Reflections of riding the Irish Sea Cycle Route.
The start of the Scotland leg, it’s a grey overcast morning with a few light showers being a nuisance. Out of Gretna, soon onto back lanes, its pleasant riding and the following easterly makes riding easy, the lanes are good and soon reach Ruthwell and the National Savings Bank Museum.
The National Savings Bank Museum, Ruthwell
I keep heading west to Bankend and a left takes me along the shores of the estuary of the Nith. This allows me to slope into Dumfries by the tradesman’s entrance! Then it's over the river by the old bridge.
River Nith, Dumfries
Once on the west bank of the Nith, it’s a very pleasant ride south to New Abbey, the Abbey ruins and old Mill, this is a charming village.
The A710 is a delightful ride with fabulous views overlooking the bay at Sandyhills.
Staying on the A710, swinging north at the estuary of Urr Water, into Dalbeatie for the bridge. There’s a long climb on the main road with a switchback. Then it’s a B-road across the wilder side of life. A long gradual pull to the summit but nothing of concern. After the high spot is almost a free run into Kirkcudbright.
It’s a steep descent into the centre of town, to cross the Dee. Turning south again, alongside the wide estuary and Kirkcudbright Bay. This is an excellent section, the road gets intimate with the sea passing shoreline whitewashed stone cottages, it winds around rocky inlets and bays. The sound of the waves lapping onto the rocky shore captivated me, it is an evocative sound and a wonderful place.
Nun Mill Bay
Onto Borgue, through the village on the cycle route, crossing the peninsula for views of Wigtown Bay. I cross the busy A75 to ride into Gatehouse of Fleet.
Gatehouse of Fleet
Places of Interest along the way
Old Smithy, Gretna Green National Savings Bank, Ruthwell Museum & Abbey Ruins, New Abbey