Day 1 - 71.7 miles
Depart Selkirk Arms Hotel 9.30am
Taking the A711 head east out of Kirkcudright
First coffee stop Dundrennan 10.30am Crown & Anchor coffee shop & BB
Remain on the A711 through Auchencairn, a welcome 10 minute detour is down to Balcary Bay Hotel, stunning views and a potential lunch / cake stop.
ROUTE DEVIATION INTO CASTLE DOUGLAS
You turn up to take the B736 to Gelston and straight over the crossroads towards Castle Douglas, a bustling market town which boasts two cracking bike shops CD bikes and Studio Velo. Heading in to Castle Douglas you will pass The National Trust property Threave Castle, a lovely stop off point with welcoming tea room and easy bike parking.
Otherwise stay on the A745 to Dalbeattie.
Follow signs for Rockcliffe and Kippford and the Colvend coast road, there’s only a minute detour if you want to head into the bustling wee town with local pubs, butchers, hotels and convenience stores.
Staying then on the A710 towards Colvend, skirting but we’ll worh visiting are both Rockcliffe and Kippford. Both would make great camping stops if you’re doing the ride with the intention of camping. Both are delightful coastal nuggets.
Onwards then to Kirkbean riding alongside the most spectacular of coastline to including Sandyhills bay. Kirkbean us home to the luxury country house Cavens House which is an alternative overnight stop if you want to do about 30 miles for day one. A welcome lunch stop is down at Carsethorn and the The Steam boat Inn for a traditional pub grub lunch and recharge the batteries for the ride up to Thornhill. Great food and a good selection of real ales.
One of our team Ian had a top of the range Fantic e road bike on loan from Powerbikes of Dumfries and Whitehaven - and what a machine, already Ian was feeling the benefit of keeping pace with us and looking after what had been a quite serious back issue, the e bike took the hills our of the equation for him whilst retaining the Cardio workout
Heading out of Carsethorn towards New abbey - another lovely stop is the tea rooms at New Abbey overlooking Sweetheart Abbey.
Continue on the A710 all the way into Dumfries, turning right at the Rugby club to drop down into the centre of town and onto the Whitesands, through the town, passing The Frothy Bike cafe and shop and close to Powerbikes taking a left over the bridge then a right passing Palmerston Park, home to Queen of The South and out to Terregles.
Some stunning scenery and quiet roads then take you up towards Dunscore and onto Thornhill.
We were treated to a delicious afternoon tea at Nithbank country Estate before heading to the wonderful Buccleuch and Queensbury Arms Hotel.
Onwards to Thornhill for overnight BB at Buccleuch and Queensbury or Nithbank Country Esatate