The 3 day Bitesize itinerary from Dumfries to Melrose offers you the perfect short break on the Kirkpatrick C2C. It takes you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes the South of Scotland has to offer and it also allows you time to explore towns and varied sights you will pass along the way. From Dumfries to Melrose, this itinerary includes a mix of different things to see and do that will give you a real flavour for the region. The suggested stops are just that, but you can pick and mix whichever are of most interest to you. Don’t be afraid to venture off the route to make the very most of your visit. Once you’ve had a taste of the Kirkpatrick C2C, we are sure that you’ll want to come back for more!


Day 1

Dumfries to Newcastleton

The first stage of this 3 day Bitesize itinerary for Kirkpatrick C2C takes you from the town of Dumfries to Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders. The longest stretch of the route initially follows mostly flat roads before a series of intense climbs around Lockerbie and Langholm. Watch out as there is a possibility of logging lorries on the final stretches of this stage.  

Departing from Dumfries, riders have a day of steep ascents and long descents ahead of them. Make your way eastwards to Lockerbie, not far from here you can find the ruins of Lochmaben Castle, as the landscape starts to change and you start to climb up into the hills to reach Langholm, the ‘Muckle Toon’. The town is rich in stories and traditions: The local Common Riding is an unforgettable spectacle in the summer, and nearby Gilnockie Tower boasts relations to the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

On your way out of the town, you can follow the trail to the MacDiarmid Memorial, dedicated to the legendary poet born here. Nestled in the valley of Liddesdale, you will soon reach Newcastleton. Known for its bike-friendly status, you can be sure of a warm welcome and stay.  







Travel Time

1h 30min

MacDiarmid Memorial, Langholm

Stop 1 - Langholm

Langholm is a picturesque town nestling in the hills at the confluence of the Ewes Water, Wauchope Water and Border Esk. The town is a hub for hikers, mountain bikers and bird watchers and a great place to stretch your weary legs. A network of waymarked walks shows off the beautiful scenery. And the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, encompasses more than 5000 acres of Langholm Moor. Here, a rewilding project is underway, promising a positive future for native species such as hen harrier, short-eared owl, and red and black grouse.

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Stop 2 - MacDiarmid Memorial

Beside the twisting road linking Langholm with Newcastleton, on the brow of Whita Hill, visitors will encounter a memorial to the poet Hugh MacDiarmid. Born Christopher Murray Grieve on 11th August 1892, MacDiarmid – as he restyled himself – would go on to become a co-founder of the Scottish National Party and one of the foremost proponents of Scottish independence after the union of 1707.

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Stop 3 - Gilnockie Tower

Gilnockie Tower is a stunning example of a Scottish Pele tower. Built almost 500 years ago, and it was home to Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie, a notorious Border Reiver. In 1530 this powerful chieftain was hanged by the young Scottish king, James V and his story was romanticised by Sir Walter Scott.

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Stop 4 - 7stanes Newcastleton

Newcastleton Forest is home to one of the of the seven world-class mountain biking centres that span the south of Scotland. Their award-winning trails offer some of the best mountain biking in the country and attract riders from across the UK and beyond. But if you’re not into mountain biking or have done enough pedalling for the day, this wildlife haven is the perfect setting  for a peaceful picnic with lovely views or a wilderness ramble.

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Malcolm Monument
location_on Langholm

Considered by many to be Langholm's defining feature, this 100 foot-high obelisk dominates the skyline and commemorates one of the town's most celebrated sons.

Lochmaben Castle
location_on Lochmaben

Due to access restrictions in place, there is currently no visitor access to the castle.

Day 2

Newcastleton to Hawick

The second stage of this 3 day Bitesize itinerary stretches from the village of Newcastleton to the town of Hawick. Cyclists will face a climb to the highest point of the route out of Newcastleton, before reaching the bike paths around Hawick. 

From Newcastleton, head north for a short ride to Hermitage Castle. Formerly the guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain, the location tells of the wild history of the border country. Soak up the atmosphere as you continue on, passing by Shankend Viaduct and Whitrope Heritage Centre, which tells the story of the Waverley Line, which passed through these parts until 1969.

When you reach Hawick, take the time to explore the town’s rich heritage. The largest of the Border towns is known internationally as a centre for the textile industry. You can explore some of the producers’ shops or stop off for a wee dram at the Borders Distillery, while the Borders Textile Towerhouse tells of the history of the industry in the region.  







Travel Time


Stop 1 - Hermitage Castle

Discover a history filled with intrigue, murder, torture and treason. This awesome, eerie ruin has plenty of tales to tell, thanks to its role as “the guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain”.

