This 84-mile ‘Whisky and Burns’ cycle route combines Scottish scenery, history and whisky.
Looking for an action-packed weekend break with a twist? Why not cycle with a bit of a difference? A new cycling tour south of Glasgow, in the region of Dumfries and Galloway, is offering you the experience of hopping on your bike to view some of Scotland’s most historic sights, with a tipple of the local liquor along the way.
Spread over three days, the ‘Whisky and Burns New Cycle Route’, organised by Galloway Cycling Holidays, will be a barrel of laughs as you pedal across from the coastal Powfoot area and finishing in scenic Thornhill, not far from the highest Scottish village and pub. This trail, which covers around 30 miles each day, offers some of the most beautiful scenery including castles, mills and nature reserves.
The first leg will take you to the Annandale Distillery, who have collaborated with Galloway Cycling Holidays, to allow you to sample its world-famous whisky. Make sure to have some spare space in your rucksack to fit any whisky bottles or even a personalised cask! After your wee dram, the cycle tour heads towards the historic Caerlaverock Castle and Moat Brae, which was the inspiration for Neverland of Peter Pan.
Plus, you can also visit the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns’s haunts in the market town of Dumfries, including his local, The Globe Inn. Special occasion? The tour company can provide a unique private party dining experience at this old public house, which dates back to 610. The Globe Inn has over 250 whiskies for you to choose from, and the fine dining will include plenty of locally sourced Scottish food.
On the second day, heading north to Thornhill, you will pedal past Drumlanrig Castle, the graveyard of Kirkpatrick Macmillan (the inventor of the pedal bicycle) and the mysterious ‘12 Apostles’ stone circle. The third and final leg of the trail will whisk you off to two more castles, a charming curch and, if you feel you’ve got enough pedal power, you can take a trip to Wanlockhead, the highest village in Scotland.
The tour company has thought of pretty much everything. They will transport your luggage for you, provide the routes and be on hand to help, and can also supply bikes if you don’t fancy lugging your own there. The route starts from £430 per person based on two people sharing, or £550 for single riders. This covers staying in four or five-star accommodation each night (including breakfast), as well as luggage transfer and return transport to Lockerbie or Dumfries train station.
Also, there is an optional service on your arrival day for the tour company to custom fit you with your bike, before you test the wheels by taking a short trip out to the Devils Porridge Museum. The Galloway Cycling Holidays team are also able to customise the routes for you if you like to go further or faster, but they are always on quiet country roads with little or no traffic, and you certainly won’t miss out on the views.
The season runs from April to October, and if you fancy testing your stamina, for both cycling around 84 miles and some drinking, book the ‘Whisky and Burns New Cycle Route’ here. That’s the spirit!