A Taste Of Galloway
South West Scotland
[ PLANNING: For places to Stay | Eat | Shop | Visit | Refuel on and around this route view the South West Scotland Page on a new tab here – Link ]
Route at a Glance
On overview of this route will show that it really is a route of two distinct halves. It has been designed this way so that at any given point the route could be shortened by miles or extended by a day. It can most certainly be done in one day as the roads are good.
The furthest point on this route is Port Patrick. Anyone who has been there will put this village on the list of prettiest coastal villages. It is a great destination. It also serves up a mean Seafood Platter. If that is not good enough – getting there is even better. Using the service road going north you will thoroughly enjoy the first blast out of Moffat. Once you turn onto the Dalveen Pass the OMG factor will start. This pass is not particularly challenging but the road for biking is absolutely magic. Clear bends, some great hills and the most memorable scenery. Be prepared to put this road on your all-time list of favourites.
Once you turn onto the A702 (also known as the Queens Way)from Thornhill to Newton Stewart you will be a little more focused on a narrower road that is a little more challenging with a few bends that do come rushing up. Be prepared for some lovely, somewhat gentle scenery as you ride through the forest. From Newton Stewart high tail it along the A75 to Port Patrick.
PRO TIP – The A75 is a very good road. You will be sorely tempted to go like the clappers after the smaller roads you have just come off.
PRO TIP – After Port Patrick you can consider going off route and following the signs south to the Mull of Galloway. This road whilst rideable is very narrow so be aware of any oncoming traffic. Also be aware of strong winds as you venture south. If it is windy do not go further south.
PRO TIP – The lighthouse and café at the bottom is the southernmost point of Scotland.
Travelling back along the A75 is smooth and easy all the way back to Moffat. It is generally quiet but occasionally if you are unfortunate you may get behind the Ferry offloads and then a few overtakes will be required.
PRO TIP – If you enjoyed the Dalveen Pass as much as we think you will you could deviate from the downloaded route by going north when you hit Dumfries following the signs to Thornhill and turning onto the Dalveen pass (2 miles north of Thornhill) and then back to Moffat the way you started out. – Great way to finish with a flourish.
PRO TIP – Coming off the Queens Way, the A75 is a good and swift road. You may not realise your speeds and therefore go like the clappers without realising it. Although there are no fixed cameras a (camera) van does rove up and down this section of road. Be aware of your speeds.
Route Notes & Highlights
(Icons on the map)
- 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.
- Dalveen Pass – This has to be one of the more exhilarating roads for wide open twists and bends. The road was resurfaced in 2012 and the half toward the M74 has magical bends that will have you whooping with glee, leading into a jaw dropping valley mid-way along. A South Scotland must!
- Drumlanrig Castle – The Castle has 120 rooms, 17 turrets and four towers but what will really impress you is the grand red tar driveway over 300 meters long and lined by manicured green grass and trees. Lovely gardens and well worth a visit.
- Monaive – A quaint little village, well known for having more musical events and festivals (per head of population) than anywhere else in the country. It is quite common for “jam sessions” to randomly occur within the number of hotels and pubs.
- A712 Queensway – Worthy of mention particularly through the Galloway Forest Park.
- Galloway Forest Park – Established in 1947 and at 300 square miles this is Britain’s largest forest park. It is also known for its status as a “dark sky park” due to its remoteness. There are three visitor centres at Glentrool, Kirroughtree and Clatteringshaws.
- Glentrool Visitor Centre – This is a tranquil spot at the heart of the forest where you can unwind in the café and watch woodland animals or enjoy the lively waters that meet at stunning Loch Trool.
- New Luce to Castle Kennedy – Single track performance bikes might want to avoid this one.
- Portpatrick – A picturesque fishing Harbour with a few notable hotel/eateries along the promenade. Home to six spectacular gardens, namely: Logan Botanic Garden, Logan House Gardens, Ardwell Gardens, Glenwhan Gardens, Dunskey Gardens and Castle Kennedy Gardens.
- Mull of Galloway Lighthouse – A traditional working lighthouse, although now automated with a visitor centre and cottage holiday lets. This is also the most Southerly point of Scotland.
- Wigtown – Wigtown was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to over 20 book-related businesses. A book lovers haven!
- Bladnoch distillery – One of the many distillery in Scotland but Bladnoch takes the title of being the most Southerly. One of only six remaining distilleries in the Lowlands.
- Creetown Gem Rock Museum – One of the finest private collections of gemstones, crystals, minerals, rocks and fossils in its award-winning Gem Rock Museum. Not just a static display there are some interactive experiences too.
- Kirkcudbright – Kircudbright became a magnet for Scottish artists in the late 19th century, and is now known as The Artists’ Town because of this association. Town attractions include the Tolbooth Art Centre and Harbour Cottage Gallery.
- Threave Castle – On an island in the River Dee stands Threave Castle, a massive 14th century tower built by Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway. In order to reach the Castle you have to ring the custodian’s bell for the ferryman to take you across, however this service is seasonal.
- Kilnford Barns – Family-run by the Romes for 200 years, Kilnford is something pretty special with natural production philosophy. The regular farm shop amenities, café, shop and toilets tastefully set out.
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Filling Stations on Route
A really enjoyable motorcycle route that would need a fuel stop. Refuel in Portpatrick but once again this is a beautiful area with the luxury of having a number of fuelling stations on route or in easy access.