Historic market towns, Castle Douglas, and Kirkcudbright ( pronounced kirr-KOO-bree ), two of Scotland's most vibrant small towns, sit right in the heart of great cycling country.
Historically, many have called this region "home"; Celtic tribes, the Roman General Agricola, Galloway Picts (early medieval kingdom), St. Cuthbert, and more recently a flourishing colony of artists and craftspeople.
This tour based in two hotels allows you to ride the coast but also pedal into the hills, and have cool stuff to do on days off. Pick your distance, as most are loop rides, but there are rides in which you can request a transfer out, ride the slope, and wind your way back home.
It's not always about the bike. For rest days, lazy days, and for non-cycling pals or significant others, Kirkcudbright offers wonderful things to do; cafes, river walks, and antique shops to browse. If you want things a bit more organized, options include a cooking school, archaeology digs, or distillery tours. There is always another castle or garden to visit or perhaps even a spa treatment. Just ask!
- Threave Castle and Threave Gardens
- The Scottish Riviera - the seafront by Kippford
- Dundrennan Abbey - Mary Queen of Scots last night in Scotland
- MacLellan Castle in the artist Town Kirkcudbright
- Cream O’ Galloway - ice cream factory
- Cally Palace and UNESCO Biosphere in Gatehouse of Fleet
- Ken-Dee Nature reserve
- MacMillan - inventor of the pedal bicycle
- Drumlanrig Castle ( as featured in Outlander)
We offer other bike tours in Scotland of course!
Day 1, 2, and 3: Castle Douglas
Castle Douglas is a historic market town that sits on the old military road linking Scotland with Ireland. It is described as the “Food Town” and gives you a feeling of having stepped back to the time of Ma and Pa shops. There are three high-quality butchers, two bike shops, and more than enough excellent cafes along with antique and craft shops. This is a town where the locals come to shop or sell their sheep or cows. Bustling would be how to describe it.
A wonderful rolling landscape with the coastline just a short ride away makes this a perfect place or a few days of cycling. Loops down to Sweetheart Abbey and back along the coast or inland to New Galloway and the delights of Smitty Tearoom.
As ever in Dumfries the roads are quiet and drivers often wave, so wave back, and take your time. There are offroad rides through the woods of Dalbeattie and on to the Scottish Riviera at Kippford for a ride through this wonderful sailing village.
Castle Douglas has traditional pubs an award-winning microbrewery and even some quality fish and chips at the end of the day. You can pick how far you want to ride and most rides are loops. To help you visit sites further away there are days when we can transport you and your bike to the start of the ride, allowing you to bike back at your own pace
Day 4, 5, 6, and 7: Kirkcudbright
Kirkcudbright is one of Scotland's most vibrant small towns and is just a wonderful ride down the coast from your first base at Castle Douglas.
With its pastel-colored houses, the castle, and the fact that it still has real family-owned and operated shops, and a working harbor, you will find it delightful. You can ride out along the coast, into the hills or a bit of both, you make the choice every day. Pick from a range of 10, 20, 30, 40 miles or further, rides that have been tried tested, and handpicked for you.
If you want to take a day off the bike this is a good place to do that and visit the many galleries and craft shops.
Again the rides from here are loops, with the option for a transfer to the start of a ride to extend your adventure further or ride the wind or hill home to Kirkcudbright.
Kirkcudbright round trip via Threave Castle: 21 miles
The ride takes you to Threave Castle first along the coast following an off-road track before you turn onto what becomes an old military road. This was the route that drovers used to move cattle and horses from Ireland. The wonderfully named Archibald The Grim built the castle in the 1370s and it is one of Scotland’s most atmospheric castles. You can visit Threave gardens for coffee and cake and a walk around the beautiful old gardens next. The way back to Kirkcudbright takes you along what locals call ‘ the high road ‘. Once an important trading road, it is overlooked by the remains of hill forts and settlements. The road is high enough to give fantastic views back across the southern mountains of southern Scotland. You can detour and take a walk to the site of ancient rock art, cop, and ring marks that may be as much as 6,000 years old.
Kirkcudbright round trip via Dundrennan: 23 miles
You ride out of Kirkcudbright along the coast, take a right and then you are on the quietest roads in the area with the sea by your side. You have to get used to car drivers waving, that is just a thing they do here. As you gain height, there are views of a lighthouse. More gentle cycling brings you to Dundrennan Abbey, a ruin now but still impressive. This is where Mary Queen of Scots spent her last day in Scotland. Have a look around and then it is coffee and cake time at the cafe opposite.
