Tuned into Scotland
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
This route starts from the parking at the Gretna Outlet Village and takes you on a full good days ride as an introduction to the beauty of riding in Scotland. We have taken you on a journey of quiet (traffic – that is) roads. We have given you a re-established Distillery as Scotlands most southerly Distillery, a fantastic Castle ruin in Caerlaverock. A living Castle at Drumlanrig. A little bit of Coast line and beach. The gorgeous long and narrow Loch Ken. Some Forest roads.
An amazing motorcycle riding pass called ” The Dalveen “. A narrow scenic and gorgeous pass known as part of the iconic Three Lochs Run that takes you over Talla and Megget Waters with numerous photo opportunities along the way. Finishing off with a great flourish on a great riding or driving road back to Gretna. Our comfort comes in knowing that you will have had a great days riding or driving. What an introduction to Scotland!
PRO TIP – If this is your first trip to Scotland you will be surprised by some of the small narrow roads with no or little traffic. Very few tourists once you leave Gretna. But do stay alert as it is easy to slip into the comfort zone of thinking the road will be clear all the time.
PRO TIP – A Leonardo da Vinci painting, Madonna with the Yarnwinder, was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle on August 27, 2003. This was touted as being the most valuable painting in the world at that time.
Route Notes & Highlights
(Icons on the map)
- Annandale Distillery – It’s been a while (90 years in fact) but the re-awakening of Annandale Distillery means that fine Single Malt Scotch whisky now flows again from Dumfries and Galloway. This is a must visit as Scotland’s most southerly Distillery.
- Caerlaverock Castle – Visitors to Caerlaverock Castle are sure to enjoy exploring the castle – one of Scotland’s great medieval fortresses. Its location, its imposing sandstone walls, its moat and unique triangular shape rank it as one of the most powerful looking castles in Scotland.
- Sweetheart Abbey – A pretty Cistercian Monastery (ruin) dating from 1275, founded by Lady Dervogilla in memory of her husband. When she too passed, she was laid rest next to her husbands embalmed heart, thus the monks naming the abbey after her.
- Sandyhills Bay – Sandyhills Bay is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, sitting at the foot of wooded hills and close to a sheltered sandy beach, which is one of the finest in the area.
- 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.
- 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!
- Photo Opportunity – What is now becoming an iconic motorcycling photo point.
- Hawick Museum – The Jimmie Guthrie and Steve Hislop exhibitions make this little museum a motorcyclists’ Mecca. Plenty more on show detailing the history of the town and it’s people.
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Filling Stations on Route
Once you fill up on Gretna, there are plenty of fuel stations along this route in all the other major towns. If in doubt you could top up at Castle Douglas and then you have choices of Abington Services or the quaint town of Moffat before heading to Selkirk and Hawick.