Arrival Day - if afternoon arrival, we go on a local guided 'acclimatisation' cycle around Castle Douglas, known as a 'food town'. We visit the Earth's Crust bakery, In House Chocolates tea room, Glen Urr ice cream in the Toffee Shop and Sulwath brewery for a tasting. If time allows we can also do a circuit and visit Threave Castle, Threave Garden at the edge of town and back by Carlingwark Loch.
You stay at our Summerhill B&B tonight, subject to availability. For the rest of the tour, if superior quality accommodation is required, we can check availability, advise of extra cost and book accordingly if required.
Day 1 - Castle Douglas to Carsethorn / Kirkbean Area - around 25 miles.
Follow a sign-posted cycle route part of the way through peaceful countryside to visit your first 'experience' - Loch Arthur farm shop and café. This acclaimed farm shop boasts a great range of home grown produce including award winning cheese and bread. You arrive around morning coffee time!
Continue to New Abbey village, a picturesque village in the Nith Estuary National Scenic Area. Sweetheart Abbey and an old Corn Mill visitor centre are local attractions. The award winning Abbey Cottage tearoom is a lunch option.
Your accommodation is in seaside village where you can have an evening meal at a popular quirky 'food pub' .
Day 2 - Carsethorn / Kirkbean to Auchencairn / Balcary Bay - 25 miles.
Continue to soon arrive at the cottage musuem of John Paul Jones and on to nearby Southerness lighthouse built in 1749 to protect shipping in the Solway. You can visit Mersehead Nature Reserve and on to the 'Scottish Riviera', a National Scenic Area for lunch either at a waterfront new tea room or hotel. Pass through the town of Dalbeattie with award winning butchers and then to Palnackie which has a popular tea room. Climb up the spiral staircase of Orchardton Tower before continuing to Auchencairn area for B&B accommodation.
The superior option is to stay at well positioned Balcary Bay Hotel on the waterfront.
Day 3 - Auchencairn / Balcary Bay to Kirkcudbright - 20 miles
Head west, detouring onto a quiet country road to arrive at Dundrennan Abbey. The tea room in the old pub nearby can provide morning coffee or lunch. Another detour by the coast takes you on to Kirkcudbright artists’ town and your overnight accommodation. The fishing boats here land scallops which get exported abroad but are also served in the towns restaurants. Castle Maclellan pate is also produced in the town. We supply a booklet to guide you round the various art galleries, museum, castle and other places including the town's reestaurants.
The superior option is to stay at nearby Selkirk Arms Hotel with an excellent food reputation. We can check availability, advise of extra cost and book accordingly if required.
Day 4 - Kirkcudbright to Gatehouse of Fleet - from 16 miles.
Follow the National Cycle Route today most of the way to Gatehouse of Fleet today. As with most days, we have some detour options to Brighouse Bay and other coastal spots. You enter the National Scenic Area and cycle through Carrick shore to arrive at Cream o' Galloway, a farm visitor centre producing ice cream, sorbets and also cheese. Further on, you soon have the option of afternoon tea at the Cally Palace Hotel, also the superior accommodation option for today. Alternatively you can cycle into Gatehouse of Fleet where Galloway Lodge produces a large selection of jams and preserves - sample in their tea room. We use B&B's or small hotels in Gatehouse of Fleet.
Day 5 - Gatehouse of Fleet to Castle Douglas - around 20 miles.
We have chosen a cross country route to the village of Twynholm where you can visit the nearby Cocoa Bean Company, a growing chocolate factory and visitor centre whose products are sold throughout the UK and abroad. The visitor centre is popular wth children who can do workshops with the chocolate.
On the way back to Castle Douglas, if not previously visited on arrival day, you can visit Threave Garden with restaurant and nearby Threave Castle before entering the town. In town, you can also visit any food premises not visited on arrival day in the 'food town' or just relax with a local beer at Sulwath brewery to celebrate the end of your tour.
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