Day 1 'Scottish Riviera Circuit' from 30 miles.
The first day combines as a great route to the coast and back plus acts as an acclimatisation day before heading west. This coastline known by the Victorians as the Scottish Riviera is the mid point attraction today. The National Trust for Scotland looks after this National Scenic Area which is a popular recreation area, We suggest the Mote of Mark as a short detour, - it's a 7th century mote and bailey earthwork on top of a wee hill is worth a climb up to get panoramic views over the coast and countryside. Later on, after a town and a village, another climb - up the spiral staircase of the only round tower house in Scotland. Orchardton Tower gives another prespective. Have a beer in Sulwath brewery when you get back to Castle Douglas. You stay at our Summerhill B&B tonight, subject to availability.
Day 2 'Castle Douglas to Gatehouse of Fleet' from 26 miles.
You begin to head west on a signposted cycle route 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.
You continue on a sign-posted cycle route by the coast with 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 Wigtown' from 31 miles.
Continue on the National Cycle Route up the Fleet Valley with the option to detour to a nature reserve with small visitor centre and disused railway viaduct nearby before heading back to near sea level and refreshment option at the Gem Rock Museum and tea room.
You follow an old railweay line (tarred surface) with views over Wigtown bay to Kirroughtree mountain biking centre with café, at the edge of the Galloway Forest Park. The end of trail huge bike wheel scuplture is worth a look at the centre.
Continue into Newton Stewart, the Gateway to the Galloway Hills standing beside the River Cree. The last part today takes you by the River Cree to Wigtown, Scotland’s book town with Bladnoch whisky distillery nearby.
Day 4 'Wigtown to Sandhead' from 28 miles.
Today you cross the Machars region of Galloway to arrive at the coast at Luce Bay. If not open when you arrived yesterday, have a look in Bladnoch distillery shop as you pass by the door. A detour route for an extra 10 miles takes you by the village of Garlieston, then on to the historical town of Whithorn and to the coast at Luce Bay at Port William before later joining the original route. The Cock Inn pub offers refreshment before you continue on a quiet country road by quaint Stairhaven to Glenluce village and then on to Glenluce Abbey founded in the 12th century. Join a new part of road for a flat cycle to arrive at your Sandhead village at the other side of the bay.
Day 5 'Sandhead to Portpatrick via the Mull of Galloway' from 35 miles.
Cycle south by Luce Bay to the Mull of Galloway, Scotland’s most southerly point, with lighthouse and seabird visitor centre today. Logan Botanical Garden and tea room is worth a look in - and to see the palm trees in this spot protected by the Gulf Stream. A spectacular cliff-top café is worth a visit before you head back north, mostly by a different route to the pretty Portpatrick village. On the way there you can visit the famous Logan Botanical Garden, Port Logan a TV series setting and historical features. If you would like a mid tour rest day, Portpatrick, the shortest crossing point to N. Ireland is an ideal spot to look around, play golf, take a coastal walk or just relax.
Day 6 'Portpatrick to Newton Stewart' from 34 miles.
Cycle to Stranraer, the second largest town in the region beside Loch Ryan and then on a countryside route to Castle Kennedy Garden, situated in the grounds of Lochinch Castle. Visit the tea room here before you head uphill to the village of New Luce in the Galloway Hills in sheep and beef cattle country. New Luce, with village pub, has a peacefulness about it.
You then cycle across upland countryside with great views. Continue by moorland to a remote holiday park with a shop and coffee stop. You can take a longer route to Newton Stewart by Glentrool, with Highlands-like scenery, with Bruce's Stone further on. Again a hotel and tea room offer refreshment before you head south by the River Cree to spend the night in Newton Stewart.
Day 7 'Newton Stewart to Castle Douglas' from 36 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 Bruce’s Stone provide plenty of places of interest along the way.
Have a look in the Catstrand arts centre in New Galloway, with three excellent tea rooms!, before you cycle, initially beside Loch Ken on a quiet road back to Castle Douglas. You are also now on the Galloway Kite Trail - birds of prey - and a detour can take you to a feeding station. On arriving back at Castle Douglas, the local Sulwath brewery - for a beer, or one of the many tea rooms is suggested for an end of tour refreshment.
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