Gentle Galloway Guided Cycle Tour


GT1 - The Gentle Galloway Cycle Tour

Start – 2014 dates to be chosen. Please ask.
Distance – Around 20 miles a day, with flexibility in agreement with those on the tour.
Grade – Easy, with occasional Moderate parts.
Comments – You'll not miss any of the many interesting features on this guided tour which will have plenty of time to stop and look around during each day's cycle.
Price – £625 p.p.

Tour Features - Below we briefly list the interesting features you will find on each day of the cycling tour. Your guide will 'find' them all for you and provide the necessary local knowledge with some stories along the way to ensure you maximise each day's cycling through Bonny Galloway.
All the cycling routes have of course been selected to provide the best scenery each day with plenty of tea room and refreshment stop options.

B&B accommodation in Castle Douglas on the Sunday night.

Arrival Day - Arrive on Sunday.
If early arrival, you can take a short 'acclimatisation' cycle to visit the following places.
Carlingwark Loch – at the edge of Castle Douglas.
Threave Garden – one of Scotland’s finest gardens. Just outside Castle Douglas and on a cycle route.
Threave Castle – ring the bell for the boatman to take you to the castle on the island – again just outside Castle Douglas on a different route.
Castle Douglas ‘food town’ – a popular shopping centre with lots of attractive independent shops. 

Day 1 – Urr Valley Circuit

Distance – 25 miles.
Grade – Easy with moderate parts.
Terrain – Fairly flat with a hill out of Kippford. Flat last 12 miles.
Summary – A circular tour to the popular 'Scottish Riviera' and National Scenic Area.

Features:
Dalbeattie – pop. 4000 – several features including excellent local museum and ‘7 Stanes’ mountain biking trailhead nearby.
Kippford village – a popular yachting village with a good pub food option. 
Rockliffe – old fashioned village on the coast - our furthest point.
Mote of Mark – former pre 7th century citadel of Celtic Chieftains with commanding views.
The Muckle Hill and Jubilee Path – another viewpoint and popular path. We also point you to an interesting house garden full of driftwood and stone features.
Palnackie – a former busy port beside the River Urr with a good tea room. We know opening times.
Orchardton Tower – a 15th century tower house – the only round one in Scotland.
Sulwath brewery – a small brewery and visitor centre with tours – a good place to end your tour with a tssting session.

B&B accommodation again in Castle Douglas.

Day 2 – Castle Douglas to Kirkcudbright

Distance – 17 miles with a longer option.
Grade – Easy with moderate parts.
Terrain – Undulating in parts.
Summary – A peaceful farming countryside route with an option to visit Dundrennan Abbey. 

Features:
Rhonehouse village – former home of Kelton Fair.
Dundrennan Abbey - a 12th century abbey built by Cistercian monks.
Kirkcudbright – Scotland’s artists’ town with castle, fishing port, art galleries and the Stewartry museum. An interesting place to stop, look around and spend the night. The local fishing boats speciality is scallops! - we suggest an ideal place to sample them for your evening meal.

B&B or hotel accommodation in Kirkcudbright according to availability and numbers required.

 Day 3 – Kirkcudbright to Gatehouse of Fleet.

Distance – 22 miles.
Grade – Easy.
Terrain – fairly flat most of the way.
Summary – A partly coastal route again with several detour options which we can take if all in the party agree.

Features:
Dhoon Bay – a bay popular with locals.
Brighouse and Ross Bays – detour options.
Borgue village – pub with limited opening hours (we can get access for refreshing drinks if the hosts are available)
The Coo’s Palace – an interesting farm tower.
An old harbour - easily missed - your guide can find it.
Kirkandrews kirk – easily missed. We know where to get the key!
Carrick Shore and Knockbrex Hill Viewpoint – a detour option we point out with views over the Isles of Fleet. It's possible to cycle to the viewpoint - done many times!
Cream o’ Galloway ice cream farm – a great place to stop for a refreshment. More than ice cream to experience!
Sandgreen – a beach detour.
Cally Palace Hotel – a grand afternoon tea option beside the croquet lawn!
National Scenic Area – you enter the Fleet Valley National Scenic Area.
Gatehouse of Fleet – an interesting town beside the River Fleet with several attractions which we take you round. 

B&B or hotel accommodation in Gatehouse of Fleet according to availability and numbers required.

 Day 4 - Gatehouse of Fleet Circuit, Rest Day or Walk Day

Distance – 6 miles, 12 miles and longer circular route options - to be agreed by all participants.
Grade – Easy / moderate depending on options taken..
Terrain – fairly flat around Gatehouse but a hill for the Cairnsmore of Fleet Nature Reserve option. 
Summary – A flexible day today in this Fleet Valley National Scenic Area. We have various options to suit all participants.

Features:
Cally Gardens - a walled garden with unusual eastern plants.
Cardoness Castle - at the edge of town.
Sandgreen beach - an option for a beach break.
Cairnsmore of Fleet Nature Reserve - 6 miles from town in a peaceful location. A visitor centre, viaduct and environmental art make this a pleasant half day out. 

Same B&B or hotel accommodation in Gatehouse of Fleet.

Day 5 – Gatehouse of Fleet to Castle Douglas.

Distance – 17 miles.
Grade – A challenging hill then Easy.
Terrain – a hill to begin with then reasonable.
Summary – A peaceful route with great views through open moorland and woodland with picnic site before joining the red kite trail and a nature reserve.

Features:
Knocktinkle Viewpoint – over the beautiful Fleet Valley NSA.
Laurieston Forest and Kenick Wood - picnic and walk area.
Laurieston village – with pub with limited opening hours and food!
The Gallery – photograph gallery with fine images of Galloway.
Bellymack red kite feeding station – we will arrive at the right time to see the amazing daily feeding spectacle.
Ken Dee Marshes Nature Reserve – with bird hides beside Loch Ken.
Balmaghie Kirk – great views across Lock Ken on this hilltop church.
Glenlochar barrage – on the River Dee,
and if not visited on arroival day,
Threave Garden – one of Scotland’s finest gardens. Several places of interest which we advise about.
Threave Castle – ring the bell for the boatman to take you to the castle on the island.
Sulwath brewery – a small brewery and visitor centre – a good place to end the tour!

Same B&B or hotel accommodation in Castle Douglas if available. 

Tour End