Day 1 - Castle Douglas to Dumfries - 40 miles
Begin your tour by heading to Dumfries, the largest town in the region by the Solway Coast. Initially arrive at the coast by the 'Scottish Riviera' in a National Scenic Area. You can do a short climb up the Mote of Mark, a settlement in the 5th and 6th centuries, with excellent views around the coast. Later you can visit a lighthouse, (passing a top golf course), John Paul Jones museum and a quirky pub for lunch in coastal village where many emigrated to America in the 19th century.
Further on you arrive at the magnificent Sweetheart Abbey in the village of New Abbey with old corn mill museum and award winning tea room. You arrive to your accommodation in Dumfries, the former home of Robert Burns and where JM Barrie conceived Peter Pan.
Day 2 - Castle Douglas to Thornhill - 30 miles
A pleasant countryside route today through several villages to the remains of a hillside environmental art site in a glen beside a loch. Cross into the Cairn Valley with panoramic views as you cycle into the valley. Again after another village with hilltop church, to you into the wider Nith Valley, again with some great views. You arrive at the old smithy at Keir Mill where the pedal cycle was invented in 1840 by Kirkpatrick Macmillan - a historic location which should be better preserved. A local cafe gives mire information on the invention. Continue the short distance to cross the River Nith to Thornhill. The small town, your stay for two nights, has character with tree-lined main steets, bowling green, golf course, chocolatier and several tea rooms and restaurants.
Day 3 - Nith Valley Circuit - from 16 miles.
Today we provide a short tour (16 miles) around the Nith Valley to arrive at Drumlanrig Castle where you can spend the rest of the day with as tour of the castle, have lunch in the Castle kitchen or walk in the grounds or even hire a mountain bike to explore the ancient woodland. This short route takes in several small communities and places of interest including ruined Morton Castle and loch that has been a site for movies and Durisdeer church with famous marble statues. After leaving Drumlanrig Castle we offer different routes with different distances to get back to Thornhill, the shortest giving you a relaxing 20 miles of cycling in total today.
Day 4 - Thornhill to The Glenkens 26 miles.
Follow the National Byways Cycle route most of the day through upland countryside. Moniaive village is popular with the Striding Arches environmental art site detour an option. This peaceful village, mentioned in The Times newspaper as being 'one of the coolest villages in Britain' has a tea room popular with cyclists. Continue over a hill on a remote signposted cycle route to The Glenkens area with spectacular views over the Galloway Hills and lochs. The quaint town of St John's Town of Dalry is your overnight stop, with river and cross country walking route passing by. Your evening meal is in a popular country inn with character acclaimed for good food.
Day 5 - The Glenkens to Gatehouse of Fleet - 32 miles.
Enter the edge of the Galloway Forest Park today and cycle on a beautiful route beside Loch Ken. A nature reserve is a detour option but wildlife including red kites birds of prey can be seen at a visitor centre. After a village, with an award winning photographic gallery, the route takes you on a typical Scottish woodland and moorland stretch with occasional sheep possibly crossing the road! Cycle down the glen into Gatehouse of Fleet, another popular National Scenic Area with tourists. Also see Cardoness Castle and Mill on the Fleet visitor centre near your accommodation.
Day 6 - Gatehouse of Fleet to Castle Douglas - 28 miles.
Cycle on the signposted National Cycle Route most of today, partly by a popular stretch beside the islands of Fleet. Visit an ice cream farm and visitor centre and village before cycling beside the River Dee into Kirkcudbright, Scotland’s artists town, with many art galleries. A museum, castle and colourful old part of town is worth a look around at lunchtime. Continue along the line of the River Dee valley back to Castle Douglas with the option to visit the popular Threave Garden and Threave Castle (accessed by ringing the bell for the boatman to take you to the island) if not visited on your arrival day. Cycle by Carlingwark loch back into Castle Douglas ‘food town’ with the option of an end of tour beer in the local small brewery,
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