St John's Town of Dalry, the name is often shortened to Dalry.
St John's Town of Dalry, the name is often shortened to Dalry. A village rather than a town, this is on the River Ken south of Earlstoun Loch 26 miles west of Dumfries. The town is named after St John's church of the Knights Templar which stood in the area. Its form changed in the late 18th century when building began through the efforts of the Earl of Galloway. Among the remains of the old church is the Gordon Aisle for Sir James Gordon of Lochinvar and there are monuments to the Newalls of Barskiach and to two Covenanting martyrs, Robert Stewart and John Grierson.
St John's Town of Dalry is part of the Galloway hydro-electric scheme which was built shortly before the Second World War, this includes the Earlstoun Power Station.
There are plenty of places to stay in Dalry, these include The Clachan Inn and the Lochinvar Hotel plus a number of B&Bs. There are also several tea rooms and shops.
The Ballad of Young Lochinvar
This no doubt relates to the loch: Lochinvar. It was composed by Sir Walter Scott. It seems likely that the young Lochinvar actually existed but the rest is probably fancy.
"Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west!
Through all the wide border his steed was the best.
And, save his good broadsword, he weapon had none.
He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone!
So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war.
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar!"
As you pass Lochinvar you will see the ruin of a small historic schoolhouse. Possibly Sir Walter Scotts ballad was required learning (there are eight verses).
This is a lovely little route of 12 miles. If anything could convince you that cycling in Dumfries and Galloway is just wonderful this route certainly should. It includes two miles on the A702. This need not concern you too much as the A702 is quieter than most back roads in other places. There are fine views over the Water of Ken and its associated lochs. These were created shortly before the Second World War in the first large scale hydro electric scheme in Scotland.
Leave town going east on the A702 but turn left on to the B7000 before you leave the village. There are a few up and downs but the tendency is generally up. As you get higher the Water of Ken comes into view with the hills of the Rhinns of Kells behind. There is still some climbing after the second road junction (a right turn). The route crosses moorland. The Southern Upland Way walking route crosses the cycle route at the next junction (turn right again).
After this the tiny single track road winds across the moor to Lochinvar passing a small schoolhouse. When you descend to the A702 turn right again for the final two miles to St John's Town of Dalry.