Miles

86

Kms

139

Days

3

The 3 day Bitesize itinerary from Portpatrick to Dumfries gives you the time to enjoy the first part of the Kirkpatrick C2C at a gentler pace. It allows the time to stop off in the many towns and at the varied sights you will pass en route. From Portpatrick to Dumfries, this itinerary includes a mix of nature, history, culture and of course the finest of local produce to sample along the way! 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. We’re sure you will fall in love with the South of Scotland and want to come back to try another of our Bitesize breaks!

Day 1

Portpatrick to Newton Stewart

This first stage of your 3 day Bitesize itinerary on the Kirkpatrick C2C includes an additional spur from popular seaside town of Portpatrick and through the landscapes of the Rhins and Machar peninsulas before reaching the small market town of Newton Stewart on the banks of the River Cree. Travel along mostly flat and undulating roads, passing through small settlements with coastal views as you begin your journey.  

Before you set off, take time to enjoy Portpatrick’s pretty pastel-coloured houses and picturesque harbour. From Portpatrick you will head across the gentle rural landscapes of the Rhins of Galloway towards Stranraer where you can explore the town – home to the Gateway of Galloway and the famous Oyster Festival – before setting off again. From Stranraer, you will head south west towards the coast where you will be treated to views to the Isle of Man, and to the Valley of Luce, home to the 12th-century Glenluce Abbey.

Continue across the Machars peninsula, onto the country’s National Book Town Wigtown. Soak up the atmosphere before setting off to Newton Stewart. And after all that pedalling, why not treat yourself to a refreshing G&T at the fabulous Crafty Distillery!

Miles

41

Kms

66

Stops

4

Travel Time

1h

Wigtown, Dumfries & Galloway

Stop 1 - Portpatrick

Portpatrick is a picturesque seaside village located on the west coast of the Rhins of Galloway peninsula. It was once a busy port that served the ferry to Northern Ireland, and is now a serene holiday resort, with pastel-coloured houses and a stunning bay. To the south of the town, the ancient ruins of Dunskey Castle perch dramatically on the clifftops.

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Stop 2 - Castle of St John

The Castle of St John sits in a prominent position in the centre of Stranraer and is a fine example of the tower houses built and used by Scottish Lairds in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Built around 1500 by the Adairs of Kilhilt, one of the most powerful families in Wigtownshire, it was later used as a military garrison and then as a jail. The fascinating story of the Castle and its many inhabitants can be found in the exhibitions on site.

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Stop 3 - Wigtown - Scotland's National Book Town

Wigtown is Scotland’s Book Town, is a must visit for book lovers. The town holds The Wigtown Book Festival each year to celebrate literature and culture. The town hosts bookbinders, publishers and arguably the largest traditional second hand book-shop in Scotland outside of Edinburgh. It is also home to the printer of the smallest books in the world! Aside from books, Wigtown is home to the largest Local Nature Reserve in Great Britain, great place to see wildlife all year round.

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Stop 4 - Crafty Distillery

Nestled on the edge of Newton Stewart, Crafty Distillery is a modern grain to glass distillery. It pumps out gallons of multi award winning tasty stuff and delivers panoramic views over the Galloway Hills. Here you can learn about their unique distilling approach and enjoy a taste of their award winning spirits.

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Glenluce Abbey
location_on Wigtownshire

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

Suspension Bridge and Douglas Park
location_on Newton Stewart

A picturesque pedestrian Suspension bridge, crossing the River Cree.

Day 2

Newton Stewart to Kirkcudbright

The second stage of your 3 day Bitesize itinerary takes you from the market town of Newton Stewart to the colourful harbour town of Kirkcudbright. Enjoy coastal views on this mostly flat paved section of the route but also watch out for two short sections of loose unbound stone south of Gatehouse of Fleet and south of Cally Woods.  

From Newton Stewart, set off to the seaside town of Creetown where you can enjoy a unique and beautiful collection of crystals, gems, minerals and fossils and the quirky and fascinating Gem Rock Museum.

Next on to one of the wildest places in southwest Scotland, Cairnsmore. Those with suitable bikes might detour into Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve. Further along the route, you’ll come to the village of Gatehouse of Fleet, once a thriving industrial centre with cotton mills, shipbuilding and a brewery, it is now a hub for cyclists and walkers.

The final stretch takes you on to the Artist’s Town of Kirkcudbright. The inspiring Kirkcudbright Galleries is a must-see as is the Dark Space Planetarium with its interactive science and space themed exhibits.

Miles

23

Kms

36

Stops

4

Travel Time

57min

Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway

Stop 1 - Gem Rock Museum

The famous four star Creetown Gem Rock Museum is a unique, worldwide and world class, collection of gems, crystals, minerals and fossils. It’s one family’s collection and crammed full of wonderful specimens from all over the globe.

