Day 1 – Castle Douglas to Newton Stewart – 33 miles.
The tour starts by following the line of Loch Ken to New Galloway then along the Queen’s Way to visit Bruce’s Stone, a battle site at Clatteringshaws. You continue on a signposted cycle route to end in Newton Stewart, your first night’s accommodation.
Day 2 - Newton Stewart to Glentrool Circuit – 33 miles.
A circuit today to ‘Highlands like’ Glentrool, the site of another battle won by Bruce and another Bruce’s Stone! A walk around Loch Trool with information boards gives you a feeling of how his tactics won the day. A nearby forestry visitor centre and good food pub would satisfy your refreshment needs before taking a peaceful route downstream by the River Cree back to Newton Stewart.
Day 3 - Newton Stewart to Kirkcudbright – 36 miles.
Again follow a cycle route, this time all the way via Gatehouse of Fleet and a fine coastal route to Kirkcudbright artist town, and the site of Kirkcudbright Castle, which was probably demolished by King Robert after his victory over the English at Bannockburn in 1314. Kirkcudbright, with harbour fishing boats, museum, art galleries and Maclellan’s Castle is popular with tourists.
Day 4 - Kirkcudbright to Kippford – 34 miles.
Continue east with the option to visit Dundrennan Abbey, where Mary Queen of Scots stayed her last night in Scotland. Visiting several villages and a detour option to Balcary Bay, you can visit Buittle Tower and see the remains of Buittle Castle, which was razed to the ground by King Robert after having been occupied John Balliol – of Balliol College, Oxford, who now own the motte. You stay the night in Kippford, a scenic village beside the River Urr.
Day 5 - Kippford to Dumfries – 33 miles.
You’re never far from the sea as you continue east along the Solway Coast and in by the Nith Estuary to Dumfries. On the way New Abbey is a pleasant village to visit with Sweetheart Abbey the main attraction.
It is part of the Robert the Bruce story in that the abbey was built for Lady Devorgilla in memory of her husband John Balliol – mentioned at Buittle Castle. Their son John became King of Scotland in 1292 – the same year as Bruce murdered the Red Comyn in Dumfries. Continuer on to Dumfries to stay the night.
Day 6 – Dumfries to Lockerbie – 35 miles.
Dumfries has several sites of interest and indeed has a Bruce town trail. This includes the site of Greyfriars Church, (the murder site above), Dumfries museum with Bruce artefacts and Dumfries castle which was stormed by Bruce.
Moving on Caerlaverock Castle which was besieged by King Edward 1 of England and later in 1312 it fell to Bruce. Further on Hightae area was the lands of the Brus family from 1124 and at nearby Lochmaben you can see the remains of the motte and bailey castle and also a newer castle beside a loch.
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