Day 1 - Balcary Bay Circuit - 22 miles.
A gentle day to begin with. Just over 10 miles gets you to the Solway Coast and Balcary Bay, a local beauty spot. You can go a coastal walk in this popular scenic area and have lunch in a hotel on the shore. Climb the only round tower in Scotland and visit a small village harbour with a popuklar tea room for afternoon tea. A reasonably flat route takes you back to Castle Douglas where you can detour to Threave Garden or Threave Castle for a visit - ring the bell for the ferry boat to take you to the island. There's plenty to see back in Castle Douglas with a refreshing beer at Sulwath brewery an option before you return to your same accommodation.
Day 2 - Castle Douglas to Gatehouse of Fleet - 26 miles.
Today you head west on a signposted cycle route through fine scenery and arrive in Kirkcudbright. This historical ‘county’ town, now themed as an artists’ town, has several attractions to explore, including Maclellan’s Castle, harbour with scallop fishing boats, the Stewartry museum and of course art galleries. Maybe lunch here? Continue on the sign-posted cycle route with detour options to bays by the coast and a stretch with the Islands of Fleet offshore.
You can visit an award winning ice cream farm and visitor centre before passing a hotel with golf course (upgrade accommodation available here) and stay the night in Gatehouse of Fleet where a weekly pub music ‘jam session’ takes place.
Day 3 - Gatehouse to Newton Stewart - 26 miles.
Continue on the National Cycle Route up the Fleet Valley in this National Scenic Area. You have the option to detour to a nature reserve in ther hills, with an old railway viaduct and small visitor centre.Continue heading back to near sea level to a gem rock museum and tea room - an ideal lunch stop. You then follow an old railway line with views over Wigtown Bay.
You soon arrive at Kirroughtree forestry visitor and mountain biking centre with café, at the edge of the Galloway Forest Park. This is another good stop off point before you arrive at the town of Newton Stewart, the Gateway to the Galloway Hills standing beside the River Cree.
Day 4 - Wigtown and Garlieston Circuit or Rest Day - from 18 miles.
Follow a riverside cycle path initially then a flat quiet road to get to Wigtown, Scotland’s book town and former country town of Wigtownshire, where you could easily spend the day browsing around. Bladnoch whisky distillery is a mile away. If you prefer to explore a bit further, we suggest a circular route to Garlieston village on the coast with a pub for lunch and nearby beach and Gardens of Galloway House. A countryside route gets you back to Newton Stewart.
Day 5 - Newton Stewart to The Glenkens - 23 miles.
Follow a cycle route through the Galloway Forest Park today to New Galloway, the smallest Royal Burgh in Scotland. A red deer range, Grey Mares Tail waterfall, wild goat park, Murray’s monument, Clatteringshaws loch with visitor centre and tea room and another Bruce’s Stone (Robert the Bruce battle) provide plenty of places of interest. In New Galloway, Scotland’s smallest royal burgh, you can have afternoon tea at one of two excellent tea rooms, (we can advise depending on whether you to sit outdoor beside a stream or not!), and visit an excellent community arts centre before arriving at your country hotel by the riverside.
Day 6 - The Glenkens to Castle Douglas - 21 miles.
From New Galloway, you follow the line of Loch Ken on a quiet road back to Castle Douglas. There is a half way stop shop for refreshments, except on closing day!, and a couple of interesting short detours to see red deer and a beauty spot beside a loch. You are on the Galloway Kite Trail and can see the daily spectacle for tourists of red kites swooping and feeding. A loch-side nature reserve and award winning photographic gallery are other stop, off options. As always, arriving back at Castle Douglas, the local Sulwath brewery is worth a visit for an end of tour beer.
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