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New 250-mile coast-to-coast cycle route in southern Scotland

Written by Fiona

March 14 2023

A new 250-mile coast-to-coast cycle route will launch in the south of Scotland this summer. The Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast route takes its name from Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the 19th century Dumfriesshire blacksmith who invented the first pedal-driven velocipede. 

The route, which connects Stranraer in the west with Eyemouth on the east coast, will become one of the UK’s longest coast-to-coast rides.

The route can be completed over a few to eight days, depending on fitness levels.

Mennock in beautiful southern Scotland. Credit: Visit South West Scotland

The South of Scotland has also been named as one of the Lonely Planet’s top 30 “Best in Travel” destinations in the world.

Credit: Dumfries Museum

New Kirkpatrick C2C cycle route

The Kirkpatrick C2C was unveiled at a tourism conference, which was organised by the South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA). A keynote speech was delivered by bikepacking adventurer Markus Stitz, with a further presentation from local business owner Esther Tacke of Galloway Cycling Holidays. 

Markus Stitz, director of Bikepacking Scotland, said: “The south of Scotland, home of the pedal-driven bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, is one of the beautiful parts of the country, with endless opportunities for bike-based adventures.  

“The south of Scotland inspired me to move from Germany to Scotland. I was attracted here by the huge variety of off-road tracks, quiet roads, unique scenery, amazing forests, clean air and dark skies.”

The route’s official name was announced by Paula Ward, of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE). She said: “Kirkpatrick Macmillan is an iconic cycling figure, who we are immensely proud of. It is fitting that his achievements are being acknowledged and our heritage celebrated with this new exciting tourism offering. 

“Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast is one of a number of new cycling opportunities taking place in our region at present, alongside the arrival of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in the South this summer. “

Cycling the Kirkpatrick C2C. Credit: Clacks Active – Andy McCandlish, Sean Macfarlane
Riding the Kirkpatrick C2C. Credit: Clacks Active – Andy McCandlish, Sean Macfarlane
Beautiful places on the new Kirkpatrick C2C. Credit: Clacks Active

Route details for Kirkpatrick C2C

There are two suggested ways to ride the Kirkpatrick C2C. Your choice will depend on how much time you want to cycle each day and how much time you want for exploring places along the route.

Josh Wood. Credit: South of Scotland Destination Alliance

Record-breaker: If you are looking for a record to beat, cyclist Josh Wood completed the 250-mile Kirkpatrick C2C in just over 23 hours.

Credit: South of Scotland Destination Alliance
Kirkpatrick C2C. Credit: Clacks Active – Andy McCandlish, Sean Macfarlane
Cycling the Kirkpatrick C2C. Credit: Clacks Active – Andy McCandlish, Sean Macfarlane

The Explorer Route

Eight stages:

  • Stranraer to Newton Stewart – 39 miles
  • Newton Stewart to Kirkcudbright – 35 miles
  • Kirkcudbright to Dumfries – 28 miles
  • Dumfries to Newcastleton – 51 miles
  • Newcastleton to Hawick – 21 miles
  • Hawick to Melrose – 25 miles
  • Melrose to Coldstream – 28 miles
  • Coldstream to Eyemouth – 23 miles.

Challenger route

Four stages:

  • Stranraer to Kirkcudbright – 74 miles
  • Kirkcudbright to Langholm – 69 miles
  • Langholm to Selkirk – 48 miles
  • Selkirk to Eyemouth – 59 miles.

To find out more see route details.

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