Two 7 day tours for 2017 - arrive Wed's 28th June and 19th July.
The 'Bee's Knees Tour', meaning 'the best', is named after a group of reinds from Calgary in 2015. We thought it was such a success that we'd run it again this year, with slightly less daily miles. John. the organiser anf ferequent touring cyclist, afterwards called it 'one hell of a tour' in an email, but this could be taken two ways! Apart from the interesting route with lots of features each day, the 'added value' was a couple of pub music evenings, one in the Craigdarroch Arms, a musical hotel in the Moniaive, 'one of the coolest villages in Britain' - The Times. With our knowledge of 'what's happening' and flexible options as we go along, a guided tours with Galloway Cycling Holidays have always been successful.
Day 1 - Castle Douglas by Kirkcudbright to Gatehouse of Fleet
Your first day of the tour takes you to the artists town of Kirkcudbright as a place to stop and look around. We have different routes to get to the town, so with a guided tour we can be flexible to choose a route which the group is happy with. For example today, we can go a route which visits Dundrennan Abbey and then by the coast with views over Ross island with lighthouse. The town has several art galleries,a musuem, castle and harbour with fishing boats which land scallops.
After lunch, we head off by oner of our favourite coast routes, deviating from a cycle route, visiting several beauty spots coast including the islands of Fleet offshore, all in a National Scenic Area. Gatehouse of Fleet has a kilt making shop and several other visitor attractions, including a Thursday pub music 'jamming session'.
Day 2 - Gatehouse of Fleet to Wigtown
The next day has numerous places of interest and villages, including the town of Newton Stewart on the way to stay at Wigtown, Scotland's book town, with Bladnoch whisky distillery nearby. You stay here two nights, with a good chance of a another Friday or Saturday night pub music session.
A nature reserve in a the Galloway Unesco biosphere, gem rock museum (with good tea room!), major mountain bike centre and riverside circuit of Newton Stewart are some of the attractions and detours today. There are several more options which we offer, depending on the interests of the group and pace of the day.
Day 3 - The Machars Circuit
You have the choice how far you wish to cycle today - all the way to the tip of the peninsula to the Isle of Whithorn or to Garlieston or the old town of Whithorn, an early Christian Centre. There are variouis places of interest, including St Ninian's Cave and Sorbie Tower, the seat of the Hannay clan. We know of good pub lunch options, two by the coast.
On return the plan is to visit the distillery shop and have a look around. As the distillery is under renovation, the current position would be ascertained in advance. An excellent pub is across the road from the distillery and a refreshment is also available there. A taste of Bladnoch whisky is the reward for your day's cycling efforts. Accommodation in Wigtown tonight.
Day 4 - Wigtown to Moniaive
We've deliberately designed the route to experience some different scenery and head towards the Galloway Hills by the Queens Way, a 'Scottish Highlands' like cycle route. We have two route options, one more rugged than the other, again we can discuss beforehand. You continue through the Galloway Forest Park, with both routes arriving at Clatteringshaws Loch with a popukar visitor centre with tea room. You continue by New Galloway, Scotland's smallest Royal burgh, with lunch option there or in the next village.
The last part of your day is on a cycle route over a hill and moorland with paronamic views over the Glenkens valley Galloway Hills. You arrive at the Craidarroch Hotel in 'atmospheric' Moniaive village, set in three glens.
Day 5 - Nith Valley Circuit
Today you do a circuit to the Nith Valley to visit Drumlanrig Castle and uniquely, nearby see the old smithy where the first pedal cycle was invented in 1840 by Kirkpatrick Macmillian - a 'must' for avid cyclists. You first visit the town of Thornhill before going a scenic route up the valley visiting Morton Castle, perched on the hillside beside a loch. A village with magificent marble statues in the church is at the top of the valley before heading for Drumlanrig. A guidied tour of the Duke of Buccleuch's castle is an option, with tea in the castle kitchens.
Again we have the option to return to Moiniaive by different routes.
Day 6 - Moniaive to Carsethorn
You cycle down the Nith Valley today and cross into the River Cairn valley as you head by the riverside into Dumfries, the largest town in the region. There are several attractions here, including Robert Burns centre, and good lunch spots.
Continue from the town past a mountain biking centre to New Abbey, with old corn mill and Sweethearet Abbey as places to have a look around.
You have views over the Solway Coast as you arrive at Carsethorn, to your accommodation for tonight and quirky pub noted for good food.
Day 7 - Carsethorn to Castle Douglas
You follow the Solway coast today with John Paul Jones's cottage the first place of interest. The Southerness lighthouse, passing the championship golf course, After a the best beach in the area you arrive at The Scottish Riviera, as it was christened by the Victorians. The villages of Rockliffe and Kippford (lunch spot!) are particularty pretty. Head on by the town of Dalbeattie and Orchardton Tower to arrive abck in Castle Douglas for you last night's accommodation.
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