Get us in your inbox

Caerlaverock Castle
Photograph: Shutterstock

This boozy cycling trail in Scotland is the action-packed holiday we need right now

The 100-mile ‘Whisky and Burns’ route takes in beautiful castles, a distillery tour and the haunts of a national poet

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

If you’re the super-active, energetic sort, you probably found lockdown quite the drag. There were only so many laps of your living room and local park you could do before, let’s be honest, it all got a smidge boring.

So if you’re in need of an action-packed weekend break to see out this most underwhelming of summers, may we suggest hopping on your bike and trying a new cycling tour that takes in some of southern Scotland’s most historic sights (plus plenty of local booze)?

Spread over three days, the ‘Whisky and Burns New Cycle Route’ starts in the coastal Powfoot area and promises to take in some of the surrounding region’s most beautiful scenery, with guides offering fascinating insight into its ample history. The trail covers around 30 miles each day. 

Cyclists in ScotlandCyclists near Lochnagar in Scotland. Photograph: Shutterstock

The first leg will take you to the Annandale Distillery, which is co-organising the tours with Galloway Cycling Holidays, to sample its world-famous whisky, before touring the historic Caerlaverock Castle and ‘national poet’ Robert Burns’s haunts in the market town of Dumfries.

The second, ending up in Thornhill, will take in Drumlanrig Castle, the graveyard of Kirkpatrick Macmillan (inventor of the pedal bicycle) and the mysterious ‘12 Apostles’ stone circle. The third and final leg will whisk you off to two more castles, the charming Durisdeer Church and, if you’re fit enough, a trip to Wanlockhead, the highest village in Scotland.

The tour firm will transport your luggage for you, provide the routes and be on hand to help, and can also supply bikes if you don’t bring your own. The route starts from £430 ($570, A$780) per person, and will cover accommodation in four or five-star accommodation each night (including breakfast), as well as luggage transfer and return transport to a nearby train station.

If you’re looking to make a week (or fortnight) of it, of course, you could always cycle all the way home. Anything to take our minds off the state of 2020, eh?

Find out more here.

Want more holiday inspiration? Here are the best things to do in Scotland and the coolest Airbnbs in the UK. 

Latest news