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Stop 2 - Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve

Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve is a paradise for walkers. With panoramic vistas over the stunning landscapes, there are sculptures by local environmental artists to be spotted amongst the landscape. It is home to spectacular birds of prey that hunt over the open landscape, including the peregrine falcon – the world’s fastest bird.

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Stop 3 - Kirkcudbright Galleries

Kirkcudbright Galleries are the home to a nationally important art collection and host a wide range of temporary art and craft exhibitions. Learn the story of the Kirkcudbright ‘Art Colony’ through an audio-visual show “The Artists’ Town” and a permanent display of some of the best Kirkcudbright paintings in our collection.

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Stop 4 - Dark Space Planetarium

The Dark Space Planetarium is a brand new, state of the art interactive experience for everyone. The exhibition space contains interactive science and space themed exhibits designed to enthuse and educate people of all ages. Visitors can also enjoy the immersive Planetarium domed cinema screen, enjoying virtual trips to the edge of the Universe, exploring inside the human body, and journeying around the Earth.

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7Stanes Kirroughtree
location_on Stronord

Kirroughtree is one of the world class 7stanes mountain bike venues. It features a superb range of both beginner and experience trails.

Broughton House and Garden
location_on Kirkcudbright

House and Garden - The home of ‘Glasgow Boy’ Hornel sits in a Japanese-inspired garden and hosts an impressive collection of art.

Day 3

Kirkcudbright to Dumfries

The third stage of your 3 day Bitesize itinerary stretches from Kirkcudbright on the coast to the largest town in the area, Dumfries. This mostly flat stretch of the route offers some undulating sections, as well as dedicated cycle paths in Dumfries. 

The route will take you through the designated Food Town of Castle Douglas, so make sure to stop at some of the local shops and eateries. Don’t miss nearby Threave Garden: the gardens showcase a wide variety of styles and planting schemes, while the nature reserve is home to red squirrels, ospreys and peregrine falcons. The massive tower house of Threave Castle sits imposingly on a small island in the River Dee. Only accessible by boat, it served as a stronghold for the Black Douglases in times gone by.

As you reach Dumfries, take the time to walk in the footsteps of Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard. He lived in the town in the 1790s, and the local Burns Trail will take you to his house, favourite howff and final resting place.  

Miles

23

Kms

37

Stops

4

Travel Time

48min

Kirkpatrick C2C

Stop 1 - Castle Douglas

Castle Douglas is an 18th century market town and is the perfect destination for food lovers, nature lovers and history lovers alike. As Scotland’s only designated Food Town, Castle Douglas prides itself in its top quality, locally produced food and drink. So whether you’re eating out or discovering the wide array of wonderful produce available from local retailers, we know you’ll be delighted with your food and drink options!

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Stop 2 - Threave Gardens

Threave’s wonderful garden has been created over the years by students of the Trust’s School of Heritage Gardening – and is a fine example of landscaped beauty. The garden is divided into a series of smaller gardens to showcase different styles, including a rose garden, rockery and walled garden. A garden for all seasons and a haven for wildlife, with an osprey platform and bat reserve.

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Stop 3 - Robert Burns House

It was in this simple sandstone house in a quiet Dumfries street that Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, spent the last years of his life. He died here in 1796 at the age of just thirty seven. The house shows us how the poet and his family lived in the late eighteenth century and is now a place of pilgrimage for Burns enthusiasts from around the world. The sales area has books, gifts and keepsakes, all with a Burns connection.

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Stop 4 - Robert Burns Centre

Situated in the town’s eighteenth century watermill on the west bank of the River Nith, the Robert Burns Centre tells the story of the renowned poet and lyricist’s last years spent in the bustling streets and lively atmosphere of Dumfries in the late eighteenth century. The exhibition showcases a precious collection of artefacts that are of national significance.

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Threave Castle
location_on Dumfries

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

Devorgilla's Bridge
location_on Dumfries

Devorgilla's Bridge is one of the oldest bridges still in use in Scotland.

Where to Stay

Crown Hotel, Portpatrick
location_on Portpatrick

The Crown is a relaxed, informal and individual 12 bedroom hotel with comfortable well appointed rooms

Ryan Bay Holiday Park
location_on Stranraer

Located on the shores of Loch Ryan, a short distance from Stranraer. The Ryan Bay Holiday Park is ideally suited for exploring Dumfries and Galloway

The Selkirk Arms Hotel
location_on Kirkcudbright

Quality 4* Hotel & Restaurant in the heart of Kirkcudbright

Privately owned 3 star Hotel in Dumfries Town centre