Lochs & Glens South Day 6 – Dalgarven to Glasgow

Our Lochs and Glens South Day 6 was the final day of our cycling tour.

Beginning from Dalgarven Hotel the day began in blustery conditions. Thankfully, for much of the day, the wind would be behind us.

Wherever Des books one of our overnight stays there is usually a hill to climb. And this one didn’t disappoint. Just around the corner there was a ‘cheeky’ climb and while our legs were still trying to function the climbing continued.

Thankfully, after climbing over the hill the rest of our journey would be more relaxing.

We picked up the Paisley to Kilburnie Railway Path. With the wind behind us, this made for excellent traffic-free speedy cycling. 

A section of this route also forms the Semple Trail. And we soon arrived at the Castle Semple Visitor Centre where we tucked into some cake and tea.

After our tea stop we rejoined the old railway line.

Along the way, Ian decided he wanted to try out a new bicycle that he passed by.

The route took us by Johnstone and through Paisley as we entered the edges of the Glasgow conurbation.

We took the opportunity to eat lunch at National Trust for Scotland’s Pollock House.

After lunch we completed the last few miles of our journey.

Past BBC Scotland’s building.

And over Bell’s Bridge.

As we arrived at the end point there was now a strong wind and a squally shower. A far cry from the sunshine at the beginning of the tour. Thankfully, this was only brief.

We had cycled 30 miles today.

However, our journey wasn’t quite complete, since we cycled over to the Premier Inn at Braehead. The guys then went for a celebratory pint, while the girls went over the road for a bit of shopping!

In the evening we finished our tour with a celebratory meal at the nearby Steam Wheeler.

All good things come to an end, so tomorrow we journey home. It has however, been another fabulous cyxling tour while it has lasted. Now the planning begins for next year! 😁

Lochs & Glens South Day 5 – Ayr to Dalgarven

Friday was our lochs & glens south trip day 5 where we cycled from Ayr to Dalgarven. We had to wait until midday before we collect our clothes from the laundrette, so we had a walk around Ayr.

Having collected our washing, we cycled into the centre of Ayr for lunch.

After lunch we then cycled to where we had ice cream the previous evening to pick up NCN route 7.

We passed Cromwell’s Citadel.

The route went past Prestwick Airport then Bruce’s Well.

We cycled right past the entrance of the Royal Troon Golf Club.

The along the coast through Troon.

Passing through Shewalton Wood Wildlife Reserve.

We passed through the edge of Irvine Beach Park before heading into Irvine itself.

As we left Irvine I recognised the route, it was a section that we had cycled before  (on the Lands End to John o’Groats in 2012 when we were heading to catch the ferry from Ardrossen over to Arran).

It was only a short section  that I recognised before we were on new territory again.

Much to the delight of Tracey, the route took us over a viaduct.

We cycled about a mile off course at the end to get to the Dalgarven House Hotel, where we were staying for the night.

We ate at the Dalgarven House Hotel as there was nothing else nearby. It was a nice meal though.

We had cycled about 25 miles today along a fairly flat route.

Lochs & Glens South Day 4 – Newton Stewart to Ayr

Our Lochs and Glens South Day 4 began with slightly cooler weather than previous days. We were quite thankful for this was going to be a day with plenty of hill climbing.

This was always going to prove the most challenging day, and so it proved.

Leaving Newton Stewart we soon headed up our first hill of the day. 

We cycled through Cree Woods.

Our first stop of the day was at the Glentrool Visitor Centre for a coffee. There weren’t too many options on today’s route and it would be a while until lunch.

We weren’t the only visitors!

Back on the road we settled into a steady eight mile climb.

Ian felt like a Tour De France champion when he had reached the top.

After a few more hills we reached the village of Crosshill.

This is an old weavers village.

Lunch was at the local shop cum Post Office. They served a fantastic vegetable soup. 

Then it was up a sharp hill and over to Maybole.

A few more hills and finally we could liok down on Ayr and the sea.

The cycle route brought us in along the esplanade where we stopped for a well earned ice-cream.

We had cycled 47 miles and climbed over 3800 feet today.

We were staying at the Inverlea Guest House. This would prove to be a fine place to stay. And it started off perfectly with a complimentary beer in the garden.

In the evening we walked up the road to No.22 Bar & Grill for an enjoyable evening meal.

Tomorrow we are off to Dalgarven.

Lochs & Glens South Day 3 – Castle Douglas to Newton Stewart

Wednesday was our Lochs and Glens Day 3. We left Castle Douglas and headed out along NCN route 7 initially to Kirkcudbright, passing the Loch on the outskirts of Castle Douglas.

    Kirkcudbright was a nice little town with a castle and harbour. We stopped off for a coffee, except for Tracey who went for some shopping.

    We stopped at the Harbour  Lights cafe which was very nice place.

    We left Kirkcubbright and followed the estuary along.

    We passed a lovely old Church which appeared to being demolished.

    We continued along towards the Gatehouse of Fleet.

    Lunch was in the Gatehouse of Fleet at the Galloway Lodge Preserves Cafe for a very good lunch.

    After lunch we went through the archway at the side of the Church and continued along NCN route 7.

    We turned off route to go and look at a viaduct. Tracey really likes viaducts! Ian had decided not to join us and headed off to a cafe where we would meet up with him.

    Having had a look at the viaduct, we took a different route back up to the cycle route.

    We rejoined the cycle route and headed for the Gem Rock Musuem Cafe in Creetown where we met up with Ian again.

    The cafe was good and the cakes where really good! We then continued on to Newton Stewart where we were staying for the night.

    As we left Creetown there was a 30% hill up to an old railway line. Far too steep to cycle!

    We were stayingin a really great B&B called Flowerbank in Newton Stewart.

    In the evening we walked to The Cown for a meal and stopped off for a drink at the Galloway New Toll House Bar. The boys enjoyed sampling a whiskey there too.

    We had cycled about 49 miles and had climbed 2300 feet. It had been a great day!

    Lochs & Glens South Day 2 – Annan to Castle Douglas

    Our Lochs and Glens South Day 2 began on another sunny day as we left Annan.

    This would prove to be a cycle ride of two halves.

    After a few miles we arrived at the coast and cycled through Powfoot.

    There then followed a few miles along lovely flat and straight lanes.

    Past the Savings Bank Museum at Ruthwell.

    We followed the Burns Trail which included cycling past the Burns Well.

    Our morning coffee break was at Caerlaverock Castle Tea Room where most of us enjoyed a Scottish Cream Tea.

    After leaving the castle the route soon picked up the River Nidd.

    This soon turned on to a riverside path as we made our way in to Dumfries.

    At Dumfries we turned off the route a little to visit the local cycle shop. One of Des’s wheels had been making worrying noises. We decided this needed a look at. And just as well, for it ended up being replaced.

    While we were waiting we went over to the cafe across the road for lunch.

    Back on the road, after a relatively morning ride, the afternoon proved different. And the route soon began to climb as we made our way towards Lochfoot.

    Eventually we arrived in Castle Douglas, where we were staying at the Imperial Hotel. We had cycled 44 miles. It had been an enjoyable, scenic, hot and sticky day of cycling.

    After getting showered and changed we went for an evening meal at the local Greek restaurant.

    Tomorrow we are off to Newton Stewart.