14/11/2012 | 10 comments
Destination: Drumlanrig, Dumfries and Galloway
A castle, bike museum, a bike shop run by one of Scotland’s most renowned trail builders, Rik Alsop, and a network of his trails snaking through the grounds, what more could you want?
There’s something for the whole family here from advanced riders to novices and kids with stabilisers. There’s also loads to keep non-bikers occupied too, so you can even bring Granny along.
How to get there
From Dumfries, take the A76 north through Kilmarnock for 27.5km. After passing through Thornhill, Drumlanrig Castle is signposted. Turn left onto minor roads and follow the signs. See the foot of the page for a location map.
Sat Nav: DG3 4AQ
Absolutely everything including hot showers for 20p per minute or £1 for a full 7-minute scrub down.
There are four green trails ranging in length from 3km to 13km.
They range from complete kiddy friendly tarmac affairs to pleasant forest road spins.
The first of the blues is the 9km Copy Cat. This shadows the red route and offers a “try before you buy” experience of what lays in store if you step up a level.
Next is the 11km Secret Forest and, if you enjoy steep climbing and views, you’ll love it. There is also scope to let rip a bit when the trail tips downhill and have some fun.
A clue to the nature of the 15.5km red graded Old School is in the name. It’s not a modern trail centre trail with a smooth packed surface, it’s narrow, twisty, earthy and, above all, rooty. Keep loose, find your mojo and you’ll have a blast.
If you really like roots, big dropping off roots just where you don’t want them, head for the black graded Hell’s Cauldron extensions which’ll add another 8km on to the red.
Nearest bike shop:
Entrance to the grounds is £6 That might sound steep, but it’s ploughed back into the Estate and trail.