Biggar is Bigger
South East Scotland
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Route At A Glance
This is an easy comfort run encompassing South Lanarkshire, The Borders and Dumfriesshire which gives you a variety of road types and scenery. The route really does manage to show off the rolling hills of the lowlands of Scotland. Valleys and rivers abound. Gentle countryside flows over and the roads are deceptively swift. Traffic almost does not exist, other than in the small villages and even then…
Within seven miles of departing Moffat you will ride alongside the Devils Beef Tub – A deep, dramatic hollow in the hills. The unusual name derives from its use by the Border Reivers, namely the Johnstone clan, whose enemies referred to them as “devils”, They used the “TUB” to hide stolen cattle from England. If you do stop, lean over the edge and it will all make sense. A perfect natural enclave to hide, secure and protect many hundred head of cattle.
You will then go through Biggar a small, attractive market town that still has its medieval layout, some unusual and interesting independent shops including a good ice cream shop on the High Street and a couple of good chippies. Enjoy more hills, rivers and valleys as you head into Peebles – Yet another gorgeous Old World Market town with some more unusual shops and eateries. This village is worth a stop.
The last leg of the Journey takes you on a wild roller coaster of a road with ups and downs, cambers from heaven and cambers from hell, twisties and bends. You just got to love it. You may even consider doing this bit again as you will then know what to expect and how to enjoy it. (I never get tired of it)
Route Notes & Highlights
- Moffat – The biking heart of the region. A quaint picturesque market village with a variety of choice in shops and eateries. The home of the renowned Moffat toffee shop. Also the burial place of Tar Macadam the creator of the tarmac as we know it.
- Grey Mare’s Tail – A little waterfall that sometimes freezes up in winter. Loch Skeen is a 40 minute walk above it. It starts off with a steep ascent so not suggested with full biking gear.
- Glen Café – This little café is a perfect tea and coffee stop along the A708, the views are serene. It truly is a biker hotspot that can see 60/70 bikers on its doorstep at any given moment on a hot summers day.
- St Mary’s Loch – St Mary’s Loch is the largest natural loch in the Scottish Borders. Often mistaken, there are actually two Lochs here, St Mary’s being the northern and longest and Loch of the Lowes being it’s southern sister. It is actually the Loch of the Lowes that is more commonly visited due to the small café on it’s shores.
- Traquair House – is claimed to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. While not strictly a castle, it is built in the style of a fortified mansion.
- Peebles – An attractive, timeless High street with nice walks along the river tweed.
- Broughton Ales – Established in 1979, it was the first initiated Scottish microbrewery, which appealed to customers looking for a “craft beer” experience outside the traditional mass-produced lager and exports. The beer was so popular, that locals began referring to the brew house as the Greenmantle Brewery.
- Source of River Tweed – The Tweed is one of the great salmon rivers of Britain and runs mainly through the borders to the east coast and on into the North Sea.
- Beef Tub – The Devil’s Beef Tub is a deep, dramatic hollow in the hills 3 miles North of Moffat. The unusual name derives from its use by the Border Reivers, namely the Johnstone clan, to hide their plundered cattle from raiding expeditions across into England. Their enemies, the English, referred to them as “devils”!
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Filling Stations on Route
Fill up before you leave Moffat and you should have no worries about making it back to Moffat. However there are fuel stations at all the main towns in the area and on route.