Destination: Kirroughtree, Dumfries and Galloway
In many riders’ top five or even topping their list, Kirroughtree is a must-ride trail centre. Its red trail, The Twister, is one of the most flowing trails in the country and the technical challenge of McMoab is a rock balancing vertiginous joy.
How to get there
From Dumfries, take the A75 west towards Newton Stewart. The turning for Kirroughtree is a minor road on the right about four miles short of Newton Stewart. After turning, take the first left and follow the lane to the centre.
Sat Nav: DG8 7BE
Cafe, bike shop, bike hire, bike wash, toilets and lots of lovely, grippy granite.
Graded green, the 6km Bargaly Wood trail is a pleasant, leisurely family ride.
The 14 or 10 km blue trail, with or without Doon Hill extension has some fun bits and even the occasional small rock drop.
But they're not why you go to Kirroughtree. The 17 km red grade Twister is a classic example of how good a purpose-built trail can be, mostly because it rarely feels 'artificial'. It flows wonderfully and you genuinely feel that every inch of height gained is paid back with interest with wonderful twisting descents.
It’s technical too, with some significant rock steps and drop-offs, most of which don’t have chicken runs, but no-one ever said that cross-country couldn’t have teeth.
Talking of teeth, the 14 km extra that the black grade Black Craigs adds has full-on fangs. Big granite fangs. It doesn’t flow but does everything it can to break your rhythm and make you dab a foot down. A successful clean run of McMoab has to be on every UK riders’ bucket list.
If you’re unsure of your ability, there’s a decent skills loops that’ll give you a taste of what to expect on the trails.
Nearest bike shop
Parking is £3 for the day.