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Stop 2 - Johnstons of Elgin

On the banks of the River Teviot, Eastfield Mill has been a centre of the textile manufacturing for over 140 years. The visitor centre tells the unique and proud story of Johnstons of Elgin, with the chance to touch and feel the different fibres used in production, as well as showcasing the iconic machines used over the mill’s history. Enjoy a tour of the factory and see first hand the talent and special skills used in the manufacture of their luxury knitted cashmere and lambs wool.

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Stop 3 - Borders Distillery

Visit the only whisky distillery in the Borders, in the heart of Hawick and take a tour to discover this amazing building. Let the Borders Distillery team take you through their mashing, fermentation and distillation halls, and learn about the design and operation of the distillery. And of course have a ‘wee dram’ to see what you think!

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Stop 4 - Textile Tower House

The oldest building in Hawick, built at the time of the Borders Reivers, Borders Textile Towerhouse gives visitors a unique insight into the region’s history of knitwear and tweed manufacture. Displays of fashion, artefacts, photographs and film bring to life over 200 years of tradition and innovation in the local woollen industries. In the early 1700s, the tower became a fine townhouse and, later still, the leading local hotel, the focal point of Hawick’s annual Common Riding.

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Shankend Viaduct
location_on Hawick

This is a category B listed building, former railway viaduct that has been significantly restored in 2000 and 2007

Hawick Horse
location_on Hawick

Iconic Hawick Statue

Day 3

Hawick to Melrose

The final stage of this 3 day Bitesize itinerary takes you from the largest town in the Scottish Borders, Hawick, to the market town of Melrose. This stretch of the route offers a few climbs between Hawick and Selkirk before joining mostly flat roads towards Melrose.

Make sure to stop in the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Selkirk as you pass through. It was here, at The Auld Kirk, that William Wallace was declared Guardian of Scotland, and novelist Sir Walter Scott served as sheriff at the local courthouse.

Before you leave don’t forget to pick up some Selkirk Bannock, the local fruitbread, before continuing on, following along the River Tweed. The river will take you to Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott and one of the most famous houses in the world. Described as ‘a novel set in stone’, the extensive gardens, estate and interiors reflect Scott’s interests, tastes and achievements.

From here, it’s a short ride to the picturesque town of Melrose, where you might wish to take the time to explore its Roman heritage and the story of the largest Roman Fort found in Scotland at Trimontium Museum.







Travel Time


Ladykirk and Norham Bridge.

Stop 1 - The Auld Kirk

There has been a church on this site since 1152 AD. The present ruin was built in 1747 and was the parish church until 1861. The Scottish patriot William Wallace was proclaimed “Guardian of Scotland” here in 1298.

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Stop 2 - Sir Walter Scott's Courtroom

Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom is one of our direct links to the great Scottish writer. In this building, Sir Walter Scott sat as Sheriff of Selkirkshire, dispensing justice for nearly 30 years until his death in 1832. The writer was intimately associated with the Borders, with its landscapes and history inspiring his prose and his background in law leading him to take the role of Sheriff-Depute in Selkirk.

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Stop 3 - Abbotsford

The extraordinary home of Scottish legend Sir Walter Scott, the man who gave us the historical novel, popularised tartan & rediscovered Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Sitting on the banks of the River Tweed, Abbotsford is at the heart of a landscape of folklore and legend. It inspired Scott as he became the biggest selling author of his day. Immerse yourself in Scott’s home through our popular audio tours, explore his beautiful gardens, riverside and woodland walks, and indulge in our café, shop and exhibitions.

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Stop 4 - Trimontium Museum

Trimontium Roman fort was a permanent garrison three times the size of the largest fort on Hadrian’s Wall and for a significant period was the most northerly bastion of the Roman Empire. The site of the fort lies just east of Melrose and is home to the NEW Trimontium Museum. Trimontium was one of the largest concentrations of Roman military-related finds in the British Isles.

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Halliwell's House Museum
location_on Selkirk

Halliwell’s House Museum, situated in the narrow, cobbled Halliwell's Close, part of the oldest surviving row of dwellings in Selkirk.

The Haining House, loch and surrounding woodlands are a stunning area of natural beauty

Where to Stay

Privately owned Spa hotel in Dumfries town centre

Burts Hotel
location_on Melrose

Family Owned and Run Townhouse Hotel and Restaurant situated in Melrose Town Centre.

Fauhope House
location_on Melrose

Fauhope Country House is a secluded, award-winning ‘5 star gold’ B&B near Melrose in the heart of the Scottish Borders offering our guests a luxurious getaway.

Relax and unwind at Stouslie Snugs Luxury Farm Glamping. Enjoy the stunning view across the Teviotdale valley from the warm and inviting wood fired hot tub.