Day 1 'Scottish Riviera Circuit' 34 miles.
This coastline known by the Victorians as the Scottish Riviera is the mid point attraction today. The National Trust for Scotland looks after part of this popular National Scenic Area. You can walk up to the site of 7th century mote to get panoramic views over the Rough Firth estuary. Later on, climb the spiral staircase of the only round tower house in Scotland. We advise on several good tea room and pub food enterprises along the way. Back in Castle Douglas, themed as a 'food town' and unique shopping experience due to the many independent shops, you can visit the brewery or one of the many tea rooms for a welcome refreshment. You stay at our Summerhill B&B tonight, subject to availability.
Day 2 'To the Glenkens' 29 miles.
A gradual rise into the Glenkens region
The meandering countryside route today is a gradual rise as it makes its way up the picturesque Urr Valley.You pass the house of the famous scientist James Clerk Maxwell who pioneered electro magnetism. Pass through the charming Corsock and Balmaclellan villages with a country road detour. Balmaclellan has an unusual 'Old Mortality' statue at the edge of the churchyard opposite the village shop. You arrive at St John’s Town of Dalry in the heart of the upland Glenkens region. The Southern Upland Way cross country walking route passes through the town. A riverside walk is an option after your cycling day. The popular village inn has bags of character as well as excellent food.
Day 3 'The Glenkens to Gatehouse of Fleet' 23miles or longer.
Visit the smallest Royal Burgh in Scotland and cycle beside Loch Ken.
Follow a signposted cycle route initially to pass a hydro power station beside the river - see the fish ladder. Cycle on to New Galloway, Scotland’s smallest royal burgh with Catstand visitor centre and two fine tea rooms. You follow a road initially beside Loch Ken on the Galloway Kite Trail to Laurieston village, with a popular vistor attraction of a nearby red kite feeding spectacle around lunchtime. You then cycle by the edge of the Galloway Forest Park and onto moorland road with panoramic views over the Fleet valley and the coast beyond before an easy cycle downhill into Gatehouse of Fleet in this Fleet Valley National Scenic Area. The town with several attractions including a kilt making shop, Mill on the Fleet and Cardoness Castle.
Day 4 'Gatehouse of Fleet to Castle Douglas' 26 miles or longer
A spectacular coastal section to Kirkcudbright artists town
Continue through this National Scenic Area, initially by the coast and Isles of Fleet on a quiet detour route we prefer from the National Cycle Route. Cycle beside Kirkcudbright Bay and cross the River Dee into the historic former county town known as an artists town for over 100 years. Spend some time browsing the galleries, museum, castle and harbour where scallops are the main catch. Continue on to approach Castle Douglas, where Threave Garden or Threave Castle, accessed by boat, are major attractions - along with an osprey's nest in the summer. We suggest an end of tour beer at Sulwath brewery or one of the many tea rooms in the main shopping street.
Maclellan's Castle in Kirkcudbright
an historic and artists town
Kirkcudbright has a number of cultural events which take place during the summer months. They include a jazz festival, an art and crafts weekend, Saturday market and food events, Scottish Nights with pipe bands and highland dancers and an annual Tatoo at the end of her summer season. We can advise on events and arrange for an extra night's accommodation in the town if desired.
ring the bell for the ferryboat to take you over to the island
Threave Castle, once occupied by Archibald the Grim, is operated by Historic Scotland and is a significant tourist attraction. Ring the bell and the ferry boat (pictured) takes you over to the island in the River Dee. Archibald the Grim’s massive tower house, built in 1369 as a stronghold for the Black Douglases, stands 30m tall. Threave Garden, around a mile away on the National Trust for Scotland's Threave Estate, is one of Scotland's foremost gardens. A shop, restaurant and tea room offers refreshment. Both locations are significant attractions and worth the short detour to visit.
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