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Glasgow to Carlisle...

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Stig-OT-Dump, 1 Mar 2008.

  1. Stig-OT-Dump

    Stig-OT-Dump Über Member

    My eldest (who's 8) is wanting to ride from Glasgow to Carlisle later this year. We are starting to ease into the planning for it and are currently pouring over the Sustrans map for NCN 7.

    Now firstly, should I also be looking at NCN 74 or does it still only go as far as Douglas?

    Secondly, if we do stick with Route 7, can anyone recommend stopping places - we are planning on taking around 4 days, knocking out around 50 miles/day or so.

    Any advice is welcome.

    Cheers

    Stig
     
  2. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

    I did this acouple of years ago and it is a fine ride, but one area you must be aware of......

    The stretch between Ayr and Newton Stewart is spectacular, but hilly and remote, not to be underestimated, (you are the best judge of your son's abilities). There is little accommodation and no facilities. You either need to stop at Maybole or Ayr and do it in one push, or do as I did and stop at Bargrennan. I used the House o'Hill in Bargrennan as I wanted to see the tombs nearby. Very friendly, very helpful, and the portions are large!

    Apart from that....

    Glasgow to Johnstone is "urban" but made up for by the Lochwinnoch loop line

    Then it is quiet roads and paths through to ayr via the Garnock Valley

    Then off road from Ayr to a small stretch of main road, quiet roads to Maybole and the Galloway Forest and Glentrool.

    From the other side of the Forest it is minor roads to Carlisle.

    The website is down, but when it comes back up Cycle'n'sleep has some ueful information and links.

    I would also recommend getting the Sustrans Guide



    There are lots of castles, ruins, historic sites and of course Rabbie Burns to amuse an eight year old.

    Sawney Bean and the castle you see at the "Heads of Ayr" is just the sort of thing to terrify / amuse someone of his age.....

    Have fun, and enjoy, it is a spectacular, varied and challenging route, and with planning of the Galloway section easily manageable.......
     
  3. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    There is a handy wee book, Lochs and Glens by Fergal MacErlean, which breaks the route down into sections and give advice on what to see and where to stay.
     
  4. ransos

    ransos Legendary Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    The direct route is NCN74 from Hamilton, then going via Gretna and Longtown to avoid the A74.
     
  5. Rab

    Rab Über Member

    I second what he said - particularly the highlighted bit, it is pretty remote.
    This is part of my training run, from Ayr to Bargrennan. Stunning scenery and quiet roads
     
  6. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Senior Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    An 8 year old doing 50 miles a day??? I'm not sure I'd be capable of that so I'm very impressed. What are you feeding him/her? And can I have some please?
     
  7. Cunobelin

    Cunobelin Legendary Member

    Good news, and the reason i hadn't brought this up is thatthere is a trainline parallel to the first stretch, and again from Dumfries onward - a useful escape route if required
     
  8. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    What an amazing child you have!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Stig-OT-Dump

    Stig-OT-Dump Über Member

    Thanks all. It looks like we'll do the first night in Maybole, it takes out a small hill for day 2 when we'll go on to Newton Stewart, then it'll be Dumfries for night 3.

    We use a tag-along as my boy is still being treated for cancer. Although he was knocking out 30+ miles a day on trips last summer, 50 miles will probably be a bit much, so he and his 5 year old brother are going to do some tag-team stoking. One will ride in the support car with mum while the other pushes me along.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Stig-OT-Dump

    Stig-OT-Dump Über Member

    Well, we finished it yesterday. 225 miles in 4 days. The boys loved it, although the eldest was pretty tired by the end. It was a bit wet, especially crossing the southern uplands, which limited the views a bit.

    The youngest one now wants to be a pro cyclist. He was very disappointed to be overtaken by 2 guys on road bikes between Dumfries and Annan. I've told him to just keep practicing...
     
    znarf42 likes this.
  11. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    :biggrin::biggrin: Well done to you and your two boys! My kids are just a little to young for that sort of thing at the moment (1 and 3) but it would be nice to take them touring in the future. (I haven't actually been touring yet, so I think their pace might suit me!)