Experienced cyclists in search of an exhilarating new challenge have taken to the UK’s newest coast to coast cycle route with gusto.
The Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast has been named after Kirkpatrick Macmillan, the 19th century Dumfriesshire blacksmith who invented the first pedal-driven velocipede.
One of the longest coast to coast routes in the UK – it stretches almost 250 miles from Stranraer in the west to Eyemouth on Scotland’s southeast coast.
Developed by South of Scotland Destination Alliance (SSDA) the route the Kirkpatrick C2C promises an unforgettable journey through breath-taking landscapes with dramatic coastlines and beaches, rolling hills and shimmering lochs and history lying in wait at every turn.
Comprehensive information about and including itineraries, route maps, key landmarks and places to stay, eat, drink and visit along the Kirkpatrick C2C route will be published on a dedicated page on www.scotlandstartshere.com.
VisitScotland and Sustrans will also feature the full Kirkpatrick C2C, South of Scotland’s Coast to Coast route, itineraries and day trips on the Sustrans interactive cycling routes map at www.visitscotland.com/cyclingroutes.
The Kirkpatrick C2C is designed to inspire experienced riders in search of a new challenge and encourages them to tackle either the eight-day Explorer approach or the four-day Challenger approach.
The Explorer approach takes cyclists across the country in eight stages, with daily cycling distances varying from 21 miles (Newcastleton to Hawick) to 51 miles (Dumfries to Newcastleton).
Meanwhile, the Challenger version can be done over four days, starting with a 74-mile stretch from Stranraer to the charming artists’ town of Kirkcudbright and finishing with a 59-mile ride from Selkirk to Eyemouth.
The official GPX map also features a number of route spurs which riders can follow to explore even more of the South of Scotland, including starting the journey from the small coastal town of Portpatrick, stopping in Galashiels to visit the Great Tapestry of Scotland and taking in the attractive Berwickshire town of Duns.
The Kirkpatrick C2C is expected to prove a huge draw for the South of
Scotland when formally launched in early summer.
Initial projections suggest the new route could attract up to 175,000 new visitors to the region, with a direct spend of £13.7M per year.
SSDA Chief Executive, David Hope-Jones, (above) said: “In a terrific year for cycling in the South of Scotland, Home of the Bike and excitement is really building now right along the route of the Kirkpatrick C2C.
“It’s one of the longest and most exciting on-road routes in the UK. Whether it’s dramatic coastlines and beaches, the creative communities of Wigtown and Kirkcudbright, the romantic ruined abbeys of the towns Melrose and Kelso, Hawick’s historic mills or Eyemouth’s harbour town with its fascinating history of smuggling and skulduggery, this route has an endless wealth of things to discover and enjoy, as well as excellent places to stay, eat and drink,” he said.