You ride along the coast further before heading inland. There is a standing stone and and there will be an opportunity to ride off-road into the hills for spectacular and remote views, time for a picnic by the loch even.
Returning to Kirkcudbright, it will be time for galleries, craft shops, or the best fish, and chips in Galloway down at the harbor.
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Hotels & Bikes
You will be accommodated in the Douglas House B & B in Castel Douglas and the Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright. If the preferred hotel is not available, and if alternative accommodation is necessary, the price will be adjusted accordingly but only after approval from the client. For example, if the Douglas House is fully booked, you will be offered the Kings Arms Hotel. The price will not change. If the Selkirk Arms is fully booked you will be offered the Baytree Guesthouse, which is actually £15 less per person.
Wisper Electric Bike
- Hand welded Alloy step-through frame
- Wisper high-efficiency 250W hi torque brushless motor
- Lithium Battery, three ranges
- Shimano 7 speed
- Hydraulic disc brake
- Schwalbe Marathon Plus Perf 26 inch tire
- Wisper comfort saddle
- Rear rack
- Emergency repair kit
- Accommodation for 7 nights with breakfast
- Personal welcome meeting & bike fitting
- Luggage transfer
- Hybrid rental bike including helmet, bike bag, emergency repair kit, & pump
- Maps, cue sheet, GPS file, & other information material
- Transfer from Lockerbie/Dumfries to Castle Douglas
- Transfer back from Kirkcudbright to train station in Lockerbie
- Emergency hotline & support
What’s Not Included
- Lunches & dinners
- Entrance fees
- Bike protection
- Travel Insurance
Dates & Pricing
Arrival possible on any day! The best time to enjoy a cycling vacation here would be May through mid-October.
Twin/double: $ 2135 £ 1165 $ 2,056 € 1369 NZ$ 2299 kr 13868 $ 1,644 Single: $ 2409 £ 1315 $ 2,321 € 1545 NZ$ 2595 kr 15654 $ 1,856
10% discount per person offered for groups of 4 or more.
Gravel Bike: $ 192 £ 105 $ 185 € 123 NZ$ 207 kr 1250 $ 148 Electric Bike: $ 192 £ 105 $ 185 € 123 NZ$ 207 kr 1250 $ 148
Skill Level — Easy–Moderate
This is an easy to moderate self-guided tour in which you split your cycling vacation between two destinations/hotels. If you prefer, you can opt to stay in one hotel, shorten your time, or even lengthen your vacation! This tour is very flexible.
You can fly into/out of Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA), or Manchester (MAN).
If you fly into:
Edinburgh: You will take the tram or bus into Edinburgh center. Both the tram and the bus leave from inside the airport complex. From Edinburgh Central train station (Waverly), there is a train service to Manchester Airport that stops in Lockerbie where you will be met. Included transfer to your first hotel.
Manchester: You will follow the signs at the airport to the train station which is in the same complex. Train to Lockerbie (direction to Glasgow Central or Edinburgh) where you will be met. Followed by included transfer to your first hotel.
Glasgow From Glasgow Airport you will take a bus to Glasgow Central and then a train to Lockerbie (Transpennine service to Manchester Airport) or Dumfries (Scotrail service to Carlisle). You will be met here, there is a transfer to your first accommodation.
Please check local conditions before your arrival. Summers are pleasant here with long days and short nights (sunset can be as late as 10 pm) with daytime temperatures in July typically reaching 66° F/19°C. Kirkcudbright has high sunshine totals, with 1425 hours of sunshine recorded in a typical year.
Important to know
It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance with the country or countries you plan to visit. This includes and is not limited to passport validity, visa requirements and acquisition, blank passport pages required for your destination (s), etc.
US citizens: A good website to research the requirements of the Schengen Agreement and entry into other countries is travel.state.gov.
Non-EU and EU residents: Please research the requirements of your country of residence for international travel and your destination country or countries.
*Important note: Please check on the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) status as once implemented, this will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.
This tour is run by Galloway.
We value the strong relationship we have with our local partners and the services we provide.
We are not a broker.
We do not inflate tour prices.
We are simply travelers helping travelers.