In Scotland’s south, a new cycle tourism project has been given green light: We are talking about a rather spectacular 250-mile route from the west to the east coast. The start will be in Stranraer and the end point in Eyemouth. Or the other way round.
The project is due to be completed in time for the World Cycling Championships in Scotland in August 2023. And the Coast-to-Coast route will be one of the longest continuous cycling routes in the United Kingdom.
The route is supposed to be a challenge not only for cruisers with tents and lots of time, but also for cracks with road bikes. You don’t get that very often.
Southern part of Scotland is known to offer a wide range of experiences and activities as a travel destination. However, walking has until now come far before cycling, which is why Scottish Tourism Minister Ivan McKee classifies the new route as follows:
„The establishment of the Coast-to-Coast cycle route will support the Scottish Government’s aim of creating economic, environmental and social benefits for our southern regions through sustainable tourism.“
In concrete terms, the initiators of the route expect 175,000 new visitors to the south of Scotland every year – and directly resulting revenues of around £15 million. The figures show it: cycle tourism has become a hard economic factor.
According to the South of Scotland Destination Alliance, cycle tourists are advised to plan four to eight days for the route, depending on time budget and fitness level. The route has been chosen so that there are great places to stay. Sightseeing and delicious food will also be provided.
Roughly the stages of the route:
Stranraer (town of 11,000 inhabitants on Loch Ryan with connections to ferries to Belfast and Larne on the one hand and on the other hand interface of the A77 and A75 motorways. Meaning: easy to reach, there is plenty of accommodation – very suitable as a starting point).
Galloway Forest Park (the route skims the nature park, which boasts the largest forest in Britain – integrates well with cycling).
Dumfries (population 33,000 town on the River Nith with numerous attractions and historic centre. Famous for the Devorgilla Bridge from the early 15th century, among other things. Offers itself as an urban stopover thanks to numerous accommodations).
Kielder Forest Park (as with Galloway Forest Park, the route also passes through this landscape park. Also suitable as an intermediate walking stop).
Hawick (town of 15,000 inhabitants with the charm of a somewhat outdated industrial location. Explicitly not suitable as an entry or exit point from the cycle route – at least for rail travellers – as the station was closed at some point).
Eyemouth (small harbour town close to the Scottish-English border. Logistically very suitable as final point of the route because of its proximity to the A1, which connects London with Edinburgh).
(Article translated from German.)