours were very well arranged. The challenges were well adjusted to our level and the nature on the routes was just so beautiful. Also the selection of the small hotels / inns where we spent the nights was very successful and the food at the small restaurants you recommended was very delicious (even the haggis).
We were very impressed over the high level of service related to the cycling and baggage transportation, but even more impressed over that you helped with arrangement of our further travel and accommodation.
We enjoyed your hospitality and the high standard of the accommodation at your “Bed and Breakfast” and the breakfast you served us is absolutely the best in Scotland.
Thank you very much.
Best regards from Kirsten and Ulrik, Denmark July 2013